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Learning The Basic Table Tennis Rules

You might have been playing table tennis for fun or as a recreational activity, but if you are serious to learn how to play ping pong, you need to know the basic table tennis rules for beginners.

table tennis rules

The basic rules include rules for starting a game, rules for scoring points and rules for serving. These basic rules are all you need to know as a beginner and it will be sufficient for you to develop your game and improve on your techniques.

In official competition, a match winner is a player that has the best of any odd numbers of games, usually the best of five or seven games.

Rules for Starting a Game

According to the official rules, a coin is tossed to decide which player will serve first in a game.

A player can also hide the ball in one hand and put both hands under the table for the other player to guess which of the hand the ball is hidden.

If a player guesses right he or she will be the first to serve and if a player guesses wrong, the reverse will be the case.

The play to serve system can also be used to decide who to serve first in a game. The ball is played back and forth four times and then the players play out the points. The player that wins the point, will be the first to serve.

How to score points

  • A point is scored if an opponent fails to make a correct service or returns.
  • A point is scored if after making a service or return the ball touches anything apart from the net before being struck by the opposing player.
  • A point is scored if a player moves the table, touches the net or put the free hand on the table surface during a rally.
  • A point is scored if a player obstructs the ball and also if the ball passes over the player’s court after being struck by the opponent.
  • A point is scored if a player hit the ball twice.
  • A game is won by the first player to score 11 points, except when the players score 10 points each. In this situation, the game shall be won by the first player having a lead of two points.
  • For example, if two players have 10 points each, the first to get 2 points more than the other wins the game.

The rules to serve

  • For a serve to be legal, a player must toss the ball up at least 6 inches and hit the ball before it touches the table.
  • For a serve to be legal, a player must not hide the ball from his opponent.
  • Players can change serves after every 2 points until a player wins the game.
  • After the end of each game, the players can change sides and the player who served first in the previous game will be the one to serve first in the next game.
  • In table tennis doubles the service is executed from the right-hand side and the sequence of the returns is different.
  •  A let is called if the ball touches the net before crossing over to the side of the receiver or when the receiver is not ready when the ball was served.
  • A let is when a game is interrupted in the process of a serve or during a rally.

Basic and Official Rules of Table Tennis

Do you want to know the important basic rules of table tennis for beginners? Or do you wish to have yourself got familiar with the laws of table tennis including the official table tennis rules for professional and international players? If so, you have come to the right place in which you are going to get all the required information in this site.

The international official table tennis rules are controlled by the worldwide organization, which is known as International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). The organization was founded and established in 1926.

ITTF preserves a global position ranking system plus organizes several international table tennis events including the World Table Tennis Championship. Today, the organization already have got 215 members. If you would want to know more, you may get the official table tennis rules which are indicating in the ITTF laws of table tennis handbook.

2 Rules Categories

The rules associated with table tennis or ping pong can be categorized into 2 major categories:

The first category is the fundamental table tennis rules which are aiming for recreational players and beginners; the other category is the official table tennis rules or ping pong laws which tend to be reviewed by ITTF every year.

For serious amateur players who really want to improve on their game, it is very important to know the current official table tennis rules.

For a beginner or recreational player, the knowledge of some basic rules of the sport is sufficient enough to play and enjoy the game at that level.

Some of you might also be wondering about what is the difference between ping pong rules and table tennis rules and want to know which of these terms is officially correct according to the rules and regulation governing the sport.

Basic Table Tennis Rules for Beginners

As a beginner you can relax, take your time to learn the game, all you need is to know some basic skills like how to start a game-knowing who to start or receive the first service of the game, you also need to know how to choose and use the table tennis racket, paddle or bat.

As a beginner or recreational you only need a cheap table tennis racket and as your game improves, you can upgrade to a more high quality but an expensive racket.

I will give you some important basic table tennis rules for beginners to enable you to develop your skill and have fundamental knowledge on how to play the game according to the rules.

Official Table Tennis Rules

With serious amateur players who are really determined about improving their standard of the game or taking their game to the championship level, there is the need for them to know the correct official rules and regulations of table tennis because the rules are reviewed every year.

As a serious player, you must know about any changes made in the rules of the sport so that you will know what to do and what not to do when you are playing a game in a tournament or in your table tennis club.

The official table tennis rules are complete lay down rules and regulations intended to cover any possible occurrence that may arise when a professional game of table tennis is played.

The official rules of table tennis can apply for both amateurs and professionals, but on some occasions, the official rules and regulations of table tennis is used depending on the level and standard of competition.

For the more serious or amateur players who want to improve on their game and play in official table tennis club tournament or professional championships games, I will give you the most recently reviewed and updated official rules and regulations of table tennis as specify in the ITTF official laws of table tennis handbook that reviewed and updated annually in their office site.

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