You have been taught to play by the rules your whole life. Anywhere you go and with any game you play, you have to play by the rules. Even your new hobby, table tennis, has rules. If you hope to turn your hobby into a true passion one day, you’ll need to learn the rules. From the ball, to the officials, to the dress code, there are table tennis rules that all players must abide by.
First of all, the table must comply with certain standards. It must be a nine foot long, five foot wide rectangle. It has to be dark in color and the white line on the edges is supposed to be two centimeters wide. The net on top of the table has its own set of rules as well. It must be six inches high and attached at its ends to two posts.
Racquet and Ball
A player’s ball and racquet also have rules. The ball needs to meet a weight requirement of 2.7 grams and it has to be white or orange. Oddly enough, a player’s racquet can be any size or weight but its blade has to be flat. It has to be black on one side and red on the other and the rubber must maintain the same thickness all the way around. Table tennis rules state that a player may inspect his or her opponent’s racquet, as may the umpire. A player cannot change racquets during a match unless it’s broken.
During matches, players are allowed a one minute break between games. A player can also call a time-out not to exceed one minute but the ball cannot be in play when the player signals for a time-out. Before a match starts, players are allowed a maximum of two minutes of practice time. Players are allowed to get advice between games from one person but it must be someone chosen at the beginning of the match. Any player or coach who does not abide by the rules can be asked to leave. Offensive language and abuse of the table are not permitted in any way, shape, or form.
All players have to abide by a dress code, which usually includes a short-sleeved shirt and shorts. Ladies are allowed to wear skirts, and sleeveless tops, and all players must wear socks and shoes. Once you know the rules, you can play like a table tennis champion!