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The Rules of Table Tennis (Ping Pong) – EXPLAINED!

August 30, 2019

Ninh explains the Rules of Table Tennis
Table Tennis, otherwise known as ‘Ping Pong’, is a game played as singles (where one person
plays against one person) or doubles (where two people play against two people).
The object of the game is for your team to win 3 sets faster than the opposing team.
To win a set, you must score 11 points and be at least two points ahead.
If the scores are 10-10 for example, the game carries on until one player or pair has a
two point lead. Okay then, so how do you score these points?
To score a point, you must aim to hit a small ball with your bat (otherwise known as a paddle)
over the net and onto your opponent’s side of the table without the opponent returning
the favour. The table is 274cm long x 152.5cm wide, and
the net is 15.25cm above the table surface. There is a centreline that divides the table,
but this is used in doubles only. To start the game, a player must serve with
the ball in his open palm behind the table. The ball must travel at least 6 inches in
the air and bounce once on each side of the table for a serve to be legal.
If the ball is hit onto the edge of the table – this counts.
The opponent will then try and return the ball and make you miss hitting the ball back.
This can go back and forth and is known as a ‘rally’.
Hitting the ball over a net onto the table so that your opponent can’t return it, sounds
simple enough, but in table tennis – it’s very easy to lose points. There’s a lot of things you can’t do in
table tennis You cannot hit the ball directly onto the
ground outside the area of play. You cannot hit the ball twice in succession.
You cannot allow the ball to bounce more than once.
You cannot hit the ball before it has bounced on your side of the table.
You cannot hit the ball into the net and for it to land on your half of the table.
You cannot touch the ball with any part of your body except with the bat.
You cannot put your non playing hand on the table.
In doubles, you cannot hit the ball out of turn.
and as earlier mentioned; you must serve the ball legally.
If you commit any of these errors, this results in your opponents being awarded a point.
Once a player or a pair has won 11 points and is at least 2 points ahead, they win a
set. First player or pair to win 3 sets faster
than their opponent … wins. Now that’s basically table tennis in a nutshell,
but there’s a few things you’ll need to understand before playing or going to a game. For example … Service
In singles only, the ball can be served anywhere on the table.
In doubles however, the ball must touch the opposite corners of the table and partners
must alternate serves. Each player (or pair) is given two serves
before your opponent is awarded next two serves. This goes back and forth until either a set
is won, or you reach Deuce. Deuce
This where a score is tied (typically 10-10) and each team now requires a two point lead
to win. The only difference now is that you only get one serve each as opposed to two.
The first player or pair to get a two point lead, wins the set. Out of turn (doubles) In doubles only, you and your partner must
hit the ball alternately. If a player hits the ball twice in succession
during a rally – they have played out of turn and the opponent is awarded the point. As you can tell, Table Tennis is an extremely
fast sport and you’ll need good reflexes to play it properly, but over time, the rules
will become easy and it’s a fun sport to play.
If you have found this video at all helpful, please like, share and subscribe.
It takes me ages to make one of these things and good karma is very much appreciated.
Be sure to follow me on twitter also, but in the meantime, enjoy Table Tennis! Ninh Ly,, @NinhLyUK


  • Reply Pippa Lee January 24, 2017 at 6:11 am

    Great! I feel prepared for my P.E. test for tomorrow! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply sion.z January 26, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    wish me luck got competition next wed

  • Reply Bruce Wayne February 7, 2017 at 8:25 am

    you forgot about a rule in doubles
    that u must serve on the right side

  • Reply Gilles Hebert February 7, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    What happens if the ball touch the net (duraing the exchange) and drop on the opposant side? Is this a point and for whom? Same for the service if I serve and the ball do touch the net and drop the other side, what happens? Thank you!

  • Reply Akreator Formations February 9, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Thanks a lot 🙂 great video 🙂 exactly what we needed 🙂

  • Reply Ibadulla Yuldashev March 4, 2017 at 4:53 am

    thank you , very informative

  • Reply MrMreggs March 17, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    how long did it take you to make this vid?

  • Reply Geekminecrafter 1456 March 27, 2017 at 11:34 am

    thanks bro now i can proove my sir that u r not supposed to hit the ball unless it is bounced

  • Reply Tennis Conditioning June 25, 2017 at 11:11 pm

    Great video – thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Zach Lim July 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    thank you so much, it helped me understand and correct my old knowledge on table tennis.

