Probably, you’re a table tennis enthusiast and want to know the basic rules of playing a friendly ping pong match. Then, the table tennis guide is the perfect resource for you. Here, you get the answer thoroughly about the rules of table tennis. Meanwhile, you will get a brief explanation of how to play the game right way.
Table tennis is a popular indoor sport. It’s really simple to play. Table tennis plays on a hard table divided by net. By using the paddle, the player hits a lightweight ball back and forth over the net to his opponent. A point is scored when the opponent fails to return the ball to another side. It is fairly a fast game, so a player needs quick reactions.
So let’s go to the depth of the game and unleash the rules of the game one by one.
How to Score:
In a competitive match, plays are typically the best of five or seven games. Meanwhile, the match can be formed of the number of games you like. At first, you must agree with your opponent in this matter. For each game, the player who reaches 11 points first eventually becomes the winner of the game.
However, There must be at least two points distance between the opponent to win the game. If the score is equal, then the game goes extra playing until one player takes two points lead. A point is scored after each ball puts into play.
A point is counted to the score when a player makes any of the following results of the rally:
- The opponent can’t make a correct service or fails to return the shot successfully.
- The ball passes directly over the opposite side without touching the court.
- The opponent intentionally obstructs the ball.
- If the player uses the side of the racket’s blade which isn’t covered by rubber.
- Any player uses hand to touch the playing surface.
The Flow of the Game:
Service changes between the opponent at every two points until the end of the match. Each player successively serves two points straight, and then switch the server. If any game score both player reaches in 10-10, then each player serves only one point in turn and after that, the server will be switched.
The player who serves first in a game then will serve first in the next game of the match. After completing each game, both players switch the side of the table. In the final game, the players switch sides after one player reaches 5 points. Thus a competitive match takes place and the player who scores successively higher than the opponent most of the game becomes the winner.
Way of the Legal Service:
First, the player stands on the ball on the open hand palm. He must toss the ball directly at least 16 cm (6 inches) above without spin and strike the ball with the paddle so that it bounces first on the server’s side and then the opponent’s side. In a casual game, many players don’t toss the ball upward. However, it’s treated as an illegal service because it provides an unfair advantage to the server.
If the ball touches on the net or obstructs in the receiver side any means, it is called a Let Service. However, the player may fail to make a service or proper return with the Laws due to a disturbance of the outside player are also treated as Let service. It is also called foul service and it’s not scored.
Following terms are important in order to legal service in the table tennis:
- The server must serve the ball behind the table baseline and above the table height.
- A serve can be short or long.
- It can bounce once or multiple times on the opposite side.
- A service can go straight off the table or corner sides on the receiver side.
- The receiver must return the serve after one bounce otherwise receiver loses the point.
- There is no limit to the number of let service.
- There is no chance to second serve in case of a fault in Table Tennis.
Table Tennis Equipment:
To play a friendly or professional match, you should have all the table tennis equipment that is essential for the game. Meanwhile, it’s literary, not possible to play a game without the following pieces of equipment.
Table Tennis Racket/Paddle:
Table tennis players use a wooden racket covered with rubber on one or both sides. The wooden part of the racket is referred to as the blade. According to the rules of ITTF, at least 85% thickness of the blade should be natural wood. The average size of the blade is 6.7 inches long and 5.9 inches wide.
Different type of surfaces is used in each side of the racket. It provides various levels of spin and speed. For example, a player may use a rubber surface that provides much spin on one side and the other side doesn’t provide any spin at all. To distinguish the rubber side of the blade, one side must be red while another side must be black. However, the player can’t exchange a racket during the match unless it’s damaged.
The ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) rules clearly state that the weight of the ball must be 2.7 grams (0.095 oz) and a diameter of 40 millimeters (1.57 in) to play a Table tennis match. Ping pong ball is now made of polymer with matte finishing. The ball comes with white and orange colors. The color of the ball choices according to the color of the table and surrounding.
The 40 mm ball was first introduced after the summer Olympics of 2000. Earlier, 38 mm ball is used to play table tennis game. The manufacturers often use a star rating system to indicate the quality of the ball. However, a ball can be used in the official competition after ITTF approval.
The ITTF accepts only wooden table surface to play a table tennis match. The table is divided into two halves by a 6.0 inches height net. The surface should have a dark color and matte. The table is 9.0 feet long, 5.0 feet wide and 2.5 feet in height from the bottom. When a ball drops from 30 cm, it table must yield 23 cm bounce.