Table Tennis Scoring: How to Win the Game?

Learning how to accurately keep score while playing table tennis can help make each game more exciting and challenging.
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Last updatedLast updated: October 21, 2021
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Whether you are planning to play a competitive game of table tennis or a laid-back game with your friends, it is a good idea to learn about the rules of the game and the rules for table tennis scoring. The official table tennis Trusted Source How table tennis changed the world, 50 years on — Sport — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News It was 50 years ago but Zhang Xielin still remembers vividly how a shaggy-haired American table tennis player stepped onto the Chinese team. guardian.ng rules are a comprehensive set of rules and regulations that cover any scenario that may come up during gameplay. The rules are reviewed each year by the International Table Tennis Federation. These are the rules that professional players such as those on the U.S. Olympic team Trusted Source BBC Sport - Olympic Table Tennis - Episode guide All episodes of Olympic Table Tennis. www.bbc.co.uk would need to remember. If you are a beginner or just want to play for fun, you only need to know the basics to get started.

It is common for many to think that ping pong and table tennis are the same sport. And while they are not entirely wrong, they are two very different sports.

Table tennis and ping pong used to be the same until 2011 when the rules and regulations for each sport changed. The equipment used is another big difference between the two. Ping pong tables are typically 3.7mm in diameter, slightly larger than a table tennis court, which is 3.4mm.

How to Play a Game of Table Tennis

Table Tennis Scoring: How to Win the Game?

The ball must first bounce on your side and then in your opponents.

The rules and regulations for a game of table tennis are the same for both beginners and experts. But for those taking part in competitive play, additional regulations go along with the basic rules.

For now, we will focus on the basic rules of table tennis before we move on to more specific aspects of the game.

What is the Scoring System in Table Tennis?

There is a debate whether a game of table tennis lasts until someone scores 11 points or 21 points. Up until 2001, a full game of table tennis was played up to 21 points. But since then, the rules have changed, and now there is a new scoring system in table tennis. Now a game of table tennis is only played up to 11 points.

How to Keep Score During a Table Tennis Match

In a game of table tennis, a player scores a point when they keep the ball in play longer than their opponent. If the opponent misses the ball that was served by you or that you hit last, you will get the point. But you must be sure that the ball bounces off your side of the table and then bounces off your opponent’s side of the table to score the point.

What are the Service Rules?

When it comes to service rules in table tennis, there are a few things you need to know. Perhaps the most important thing to learn is that you must toss the ball upward at least 6 inches or 16cm. That is around the exact height of the net.

Many players, especially those new to the game, do not reach the required height when tossing the table tennis ball. That results in them either hitting the ball too early or doing a fast drop and hit. That is an unfair advantage since it requires more skill to focus and hit the ball in mid-air.

It needs to be nearly vertically upward and not too far sideways or backward when tossing the ball. It is common for players to throw the ball away from the table to help generate an underspin. But that can be problematic; therefore, it’s best always to throw the ball vertically.

From the time you toss the ball to the first contact with a racket, it must be behind the end line and above the table surface.

Obstructing the ball

You are not allowed to hide the ball with your body or with your arm during the serve. According to the old rules, your free arm could obstruct the receiver’s view so they wouldn’t see the type of serve you were doing, but the new rules say you must allow the receiver to have a full view of the ball throughout the duration of the serve.

Hitting the ball

When striking the ball, you should do so while it’s on the way down. You can’t hit the ball while it is on the rise from your toss. You have to wait until it starts falling before you make contact with a table tennis racket.

Free Hand

Table Tennis Scoring: How to Win the Game?

Service shall start with the ball resting freely on the open palm of the server’s stationary free hand.

Many new players may have questions about the free-hand rules of table tennis. Placing a free hand on the table is a situation that can cause a lot of arguments during gameplay. While it can be tricky when dealing with different scenarios, the short answer is no; you are not allowed to place a free hand on the table tennis playing surface during a game. If you do, you will lose a point and have to wait until your point is over before you can place your free hand on the table to steady yourself.

Table Tennis Shot Techniques

There is more to table tennis than simply hitting the ball with your racket. Various shot styles can have a significant impact on your gameplay.

Topspin

A topspin in table tennis can make the ball appear as if it is a magnet and the table is a large sheet of metal attracting it. When you initiate a topspin on a ball, the forward spin causes an increase in downward pressure for the ball. That means after the ball bounces on the table, it will remain low and accelerate forward.

Block

A block in table tennis is a stroke that is played to control the attacking shot. A player would likely use a block against a loop shot to return the ball safely. However, an aggressive block would involve more force pushed back to produce a much faster return of the ball.

Chop

Table Tennis Scoring: How to Win the Game?

Chopping is a defensive shot that depends on variation of underspin to force an error from the opponent.

In table tennis, chopping is a defensive shot that increases the variation of the ball’s underspin. It forces an error from the opposing player. Some players choose to use chopping as their primary tactic. Their style will revolve around chopping every ball and waiting for the other player to misinterpret the spin.

How to Win a Table Tennis Game

To win a game of table tennis, you will need to be the first player to reach 11 points. You will also need to be at least two points ahead of your opponent. For instance, if both players have ten points, then the first player to reach a two-point lead will win the game. To win the match, you will need to win the best of five games.

Many advanced players will agree that the most difficult thing about playing a game of table tennis is the shot selection. As you learn more about the different shot varieties and how to use them correctly, you will still have difficulty deciding which shot to use and when.

Final thoughts

Table tennis Trusted Source North and South Korea teams unite at table tennis world championships | CNN North and South Korean teams come together at table tennis world championships. www.cnn.com is a fun game that people of all ages can enjoy. As long as you know the game’s basic rules, you can challenge your friends and family to a match. A game is complete when one of the players scores a total of 11 points. To complete a match, you will need to win the best out of five games in a row.

If you would like to play more competitively, you will need to learn more about the advanced rules of the game that professional players have to abide by. While there is a lot to learn, these advanced rules, including the regulations for table tennis scoring, will add more complexity to your gameplay. It would help if you also learned about the different shot techniques and tricks that will make your opponent’s gameplay much more exciting and challenging.

References

1.
How table tennis changed the world, 50 years on — Sport — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
It was 50 years ago but Zhang Xielin still remembers vividly how a shaggy-haired American table tennis player stepped onto the Chinese team.
2.
BBC Sport - Olympic Table Tennis - Episode guide
All episodes of Olympic Table Tennis.
3.
North and South Korea teams unite at table tennis world championships | CNN
North and South Korean teams come together at table tennis world championships.
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