  • Reply Nayab Warach July 31, 2017 at 3:24 pm


  • Reply C Pessini August 1, 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Your sports rule videos are great! Tks for that!
    I was looking for something professional, straight and clear on YouTube what is not easy, I have found it here.
    Congrats and thank you!! 😊

  • Reply Jay-R Beterbo September 29, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Very useful for my Flipped Learning class

  • Reply Carli H October 4, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    The k you very much. This was so informative and helpful!

  • Reply Gaming Legendz October 17, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    Thanks for the video……very helful

  • Reply Adam Wood October 31, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    One question i have is: If I return the ball during a rally and the ball hits the corner/edge of the table and deflects down, usually straight to the floor, is that then a point to me or to my opponent.

  • Reply AdniCorp November 10, 2017 at 6:12 am

    thank you for helping to understand rules of tabletennis

  • Reply Andy Zhao November 18, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    😛 the Chinese player in the video (Zhang Jike) has gotten a hip injury not too long ago…

  • Reply Zoltán Kasza December 6, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    I thought if i hit the ball back with my finger( with the racket holding hand) accidently it still counts?

  • Reply Naphon Tonitiwong December 13, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    “Over the net…..” Not exactly. You could hit over the net or around the net or in some magical ways that the ball lands on the opponent’s side.

  • Reply WkuRhyno41 December 14, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    since im hosting a small work table tennis tourney, these rules help

  • Reply Tommy Reyes December 19, 2017 at 1:09 am

    So far this is the best explanation of table tennis rules on YouTube thank you very much !!!! 🏓🥇

  • Reply cameron brochu January 3, 2018 at 8:12 pm

    Very helpful thanks

  • Reply Raghav Bawa January 25, 2018 at 6:18 pm

    very nice video sir . very much helpful

  • Reply Chandan S January 31, 2018 at 1:44 am

    In less time explained rules nicely

  • Reply Swag eyy February 6, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    There’s so many rules imitated !

  • Reply Bjarni Már Stefánsson February 9, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    It once happend to me that the ball got from the opponent side and then back to me without him touching the ball becouse of the spin, who should get the point in that situation

  • Reply David Zeledon February 10, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Perfect!! Thanks

  • Reply Julius Spin February 15, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    I accidentally hit the ball against the pole that holds the net up en the bal ricochet and went Flying through the air and landed on my opponents part of the table In a crucial part of the Game. Does that point count? I'm A beginner and couldn't find the answer anywhere so please let me know.

  • Reply MUSIC LIBRARY February 24, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Thanks for such a nice vedio

  • Reply Zaffron February 25, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    that's what i need to know.thanks

  • Reply Jatin Kumar March 3, 2018 at 5:57 am

    I want to know illegal shots in ping pong

  • Reply JTtopcat March 15, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    Yeah but how you determine who serves.

  • Reply Madeleine Ogg March 19, 2018 at 6:17 am

    Thank you was very helpful ^_^

  • Reply Viking creed March 29, 2018 at 7:08 pm

    what if i return the ball around the net not over it like from the side and it hits the opponent's side ..does that count for me??
    and thanks for the video

  • Reply Tennis Conditioning March 31, 2018 at 11:48 pm

    Pretty nice!

  • Reply Paras Bansal April 2, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Nice Video! Keep up the great work.

  • Reply 5 CrookedFingers April 4, 2018 at 8:53 am

    thank you

  • Reply Potato Dragon April 7, 2018 at 12:13 am

    Can you do badminton

  • Reply Abdaal Jadoon May 3, 2018 at 6:19 pm

    Hey there, i want to know that suppose while doing serve the ball strikes on our side and then it strikes twice on other side then is it considered legal or not ?

  • Reply Jack May 17, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Most of this video was just Zhang destroying lol

  • Reply Balaji Tamilvanan May 21, 2018 at 11:42 am

    While in a rally,can we go close to the net and make our shot?

