Rules

Equipment

The Table

The playing surface, should be rectangular, 2.74m long and 1.525m wide, and shall lie in a horizontal plane 76cm above the floor

.The playing surface should not include the vertical sides of the tabletop.

The playing surface should yield a uniform bounce of about 23cm when a standard ball is dropped on to it from a height of 30cm.

The playing surface shall be uniformly dark colored and matt, but with a white side line, 2cm wide, along each 2.74m edge and a white end line, 2cm wide, along each 1.525m edge.

The playing surface shall be divided into 2 equal courts by a vertical net running parallel with the end lines, and shall be continuous over the whole area of each court.

For doubles, each court shall be divided into 2 equal half-courts by a white center line, 3mm wide, running parallel with the side lines; the center line shall be regarded as part of each right half-court.

The Net Assembly

The net shall be suspended by a cord attached at each end to an upright post 15.25cm high, the outside limits of the post being 15.25cm outside the side line.

The top of the net, along its whole length, shall be 15.25cm above the playing surface.

The Ball

The ball shall be spherical, with a diameter of 40mm.and weigh 2.7g.

The ball shall be made of celluloid or similar plastics material and shall be white or orange, and matt.

The Racket

The racket may be of any size, shape or weight but the blade (wooden face) shall be flat and rigid.

The covering material (rubber sheets) shall extend up to but not beyond the limits of the blade, except that the part nearest the handle and gripped by the fingers may be left uncovered or covered with any material.

The surface of the covering material on a side of the blade, or of a side of the blade if it is left uncovered, shall be matt, bright red on one side and black on the other. Slight deviations from continuity of surface or uniformity of color due to accidental damage or wear may be allowed provided that they do not significantly change the characteristics of the surface.

Serving

The server shall project the ball near vertically upwards, without imparting spin, so that it rises at least 16cm and then falls without touching anything before being struck.

The ball shall not be hidden from the receiver by any part of the body or clothing of the server or his doubles partner and as soon as the ball has been projected, the server’s free arm shall be removed from the space between the server’s body and the net.

If the umpire is doubtful of the legality of a service he may, on the first occasion in a match, declare a let (see below) and warn the server. Any subsequent service of doubtful legality of that player or his doubles partner will result in a point to the receiver.

Whenever there is a clear failure to comply with the requirements for a good service, no warning shall be given and the receiver shall score a point.

Let Point

To “Let” a point is to disregard it. A point is let if:

1-the ball touches the net during an otherwise good serve without interruption by either player.

2-Play is disturbed by circumstances beyond the players’ control.

3-Tthe service is delivered when the receiving player or pair is not ready, provided that neither the receiver nor his partner attempts to strike the ball.

Scoring Points

When serving, the ball should bounce once on the server’s side of the table and once on your opponent’s side of the table. (In doubles play, the ball shall touch successively the right half court of server and receiver.)

When returning however, the ball should only bounce once on your opponent’s side of the table.

The first player who fails to keep the ball in play, as specified, loses the point.

There are other ways to score points:

If your opponent's free hand touches the playing surface; if your opponent, or anything your opponent wears or carries, touches the net assembly; if your opponent strikes the ball twice successively, you win a point.

Course of Play

After a combined two points have been scored, the receiving player or pair shall become the serving player or pair and so on until the end of the game, unless both players or pairs score 10 points ,when the sequences of serving and receiving shall be the same but each player shall serve for only 1 point in turn.

The right to choose the initial order of serving shall be decided by luck and the winner may choose to serve or to receive first. The chooser can also decide whether he wants to start at a particular end of the table, but then gives up the right to decide the service order.

In either case, service order and table ends are switched at the beginning of each new game in a match ( a match shall consist of the best of any odd number of games).Also, in the last possible game of a match the players switch ends when the higher score stands at five points.

A game shall be won by the player or pair first scoring 11 points unless both players or pairs score 10 points, at which point the game shall be won by the first player or pair subsequently gaining a lead of 2 points.

These Rules were taken from a broader set of regulations set out by the International Table Tennis Federation, and were slightly modified for easier readability.