It is easy to see ping pong as nothing more than a game that is mere back and forth action. Families have been playing different types of table tennis for centuries, but have played simple classic games. Few know of the serious, professional table tennis game, full of professional sports bodies like table tennis federations and international rules.
The more you get into ping pong the more you understand how interesting the game can truly be. International table tennis matches bring plenty of intrigue to the sport as people watch both singles and double matches at the world championship or at the Olympics. Taking the time to completely understand the game will help you to better appreciate the games that you see on television.
The Rules of Ping Pong
The International rules of ping pong are fairly straight forward, making it easy for novice players to start playing in a more serious and competitive way. The basic rules of the game state the players must not let the ball touch twice on their own side and must return the ball after one single bounce on their own side. If a player fails to defend against a smash or hit on their side of the table, they have lost that singular point of the game. When starting a game or starting a point, the serve must first bounce on the server’s side before bouncing on the opponent’s side.
As far as scoring for the game is concerned, matches are the best three out of five games. A player wins when they have reached 11 points; the winner must win by 2 points to end the game. The scoring is known as rally scoring. This means that anyone can score on a point, no matter the player who served.
Have you ever noticed the single line going through the middle of the table? This line is not important to any form of men’s singles or women’s singles matches and should be disregarded.
The Strategy of Ping Pong
The strategy of ping pong relies heavily on the idea of table tennis – hence the “table tennis” alias of ping pong. Players use offensive strokes to try to move their opponent from left to right. Players will smash the ball in an attempt to force players far away from the back of the table. The game can be most interesting when both table tennis players are far back from the table. The game also relies heavily on spin, as players attempt to put varying levels of spin on the ball. Too much spin can backfire, but the right amount of spin can catch the other player off guard. Players who attempt to play with no spin are often overwhelmed by the play of their opponent.
There are team events, doubles game events, and exhibition events. There is professional ping pong for both men and women. International rules are used for major events. Ping pong continues to gather interest in Asia and around the world, as people are captivated by the highest levels of play.