Last updated: 17/10/2022

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Table tennis tables are suitable for everyone. Not only children, but also adults have a lot of fun with this relatively large piece of sports equipment. In our table tennis table test 2019 you will find all table tennis tables tested by us. We distinguish between two types: Indoor and outdoor table tennis tables.

We also answer many important questions about table tennis tables. For example, which differences there are between different sized tables and which one might be particularly suitable for you. In our article, you will also find price tables and important purchase criteria that you should consider before buying.




Summary

  • You can choose between indoor and outdoor table tennis tables. While some are intended exclusively for indoor use, the outdoor version can also be stored outdoors in all weathers.
  • Depending on the type, size and thickness of the table top, there is something for everyone. There is a wide range of products on the market, from real professional tables to hobby and leisure equipment to mini versions.
  • Inexpensive indoor table tennis tables are available for as little as 200 euros, while the more elaborately produced outdoor table tennis tables cost at least 300 euros.

The Best Table Tennis: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a table tennis table

What do I have to consider when buying and what makes the quality?

An extremely important criterion that should never be ignored when buying a table tennis table is the thickness of the playing surface. It determines to a large extent how “well” the table tennis table can be played on. The following applies: The thicker, denser and harder the table top, the more accurate/higher, the better the durability and the more expensive the table

Even if outdoor table tops cannot hold a candle to high-quality competition table tops in terms of playing technique, you can still achieve top playing characteristics with the right equipment. The aluminium composite boards in particular have good ball rebound properties. From a particle board thickness of 22 mm, the playing behaviour is already very acceptable.

Table tennis has become a popular sport.
(Image source: unsplash.com / Ilya Pavlov)

The, as already mentioned, particularly hard and dense material of melamine resin boards allows the board thickness to be many times smaller than with chipboard processing.

A thickness of 3.5 mm can already be considered suitable for leisure use. From a thickness of 5 mm upwards, the play behaviour and robustness are of course noticeably better. If the chosen board is combined with a high-quality and stable base, the quality of play can be further improved. In the indoor area, the range of approx. 16 to 30 mm board thickness is quite wide.

If you want the table to be playable properly, you should consider at least 18 mm. It is also a good idea to look for the ITTF seal, as these tables meet the competition requirements. Because of this, the table top thickness is often greater and ranges from 19 to 30 mm.

Table Tennis Table Standard EN14468-1

EN 14468-1 Range of use Ball rebound height Quality
Standard A Competitive sport, professional requirements (Bundesliga/ ITTF) 23-26 cm rebound Very high
Standard B School sport/club sport (stability) 23-26 cm rebound High
Standard C Demanding leisure sport 20-21 cm rebound Medium
Standard D Leisure area, play and fun 18 cm rebound Low

The table tennis table standard EN14468-1 describes essential characteristics of a table tennis table such as dimensions and tolerances to be observed and thus gives a good overview of the quality characteristic of the ball rebound height. The value is calculated by dropping the ball onto the tabletop from a distance of 30 cm.

Whether folding or static, outdoor or indoor. The stability of the whole table is of enormous importance. It is only through this that the table becomes safe and offers enough support and playing pleasure. If the table tennis table is not well supported, it will sag like a sheet of paper. Especially in outdoor use, such a deficiency quickly becomes apparent when puddles of water form on the table.

The following rules should always be taken into account when buying a table tennis table:

  • The frame should be solid and at least 30 mm thick.
  • Underframes with stronger crossbars between the table legs offer better stability.
  • Transport wheels make transport easier and should be large enough to provide secure footing. Parking brakes are not mandatory, but are an advantage.
  • If the table tennis table is foldable, the mechanism should be easy to operate and secured by a special locking system.
  • The surface coating should be glare-free and neither too smooth nor too rough so that the spin of the ball can be reliably transmitted.
  • The table workmanship should be impeccable. You are on the safe side with a table that has the TÜV seal.
  • Always keep an eye on customer reviews. They provide information about the value and possible defects.

Do I want to play ambitiously or just-for-fun?

