Rules of Table Tennis

Welcome to the Rules Page. Here you will find the basic rules of table tennis, as well as the Official Table Tennis Rules Documents from both USA Table Tennis and the International Table Tennis Federation.

Basic Rules of Table Tennis

 

Scoring and Games

- Games are played to 11 points
- Players serve two serves each, alternating. A player does not have to win specifically off their own serve in order to win a point
- If a game ties at 10-10, a player must win by 2 points. In this situation, players serve one serve each, alternating
- In competition, games are played best of 5 (first to win 3 games) or best of 7 (first to win 4 games). Social games can also be played best of 3 (first to win 2 games)

Legal Serving

- You must throw the ball up straight, from a flat palm, at least 6 inches (16cm)
- Your toss and service contact must be behind the table surface (not over)
- You cannot hide the ball from the ball toss to contact, with any part of your body
- If the ball hits the net during service, it is a let, the point is replayed. There is no limit or point deductions for let serves.

Equipment Basics

- A table tennis racket must be one side black, one side (recently approved) any approved color
- The official approved ball is the 40mm+ plastic ball
- The dimensions of an approved table tennis table are: 9ft long, 5ft wide, 2.5ft high
- The approved height of a table tennis net is: 6 inches

Official Rules of Table Tennis - USA and International

For any questions regarding the official rules of table tennis, you can contact the Head of the USATT Rules Committee, Kagin Lee at kagin@kaginism.com