The Importance of the Half-Long Ball by Michael Landers


One of the main things that I’ve been working on during my training in California is my opening loop off of a half-long ball. In table tennis, there are three main types of balls that can be served or received (in terms of depth). The ball can either come short (the ball will bounce twice on your side if you don’t touch it), long (the ball will only bounce once on your side and will come off the end of the table), and half-long (the ball’s second bounce is very close to the edge of the table).

Many times when a match is tight the opposing player cannot control how short they serve the ball and the ball ends up coming half-long, giving you the opportunity to attack the ball. However, these types of balls take much practice to master. They require a much shorter stroke and much greater use of the wrist.

Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when attacking a half-long ball:

1. Make sure that you keep your stroke compact

2. Use a lot of wrist to spin the ball and make up for your short stroke

3. Stay as low as possible

By doing these three things, you could easily control the match and dictate each point.

Michael Landers

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