If you just want to indulge your desire to play every now and then and swing the table tennis bat, there is no limit to the selection of table tennis tables. Whether indoor or outdoor, expensive or inexpensive, you can choose whatever suits you best.

However, as soon as you plan to take a much more professional approach or train as a club player outside the hall, you should create conditions that are as close to competition as possible.

Table tennis tables, as they are called in the competition area, which are suitable for competition and TT sports, must meet certain requirements.

Competition requirements of a table tennis table

  • First of all, they must be ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) certified. This can be recognised by the logo attached to the TT plate
  • The colour of the surface is not specified. However, it must not be reflective and should be dark. To achieve the best possible contrast to the white ball, matt blue or green table tennis tables are therefore usually used.

All dimensions are also predefined:

  • The thickness of the table tennis table must be at least 25 mm and at most 30 mm.
    In addition, the table must have a length of 274 cm, a width of 152.5 cm and a height of 76 cm.
  • The table tennis net not only divides the table tennis table into two equal halves, namely 137 x 152.5 cm. It should also have an exact height of 15.25 cm and should not give more than 10 mm under a central load of about 100 grams.
  • The ball bounce height should measure approximately between 22 and 25 cm.
  • The side lines or base lines run along the edges of the table with a width of 2 cm. In the middle, a 3 mm wide line runs through the table tennis table.

Since a real competition table is always made of fine chipboard, such tables are only suitable for indoor use. In the field of competition tables, the models on the market also vary greatly in terms of playing characteristics, robustness and price. The decisive factor is how often you use the racket. A cheaper competition table may not be able to cope with extreme demands in the long run.

Table tennis is one of the fastest sports in the world. It is therefore absolutely necessary to be physically fit to be successful here. In addition to physical qualities, however, more and more emphasis has been placed on the development of mental skills in recent years. (Image source: djimenezhdez / pixabay.com)

It is also important to choose a suitable base (see next point). If it is to be a folding competition table, then only with good mechanics and substructure technology.

Do I need a mobile or fixed table tennis table?

When buying a table tennis table, you can also choose whether you prefer a folding, static, fixed or mobile version.

The static version is usually fixed at the same time. Whether it’s massive leisure table tennis tables for indoor or outdoor use or the well-known concrete slabs in public places. They are all very robust and durable, but also extremely expensive and difficult to dismantle or move quickly.

Occasionally, there are also professional static competition tables, which are mainly used in high leagues. If you choose such a table, you should have suitable set-up options.

Foldable and mobile versions are much more common. They not only have the advantage of being extremely space-saving compared to static table tennis tables. They can also be moved around at will thanks to the wheels that are usually mounted on them.

There is another important bonus that should not be overlooked. If there is no opponent available, one half of the folding table tennis table can be folded up straight away, so that you still don’t have to miss out on playing and have an imaginary playing partner.

Do I want a table tennis table in mini, midi or competition size?

If you are looking for “normal” table tennis tables, you will mostly find offers in the usual competition size 274 x 152.5 cm. Rarely, there are also hobby tables that deviate slightly from this standard.

If you take a closer look at the diverse range of tables, you will also find mini and midi table tennis tables. But what is the difference?

Mini table tennis tables

Mini table tennis tables are indeed extremely small. They fit easily on any living/dining room table or (with legs) in front of the sofa, for example, and can be stowed away in the nearest cupboard or shelf in seconds.

They are therefore ideal for children and adults who just want to pass the time now and then but have no other ambitions. Such a mini table is also a hit as a party gadget! If you decide to buy one, you can get it for as little as 10 euros.

Midi table tennis tables

A little more table tennis feeling comes with the midi tables. They are about 1/3 smaller than conventional tables, but – unlike some mini tables – they always stand on their own legs. The midi versions are also easy to store because they are foldable.

The following sizes are available in stores:

  • 181 x 100 centimetres
  • 170 x 85 centimetres
  • 136 x 76 centimetres
  • 90 x 45 centimetres
  • 66 x 33 centimetres

The variety is thus great and gives an idea that the cost also varies. However, you can get hold of suitable midi disks starting at around 100 euros.

