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Basic Ping Pong Rules

The official rules of ping pong, also known as table tennis, are quite easy to learn, and it is a rewarding game for many people. A ping pong table has a short net across the center and white markings. The markings are only used when playing doubles ping pong, and can be disregarded for singles games. In a singles game, you may serve from anywhere on the table to anywhere on the table. In a doubles game, you must serve from your right to the opponent's right side. The table must have an even surface, and the ping pong paddles should have a rubber surface. While sandpaper surfaced paddles are seen occasionally, these are prohibited by ping pong rules.


The game begins with the flip of a coin to determine which player serves first. The serve consists of tossing the ball into the air and hitting it onto the other side of the ping pong table with your paddle. It may hit the net, as long as it bounces onto the table; however, this is called a let serve and is reserved. If the ball leaves the table, the server will lose his or her point. The first player serves two points, and then it is traded off. The game is won with eleven points or by a two point differential thereafter. At 10 points, the two players alternate serving until one wins. Several games in a row will make a match, by winning say four out of seven games.


A ball in play in ping pong is called a volley. The ball may be volleyed back and forth many times without a point being lost or scored. If the server hits the ball twice in a row, misses the ball or hits it off the table, they will lose their point. If the player opposing misses the ball, the server gets the point. Points are accumulated as the players take turns serving the ball.


You may hit the ball with the paddle using either a forehand or backhand stroke. Players can use either hand to play or both hands at once. You may not bump or touch the table. If the ball hits a wall, the floor or ceiling, it is out of play and a point will be lost.


The rules of ping pong are easy to learn, and this fun game is a great activity to do with friends or family. It does not take a lot of space, can be done year round, and perhaps a ping pong table would be a good addition to your rec room or family spaces.


Ryan Landow is a product manager at Ping Pong Central The company is an online retailer of ping pong tables and a variety of other rec room equipment. You can find useful ping pong rules as well.


Source: www.articlecity.com