Basic Ping Pong Rules

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In their naivete, many people remember that the basic ping pong rules, or the game of table tennis in general, is nothing more than winning or losing a point, whether in doubles or singles.

So, if you ask how points are scored, you’re not likely to get anything other than “a miss for my opponent if he is unable to return the ball to my side after I have hit the ball over to his side of the field after I have hit the ball over to his side of the field after I have hit the ball over to his side of the field after I have hit the ball over to his side of the field after I have hit the ball over to his side of the field after I have hit the ball over ping pong table.

You might get answers like how an opponent loses a point by missing the ball, missing their side of the table, hitting the ball on the net, or hitting the ball before it bounces on their side of the table if you’re lucky enough to have a smarter newbie.

But are the rules solely concerned with hitting or missing the ball, as well as losing and winning points? This fundamental understanding is beneficial because the goal of any game is to win, lose, or draw. The fundamental ping pong rules go beyond and beyond this ‘surface’ acquaintance. However, it does not cover everything there is to know about ping pong.

Even the tricks and tips for defeating opponents are not as simple as many people believe the ping pong rules are. We must understand scoring, serving (both singles and doubles), and offenses, as well as how points are won and lost.

As a result, if you’ve been perplexed or naive about the subject up to this point, official ping pong rules, this is the article for you. Get all of the information you need so that you don’t have to remain silent or refer them to the internet the next time someone asks you a question.

A player who successfully completes a rally and takes a two-point lead wins a match, regardless of who is serving. It’s important to remember that the tennis table’s edges (rather than the sides) are acceptable as the legal surface.

Basic rule 1: S
coring, losing and winning

The winner is the first player to reach the 11-point mark. It’s as easy as that. A point is scored after the ball has been put into play, which is an important basic rule of ping pong scoring and winning. You are the winner if you can win three out of five games. Yes, exactly. Do you recall your odd numbers from elementary school: 3, 5, 7, and so on? Typically, a table tennis match is considered the best of any odd.

However, keep in mind that a match can consist of as many games as possible; it all depends on the opponents’ agreement before the game begins. That means that if the game is extended to seven or nine rounds, you’ll need to win four or five rounds to win.

Meanwhile, to defeat his opponent, a winner must establish a two-point lead. This means that if the score is 10-10, the game is deuce, and the game will continue until a player gains a 2-point lead to win.

You simply lose a point to your opponent if you shake the table, touch the net, or return serve with your free hand. Don’t use those old tricks on your children!

Basic rule 2: Acceptable and
legal serve

Nobody wants your unexpected gift. The opponent who wants to receive the serve must not be able to see the ball. Only when the ball leans on the server’s open hand palm and is tossed up vertically at least 6 cm away from the server’s palm is a serve considered legal and acceptable.

The server must also strike the ball so that it bounces first on the server’s side of the table before moving to the opponent’s side.

Service: Diagonal or anyhow?

Only a diagonal (in doubles) or a straight line (in singles) serve is legal. By diagonal, we mean that the server serves the ball to the opponent’s right half court using one of his right half courts.

Before the opponent takes over, the server receives two serves. During extra play, one player serves one time before switching to the next. When a game goes into overtime, this rule does not apply.

Rule 4: The Let Serve rule

The opposing team or player earns a point if the ball clips the net and returns to the server’s side. When serving, the ball must leap over the net without touching it. Serve will be retaken if the ball touches or clips the net before it bounces on the opponent’s side, but the first serve will not be scored. Let serve is the technical term for this situation.

If the player receiving the serve is not ready and makes no attempt to hit the ball, it is called a let serve. This is basic logic! A let serve is called when play is obstructed by objects or incidents beyond the player’s control, and you can retake your serve. What if the game is interrupted by something external?

Rule 5: Serve Switch in Doubles

The decision of which team will serve first is based on an agreement between the two teams, say X and Y, which usually occurs at the beginning of the game. In contrast to singles, where service is always in a straight line, doubles requires two players to stand at opposite ends of the table.

Y1 then serves X2 twice; X2 then serves Y2 twice, and Y2 then serves X1 twice. The process of changeover continues until the rally is completed. X1 is the first to serve, and he serves two times to Y2. Isn’t that a no-brainer? A service cycle returns after eight points have been completed, according to simple arithmetic.

Rule 6: Hitting the ball in Doubles

At each end of the table, players will take turns hitting the ball. When trying to hit the ball in doubles, don’t break the rule. X1 should not, for example, hit the ball twice on the bounce. If X1 serves and Y2 receives, for example, X2 should return the ball to the opponent’s side while Y1 returns the ball to team X.

Rule 7: Caution before hitting

The ball must first bounce on your side of the table before hitting the back of your opponent’s side, according to the rule. You don’t just hit the tennis ball with your forehand. You will lose a point if you break this rule.

This isn’t a dodge ball, after all. There’s an ‘I’m sorry’ if your ball misses your side of the table and lands on the opponent’s side. And you know how painful that is. You’ve simply misunderstood something. Similarly, whack the ball on the table rather than at your opponent.

Rule 8: Equipment and Colour Design

On both sides, the rackets should be red and black in color. Halfway down each side of the table, a white line is painted. A tennis table’s standard dimensions are 2.74 meters in length, 1.525 meters in width, and 0.76 meters in height. It has a diameter of 40 mm and a diameter of 40 mm. A tennis ball is usually either orange or white in color. It is neither spherical nor circular in shape.

Basic Rule 9: Service and side switch

Before switching to the other side, each player serves two points in a row. After each rally, the team or player on one side of the table switches to the opposite side. The server has been changed. One of the most important ping pong rules is this. Meanwhile, if the score is 10-10, each team receives one serve, with a correct hit earning only one point. After the fifth game, this rule applies.

Rule 10: The game is won with 11 points, not 21.

In 2001, the scoring system was finally changed. You can agree on 21 for fun games, but the ITTF will not forgive you if you enter a competition using that outdated scoring system. You’re not a history buff. The games are decided by a score of 11 points. Sorry, you’re from the old school.

Rule 11: Never hit the ball twice

My dear, if you intentionally strike the ball twice in a row, you’ve just conceded a point to your opponent. So, don’t go down that road.


Keep up with the ever-changing rules and you’ll never be found wanting in any of them. These rules are subject to change at any time. Who’s to say they can’t? It doesn’t matter if you’re entering a local competition or simply want to have some fun with your son who has recently returned from college. It is, after all, a culture, and culture, as you are aware, is subject to change. Table tennis is one of the games with clear and easy-to-understand rules. They are not, contrary to popular belief, indestructible. You won’t have to wrack your brains to figure it out.

Stef Work
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