Even though mini and midi plates do not have outdoor coatings, they can be used outdoors without any problems. Since they are small and therefore extremely mobile, they can be set up and taken down in a flash, but they should not be left outside overnight.

Since the fun factor is in the foreground with these table tennis tables, criteria such as workmanship and ball behaviour take a back seat. Nevertheless, you should make sure that the table tennis table is not too thin. If the ball bounces too flat, you will quickly lose your desire to play ping pong.

The smaller versions are primarily intended for children. The midi sizes in particular are a great way to start learning how to play and change the ball.

But anyone who thinks the cute mini versions are undemanding is mistaken. The small plate size increases the level of difficulty immensely. If you then take even smaller rackets, it becomes a fun challenge for young and old.

Do I want a new or a used table tennis table?

Whether you decide on a new model or prefer a second-hand model is always a question of your budget and requirements.

If I want the latest indoor model with a new hinge system and brand-new coating, I will be less satisfied with a table tennis table that is three or four years old. If I want to get started, first see if the sport of table tennis appeals to me at all and if my neighbour or a second-hand exchange on the internet has a bargain at that very moment, then go for it!

Even high-quality brand-name tables that have been around for a few years can compete with products from the lower price segment, as long as they have been well cared for. If in doubt, ask a table tennis expert or check this page to find out what criteria make a good table.

Tip: Many clubs and schools offer their table tennis tables at cheap prices when they switch to newer models and discard the old ones. Just keep your eyes and ears open.

How much does a table tennis table cost?

The price range for table tennis tables is very wide. While used tables can be had for less than 100 euros, inexpensive entry-level models are available from around 200 euros upwards.

The middle price segment ranges from 300 to 1000 euros. Again, it should be noted that outdoor and indoor tables of identical construction cost different amounts. For the identical outdoor version, you pay about 100-150 euros more.

As is often the case, brand-name products are more expensive but often safer. Many years of specialised experience, great buyer feedback and good warranty conditions often speak for this.

If you want to play on a professional level, you can easily calculate from 1000 euros upwards, quality has its price. The tip from above should also be mentioned here. You can possibly buy such a top table much cheaper than used table tennis tables from a club.

Durable concrete tables are also hard to come by for less than 1000 euros. In general, it is always important to remember that table tennis tables are often in use for years and continue to be used in the family for generations. A more expensive and higher quality table should therefore always be an option.

Where is the best place to buy my ping pong table?

The advantage of buying your ping pong table in a shop or from a dealer is obvious. In a specialist shop, you have competent advice and also the opportunity to put the table through its paces and even test it. In most cases, you can take the table of your choice with you immediately and play on the same day, if you want to.

Online, on the other hand, the table tennis tables are often cheaper. There is also a wide range of products and you can buy them comfortably with just a few clicks. Only the delivery time is a test of patience. But the table is delivered to your door.

Ultimately, it’s the same here as with everything else. Whether you buy online or locally is a matter of personal preference.

Every now and then, you can find table tennis tables on sale at discounters like Lidl or Aldi, but also at shops like Real and Karstadt. But specialist retailers such as Sport Schreiner, Schütt, Decathlon, Contra or Sport Thieme also have a wide range of table tennis tables.

Last but not least, the well-known online retailers such as Amazon or ebay offer an interesting portfolio of table tennis tables. You can find used ones, possibly even in your area, for example on ebay classifieds.

Which table tennis table accessories do I need?

If you want to play table tennis the right way and get the most out of your equipment, a few accessories are indispensable.

To be able to play table tennis, a table tennis net is immensely important. This is usually already included with the table. However, just in case, you should always have at least one spare net. Especially in the outdoor sector, the net can quickly wear out or tear due to external influences. Good nets are available for between 15 and 50 euros.

More and more table tennis tables are now also being discovered in start-ups.(Image source: unsplash.com / Daan Stevens)

Even if an outdoor table is weatherproof, it is still advisable to buy a suitable protective cover. Such a cover prolongs the durability immensely and also protects against dirt and water in the hinges.