  • Reply DR MOHAMED ELHAKEM May 25, 2018 at 9:26 pm


  • Reply SPEAK OF THIS TO NO ONE June 16, 2018 at 4:14 pm


  • Reply Evil Sock Puppetz June 26, 2018 at 12:09 am

    I literally knew nothing about the rules and now I’m schooling my dad
    Thank you so much

  • Reply Scott G July 1, 2018 at 10:03 pm

    Hi Reddit

  • Reply imran haider July 16, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    What if in doubles game we touch net during serve. Do we call it again or continue.

  • Reply Yogesh Suthar July 19, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    full content in very less time

  • Reply Peter Harrison July 25, 2018 at 7:52 am

    Good post. Played ping pong a lot when I was young. We played to 21, you had to win by 2. You could only score on your serve. Putting spin on the serve was legal. Hitting the back edge or side edge of the opponent's side was legal. And we called it a paddle. (Not a bat.)

    Returning the ball on the fly was legal, and was considering a good, aggressive attack strategy. Returning the ball so that it hit the top edge of the net and having go over and hitting the opponent's side was legal. Topspin, backspin, sidespin (left or right), were all good tactics. And a really good backspin that, for lack of a better word, was a "dink." You pointed the top edge of the paddle straight at your opponent with a little downward angle, and jabbed it forward and underneath the ball to drastically slow its speed down and create a strong enough backspin so that it would almost stop dead on the other side when it hit the table.

    I started out using a traditional grip (like the fellas you have in the video) and then converted to the "Chinese" or "pen" grip after a few years. It allowed me to do a greater repertoire of spins. Also, in effect, there wasn't much of backhand that way. We had a lot of fun in those days playing the game.

  • Reply Dj Uy August 1, 2018 at 10:56 am

    what the…your d best!😂😂😂

  • Reply im a motha fucking starfish August 2, 2018 at 2:02 pm


  • Reply Anya Dunderdale September 15, 2018 at 9:39 am

    Thank you!

  • Reply FBI September 26, 2018 at 9:40 am

    I know why you guys are here

    There is a kid at school who is cheating

  • Reply Sharath Chandra September 27, 2018 at 10:49 am

    What if the ball touches the white edges during the rally is it a re serve??

  • Reply LukeZB2 September 30, 2018 at 2:04 am

    Cheers for this Ninh. You've helped me understand many sports. You explain it very well. Thanks A lot.

  • Reply Lil ToothPaste October 1, 2018 at 2:45 am

    Thank you so much! I have randomly sparked an interest in table tennis and this video was so helpful!

  • Reply Juicy October 8, 2018 at 5:11 am

    shoutout to coach JR

  • Reply umladek ramarsh October 21, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    What is a kill zone?

  • Reply Triggered_Comrade _ November 1, 2018 at 10:40 pm

    When the game is getting intense, and each player hits the ball hard… could you “Baby” hit it? Like when your opponent is far back.. expecting a large hit, but you hit as gently as you can.
    Is that legal?

  • Reply Rbrjdbdb Ibsksns November 10, 2018 at 4:16 am

    I play table tennis and helped me much more!

  • Reply saisriram28 November 18, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    This video was really helpful. But the concept of re-serve has not been touched in it. It would've been more helpful, had it been covered in the video.

  • Reply barangay cambinocot November 19, 2018 at 2:13 am

    how about 11 and 11 what should be the next?

  • Reply Mike Anthony Karam December 9, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    I suscribed:)(:

  • Reply Daisy The Dunce December 24, 2018 at 5:19 am

    I want to start a Table Tennis club someday

  • Reply FinnCuber December 25, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Can you use curve always?

  • Reply uddingstonbluenose January 10, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    A minor thing is differentiating between an 'edge' and a 'side'.

    Many players try to claim any 'side' no matter how low it is…

  • Reply Alfie Tadeo January 18, 2019 at 3:08 am

    Nice video with clear and fast explanation. Thumbs up!!

  • Reply Alpha Beta January 26, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    I once got a pretty "rare" incident. I served the ball and it was rotating… it hit my opponent's side and bounced back to mine. Does that count a point for me or my opponent?

  • Reply lone wolfie January 27, 2019 at 5:18 pm

    Great video. Short, informative and no fluff.

  • Reply Alexa Doodles February 5, 2019 at 12:37 am

    At school we're playing table tennis and theres this bitch named Emily and she breaks literally all the rules and counts them as points for her and nobody points it out, but then when we make a mistake she points it out and then starts being all cocky and proud at the end of the game

  • Reply Charles787 February 22, 2019 at 5:41 pm

    Thank you ! What if my ball hits the net while serving? Server is allowed a new serve? If you miss a serve are you aloowed a second one like Tennis?

