Keep Pace With Olympic Rules For Ping Pong

Each sport or game has its regulations and rules to ensure fairness for all players. Olympic Rules for ping pong are no exception! These bylaws in major table tennis events are even more stringent than in general ones.

If you are a big fan of this sport, you can not miss our article! Here we are about to discuss Olympic Rules for Ping Pong, which is no longer strange on many sporting forums.

Let’s dive in with us to collect useful knowledge for your interest.


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Ping Pong at the Olympics

Ping pong is classified into two competition categories for women and men: singles and team events. The single event is a set-of-seven affair, while the team event has set-of-five encounters.

Ping pong first appeared in the 1988 Olympic games in Korea with two competition categories of a double and single play. Nevertheless, this was amended at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in which doubles rivalry gave up its seat to team events in both women’s and men’s divisions.

The same year, China took the lead in the sport, bagging 28 gold medals within 53 medals. The next place belonged to South Korea with 3 gold medals among 18 medals.

Olympic Rules for Ping Pong

Olympic Ping Pong competition goes along with general international rules and follows some other regulations that the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) confirms.

Here we are going to dig into ping pong Olympic rules that any table tennis player needs to follow.

Equipment Rules

There is a truth that various levels of tournaments could have different rules. In order to ensure the standard Olympic table tennis rules are correctly observed, the official requirements for specific equipment have to be matched strictly with the ITTF regulations.


Following the Olympic regulations for table tennis, the rectangular shape at the dimension of 2.74 by 1.53 (m) is the standard size of this playing game table.

The top side of the playing game table needs to be painted with some matte finish in dark and glossy. And the game table border (2 centimeters in thickness) is used to mark the halved surface for players.

What about the net? Well, this equipment with a height of 15.25 centimeters plays a role in dividing the table, appended by this table’s both poles.


The Olympic ping pong paddle is approximately 15 centimeters in width and 17 centimeters in length and made mostly from wood.

Regarding colors, the table tennis rubber surface painted in black and red on each side assists players in navigating and applying the ball techniques.

Table Tennis Ball

Ping pong ball is typically in orange or white, spherical- shape, roughly 40 millimeters in diameter and around 2.7 grams in weight.



Scoring Rules

Over 10 points

It is time to learn more about getting a score properly following Olympic ping pong rules.

For tennis players

Table tennis players reach one point when their competitors fail to utilize the table tennis racket to obstruct the ball over the net and the other side of the game table.

Who has 11 points and takes the lead over the rival at least two points is the winner of the match. If both you and your opponent get ten points, either of you needs to be ahead of the other by 2 points to reach the win. 

For team matches of women and men, as mentioned earlier, the full events are five-set, and this criterion for the women and men single match is seven-set.  

In the ping pong group events, the team that takes the lead with three matches in advance also gets the overall match victory. 

A server who stands on the right at the center point of the baseline court will throw the ball into the air and slap it with her/ his racket. 

The first service in the match conducted at random by a server starts with a score of 0-0. Each player or team would serve the 2 points in the row, then the other player or team gets served. 

The servers have to let their ball hit their tableside one time before rebounding around or across over the net, hitting the game table on the rival’s side. 

Players must have the let serve if the ball strikes the net’s group, consisting of the net itself, clamps, and post. 

Nevertheless, it still hits the server bound first before hitting the second bound at the rival’s side. 

For the server

For the kind of service, the participant has to redo the service without affecting or changing the general score. And the server will not have a bond of let serves within the row. 

The purpose of a receiver is to give the ball back over or around the net and make sure the ball has its first bounce being on the game table of the server. If she or he goes the wrong way, the server would have more than one point. 

Or else, the server must obstruct the ball once more or over the ping pong net, and then the first rebound needed to drop on the tableside of this receiver. In case the server fails to do that, he or she would leave the point for the receiver.  

The game keeps on that way to the time when the server or receiver could not properly return the ball. For every victorious ball touch, the player will get the point to her or his overall score.

10 Points

In case either of the players reaches 10 points, every player will have only one server ball until the winner of this match appears. 

With the above-mentioned typical rules, we guess you still have not mastered the rules for Olympic matches. That is why you need to follow us in the following section to capture more information about serving rules, which is one of the key parts of the topic. 

Serving Rules

The ping pong serving regulations permit the receiver to watch the ball anytime and own the possibility to predict the ball movement from a server.

With this aim, a lot of serving rules are declared, including:

The server has to never hide the table tennis ball and enables the receiver to follow the ball clearly throughout the match and serve.

The server’s balls have to be above the ping pong table level and beyond this playing table borderline at a server.

Then the player has to toss the ball up at least 16 centimeters vertically, then slap the ball down into the table and don’t hit it up.

If the referee suspects any serve the ball is illicit, he will notify the server. Once he figures out any serves the ball has a great chance of being unlawful. He could censure the server and offer the rival one point.

Obstructing Balls Rules

A player could not obstruct the ball utilizing their hand that grasps the paddle. And the below wrist of this racquet hand may touch the ball only one time.

It is also unacceptable if you use your fingers of this racquet hand to obstruct the ball. Then hit the ball one more time with your racket to make double hits.

You could shift the racquet between two of your hands at the same time, which experienced players could only do. Tossing the table tennis racket for obstructing the ball isn’t allowable. When your racket is dropped, you must take it up and keep on hitting the ball.

Some Other Rules

A table tennis player is permitted to towel off every six points during any match.

Each team could require to have one minute for timeout only once by using their hand with T-form’s sign.

The match can keep on when one minute is up or the ping pong player informing timeout has passed.

During breaktime, players have to place their racket on their part’s game tableside.

Frequently Asked Questions – Olympic Rules for table tennis

#1 What are the fundamental rules of ping pong?

They are:

  1. Your hands are always away from a pingpong table.
  2. You have to toss the served ball up for around 15 millimeters.
  3. You ought to reserve when you are about to hit a ball on the net for any server.
  4. You have to grasp a ball on a level palm and above the game table.

Is ping pong common in the past?

#2 Is table tennis popular in the history of the Olympics?

Absolutely Yes.

In 1962, London became the host of the first Ping pong tournament World Championships. The 1988 Olympics, was held in Seoul, South Korea.

In 2008 Beijing, China, ping pong included a team, women’s singles, and men’s singles events.

#3 What is the ITTF?

ITTF stands for International Table Tennis Federation. This organization plays a role in building regulation and developing technological rules for ping pong events in the world.


Olympic Ping Pong Rules and Laws – LiveAbout

Table tennis rules: Everything you need to know – Olympics

Rules of Table Tennis – Team USA

Final Thoughts

Well, if you are still here with us, we believe that you have already captured Olympic Rules for Ping Pong completely. With the information at hand, you can now follow and discuss all table tennis matches with your friends without any confusion about the bylaws of this kind of popular sport.

Thank you for reading. Please don’t forget to follow us and share our blog with those who have the same passion.