Even for indoor panels, at least a cover is always recommended. Dust is everywhere. And since folding table tennis tables are often stored in storerooms, basements, etc., where conditions are rarely shiny, protection can never go amiss. The prices for covers vary from 15 euros to higher realms, where water- and weatherproof covers are priced at around 40- 50 euros.

What are the dimensions of a conventional ping pong table?

The dimensions of a classic ping pong table can usually be compared to those of a competition table tennis table. Only occasionally, and with the exception of the mini and midi tables, is it the case that cheaper models for indoor or outdoor use do not have the same size, playing surface, etc.

The classic TT table has a length of 274 cm, a width of 152.5 cm and a height of 76 cm (L x W x H). Only the weight varies, and that significantly.

To put it simply, indoor table tennis tables are significantly heavier than their outdoor brothers. This is primarily due to the thick chipboard. Especially the melamine resin boards (outdoor) with their approx. 6 mm compared to the standard indoor thickness of 22 mm, makes the difference clear. For example, the same indoor version weighs a whopping 25 kg more than the outdoor version (75 kg).

Simple calculation: Thin table tennis table = lighter/cheaper table. To put this into perspective: one of the lightest indoor tables weighs approx. 60 kg and has a chipboard thickness of 16 mm.

Contrary to what one might think, the heavier table tennis tables are the better ones. However, this is not because they are heavier, but because the weight of the tabletop indicates the more stable and solid materials.

So the heavier the table, the better the quality, the more stable, safer and therefore more expensive the table.
The question of space requirements is not always easy to assess as a layperson.

Starting from the basic dimensions of the table tennis table, you should add enough space to be able to play freely without bumping into things. You should allow at least 1.5 m to the front and back and 1 m to the side.

This gives you a space requirement of approx. 6 m x 3.5 m (L x W) to be able to set up a “large” table tennis table in such a way that you can then also play reasonably.

How do I clean my table tennis table?

Table tennis tables, both outdoor and indoor, are very easy to clean. Regular wiping of the surface (if necessary) with a damp cloth is enough to keep everything in top condition.

When winter approaches, however, the outdoor versions require additional care.

Before a longer break from play or winter, it is advisable not only to put the cover over the table, but also to clean the entire table tennis table thoroughly.

Lukewarm water + washing-up liquid + soft cloth (preferably leather) and off you go. The cold season is especially dangerous for the aluminium composite boards. The smallest grooves and scratches can damage the waterproof protective layer and moisture and dirt have an easy time of it.

It is therefore advisable to thoroughly “inspect” the table tennis table before it goes into hibernation. If you then spray all parts that are made of metal with commercially available oil, nothing will stand in the way of the “hibernation”.

Indoor plates should also be greased regularly, especially all moving parts. A “second base” is often recommended. On the one hand, this underlay ensures a stable stand and, on the other hand, it keeps possible floor moisture away from the table.

A final point is to check the locking system in the case of a folding table tennis table. You should check its functionality at least once a year.

Decision: What types of table tennis tables are there and which is the right one for you?

The most basic decision, even before the dimensions and accessories needed, regarding table tennis tables is whether or not you have the desire or space to set up your table outdoors.

Therefore, we differentiate here:

  • Indoor table tennis tables
  • Outdoor table tennis tables

In the following paragraphs we would like to help you decide and show you the advantages and disadvantages of each type.

What are the characteristics of an indoor table tennis table and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Indoor table tennis tables are usually made of fine chipboard and are intended exclusively for indoor use due to their sensitive surface. Humidity and UV radiation are their biggest enemies. The board thickness varies from 16 to 25 mm.

Advantages
  • Lower price compared to outdoor models
  • Good playing characteristics, high quality
  • Available as fixed and flexible versions with wheels
Disadvantages
  • Not weatherproof

The big plus points of indoor table tennis tables are, as mentioned, the better playing characteristics. The main quality indicator here is the ball bounce.

What distinguishes an outdoor table tennis table and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

If you want to use your table tennis table either outdoors or in weather-sensitive places like a damp cellar or garage, an outdoor table is the way to go. Unlike indoor versions, there is no risk of fading/dulling from the sun or swelling from moisture due to the different choice of materials. However, the price increases due to the more intensive processing.

