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Table Tennis Rules


Ping pong, also known as table tennis, follows a set of rules established by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Here are some fundamental rules of ping pong:


  1. Game Points:
    • A game is typically played to 11 points, but it can also be played to 21 points in some formats.
  2. Winning a Game:
    • The player or pair scoring 11 points (or as designated by the game format) first and leading by at least two points wins the game.
  3. Matches:
    • A match can be the best of any odd number of games (e.g., best of three or best of five).
  1. Service Rotation:
    • Players or pairs switch sides after every two points, and they also switch sides at the end of each game.
  2. Service Order:
    • Players take turns serving, and each player serves for two points in a row until the end of the game.
  3. Service Rules:
    • The ball must be thrown vertically at least 6 inches before being struck. It must be hit behind the server's end line, pass over the net, and bounce in the opponent's side of the table.
  4. Receiver's Position:
    • The receiver must stand behind the end line and wait for the serve. The ball must bounce once on the receiver's side after being served before it is returned.
Playing the Game:
  1. Rally Rules:
    • The ball must be hit over the net and into the opponent's side of the table. Players alternate hitting the ball during a rally.
  2. Scoring During a Rally:
    • A point is scored when the opponent fails to return the ball according to the rules.
  3. Let:
    • If a served ball hits the net but lands in the correct service area, it is a "let," and the serve is taken again.
  1. Service Order in Doubles:
    • In doubles, teammates alternate hitting the ball. The serving team decides which player serves first, and players switch service every two points.
  2. Service to Receiver Diagonally:
    • In doubles, the serve must go from the right half of the server's court to the right half of the receiver's court diagonally.
  1. Table and Net:
    • The table should be rectangular, 2.74 meters long, 1.525 meters wide, and 76 centimeters high. The net is 15.25 centimeters high.
  2. Equipment:
    • Players use a paddle (racket) to hit the ball. The ball is made of celluloid or similar plastic materials.
  3. Ball in Play:
    • The ball is in play from the moment it is intentionally struck.

These rules provide a basic overview, and there are more detailed regulations for specific situations in competitive play. It's advisable to refer to the official ITTF rules for a comprehensive understanding of the game.

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