Game Play

Tables tennis is played upon a rectangular table that measures 9’ (2.7 m) by 5’ (1.5 m) in area with the top of the table located at 2.5’ (0.8 m) above the floor. The game consists of hitting a ball that measures 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter across a net. The ball is struck with a paddle that is made of wood and is covered with a perforated rubber surface. To start play, the server must allow the ball to hit the surface of the table once and then strike the ball onto the opponent’s side of the table. The server is allowed to serve the ball five times and then the opponent is given the opportunity to serve the ball for five times. The rotation of service is repeated until one of the players reaches a score of 21 and claims victory. A point is scored if the opponent cannot return the ball to the other side of the table. Table tennis can be played in singles where two players compete against each other or in doubles play where there are two people per team that compete against each other.

External Links

  • English Table Tennis Association
  • International Table Tennis Federation
  • United States Table Tennis Assocation


Table tennis, a scaled down indoor version of lawn tennis, is more commonly known as Ping Pong. While the rules vary greatly between table tennis and lawn tennis there are many similarities between the two games.


Table tennis was invented in England during the 19th century. It is unknown who invented the game but most likely it was adopted from the game of royal tennis that was popular in England at that time. Table tennis is scaled down version of lawn tennis and shares many of the attributes of lawn tennis.

The first balls used in table tennis were made from solid cork and rubber. In 1891, Charles Barter came up with the idea of a hollow cored ball made of vellum. The lightweight balls he invented added to the action of the game by allowing quicker ball speeds. He obtained a patent for the game and called it ‘Ping-Pong’ after the noise the ball made when struck with the paddle.