Table Tennis Rules : The Rules of Ping Pong

Ping Pong Rules You Should Know About

Ping Pong is EXTREMELY FUN. However, it is important that you understand the rules of the game, thats why we’ve decided to write this post down.

In this post, we will go over the rules of table-tennis (ping pong) and give you some tips on how to win in ping pong.

In table-tennis, a player has to understand the equipment that is to be used as well as the jargon used in the game. We will go over all of that today.

Without these, one can end up getting fined for fouls that are avoidable.

Unless all the guidelines of the game are followed, the sporting event cannot be considered fair.

The International Table Tennis Federation usually regulates guidelines of this sport.

*Pro Tip : If you’re looking to buy a ping pong table, read our review. We also reviewed the best ping pong paddles recently.

Heres What This Post Covers: 

  1. The equipment used in ping pong
  2. Definition of terms in ping pong
  3. General guidelines
  4. How to win in ping pong and finding easy points

Lets dive right into it, we will start by reviewing the needed equipment for ping pong.

Tools and Equipment of Table Tennis (Ping Pong)

The Table

This sport cannot begin without a table. The table should be a straight surface, and it should always be laid on a horizontal surface.

The measurements of the table should conform to the standard requirements of the ITTF.

The surface of the playing counter should be made of a surface that has bouncing capability. Ideally, a dark surface with a matt should be sourced.

The bouncing should be uniform no matter the side the service is made from. This is to avoid inconveniencing any player. The table should also be supported on a surface that is level.

The table should also be marked with a white line all around the surface. The lines located at the edges where the players typically stand are referred to as end lines while those along the sides are known as sidelines.

These lines usually mark the end of the playing counter. For a serve to count, it must be within the demarcated borders.

If the game involves two players, the horizontal table is usually subdivided equally to demarcate the zones for each player.

Though partitioning the center with a permanent marker is not advised, its use does not usually destroy the table. The surface can still be used when two players are sporting.

ping pong table

The Net

After the table has been set, the next step should be to put up the net. The netting is usually fixed along the sidelines such that it cuts the counter into two. This usually demarcates the field for each player.

When setting the mesh, it is generally recommended that it gets as close as close as possible to the counter surface.

However, the netting should not be fixed to the counter. Instead, the outside support should be around fifteen centimeters from the sidelines.

To make sure that the mesh does not droop during playoffs, it should be fixed very close to the outside support. The coloring of the netting material can be chosen according to the personal tastes of the player.


This item can be any size provided the player ensures that the blade is flat. Though most of the blade should be composed of wood, the topmost part should be reinforced and padded with any material that is fibrous by nature.

Additionally, to avoid breaking the plastic ball, the side used for hitting it should be covered with rubber that is pimpled. The racquet brought to playoffs should be smooth on all surfaces.

The Tennis Ball

This item should be spherical by nature. The weight and diameter should follow those set by international standards.

Currently, forty millimeters in diameter is considered ideal. In order to facilitate bouncing on the playing counter, it should be made of plastic material. The color of the item can either be orange, matte or white.

how to play ping pong

Definition of Terms in Ping Pong

Rally- This is defined during which the playoff has started, and players are handling the ball. The game is considered to be in a rally from the moment the server hits the first projection until the ball crosses the end lines or until a point or a let is declared by the umpire.

Let- A failure to obtain a point is known as a let.

Point- This is when either side scores a result.

Strike- This is when the player touches the playing ball with the racquet when it is held in the racquet hand and not the free hand. A racquet hand is an arm holding the tennis racquet.

Server- This is the person who projects the ball by striking it first during the game.

Receiver- This is the person who strikes the ball on the other end after it has been hit by the server.

Umpire- This is the official who counts and consults with the official results at the end of each game.

General Ping Pong Guidelines

The player serving should first hold the ball stationary in hand then project it upwards vertically.

As it is coming down, the server should project it towards the receiver. Players should remember that it is their responsibility to ensure the umpire sees all their moves. This is the best way to avoid a let.

Failure to issue a good serve throughout the game usually results in the receiver getting extra scores.

In order to decide if service rules can be relaxed, one should inform the umpire beforehand of any physical disability.

A return hit by the receiver after a serve is usually considered great it is hit and lands on the side of the server.

The ball should, however, go above the net and be within the endpoints of the playing counter.

In playoffs involving two people.

The game should begin with the server hitting the ball. The receiver should strive to make an excellent return to avoid missing out on points.

During double playoffs, after the server has hit the ball, the first receiver should hit the return and direct it towards the partner of the server.

The partner of the server should then direct the ball to the alternate receiver. As each player hits the ball, they should direct it to their alternates.

A game is usually considered to be won if on party scores eleven pints first. In instances where there is a tie at ten points, the game should go on until one party gains a lead of no less than two points.

A match, on the other hand, can be decided by choosing the best out of any odd number of games. Matches cannot be determined on an even number. The range of intervals allowed between each game usually varies.

How to Win in Ping Pong: Tips on Scoring Easy Points  

There are some fundamental ways to spot points. If the opposing party fails to make serve or return, this is usually a point.

If the player hits a return that goes out of the end lines without touching a small part of the opponent’s court, one can claim a point.

Striking the ball twice can also be penalized with a point for the opposing side. Touching the netting with any part of cloth during a playoff usually constitutes a point and so does touching the playing counter with the hand not holding the racquetball.

In conclusion, at the start of the playoffs, the choice on the server is usually decided through a coin toss or lot.

If one party chooses one end, the other end automatically belongs to their nemesis. Players should understand that rules change from time to time.

An individual seeking a deep understanding of new upcoming rules should regularly follow announcements by the International Table Tennis Federation.

Without rules, a match can lead to huge arguments.

Prior to a playoff, a novice player should go through the rules and try to gain a rudimentary understanding of the rules.

Additionally, a highly qualified umpire and assistant should be sought to act as referee in any match playoffs.

For a great overall experience, during the playoffs, both players should use sporting gear and equipment that is of a high quality and original.

Bottom Line 

Ping pong is extremely fun and we hope this post will help you understand its rules and play better!

Of course if you’re playing at home, you dont have to be as strict about the rules.

If however you’re planning to become a professional ping pong player, its crucial that you know these rules.

Either way we hope you enjoyed reading and last, we will greatly appreciate it if you share this post via social media so we can grow!