Ping pong like every sport has regulations that players must abide by. In the case of ping pong, the rules may seem too complicated at the initial stage. However, as you get used to the sports, mastering the rules becomes easier.
Unfortunately, most ping pong beginners dive into the sports without first understanding the regulations or learning the various styles. No matter how beautifully you can play, without knowing the rules of ping pong, you may never become a professional.
Ensure to learn everything you can about the sport so that you can get to the peak. Let’s start with the regulations.
Basic Ping Pong Rules A Beginner Needs To Know
As an aspiring ping pong player, there are basic regulations you need to know. Also, ping pong rules and regulations are closely related to most racket games. As easy as some of the ping pong regulations listed below may seem, some professionals still fall short.
Like they say “No one is Perfect”. Below are detailed ping pong regulations you need to learn:
- Hands-on the Table: Placing your hand on the table tennis table or leaning on it is not allowed. Doing so will cost you some points. However, sticking to this rule is quite challenging when your opponent plays a short serve.
- Ball Height Must be 15mm high: As much as it sounds strange, when you are serving, the ping pong ball must be at least 15mm in height above the air. The ball must be thrown 15mm into the air from your flat palm before you strike it. Also, throwing the ball in a way that adds spin to it is not allowed.
- Net and Ball: Sometimes, during a first serve the ball might hit the net and fall into your opponent’s part of the table. If this happens, you have to reserve. Generally, there is no limit to the number of times a player can reserve when the ping pong hits the net on a first serve. However, depending on the tournament, it may be limited to three or 5 times before a point is lost.
- Holding the Ball above the Table Tennis Table: The rule is that the ping pong ball must be held on a flat palm above the table when you are preparing to serve. This enables your opponent and umpire to see the ball.
- Volley: Hitting the ball before it touches the ping pong table is not allowed. In other words, volleys are not allowed.
Also, note that ping pong is played in 11 points. To win a ping pong game, you must be ahead by two points. Meanwhile, when your serve touches the net, it is called a “Let”.
Ping Pong Playing Styles
To go pro, you need a ping pong style that will help you win games. More so, you must be comfortable with the style and technique you adopt. Don’t mimic a technique that you cannot sustain for a long time. After all, it’s about winning points.
- Aggressive Style: Ping pong players that adopt this playing pattern are always close to the table. They play with the table up close. These players are always on the offensive.
However, to reduce their attack, play long shots and switch the play from side to side.
- Control Style: This style aims to keep the ball in play. Players that adopt the control style want to wear you out by keeping the ball in play and earning a point from any slightest opportunity. However, alternating your shots and changing the speed of your placements will destabilize your opponent that uses the control style.
- Defensive Style: Such ping pong players barely shoot an offensive shot. They usually absorb all your shots and use short placements to win a point. Also, defensive ping pong players don’t stand close to the table tennis table. Play short loops to get the defense-oriented ping pong opponent off balance.
How To Improve Your Ping Pong Skills
Like every other sport, constant practice is what you need to improve. Don’t forget the saying “practice makes perfect”. Add a touch of the following to advance your table tennis skills:
- Add a touch of spin to your shoots
- Always maintain a good ready position
- Train how to shoot fast serves
- Develop sidespin serves
- Practice more than you compete
Although their other rules are not listed here but master what you have read so far and you will be a better player. Don’t forget, the regulations differ a little when you are playing a double match.