The Game of Ping Pong

Ping pong, also termed as table tennis, is an easy as well as fun game and with a competitive spirit. Today, table tennis is becoming very popular, both as a recreational activity and fun game and as a competitive one. The rules and regulations of ping pong are easy and simple to comprehend, and since it requires quick reflexes, it is physically less strenuous than many other competitive games. Table tennis began as a Victorian hobby, with simple makeshift objects and equipment was soon manufactured and sold.

In order to play ping pong, you will need several pieces of equipment: a ping pong table, two ping pong paddles, a net, and a ping pong ball.

A regulation ping pong table is nine feet long by 5 feet wide. It sits 30 inches off the floor and is constructed from Masonite and coated with a special surface that prevents the ball from slowing down due to friction. The coating is usually green or aqua in color, though other acceptable colors exist, such as grey. Diving the table in half is a white net that resembles a tennis net. It rises 6 inches from the surface of the table. Most table tennis tables will fold in half at the net, allowing for easy storage.

The ping pong paddle or racket is constructed of laminated hardwood. Both faces of the paddle are covered with a textured rubber surface. It is this surface that allows the player to apply specific movements with the paddle when striking the ball to influence the direction and spin of the ball. Many paddles will have different textures or rubber compounds applied to either side of the racket so that a player can maximize his or her options for ball return. Paddles used in the competition will have one side covered with a red rubberized covering and the other side covered in black. This helps both the player and opponent know which side of the paddle the ball was hit with. Since the rubber composition is different on each side, the ball will react differently to a hit. There may be more spin or less speed when hitting from one side of the paddle than the other.

The ping pong ball is a small, round, hollow plastic ball that measures 40 mm in diameter. This is a change from the previously accepted 38 mm size, which was faster and spun more readily in competition. Ping pong balls are generally white, though they are made in a variety of colors in order to be seen against different colored ping pong tables. In order for a ping pong ball to be used in an organized competition, the ball should bounce to approximately 23 cm from a 30 cm drop. Anything outside this standard will be disallowed. Ping pong balls come in a variety of qualities, each marked with a distinctive set of stars. A three-star ball is of the highest quality. Regulation balls weigh 2.7 grams; though lower quality balls may weigh slightly more or less. The weight of the ball will affect the way it reacts to the player’s racket and technique.

You are declared as the game-winner when you score 11 points, and opponents players serve every two points. At 10 points, your opponents serve with each point. Matches are common, with a winner being declared after 4/7 wins or 3/5 wins. The first serve is most often decided by a coin toss. Errors, including missing the ball, hitting the ball off the table, not making a good return and others will award a point to your opponent. Players may use either a forehand or backhand stroke and may use either or both hands in play. Recreational, friendly play often ignores some of these rules.

Ping pong is a great choice for a competitive sport or a fun and relaxing family games. While many schools, rec centers, and other public facilities offer ping pong tables, more and more families are choosing to invest in one. Ping pong offers year-round physical activity, good clean fun, hobby and a chance to work on being quick on your feet and with your ping pong paddle. The rules are quick to learn and play with friends. You will find that you can pick up table tennis skills with just a bit of practice and effort. Getting started is easy with picking the right equipment with the latest rankings by pingthatpong.  Have fun.


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