Ping Pong Ground Rules

ping pong ground rules table tennis
Ping pong or table tennis is one of the popular Olympic sports which can be played in/outdoors. A competitive one is usually played indoors, while a recreational one can be played outdoors. The game is relatively easy to learn, as it involves just some basic equipment and a few ground rules.
This article shares some of the very basic ping pong ground rules to help you get started.

Type of Equipment

A typical game of ping pong comes with specific equipment.


The game needs to be played on a hard table, which should have the following measurements:
  • 2. 74 meters/equivalent to 9 feet long.
  • 1.525 meters in width, equivalent to 5 feet.
  • 76 centimeters or an equivalent of 2 feet in height.
On the other hand, the net should measure 6 feet long, and 6 inches in height.

Ping pong ball

The ball measures 40mm in diameter and should be constructed of either celluloid or plastic material.


The rackets should be made of wood, and partly covered with pimpled rubber on the section where the ball meets the racket.
Although the racket can be of any size and weight depending on how comfortable the player feels, it must come in white, matt, or orange color.
The rule which applies to the racket is so specific. Just before the start of the game, both the umpire and the players must inspect the kind of rackets that are being used, to see that they are of the required standards.

Number of People Playing

The game is defined as being played in singles or doubles. For instance, it is referred to as singles if there are only two competitors playing. Then it is referred to doubles if there four competitors playing the game. How the Game Is Played
For starters, there are some regulations guiding the game as well. For example;
  • The server should have the ball resting freely on the palm of their hand.
  • The ball should then be projected upwards in a vertical position and rising about 16cm high.
  • Then the server strikes the ball in such a way that first touches their court before it passes over the net, and onto the opponent’s court.
  • The ball should be able to first hit an opponent’s table, rise, before its struck back, across the net, and back to the server.
  • You and your opponent should serve back and both until the required points get scored.
Calculating the Score Earning 11 points is the decisive factor which every player aims for.
The first player to make 11 points is declared the winner. But the decision is only arrived at if there is a 2 point gap between the winner and their opponent.
In the event they have come to a draw, say of 10-10, the game has to go into extra time. It virtually goes on until one of the players garners the required 2 points to declare a win.
Another equally important rule is that each player makes two serves. And once two points are scored, the other party becomes the server. This interchange goes on and on until you reach the maximum 10points, and as you head on to determine a winner.
Basically, you win a point when;
  • Your opponent misses the ball.
  • An opponent strikes the ball which misses on your side of the table.
  • An opponent strikes the ball which then hits the net.
  • They hit the ball before it bounces as required on their side of the table.
  • If the ball hits any part of the body of an opponent.

What Are The Service Rules You Need To Obey?

First and foremost;
  • The ball must bounce on your side of the table before it lands on to your opponent’s side.
  • Your opponent must also allow the ball to land their side of the table after which they can then return the serve.
  • The ball must swiftly and cleanly pass over the net without touching. In the event it touches, it’s considered as a ‘let’, which must be repeated.
  • If the ball hits the net and yet doesn’t do the crossover, your opponent wins a point.


The above are just but basic rules. There is a set of comprehensive rules which can guide you as you advance in your game. In addition, table tennis comprises of technical terminologies that you need to learn as you master other skillful moves of the game.

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