What Are the Basic Rules of Table Tennis?


Quick Answer

The basic rules of table tennis cover issues regarding table tennis equipment, playing the game and scoring. The rules have been set by the International Table Tennis Federation.

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What Are the Basic Rules of Table Tennis?
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Full Answer

The game begins when one player serves the ball to the opponent. The ball must rest freely on the open palms of the server before projecting it vertically to a distance of at least 16 centimeters. When striking the ball, it must touch the right half of the server’s and receiver’s court consecutively.

A set occurs when one of the players scores 11 points. If the participating players score 10 points each, the umpire awards the set to the first player to gain a 2-point lead. A player wins the full match by winning the best of any odd number of sets.

The playing surface or table must be 2.74 meters long, 1.525 meters wide and 76 centimeters high. The table tennis ball must have a diameter of 40 millimeters and weigh 2.7 grams. The ball must be either orange or white. The playing racket can be of any shape, size or weight, but its blade must consist of 85 percent natural wood. The racket must also be rigid and flat, and the net must be 15.25 centimeters high.

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