Table Tennis Rules

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  • The winner of a match is the one who wins the first THREE or FOUR games (according to the competition)
  • A game consists of 11 points
  • There must be a gap of at least two points between opponents
  • If the score is 10-10, the game goes in to extra play until one of the players has gained a lead of 2 points
  • The point goes to the player who successfully ends a rally
  • The score of the server is always announced first

A player scores a point when his opponent commits one of the following errors:
  • He isn't able to return the ball.
  • He returns the ball outside the opposite side of the table.
  • He lets the ball bounce more than once in his own court before returning it.
  • He touches the ball several times successively.
  • He strikes the ball in volley (without it bouncing on the table) above his side of the table.
  • He moves the table during play.
  • He touches the net or a post.
  • His free hand touches the table.
  • He makes a bad service (see service)

  • If the ball touches the table surface, it is declared in
  • If it touches the side of the table, it is declared out
  • A player is not allowed to strike the ball in volley, unless the opponent's ball leaves the table and I strike the ball in volley behind the table, in which case the point would be given to me.

The initial order of serving is decided by lot. Service changes every 2 points, except during periods of extra play where it changes each time. Service must adhere to the following rules :
  • The ball rests freely on the open palm of the hand.
  • The hand holding the ball must be above the level of the table.
  • The ball should be projected upwards (at least 16 cm)
  • The ball should be struck when it is falling and behind the table.
  • The ball should first bounce in one's court, then in the opponent's court.
  • Service can be diagonal and also in a straight line in singles
  • Service can be replayed when :
  • The ball touches the net or its supporting posts before touching the opponent's court (''let'' service)
  • The ball touches the net then is struck in volley by the opponent without it touching his court.
  • The receiver was not ready at the time of service.

Service must be diagonal, from the right half court (marked by a white line) to the opponent's right half court After that, play can cover the whole table, but each partner must take his turn.

Service changeover in Doubles:
  • A1 serves to B1 (2 services),
  • B1 then serves to A2 (2 services),
  • A2 then serves to B2 ,
  • B2 serves to A1 and continuing in this way for every 2 services. Following service, each player takes turns to return the ball.
    In addition to the aforementioned cases in singles, a doubles team scores a point when its doubles opponents make one of the following errors :
  • At service, the player lets the ball bounce on the left half court, on either side of the court.
  • A player strikes the ball when it is not his turn.
  • Obstruction is not an acceptable claim for players of the same doubles team.