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Tabe Tennis Tips courtesy of:
Sean O'Neill, Guide to About.com - Table Tennis
1. Preliminary matches are often the best of 5 games. CHAMPIONSHIP matches are often the best of 7 or 9 games.
2. After deciding the serve, each player will serve TWO points each.
3. If a player serves a net ball (called a 'let serve'), the point is replayed. (There are no limits to the number of let serves a player may serve.)
4. The server in singles can serve anywhere: short, long, straight, or cross-court. Only in doubles do you have to serve diagonally from your right court to the opponent's right court.
5. If you volley the ball while it is still above the table surface, you lose the point.
6. If you move the table, or touch it with your free hand, during the rally, you lose the point.
7. If a you or your clothing touches the net or post during the rally, you lose the point.
8. If you hit the ball twice in succession, you lose the point.
9. If your shot hits a wall, the ceiling, or misses the opponent's side of the table, you lose the point.
10. Change ends of the table after each game.
11. The player who serves at the beginning of a game is the receiver at the beginning of the next game.
12. After the first player scores the 5th point in the final game of the match, change ends. If you forgot to change at 5, then change as soon as you realize it.
13. If your opponent distracts you by talking or yelling while the ball is in play, play a let.
14. At 10-10, the score is called "Deuce". A player must then win by 2 points. Alternate serves until one player has a 2-point lead.
15. Shake hands after every match to show good sportsmanship.
1. Use quality equipment whenever possible. Sandpaper paddles are illegal because they damage the ball.
2. Try the new 40mm balls. They slow the game down, add to the length of the rallies, and are easier to see.
3. The "Skunk Rule," in which a player is declared winner at 7-0, does not exist in table tennis. Play until someone reaches 11. If you can win 11-0, go for it!
4. Learn the proper strokes. Avoid the temptation to just smash every ball you can.
5. Once you become the neighborhood champ, it is time to visit a local club or enter a sanctioned tournament.
Some of the most commonly asked questions I get are, 'Do you have to serve cross court?' or 'Does the serve have to go off the end of the table?' The first step to a fun game is serving legally.
1. Stand on your side of the table with the ball in your non-racket hand.
2. Place the ball in the center of an open and flat palm.
3. Be sure your hand is higher than the table surface and behind your end line.
4. Keep both the racket and ball above the table's surface at all times during the serve.
5. Toss the ball upward a minimum of six inches.
6. Make contact on the descent.
7. The ball must land on your side of the table first, then your opponent's.
8. If the ball touches the top of the net on its way over, the ball is re-served.
9. The ball can be served anywhere, any angle and long or short.
1. Short serves are most common at the pro level.
2. Keep you wrist loose and relaxed for maximum spin.
3. Instead of trying to ace your opponent, your serve should set up your next shot.
4. Watch better players serve to pick up some of their secrets.
Before you start a game you need to decide who will serve first. Pinging for serve just won't cut it for one of the newest Olympic sports! The sooner you learn the real rules, the faster you will be enjoying the real game.
1. There are a couple of common ways to decide who serves first in competition. The official way is for the umpire to flip a coin and have one of the players call heads or tails while it is in the air.
2. When there is no umpire (or coin) have one player hide the ball under the table in one of their hands. Make sure the arms are spread out far enough so there is no chance for a quick switch!
3. The second way is to play the game Paper, Rock and Scissors. An open hand is paper, a fist is a rock and two fingers are scissors. Rock beats scissors, paper beats rock and scissors beats paper.
4. Now hopefully someone has won the serve. Actually, what they have won is the choice. They have four options. But they can only choose one.
5. They can choose to serve first.
6. They can choose to receive first.
7. They can choose the side of the table they want to start on.
8. Or they can make their opponent choose first and then take a separate choice.
9. Don't forget to shakes hands before the match, it's what the Pros do to show good sportsmanship!
1. Take the serve first if you like to start strong and want to build a lead. Make sure you are warmed up well before the match so your serve isn't broken right off the bat.
2. Don't save your best serves for the end of the match. Use them early and often to build a lead.
3. Check the lighting on both side of the table before the coin toss to see if one side is better than the other.
With twice the people and twice the fun, using the correct order is the key to enjoying the match. Don't forget in table tennis doubles you must alternate every shot with your teammate.
1. Larry Looper and Sammy Smasher won the toss and are serving to Charlie Chopper and Peter Pusher.
2. Larry will serve the first five to Charlie. Remember all serves must be delivered crosscourt from the right side of the table.
3. After Larry's five serves are completed, Charlie becomes the server and Sammy the new receiver.
4. When Charlie is done with his five, Sammy takes over the serve and serves to Peter.
5. Peter follows with the final set of serves to Larry and then the teams are back to the original order.
6. At deuce the order will change after every point.
7. Also once a team reaches 10 point in the final game of the match (the 3rd game in a 2/3 or 5th game in 3/5) the server stays the same but the receiving team changes receivers. This is to ensure that both orders get equal time.
1. If you win the toss, give the serve away so you can choose your best order to start the second game.
2. Since your opponents know where you are serving to (i.e. crosscourt), focus on short and low serves to stop their opening attack.
3. Serve with your forehand, as backhand serves will make it tough to follow up with a strong forehand attack.