Table Tennis – Objective, Equipment, Rules (A Complete Guide)

Table Tennis

Table Tennis is a sport also known as the “ping-pong” and “Wiff-Waff” that can be played as indoors and outdoors both as a recreational sport. This game is governed or organized by the worldwide organization International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) all around the globe. It is the sport played as singles (two players) and doubles (four players) in which two or four players hit a light weighted hollow ball in back and forth directions using table tennis rackets. It is the game played on a hard table divided by a net.

Objective Of Table Tennis

The main objective of the game is to score 11 points before opponent and points are scored or counted when a player fails to return the ball according to the game rules. If the score becomes tied at 10 points each, the first player or pair needs to establish two points lead to win. A match consists of winning the best of any odd number of games usually 3, 5 or 7 games. In this game, players hit the ball back and forth over the net and allow the ball played towards them only one bounce on their side of the table and must return it so that it bounces on the opposite side. Each player has two serves means after each two points have been scored the receiving player becomes the serving player and so on until the end of game.

Equipment Required To Play Table Tennis 

This is the sport where these equipment are needed:

  • Table Tennis Table
  • Table Tennis Bat
  • Table Tennis Ball
  • Table Tennis Net & Stand

Rules to Play Table Tennis 

The table tennis sport is played as “Singles” & “Doubles” and rules to play are as following:

Rules To Play Singles

If we are playing this game as singles means two players are playing, center line serves no purpose and scoring is counted in the best 3 or 5 games. In this every player has to reach 11 points to be winner and a game must be won by at least 2 points margin. A point is scored when each ball is put into play and the edges of the table are considered as the part of legal table surface. As per the legal rules the ball must rest on an open hand palm and then it must be tossed up 6 inches and struck so that the ball first bounces on the server side and then opponent side. In this singles game, each player serves 2 point in a row and then switch server. When the score reached 10-10, each server serves only one point and then the server becomes receiver.

Rules To Play Doubles

In doubles, all rules are same as singles but some variations appears like in match flow means in this players must alternate hitting the ball like if A is partner of B and X is partner of Y then A is server and X is receiver. The order of the game play is A-X-B-Y, this sequence will continue until one side fails to make a legal return and other side scores. After every change the receiver becomes the server and the partner of previous server becomes the receiver. In this doubles game, the score is counted as when a pair reaches 5 points in the final game, the pair must switch ends of the table.

Who Serves First In Table Tennis?

In top flight table tennis competition, service is decided by the toss of a coin. People playing just for fun often decides the right to serve by having a short rally — whoever does not make an error is the one to serve.

How To Serve In Table Tennis

The player releases the ball behind the edge of the table and hits it so that it bounces on his/her side of the table and then strikes the ball, it then bounces once in the opponent’s court. If a serve goes straight into the net and does not pass over into the court on the other side, then it is a point for the opponent. If a serve hits the net, but goes over, it is considered a ‘let’, and can be taken again with no penalty.

The opponent has to return by returning the ball before it bounces twice and must hit it directly over the net into the opposing court — it should not be bounced in the player’s own court by themselves as in the serve. The players then alternate playing the ball and having it bounce on the opponent’s side of the table until a player makes an error.

Scoring At Table Tennis

Players earn points regardless of who served the ball and points are awarded to the opponent during play for the following:

  • Failing to reach the ball or not hitting it back before it bounces twice.
  • Having the ball bounce on one’s own side after hitting it.
  • Double hitting the table tennis ball.
  • Failing to allow the ball to bounce once in one’s own side — you are not allowed to volley the ball like players do in tennis.
  • Failing to get the service correctly into play (unless it is a ‘let’).

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