We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Table Tennis?

By R. Kayne
Updated Mar 06, 2024
Our promise to you
Sports&Hobbies is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Sports&Hobbies, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Table tennis, better known as Ping-Pong, is the second most played sport in the world, beat only by soccer. Table tennis is a form of tennis played on a special table rather than on a tennis court. Table tennis rackets resemble paddles, and the table tennis ball which is about the size of a golf ball, is smooth, hollow, extremely light, and bounces easily on the hard table top.

The table upon which table tennis is played is rectangular and of a dark color, usually green, with a white sideline along each side and edge. The playing surface is divided into two equal courts by a low, vertical net running parallel to the edges, suspended by clamped posts located midway on each side. The net is about 6 inches (15.25 cm) high.

Each of the two courts is divided yet again by a white center line running perpendicular to the net, or parallel with the sides. This creates two half-courts on each side, used when playing doubles, or two to a team.

Rackets are circular in shape with a short handle, made mostly of wood, and are flat. The striking surface is covered with evenly-pimpled rubber, but the blade of the racket is left bare, as is the handle. In table tennis if a player opts to switch to a new racket in a game, the player must offer the new racket to his opponent for examination before resuming the game.

To begin a game the server must hold the ball in the palm of their open hand, and then toss it upwards for at least 6.29 inches (16 cm). As the ball drops, the server must hit it in such a way that it bounces on his side of the table, then strikes the ball so that it first hits in his court before passing over the net to strike the opponent's court. The ball must not swipe any part of the net on a serve or the serve is invalid.

To return the serve, the receiver strikes the ball so that it passes over or around the net to land on the opposite side of the table. It may swipe the net as long as it passes over.

When the ball is in play it is referred to as a rally. Points are scored when the server fails to make good on a serve, or when the receiver misses a good serve or is unable to return it successfully. Likewise, once the serve and return are successful, whoever breaks the rally by missing the ball, hitting it into the net, or failing to strike the opponent's court on the return, is penalized by awarding the opponent one point.

The first person or team to rack up 11 points wins, unless the score becomes tied at 10 points each. In this case the first to reach a two-point lead wins. A match consists of winning the best of any odd number of games.

Table tennis came from England toward the end of the 1800's, where it was enjoyed as a social sport. At that time it was called gossima, and flim-flam, but the name that stuck was ping-pong because of the noise the ball made as it bounced on the table. In the 1920's the game was revived in Europe as table tennis and The International Table Tennis Association (ITTF) was formed in 1926. Japanese and Chinese players dominated the sport through the 50s, 60s and 70s, and table tennis became an Olympic event in 1988.

Sports&Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources

Discussion Comments

By behaviourism — On Feb 01, 2011

I struggle with table tennis. It seems to use different skills from regular tennis, and I have trouble not hitting it off the table every time.

By anon39017 — On Jul 29, 2009

its really informative to me.

Sports&Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Sports&Hobbies, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.