Table Tennis 101: The Official Rules You Need to Know


Table Tennis 101: The Official Rules You Need to Know

Table tennis, also known as ping pong, is a fast-paced and exciting sport that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned player, understanding the official rules of table tennis is essential for a fair and enjoyable game. In this article, we will cover the basic rules that every table tennis player needs to know.

1. Serving

The serve is the first shot of each point and is one of the most important aspects of table tennis. The server must throw the ball up at least 6 inches and hit it so that it bounces on their side of the table first, then on the opponent’s side. The serve must also go over the net and land in the opponent’s half of the table. Failure to comply with any of these rules results in a point for the opposing player.

2. Scoring

Table tennis is usually played to 11 points, and a player must win by a margin of two points. If the score reaches 10-10, the game continues until one player achieves a two-point lead. In a best of five games match, the first player to win three games is declared the winner.

3. Let

If a serve hits the net and lands on the opponent’s side of the table, it is called a let. A let is not considered a fault, and the serve is replayed. However, a let cannot occur during a rally, only during a serve.

4. Doubles Rules

In doubles table tennis, the serving team must decide who will serve first, and then the serve alternates between the two players. The receiving team can also alternate hitting the ball. The ball must bounce once on each side of the table in doubles play.

5. Equipment

The official table tennis rules specify that the ball must be 40mm in diameter and weigh 2.7 grams. The racket, or paddle, should be made of at least 85% natural wood, and the blade should be flat and rigid. The rubber covering should be black on one side and red on the other.

These are just a few of the essential rules of table tennis that every player should be familiar with. To truly become a master of the sport, it is important to study and practice these rules thoroughly. The official rules of table tennis may seem complex at first, but with time and dedication, they will become second nature to any player. So next time you step up to the table, remember to play by the rules and enjoy the fast-paced and exciting game of table tennis.

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