Rules For Ping Pong
Many people enjoy the game without ever knowing the official rules for ping pong. Table tennis, an Olympic sport, is so popular worldwide that it is often referred to by the registered trademark Ping-Pong®, which indicates a brand of equipment used to play the sport of table tennis. Read on for the basic rules for ping pong.
- A match is played the best of any odd number of games. For each game, the first player to reach 11 points wins that game. A game shall be won by the player (or pair) first scoring 11 points unless both players (or pairs) score 10 points, when the game shall be won by the first player (or pair) subsequently gaining a lead of 2 points.
- A point is scored after each ball is put into play (not just when the server wins the point as in volleyball).The only time a point is not scored is when there is a let
- Each player serves two points in a row and then switch server. However, if a score of 10-10 is reached in any game, then each server serves only one point and then the server is switched. After each game, the players switch side of the table. In the final game (i.e. 5th game), the players switch side again after either player reaches 5 points.
- The ball must rest on an open hand palm. Then it must be tossed up at least 6 inches and struck so the ball first bounces on the server's side and then the opponent's side. If the serve is legal except that it touches the net, it is called a let serve. Let serves are not scored and are reserved.
- The paddle should have a red and a black side. The ball should be either orange or white and 40 mm in size. The table should be 2.74 meters long, 1.525 meters wide and 0.76 meters high. There are additional equipment rules for ping pong but these are the basics.
- The ball is in play from the last moment at which it is stationary on the palm of the free hand before being intentionally projected in service until the rally is decided as a let or a point.
- Another of the little known rules of ping pong is that none of a player’s clothing may touch the ball. If it does, it is the same as a player touching the ball and may result in a penalty.
- The server shall then project the ball near vertically upwards, without imparting spin, so that it rises at least 16 centimeters after leaving the palm of the free hand and then falls without touching anything before being struck. As the ball is falling the server shall strike it so that it touches first his court and then, after passing over or around the net assembly, touches directly the receiver's court; in doubles, the ball shall touch successively the right half court of server and receiver.
- According to the rules for ping pong, a good return is defined as the ball, having been served or returned, shall be struck so that it passes over or around the net assembly and touches the opponent's court, either directly or after touching the net assembly.
- Rules of play rely on standard equipment, serving, scoring, and illegal moves. It’s important to remember that cannot move or bump the table or have any part of your body or clothing touch the table while the ball is in play. The ball is no longer in play if it touches a wall, ceiling, or another person's body.
Tips and Warnings:
- There are special rules for serving to a player in a wheelchair.
- In US tournaments all racket coverings must be approved by USATT, whether or not they are ITTF approved.