How to Play Ping Pong

Last modified: July 21, 2021

Ping pong is one of the most exciting games that can be played. There are numerous new players to the game every week that want to take up the sport and you can be one of them. If you would like to know how to play ping pong, then you can follow these simple instructions.

Step 1 - Grip the Paddle/Bat Correctly

The first thing that you need to do is to learn how to grip the paddle/bat correctly. There are two recognized options, the grip and the pen hold. The choice is personal. The best advice however is not to hold onto the paddle with too much grip. The harder you hold the paddle the more power that will come from your arm, not the wrist, and the less accurate you will be on your returns.

Step 2 - Choose Who Serves

The next thing you need to do is to choose who will serve in a game. There are a couple of ways that this can be done. The first is to play a quick rally and the winner of the rally is the first to serve. The other option is to flip a coin to decide the server.

Step 3 - Serving

To server the ball you must throw the ball at least six inches upwards and then hit the ball with the paddle/bat towards the other side of the table. On a serve, the ball must bounce on your side of the table and then on the other opponent’s side before they make a return.

If the ball touches the net on the way over but otherwise would have been a legal serve, the play is considered a let and the serve must be taken again. If the ball does this on a return, it is considered still in play.

Step 4 - The Return

The opponent must then return the ball before it has bounced twice on their side, hit another object or fallen to the floor. The ball must now not bounce on the side of the returner but instead be hit over the net and bounce onto your side once. You must then return the ball. Again the ball must not touch your side of the table.

Each player then returns the ball to each other until the ball hits the table twice between being returned, doesn’t make it across the net, hits the floor or hits another object.

When the ball is considered out of play, the person who made the last legal hit is awarded a point.

Step 5 - Continuing the Game

Each player takes two or five turns to serve and then the service is swapped to the opposite player. The player who scores 11 or 21 points first is declared the winner of the game. If the game is scored at 10-10 or 20-20, the game must continue until one player has a two-point lead. A player cannot win a game 11-10 or 21-20.

Final Word: How to Play Ping Pong

Ping pong is a wonderful game that is fast-paced and fun. Above are the simple instructions on how to play ping pong. Practice makes perfect and by playing many games regularly, you can be sure that you can be a success.

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