Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2023) 22, 667 - 680   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2023.667

Research article
Technical and Tactical Actions of the World’s Leading Male Table Tennis Players Between 1970 and 2021
Jerzy Grycan1, Małgorzata Kołodziej2, Ziemowit Bańkosz2, 
Author Information
1 Polish Table Tennis Association, 02-819 Warszawa, Poland
2 Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Sciences, 51-612 Wrocław, Poland

Ziemowit Bańkosz
✉ Wroclaw University of Health and Sport Sciences, 51-612 Wrocław, Poland
Email: ziemowit.bankosz@awf.wroc.pl
Publish Date
Received: 03-02-2023
Accepted: 29-09-2023
Published (online): 01-12-2023
 
 
ABSTRACT

This research aimed to determine the quantitative and qualitative structure of winning systems of the world’s leading male table tennis players between 1970 and 2021. The study used the Wu game analysis method, modified by the authors, which consists of observing the game from playback, identifying the winning actions of a given player, and sorting and counting the actions, depending on the accuracy of the observation. The project identified all World Championships and Olympic Games medallists, resulting in 244 men’s matches being analyzed. Three time periods were considered based on the ball used, including the 38 mm celluloid ball, 40 mm celluloid ball, and 40 mm plastic ball. Differences in the level structure, depending on the observation period, were assessed using the chi-squared test of independence. The Pearson contingency coefficient was calculated, and multiple comparisons were made. The research showed that the use of combinations changed slightly with changes in ball size and material. The first three strokes were very important in all periods. However, the importance of serves as direct scoring strokes decreased. These findings may be related to changes in the size and material used for ball production. The most winning serves in the game of the top men were side-spin forehand serves, which were also used most often during 3rd-ball-attack winning combinations. The number of actions won directly with a return, and in the return-counterattack combination, accounted for, and still constitute, about 30%, with an increasing number of backhand flicks. The research also showed an increase in the use of backhand strokes compared to forehand strokes. These findings should be considered when creating basic goals in table tennis training plans.

Key words: Table tennis, game analysis, technical and tactical actions


           Key Points
  • The project identified and analyzed 244 matches of medalists of the World Championships and the Olympic Games in the years 1970-2021
  • The most scoring technical and tactical actions in table tennis were identified
  • The first three strokes in all periods are very important, however the importance of serves as direct scoring strokes is decreasing. The number of actions won directly with a return and in the Return-Counterattack combination accounted for and still constitute about 30%
  • The research showed an increase in the use of backhand strokes compared to forehand strokes in particular periods.
  • The findings should be taken into account when creating basic goals in the training plan of table tennis.
 
 
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