Guide to Playing Ping Pong

Table Tennis is also known as ping pong or whiff whaff, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball. This lightweight ball is also known as a ping pong ball. Players hit the ball back and forth across a table using small rackets. The game is played on a hard table and the table is divided by a net. 

Except for the initial serve, the player must allow the ball to bounce one time on their side and must return the opponent’s player side with one bounce. If a player fails to hit it back after 1 bounce, the other player gets a point. This is a basic game that you see professionals playing on the TV or in your college. If you are planning to learn ping pong or table tennis, you must be having quick reflexes. 

History of Ping Pong 

History of Ping Pong

Ping pong sports originated in Victorian England. It was played among the upper-class as an after-dinner parlor game. Some suggest that a makeshift version of ping pong was developed by British military officers in India. It was around the 1860s and 1870s when a row of books was used in the center of the table and two books served as rackets. It was played with a golf ball.

The word ping pong was used widely across the globe until, in 1901, J. Jaques & Son Ltd trademarked it as ping pong. Parker Brothers then enforced the trademark in the 1920s naming it table tennis. Later on, table tennis was introduced in Olympics as a sport in 1988. 

Equipment Used for Ping Pong

Like other sports, you need the required equipment to play ping pong or table tennis. Ping pong is one of the cheapest sports that you can play in your home too. You need ping pong paddles, ping pong balls, and ping pong tables.

Ping Pong Paddles 

Ping Pong Paddles

As you know that table tennis is played by striking the ball with a paddle. It is sometimes known as a racket or bat. Ping pong paddles are made of different parts:

1. The Handle

This part of the paddle allows you to hold it with a firm and comfortable grip. It comes in different shapes and sizes. The handle affects your gameplay. It depends on your playing style and holding style. 

2. The Blade

The main body of the ping pong paddle is the blade. It is constructed by using multiple layers of wood. Also, carbon layering is used in some paddles.

3. Sponge Layer

The top layer of the blade is a sponge. If you are a beginner, you should be looking for a thinner layer of sponge of the paddle. As a result, you will be having more control over the ball. 

4. The Rubber

On the top of the sponge layer, there is a rubber layer that makes contact with the ball while hitting it. There are a variety of rubbers that can suit your playing style. 

Ping Pong Balls 

Ping Pong Balls

A table tennis or ping pong game also needs a ball. Ping pong balls are smaller in size and usually made of plastic. The only two colors you will be finding in ping pong balls are white and orange. The ping pong balls are used depending on the rating 1 to 3. The rating defines the quality and gameplay. 1-star ping pong ball can be used for recreational, whereas, 3-star ping pong is used for official tournaments. 

Ping Pong Tables

Ping Pong Tables

Ping Pong tables are considered the most expensive equipment that you will be needing to play ping pong at home or any other place. If you are not willing to spend money on ping pong tables, you can join sports clubs or go to bars to play it. 

Ping Pong Rules

Now when you have all of the ping pong equipment, it’s time to put that stuff to good use and have fun with your family or friends. Before you start playing ping pong for practice, you should know some basic rules.

How To Hold the Bat? 

How To Hold the Bat

Before you start playing table tennis, make sure that you are holding the paddle right. If you are holding the paddle right, you will perform well in the game. There are two main ways to hold the paddle in a table tennis game; pen holds grip or shake hand grip. Each grip is having its pros and cons. The recommended grip style for beginners is a shake hand grip. 

Basic Rules

There are a ton of rules for ping pong but you don’t have to know them all. There are some basic rules of ping pong that you must know. It will make your game interesting. 

How A Game Is Played 

How A Game Is Played

  • When you and your friend are playing a set of games, it is known as a match. The match consists of a best three out of five games. So, whoever wins the three matches is the winner of the game. 
  • It is very simple to win a match, the first player scoring 11 points will win the match. 
  • Some people toss to serve first, but some people tend to play it with a loop such as one player serves the ball two times and passes it to another player. Then the other player serves the ball two times and it continues. 
  • In a match, when both the players reach 10 points, it is called a deuce. A deuce is the only exception to the two-serve rule. For example, if you have just hit your last of two serves and you lost or won the point making the score 10-10, you would still give the ball to the opponent to serve. This time the opponent player will serve for one time. 
  • In case the opponent player wins a point, it will make the score as 11-10 but he will not be winning the match yet. Only, he will get an advantage. If he scores another point without letting you score, he will win the game. 
  • At advantage, if you score another point, the game again will be a deuce. To win the game or match, one player has to score a two-point lead to win the game ultimately. 
  • After completion of each game, the players must switch the sides of the table. You have to keep in mind that the service will start from the same side as before. 

Serving The Ball 

Serving The Ball

The official rules of serving the ball from ITTF can be overwhelming. To make it easier for you, we have summarized the legal and basic table tennis serve rules. 

  • You should begin serving the ball in an open palm. In this way, the serving player cannot spin the ball as they toss it
  • You should be throwing the ball 6 inches in the air. As a result, the opponent player cannot be deceived by hiding or serving quickly. 
  • You should be striking the ball behind the end line of the table. Hence, the opponent player will not get close to the net. 
  • Once the ball makes contact with the paddle, the ball should make 1 bounce on your side of the table, cross the net and make 1 bounce on the opponent’s side of the table. If you hit it straight over the net, the opponent player will be awarded 1 point. 

Other Basic Rules 

Other Basic Rules

These other basic rules can make you better at table tennis. If you know these rules, you can use them as tricks to win the match. 

  • If the opponent hits the ball and it lands on the edge of the table on your side, and you are not able to hit it back, the opponent player will get a point. 
  • If the opponent hits the ball and it hits the net and lands on your side of the table, the point will be awarded to them. Keep in mind that it cannot happen while serving. Also, these shorts are hard to counter but you can practice and make such tricky shorts to win the match.
  • Make sure that you are hitting the ball after it has bounced on your side of the table. If you are hitting it earlier without the bounce, the opponent player will get a point
  • If you have hit a ball and without bouncing it goes out of the table and the opponent player hits it back. The point will be awarded to the opponent player because your hit did not make a bounce on the table. 

These are the tricks and other basic rules that you should be knowing to win a match. Also, you can practice such tricky shots to win the match against a player. 

Learn the Basic Ping Pong Rules – Get Better at Ping Pong

After you have learned the basic rules and tricks of ping pong, you can start practicing at home if you are already having a ping pong table, or you can join a club for a professional table tennis game. There you will get to know about more tricks and rules for playing ping pong. Even with the basic ping pong rules, you can play it professionally with your family and friends.