While you may not need to know these table tennis rules and regulations for a casual match, you will need to know them if you ever want to get involved in a serious table tennis competition. Table tennis (or ping pong) is a sport enjoyed worldwide that is sometimes taken less seriously than other sports. However, it should be taken seriously, as the competitors are fierce and success and the game requires a lot of skill.
- Basic play Table tennis is a game similar to tennis, except that it is played on an official table (generally indoors) and the table is much smaller than a tennis court. Ping pong competitors hit the ball back and forth on the table, attempting to score points, which occur when the other player misses the ball, hits the ball it twice on his or her own side or hits the ball into the net or off the table. During a rally, players should let the ball bounce once on their side of table and then hit it or they will lose the point.
- Table regulations A ping pong table must be rectangular with dimensions of 2.74 meters by 1.525 meters. The table should be parallel to the floor and 76 centimeters off of the ground. It must be divided in half by a vertical net and be made of a material that allows the ball to bounce.
- Service The server must first throw the ball at least sixteen centimeters into the air and hit it on his or her side of the court first before it travels over the net to the opponent's side. The receiver lets it bounce and then must return it back over the net to the opponent's side. Each hit must go over the net and hit the opponent's side of the court or the point is lost.
- Scoring Like tennis, there are multiple parts to a match. Winning players must score the most points in a game and win the most games in a match. Official table tennis rules and regulations state that a game is considered eleven points unless both players (or pairs) have ten points, in which case whoever wins a game by two points wins. The player or pair with the most games won wins the match (the amount of games needed to win can vary).
- Equipment Each player must have a racket, which mainly consists of a "blade." A blade must be flat, rigid and at least 85 percent natural wood, but it can be covered with rubber. A table tennis ball has to be spherical with a diameter of 40 millimeters and a weight of 2.7 grams.