The basic rules include rules for starting a game, rules for scoring points and rules for serving. This basic rules are all you need to know as a beginner and it will be sufficient for you to develop your game and improve on your techniques.
In an official competition a match winner is a player that has the best of any odd numbers of games, usually the best of five or seven games.
Rules for Starting a Game
According to the official rules, a coin is tossed to decide which player will serve first in a game.
A player can also hide the ball in one hand and put both hands under the table for the other player to guess which of the hand the ball is hidden.
If a player guesses right he or she will be the first to serve and if a player guesses wrongly, the reverse will be the case.
The play to serve system can also be use to decide who to serve first in a game. The ball is played back and forth four times and then the players play out the points. The player that wins the point, will be the first to serve.
How to score points
- A point is scored if an opponent fails to make a correct service or returns.
- A point is scored if after making a service or return the ball touches anything apart from the net before being struck by the opposing player.
- A point is scored if a player moves the table, touches the net or put the free hand on the table surface during a rally.
- A point is scored if a player obstruct the ball and also if the ball passes over the players court after being struck by the opponent.
- A point is scored if a player hit the ball twice.
- A game is won by the first player to score 11 points, except when the players scores 10 points each. In this situation the game shall be won by the first player having a lead of two points.
- For example if two players have 10 points each, the first to get 2 points more than the other wins the game.
The rules to serve
For a serve to be legal, a player must toss the ball up at least 6 inches and hit the ball before it touches the table.
For a serve to be legal, a player must not hide the ball from his opponent.
Players can change serves after every 2 points, until a player wins the game.
After the end of each game the players can change sides and the player who served first in the previous game will be the one to serve first in the next game.
In table tennis doubles the service is executed from the right hand side and the sequence of the returns is different.
A let is called if the ball touches the net before crossing over to the side of the receiver or when the receiver is not ready when the ball was served.
A let is when a game is interrupted in the process of a serve or during a rally.
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