  • Reply Les Eklund February 23, 2019 at 2:16 pm

    What are the rules for dropping the bat and hitting the table with the bat?

  • Reply Coordinator March 10, 2019 at 5:15 pm

    Rats Rats we are the rats

  • Reply M7MD MOL7M March 20, 2019 at 3:03 am

    thank you

  • Reply Concord510 March 23, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Thank you. This was very knowledgeable information that helped me and my table tennis mates play according to the rules.
    Please continue to publish superb works in the future.

  • Reply Andrew Mao April 19, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    Great video, nice for communicating one's passion for table tennis to the less initiated 🙂

  • Reply arti kop April 19, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    Hey can anyone help me in service do you have to throw the ball 20 centimeters in the air or not???

  • Reply Alejandro Spears April 22, 2019 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks man! This helped with some confusion.

  • Reply Rathnasiva 9865055075 April 24, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    From which age to which age we can play Olympic games

  • Reply Ethan Low April 28, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Fyi guys, ping pong is actually a different sport from table tennis, if i rmb correctly, 1 set is 15 points and the bats are sandpapered bats, without any rubber on its surface

  • Reply gamerCOD May 9, 2019 at 10:23 pm

    If the ball come to me lets say lob shot and my bat hit the table when i catch the ball is that a point for the opposite or when i smash with forehand or backhand ? Thnx in advance for anyone that can answer me cause i have a disquss with my friend

  • Reply ali akeel May 17, 2019 at 8:51 am

    I wish i can play this game, but the table is expensive

  • Reply Kerr Leonard May 18, 2019 at 10:47 am

    Thanks that really helpful

  • Reply Ibrahim Youssef May 20, 2019 at 11:36 am

    Thank you

  • Reply Ruger Ellis May 22, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    thank you so helpful

  • Reply Danny Hipolitø May 24, 2019 at 3:52 am

    0:44 I had that table once, but years later I sold it to a friend who's a landscaper. Anyone know any places that sell cheap Ping Pong tables?

  • Reply Kestronomy May 27, 2019 at 6:20 am

    There is also another rule about yellow cards

  • Reply Duong Hoang Minh June 6, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    What it's that ball to play table tennis?

  • Reply Foxi0000 June 7, 2019 at 7:28 am

    I really need to know if the ball hits the white corner on the table is that considered out of the game because my friend says it dose so I want to prove him wrong

  • Reply SÁlv16 G. July 1, 2019 at 7:14 pm

    I thought that you should serve to the opposite corner also in singles, I had been playing like that all the time haha

  • Reply BUDDHI CHATURANAGA July 4, 2019 at 3:53 pm

    Can we serve to opponent's side end? in doubles?

  • Reply WiTTeNx July 25, 2019 at 11:55 pm

    one slight rule adjustment: if the ball hits your playing hand/fingers, its still in play.

  • Reply Chun Chung LAW July 26, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Just want to know the rules of deuce. In badminton, typically 20-20, the player who gets 2 more points will win the game but in 29-29, the player who achieves 30 points first will win the game. For example, A 30-29 B, player A wins the games. So is there any similar situation in table tennis?

  • Reply Anthony Lewin July 29, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    How does the cards work

  • Reply John Smith August 3, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    In the service if the ball hits the white line of the opponents side will it be a foul???

  • Reply Helmut Friedl August 4, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    At the World Championships, you have to win 4 sets

  • Reply jala Jala August 11, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    this is really help me…
    thank u so much for your information…
    "so in double player must hit the ball alternately" its because my friend told me you can hit free the ball without alternate,even your partner doing nothing like badminton rules…

  • Reply ttegg August 14, 2019 at 7:08 am

    That was great! Just one thing to correct, there are 7 games match as well as 5 games match. Could have been even better if you’ve explained service lets as it could confuse some people.

  • Reply Mr. Doobz August 14, 2019 at 9:36 am

    I thought it is only 16cm for service toss… a lot of people said that

  • Reply Achilles the Gamer August 16, 2019 at 2:52 am

    Did you explain net in?

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