A distinction is made between 2 types of materials:

Aluminium composite panels

Like the indoor board, this is made of fine chipboard. However, it is completely covered with aluminium (except for the playing surface). The playing surface is treated with a weather-resistant coating.

Melamine resin boards

This type of table is made of a very robust and hard material that completely prevents moisture from penetrating the table tennis table. For intensive use (children, many matches, storage area) this table top is therefore very suitable. Scratches or dents don’t stand a chance here.

Advantages
  • Special coating against rain and sun
  • Especially melamine resin boards very robust
  • Available as fixed and flexible version
  • Can also be used indoors
Disadvantages
  • More expensive than indoor models
  • Not suitable for professional use
  • Aluminium boards are subject to temperature fluctuations (risk of board warping)

Concrete slabs

A third variant is the concrete slab, which is mainly used in public places. It is also extremely robust and durable, but very expensive to purchase. In addition, if a purchase is being considered, a suitable place must be found. It is not so easy to move or dismantle them.

Advantages
  • Weatherproof
  • Extremely robust and stable
  • Durable
Disadvantages
  • Very expensive to buy
  • Requires a lot of space
  • Cannot be easily moved/dismantled

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate table tennis tables

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to evaluate and compare table tennis tables. This will make it easier for you to decide which table is best for you and guarantee many years of fun.

These factors include:

  • Type of table
  • Playing surface
  • Table top thickness
  • Set-up dimensions
  • Weight
  • Colour
  • Castors / foldable
  • Features / Accessories

In the following paragraphs, you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Type of table

First and foremost, as we have already described in detail earlier in the text, is the decision as to whether you prefer outdoor or indoor versions.

If you want to have the option of swinging the table tennis bat both indoors and outdoors, you should always consider an outdoor table. It is less of a nuisance to leave it outside. It can withstand wind and weather.

The indoor table, on the other hand, should really only be used in warm, heated rooms. Otherwise there is a risk of weather damage, which is a pity for the table and the money. Especially if you are a competitive player or want to become one, high-quality indoor tables offer the best conditions due to their super playing characteristics and are the measure of choice.

In terms of cost, it can be said that hobby outdoor tables are usually more expensive than their indoor counterparts. This is primarily due to the weather-resistant, and therefore more expensive, production. If you are flirting with a professional category A competition board, this will also be more expensive.

Playing surface

Once you have made your first choice, you need to decide on the playing surface. Here, a rough distinction can be made between fine chipboard, aluminium composite, melamine resin and concrete.

In the case of the indoor board, the decision is quickly made: Only fine particle board is used here anyway. Due to the excellent ball bounce and control properties, competitions are only held indoors on this type of board.

If you want to play outside, you are spoilt for choice. Aluminium composite boards, like indoor boards, are made of fine particle board. Here, however, it is coated with an aluminium layer to prevent moisture from penetrating. Kettler in particular usually offers this type.

If you take a table with a melamine resin top, you can be sure that moisture doesn’t stand a chance. This extremely robust material is durable and stable. If you are looking for an outdoor table, you will usually come across this type of material, as it offers the optimal balance between robustness and playing quality.

If you want it to be very sturdy and last for almost eternity, and if the demand for playing quality is not the highest, you can also go for the concrete slab. It can’t be beaten for robustness, but neither can it be beaten for stability and heaviness. Once it has been set up, it will not be moved from the spot in a hurry.

Slab thickness

At the risk of repeating ourselves, the thickness of the table top is and remains, if not the! most important indicator of the quality of a table. The thicker, denser and harder the board, the more accurate/higher the ball bounce, better the durability and more expensive the table.

So if you want to get something out of your table for a long time and the playability of the table is not unimportant, you should not skimp and spend a little more. As is often the case, quality has its price. In the table below, we give you a little orientation on how you can classify the different types of table tops and their thicknesses.

