Stick/club/racquet sports

Document Type



Previous table tennis studies have broadly assumed the racket to reach its maximal speed at ball-racket impact but only few identified this instant experimentally. Hence, there remains a lack of information regarding the validity of this hypothesis and therefore a need to develop a strategy to identify ball-racket contact that can be implemented into future experimentations. A 3D motion capture system was used to measure racket movements of seven young talents (12.6 ± 0.8 years old) -a category that had not been tested yet- during topspin forehand and backhand drives. Ball-racket impacts were identified with a synchronized microphone. Maximal racket speed and sound peak occurrences were compared, and racket parameters (speed, orientation) were calculated at both events. Differences emerged when examining participants individually for forehand drives and over the whole cohort for backhand drives, with consequences on both racket orientation and speed between the two events. As it was shown that ball-racket contact is not always concomitant with the maximal racket speed, futures studies should add supplementary equipment such as a synchronized microphone to identify the exact impact time.