Ping-Pong – what’s the point(!)?
Objective of Table Tennis
In table tennis (or ping-pong, as it is often called colloquially), two opponents (in singles) or two teams of two opponents (in doubles), play a match consisting of games and points, using wooden-based rackets covered in rubber to hit a 40mm diameter plastic or celluloid ball over a 15.25cm high net, onto the opponent’s side of a table that is 2.74m long and 1.525m wide, and 76cm high.
The overall objective of the game of ping-pong is to win the match by winning enough points to win more than half of the number of maximum possible games to be played between you and your opponent (in singles), or you, your partner and your two opponents (in doubles).
A secondary objective (and some would say the main objective) is to have fun and get a bit of exercise at the same time!
Overview of a Match
A point is won by a player or team when the opponent or opponents cannot hit the ball with a racket over the net and onto the other side of the table.
A game is won by being the first player or team to win 11 points, and be at least 2 points ahead of your opponent or opponents. If both players or teams have won 10 points, then the first player or team to get a 2 point lead wins the game.
A match can be any odd number of games, but is commonly the best of 5 or 7 games. In a 5 game match the first player or team to win 3 games is the winner, and in a 7 game match the first player or team to win 4 games is the winner.
Now that you know what the point(!) of ping-pong is, let’s have a look at some of the reasons to play table tennis.