Who Gets the Point When the Ball Hits the Edge of the Ping-Pong Table?

Caucasian male serving in table tennis
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In table tennis, who gets the point when the ball doesn't quite land on the top, horizontal playing surface of the table, but instead hits the corner angle where the top surface and the side of the table meet, and flies off in an odd, unpredictable trajectory? The player who made the ball ricochet off of the corner at an odd angle, or the player who is receiving the impossible-to-return shot?

Assuming that the receiver cannot get the ball back, and that the ball was falling when it hit the edge, who gets the point depends on two things:

  1. Whether the ball bounced upwards from the edge; and
  2. Whether the ball was travelling towards or away from the table before hitting the edge.

Here is how I use these two questions to determine who gets the point.

Firstly, if the ball bounces upwards from the edge of the table, it must have hit some portion of the top playing surface to make it bounce upwards, and it is considered to be a good return. The person hitting the unreturnable edge will get the point.

If the ball has bounced downwards, the question of whether the ball was travelling towards or away from the table before hitting the edge becomes important. It is perfectly possible for a ball to hit the top of the table, but go downwards, provided it was travelling over the table and going off the table. In these cases the person hitting the unreturnable edge will get the point.

But if the ball was travelling towards the table from off the table, then if the ball goes down it must have hit the side of the table, not some part of the top. In this case the receiver of the unreturnable edge will win the point.