PPA referee Don Stanley: one-handed ‘armpit’ spin serve will be totally legal
Good luck with that.

November 16, 2021

Today a Facebook user asked:

“For the new 2022 rules, on the serve can we spin the ball with our right hand (non paddle hand) and then switch hands and hit the ball with paddle in right hand? Or will we only be able to spin with left hand and hit serve with paddle in right hand (or vice versa spin with right and hit with paddle in left hand)?”

Good question!

PPA head referee Don Stanley responded as follows:

“It was changed to ‘one hand only’. For example, a right handed player can put their paddle under their right arm pit and then release the ball with the right hand and then quickly grab the paddle with the right hand and serve the ball. I don’t know why they would do it, but they are allowed to do it.”

Here at Dinkheads, we totally get why someone would want to try this. The key to a good spin serve is getting lots of RPMs on the ball before it is struck. Most people are going to be able to get higher RPMs from their dominant hand. So if the rules allow a player both to spin the ball and serve it from the same hand, of course people are going to want to try it out.

So if you are right-handed, all you need to do to implement the armpit spin serve is:

  1. place your paddle in your right armpit
  2. spin the ball with your right hand
  3. grab your paddle from your right armpit using your right hand
  4. strike the ball with your paddle.

We think this is practically impossible–or at least extremely impractical–but who knows? Maybe someone as clever as Zane Navratil will figure it out.

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