Type Typical board thickness
Melamine resin board 6-7 mm
Aluminium composite board 22 mm
Chipboard table (indoor) 19mm

Installation dimensions

Since almost all current models now comply with the ITTF competition size standard, the majority of ping pong tables have the standard dimensions of 274 x 152.5 x 76 cm.

Did you know that the first international table tennis tournament was held in 1902?

It lasted three days and was particularly well attended by the ladies. Deviating from today’s usual dimensions of 274 × 152.5 centimetres – smaller tables with a length of 184 cm and a width of 92 cm were used in this tournament. A net 15 to 20 centimetres high (but no less) was to be stretched in the middle of the table.

If you decide to buy such a “normal” TT table, you should accordingly plan enough space for playing. An area of about 30 square metres offers enough space to allow lunging and jumping movements without sustaining injuries due to objects standing too close.

If you realise that you won’t even be able to fit a table into your room, but you don’t want to miss out on playing table tennis, there is a solution. Mid- and mini-size tables are much smaller, but still offer a lot of fun.

The dimensions are less standardised here and so almost every size can be found on the market. Another plus point is that such a ping pong table does not put nearly as much strain on the wallet as buying a standard-size table. Mini tables are available for as little as 10 euros, midi versions from around 50 euros upwards.

Weight

The weight of a table tennis table is of interest for transport on the one hand and for the choice of place on the other. No one wants a portable table that weighs as much as a small car (to exaggerate). Simplified, one can say that indoor tables usually weigh more than outdoor tables.

A lot also depends on the other materials, so depending on the quality it may well be the other way round. An outdoor tabletop is not always lighter. The decisive factor for the weight is therefore not only the thickness of the tabletop, but also the choice of material and the construction of the substructure.

Colour

The choice of colour is up to you. Blue and green slabs are common and most often found, occasionally also grey. They offer the optimal visual balance in the interplay of light and fast-moving ball. It is important that the surface is matt, otherwise it will reflect.

Other colours are often available for mini and midi tables, since the playing surface is small and competition conditions are not necessary.

If you ask yourself whether a green or blue table tennis table is better, our answer is quite clear: both are equally good. The playing characteristics are identical and the visibility has also been proven with both colours.

Castors / folding mechanism

Almost every TT table has castors and can be folded to save space. The demand is simply greatest here. Nevertheless, here too, you should go according to your own preferences and not just go with the flow of the masses.

If, for example, the table is to stand permanently in one place and not be dismantled, you can easily opt for a table tennis table without both and invest the money saved there in higher quality. This is usually the case anyway, as especially indoor tables that are fixed are built for competition and more upscale sports.

However, if you are a practical player, you will usually opt for a mobile table with a folding mechanism. Here, not only the type of folding mechanism varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model, but also the type and number of wheels.

Double wheels are more stable than single wheels, swivelling wheels or a mix of fixed and swivelling wheels are always more comfortable and manoeuvrable for handling. It goes without saying that a folding mechanism made of plastic is less durable than one made of metal.

It is important to oil the wheels and the folding mechanism regularly and keep them dry so that nothing rusts and lasts for a long time.

Features / Accessories

Features, i.e. special equipment characteristics, are available in many different forms. Two very practical ones should be briefly mentioned here.

The single-player function is available on all turntables that have a folding mechanism. By raising one half, you can play against yourself if there is no opponent. This setting is also ideal for practising tricks.

Integrated bat and ball holders are also a super practical gadget. This way, spare rackets and balls don’t fly around somewhere and disappear. The main rackets can also be stored on the table during non-playing times. Usually, both are offered together. Only a few table tennis tables have only bat holders and no ball holders or vice versa.

Facts worth knowing about table tennis tables

What does the ideal table tennis room look like?

If you want to play table tennis a little more professionally, or if you don’t have the outdoor facilities to set up a table tennis table, you may have the idea of setting up an extra room for the table tennis table.

The most important point here is the size of the room. For comfortable playing conditions, 30 square metres is a good guideline. The exact calculation is something like this:

2.74 metres (length of the TT table) + 4 metres (playing surface behind each side) = 6.74 metres in length

+ 1.525 metres (width of the TT board) + 3 metres (playing surface to the side of the TT board) = 4.525 metres in width

… results in: 6.74 metres x 4.525 metres = 30.50 square metres

If you are prepared to make concessions in terms of size, you can of course indulge your table tennis desire in a smaller room. But it should not be too small.

