The international table tennis rules and regulations are designed to cover any chances of eventuality that occurs during the game.
The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) reviews these rules every year and in case if they want to implement or change any rule, it is regulated from 1st January onwards of the following year unless any specified date is mentioned.
No game is enjoyable without rules. Rules are necessary; it keeps the player grounded and respects the game. For a beginner like you, if you want to play the game following the rules and regulations, we are happy to share our knowledge on the rules required to play the game of ping pong. From ping pong doubles rules to singles and the rules about the serving, playing surface, ball and paddle, you will find everything in this article.
What are The Rules of Ping Pong?
Table of Contents
- 1 What are The Rules of Ping Pong?
- 2 Conclusion –
We have characterized this article on the basis of different rules applied in ping pong.
Basis Table Tennis Rules –
Ping Pong Table Rules:
- The table used should be rectangular in shape having 9 feet (274 cm) height and 5 feet (152.2 cm) width.
- The table should be placed 2 ft. 6 in. (76 cm) above the ground.
- The table can be made of any component or material provided that it offers an even bounce of 8 ¾ inches (23 cm) when a ball is dropped from the height of 1 feet (12 inches).
- The playing surface has to look darker with a matte finish so that the ball can be easily visualized while playing. A 2 cm wide white line should be made along the table’s edges.
- The lines along the width are termed as ‘end lines.’
- The lines along the length are termed as ‘side lines.’
- The ping pong doubles rules for the table states that the white line used for marking the line should have a width of 3 mm divided into halves.
Ping Pong Net Rules:
- The table is divided into two equal halves or courts using a vertical net placed along the side lines.
- The net attached shall be placed 6 inches from the playing surface.
Ping Pong Ball Rules:
- The spherical hollow ball should weigh 2.7 grams with 40 mm diameter.
- The ball shall be orange or white in color and made of plastic or celluloid.
Ping Pong Racket Rules:
- The paddle must be made of 85% natural wood.
- The sponges must not be thicker than 2 mm.
- You can use both penhold and shakehand style paddles.
- You are not allowed to touch the playing surface with your racket in between the game. If it happens, your opponent will be awarded with a point.
- You are required to show your paddle to your opponent and the match referee before the start of the play.
- The rackets shall be – 6-inches (15 cm) wider (blade) and 10-inches (25 cm) length.
Ping Pong Serving Rules –
- As a server, you will start by keeping the ball resting freely on your palm.
- Now, while serving, you have to first project the ball upwards nearly 16cm from your palm before striking it to the other side. Remember, you are not allowed to touch anything apart from the paddle and ball while serving like the table.
- When you strike the ball, you have to make sure that the ball first touches your court before it projects towards your opponent’s court. In case, if you are playing the doubles game, the ball you struck should first hit the right half court of your side and then to the opponent’s side.
- The ball must always remain above the playing surface and behind your end line. In any case, if you tend to hide the ball or your partner hides the ball, it will be against the rules; only fair play is allowed.
- In case, if the referee is doubtful of your service’s legality, he/she will warn you for that and no points will be scored.
- If you tend to again play a foul service, your opponent will be awarded with a point.
- If you fail to hit the ball while serving, your opponent will win the point.
- In case, if you are playing doubles, the serving must go diagonally. That is, if you are the server, then it must start from your left-hand side to the opponent’s left-hand side or vice-versa.
- In doubles, you and your partner have to strike the ball alternatively. That is, if you strike the ball twice, it will be a penalty.
- When the service changes, the receiver becomes the server in case of a doubles game.
Ping Pong Singles Rules:
- The ping pong rules 21 points were the maximum up to which a game was played till 2001.
- It reduced to 11 points after a change in the rule. The first player to earn 11 points shall win the game.
- In case, you and your opponent both scored 10 points each, the game will be decided when any one of you gains a lead of 2 points.
- The table tennis doubles rules on scoring are same as the rules for the singles.
The Points Rule:
- You or your opponent will not earn any point until the rally breaks.
- You will score a point if your opponent fails to make a good service.
- You will also score a point if your opponent fails to make a good return.
- If the service and return were good but the ball eventually touches the net, then it will be a point.
- If your return ends up without touching your opponent’s court or vice-versa, then it will be a point.
- If you strike the ball twice, then it will be a faulty return and you will end up losing a point.
- You will end up losing a point in case you anyhow touch the playing surface either with your hand or racket.
- In case of doubles, if you or your partner strikes the ball out of the sequence set by your opponents, then your opponents will score a point.
The Choice of Serves and Ends:
- Whether you will be serving or standing at the receiving end will during the start of the game will be decided by lot.
- If you decide to serve first, then your opponent will have no choice but to receive or end. It is applicable for both singles as well as doubles game.
- After every 2 points, the service will be changed. Before that, the serving rule was set to 5 points from each end. It means that, if you are serving and you lose two points in your serves, then the opponent will serve and vice-versa.
The basic table tennis rules for both professionals and armatures are same but for games of higher levels and intensity, the rules may slightly change given that the competition will be tougher.
In this article, we mentioned all the regulatory rules of table tennis including the ping pong doubles rules and the number of regulations used will depend on the competition’s standard that you are playing and how thorough are your organizers with the rules.
For now, following these rules will help you understand the game with a better perspective and you will enjoy the game. Playing with rules and regulations will allow you to have respect for the sport and your opponent.
If you have any queries regarding the rules, you can always ask us, we are happy to help you.