Table tennis, also popularly called ping-pong, is a table sport where players use paddles (rackets) to hit a lightweight polymer ball over a central net. Played on a hard table surface that provides a uniform bounce to the ball, table tennis is a fast paced game that requires players to react quickly to the services and returns made by their opponents.
Points are score when a player does not return the ball across the net after a single bounce has occurred on their side of the table or if they themselves do not land the ball on the opposite surface. Ping-pong is a worldwide sport that can be played competitively in both two player (singles) or four player (doubles) formats.
Table Tennis | Ping pong balls are spherical polymer balls fabricated specifically for the sport. Established under international rules at a diameter of 1.57” | 40 mm (circumference of 4.94” | 125.6 mm) and mass of .095 oz| 2.7 g, ping pong balls are colored as either white or orange depending on the table surface and game style. White balls are official tournament balls and pair well with blue or green tables, while orange balls are used for casual games as they are easier to see in most settings. Table tennis balls are rated with a star system to denote quality—one star being the softest and easiest to break while three stars is the most durable and approved for tournament play. The official table ping pong ball has changed over the years from a composition of celluloid to polymer and from a size of 1.5” | 38 mm to 1.57” | 40 mm.
Table Tennis | Ping Pong Paddles are laminated rubber sponge covered wooden rackets comprised of a blade and a handle. The ping pong blade refers to the upper wooden portion of the racket that is built up with one to seven layers (piles) of wood, cork, glass fiber, carbon fiber, aluminum fiber, and Kevlar customized for various play styles. Players looking for more ‘control’ of the ball should choose a thinner sponge thickness between .06”-.07” | 1.5-1.9 mm, while players looking for a more offensive play style should select a thicker sponge of larger than .08” | 2.0 mm. Table tennis | ping pong paddles have an average blade length of 6.7” | 17 cm, an average blade width of 5.9” | 15 cm, an overall length between 9.45”-10.25” | 240-260 mm, and weigh in the range of 2.47-3.53 oz | 70-100 g (overall).
Blade Length (Average): 6.7” | 17 cm
Blade Width (Average): 5.9” | 15 cm
Sponge Thickness: .06”-.1” | 1.5-2.5 mm
Length (Overall): 9.45”-10.25” | 24-26 cm
Handle Length: 3.75”-3.93” | 9.6-10 cm
Handle Width: 1”-1.3” | 26.5-33 mm
Handle Depth: .85”-.91” | 21.8-23 mm
Weight: 2.47-3.53 oz | 70-100 g
Material: Wooden racket, rubber laminated surface
Table Tennis | Ping Pong Racket | Paddle plan
Table Tennis | Ping Pong tables require varying minimum additional amounts of clearance space around the table depending on the play style and venue. Ranging from minimum casual clearances to recreational, local, national, and international settings, table tennis clearances are established to avoid distractions and obstacles and to accommodate player movement. Minimum clearances for table tennis tables are set at an additional 5’ | 1.53 m from the end, 3’ | .9 m from the sides, and result in overall clearance dimensions of 19’x11’ | 5.8 m x 3.4 m (209 ft2 | 19.4 m2). Recreational style venues should have overall clearances of 28’x13’ | 8.5 m x 4 m (364 ft2 | 33.8 m2). International tournaments are regulated at minimum overall clearances of 46’x23’ | 14 m x 7 m (1,058 ft2 | 98.3 m2).
End Clearance: 5’ | 1.53 m
Side Clearance: 3’ | .9 m
Overall Length: 19’ | 5.8 m
Overall Width: 11’ | 3.4 m
Overall Area: 209 ft2 | 19.4 m2
Overall Length: 28’ | 8.5 m
Overall Width: 13’ | 4 m
Overall Area: 364 ft2 | 33.8 m2
Overall Length: 46’ | 14 m
Overall Width: 23’ | 7 m
Overall Area: 1,058 ft2 | 98.3 m2
Table Tennis | Ping Pong Clearances plan (minimum), plan (recreational), plan (tournament)
Table tennis tables are regulated playing surfaces designed specifically for the game of table tennis (ping-pong). Table tennis tables measure 9’ | 2.74 m long by 5’ | 1.525 m in wide. The playing surface of a ping-pong table must be set at a height of 2.5’ | 76 cm and is equipped with a center net that is 6” | 15.25 cm high and stretches 6” | 15.25 cm beyond the width of the table.
Tables can be constructed out of a variety of materials ranging from common designs using plywood and/or particle-board to more exotic variants made of concrete, metal, plastic or fiber-glass. The materiality of a table tennis table is a matter of preference, but the bounce of the ball on the surface should be uniform at a height of 9.1” | 23 cm when dropped at a height of 11.8” | 30 cm.
Length: 9’ | 2.74 m
Width: 5’ | 1.525 m
Height (Surface): 2.5’ | 76 cm
Height (Net): 6” | 15.25 cm
Net Width Overhang: 6” | 15.25 cm
Height (Bounce): 9.1” | 23 cm from 11.8” | 30 cm
Materials: Plywood, particle-board, concrete, metal, plastic, fiber-glass
Table Tennis | Ping-Pong Table side elevation, side (players), front, front (players), plan