How Table Tennis Scoring Works

Just about everyone who’s ever lived has played table tennis a time or two.

However, this doesn’t mean that everyone knows the real rules of the sport. Many of those who play table tennis just hit the ball back and forth aimlessly, simply enjoying the continuous volley.

While there’s nothing wrong with playing aimlessly, perhaps you’re ready to start making your games a little more official? If so, you’re going to have to learn how ping pong scoring actually works.

Interested? Then read on! We’re going to cover the basics of table tennis scoring.

How are Points Counted in Table Tennis?

In the sport of table tennis, matches are divided up into 5 or 7 games.

The goal is to win one more than half of the total games being played. For instance, if you’re playing a 5-game match, you need to win 3 games to win the full match; if you’re playing a 7-game match, you need to win 4 games to win the full match.

Each individual game is played to 11 points with each scored shot being worth 1 point apiece. However, the winner of each game must have a lead of at least 2 to win.

This means that you can not win a game with a score of 11 to 10. If you find yourself in an 11-10 scenario, you will play the game out until a player has taken a lead of 2.

If the final score has to be 20-18, then it has to be 20-18. The key is that you play until someone has a lead of two points.

The Table Tennis Scoring Process

In a standard singles match, each point starts with a serve (each player gets 2 serves in a row before serving duties are turned over to the opposing player).

A serve must hit the server’s side of the table first, and then hit the receiver’s side of the table. In a singles match, it doesn’t matter where the ball hits on either the server’s or the receiver’s side of the table.

The receiver returns a serve by hitting it directly to the side of the server. The receiver can not hit the ball on the receiving side of the table when returning.

If the receiver is unable to return a good serve successfully, a point will be awarded to the server.

On the other hand, if the receiver is able to return a good serve successfully, both players will effectively turn into receivers until one fails to properly return the ball. When a player fails to properly return a ball, his or her opponent is awarded a point.

Note, if you hit the net on a serve, but the ball hits your opponent’s side anyway, there is no point awarded. This is called a “let” and it immediately leads to another serve. There is no limit on how many “lets” can occur before a proper serve is performed.

On the other hand, if the ball hits the net on a return, yet still reaches the opposing side, it remains in play. If the opposing player can not return it successfully, a point is awarded to the original returner.

Learn More About the Rules of Table Tennis

Table tennis scoring is just a small component of the table tennis rulebook at large. While it’s not a hugely complicated game, this sport does have a set of specific rules which players are expected to abide by.

Looking to learn more about the rules of table tennis? If so, you’re in the right place. Custom Table Tennis has all of the information needed to help you play the game the right away.

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