How Do You Keep Score In Ping Pong

How Do You Keep Score In Ping Pong

Last modified: September 27, 2023

How to Keep Score in Ping Pong

Ping pong, also known as table tennis, is a fast-paced and exciting sport that requires skill, strategy, and quick reflexes. Whether you are a seasoned player or just starting out, understanding how to keep score is essential. The scoring system in ping pong may seem confusing at first, but once you grasp the basics, it becomes second nature. In this post, we will dive into the details of how to keep score in ping pong.

1. The Basics of Scoring

In a standard game of ping pong, the first player to reach 11 points wins the set. However, there is one exception – if both players reach a score of 10-10, the game continues until one player leads by two points. This is often referred to as “deuce.”

When a player scores a point, they announce their score first, followed by the opponent’s score. For example, if Player A scores a point and the score prior to that was 5-4 in favor of Player B, the new score would be announced as 5-5 or “five-all.”

2. Serving and Receiving Rules

In ping pong, each player takes turns serving the ball. The server begins by standing behind the end of the table and tossing the ball upwards at least 6 inches before hitting it. The ball must bounce once on the server’s side of the table and then cross over the net to the opponent’s side.

The server gets two chances to execute a legal serve. If the server fails to make a legal serve on both attempts, the opponent receives the point. Once the ball is in play, both players take turns hitting it back and forth until a point is scored.

3. Understanding Points and Alternating Sides

Each rally in ping pong can result in one or two points. If a player fails to return the ball or hits it out of bounds, their opponent scores a point. However, if a player commits a fault during their serve, the opponent receives a point, and they lose their chance to serve.

To keep the game fair, players must alternate serving and receiving after every two points. For example, if Player A serves and wins the point, they continue to serve. If Player B wins the next point, they become the server. This alternation continues until the end of the game or until the score reaches deuce at 10-10.


Keeping score in ping pong is not as complicated as it may seem initially. By following these basic guidelines, you’ll be able to enjoy a game of ping pong confidently. Remember to announce the score after each point, understand the serving and receiving rules, and be aware of the need to alternate sides every two points. So grab a paddle, gather some friends, and get ready for an exciting game of ping pong!

Additional Ping-Pong Resources:
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