If you have much less space, you still don’t have to give up playing. A midi table tennis table offers a good compromise.

Concrete, tiles or carpet are only conditionally recommended as floor coverings. Laminate, linoleum or cork are easier on the joints and better to play on with sports shoes.

It is also important that the room can be heated. A damp, dark cellar is not only uncomfortable in terms of atmosphere, but also bad for an indoor court.

The question of the right lighting should also not be underestimated, especially in the dark season. Too many shadows and dark areas impair visibility and thus also the fun of playing. It is best to ensure that the room is brightly and completely illuminated, then you are on the safe side.

What do I need to play?

In addition to a table tennis table including a net, you should have a few table tennis balls and at least 2, preferably 4, table tennis bats. You can find out which type of bat is right for you on our accessories page. We explain which balls are suitable for whom in a separate blog entry.

It is never a bad idea to have a scoreboard at hand. In the heat of the game, you can sometimes forget the correct score, which can lead to discussions (personal experience :D).

If you want to play professionally, you can buy special table tennis shoes and clothing. Especially for hobby players, however, this is really not a must. However, you should never underestimate the “sweat factor”. A heated match can quickly make sportswear necessary.

Game:

  • It can be played in single (1 vs. 1) or double (2 vs. 2) mode.
  • Usually 3-4 winning sets are played -> The first player to win 3 or 4 sets also wins the match.
  • A set lasts 11 points -> The first player to have 11 points wins the set. He must have at least a 2-point lead.
  • If the score is 10:10, the game goes to 12. If the score is 11:11, the game goes to 13…..
  • After each set, the sides are changed.

Serve:

  • Before the first set, the right to serve is drawn by lot.
  • At the beginning, the ball must lie freely on the open palm of the server.
  • And it must come up once in the own and once in the opponent’s half of the table.

If the serve is correctly executed, the rally begins. If the serve touches the net and then falls to the opponent’s side, the service is repeated. If the ball falls into the own court after touching the net, it is a point for the opponent. A ball not hit on the serve or a ball touched again with the body after the serve is also a point for the opponent.

  • The right to serve changes after every two points.
  • If a set has to be extended when the score is 10:10, the players serve alternately after each point.

Ball change:

After serving, the ball must always be hit directly over or around the net set so that it comes to rest on the opponent’s half of the table or touches the surface edge.

A rally is over as soon as a player makes a mistake. A fault is defined as:

    • Fly ball: Stop the ball in flight before it touches the table
    • Bounce the ball more than once on one’s own half of the table when serving
    • Covering all or part of the ball with a part of the body for the opponent when serving
    • Deliberately touching the ball more than once with one’s own racket
    • Touching the table with the free hand (the one without the racket) during the exchange of the ball
    • Touching the net with any part of the body
    • Move the table
    • Hitting one’s own half of the table beforehand, not hitting the table at all, not hitting the ball at all

If a player makes a mistake, then a winning point is counted for the opponent. This also ends the rally.

How do I have to hit the table tennis ball?

Type of stroke Execution
Shooting Here the ball is hit fully and the bat is only moved forward. No rotation is given.
Spin or forward rotation In spin, the ball must be cut. This means you have to combine an upward movement with the racket with a forward movement at the same time.
Topspin The ball must be hit even more than with spin. The movement here is a slight upward movement with a stronger forward movement.
Push or backward rotation The movement here consists of a downward movement of the club plus a simultaneous forward movement.
Push or strong backward rotation The movement here is to be played with a slight downward movement and a stronger forward movement.
Side cut This is a forward movement plus a side movement.
Strong side cut Here the ball must be struck even more and hit less.

What are the tricks and moves?

To play like a “big player” requires not only talent but also years of experience and daily training. Even if the general hobby player has neither the time nor the inclination for such an effort, with a little practice one can become a quite passable player.

Image source: Pixabay.com / Huskyherz

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