Is The White Line Out In Ping Pong

Is The White Line Out In Ping Pong

Last modified: October 13, 2023

Hey there, ping pong aficionados! Table tennis, also fondly known as ping pong, is not just a game of flicking a small ball across a table. This fast-paced sport requires skill, concentration, and a solid understanding of rules. One of the rules that often creates a bit of confusion is: is the white line out in ping pong? Let’s delve in and clarify this common query.

Understanding the Ping Pong Table Layout

The ping pong table isn’t just a green or blue board with white lines. Those lines, in fact, represent the playing area and demarcate specific zones.

The Table’s Longitudinal Lines

The longitudinal lines running along the length of the table are called sidelines. These boundaries denote the playing area in both singles and doubles play. Here’s where the interesting bit comes in: the ball remains in play even if it hits the sidelines. So, contrary to common misconceptions, the white line is not considered out in ping pong.

The Centre Line and Half-Court Line

There’s another white line that you might be wondering about: the centre line. This vertical line, along with the horizontal half-court line, divides the table into four quarters. These lines are crucial in a doubles match, guiding serve rules and box rotation, but don’t signify an out area.

The End Lines

Lastly, you’ve got the end lines which mark the depth limits of the ping pong table. Similar to the sidelines, a ball striking the end line is still deemed in play.

The White Line Scenario During a Serve

In ping pong, the serve plays an integral part in setting the pace of the game. The paths to a perfect serve involve a fair share of rules, and yes, the white lines come into play.

Serving in Singles

In a singles match, the server can serve to any part of the opponent’s half of the table. So, you could technically serve onto the white lines – be it sideline, half-court line, or end line – and it would be considered legal.

Serving in Doubles

Doubles, however, paint a different picture. The server must serve diagonally across to the receiver’s right court, which means the ball must first bounce on the right half of the server’s side and then the right half of the receiver’s side. Here, the ball must touch the right side of the centre line on both halves.

Effect of White Line on Serve Outcome

How does the white line affect the serve, then? Well, if the ball, in a doubles game, hits the centre line’s left side, it’s declared out. But all other lines – the sidelines and end lines – don’t declare an out-of-play situation during a serve.

Remember: The Ball’s Placement Matters

In ping pong rule books, where the ball lands more often determines whether it’s in or out, rather than the trajectory it’s hit at.

The Ball Hitting the Edge

Consider this: your opponent hits a powerful shot that skims the edge of the table. It might seem out, but as per rules, if the ball hits the top edge or the sides, it’s counted as in.

The Ball Touching the Side of the Table

The same rule does not hold true if the ball touches the vertical sides of the table. That is considered out, as the sides aren’t part of the official playing area.

The Ball Striking Lines in Midair

In some cases, the ball might hit the white line while it’s still in midair. Although it adds to the drama, it doesn’t affect whether the ball is in or out. It all boils down to where the ball lands next after the bounce.

Conclusion – Decoding the White Line Rule

Knowing the game’s rules helps you improve both your skills and strategies. So, the answer to ‘Is the white line out in ping pong?’ is a firm no. Whether it’s the serve, a swift rally, or a match point, if the ball hits any white line, it’s not considered out. Just remember, the ball’s final resting place after a bounce truly determines the in-or-out verdict. So the next time you play, make those white lines your best buddies, and keep that ping pong ball bouncing!

Additional Ping-Pong Resources:
Table Tennis Girl is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program that helps website admins earn advertising fees by linking to We only earn a commission if you purchase an item from The prices on Amazon do not change (either way) if you reach them via our links.