Table Tennis

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A bat and ball sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a table using a small bat; games take place on a hard table divided by a net. The sport is extremely popular in Asia, with China often dominant in competitions.

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The Basics

  • Table Tennis follows a similar set of rules to most racket sports. With the exception of the serve, which must first bounce once on the server’s side of the table, players hit the ball over the net and attempt to play a legal shot that their opponent cannot return.  
  • The receiving player must allow the ball to bounce once on their side of the table before returning it and cannot strike the ball on the full. A point is won when a player fails to return a shot, or fails to land their shot on their opponent’s side of the table. 
  • A match is made up of any odd number of games, as with ‘sets’ in tennis. A game is won by the first player to reach 11 points, provided they are at least two points ahead. If they are not, the game proceeds until one player/team has a two point lead.


Table Tennis England Play at home activities to get involved both at home and in small groups at school. Click here to find out more.

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