Being one of the most popular indoor sports, Table Tennis has been played for over a century by people all over the world. Ping pong can be played by nearly anyone in any age group, which is why this sport is such a crowd favourite.

It also helps that the rules are simple and easy to understand. You need to hit the ball over the net and onto your opponent’s side of the table. Your opponent must return the ball to you after it has pitched once on their table.

Simple, right?

Well here are a few strange Table Tennis rules that you probably weren’t aware of.

1) Tossing The Ball

In Table Tennis, the player serves by tossing the ball into the air and hitting it with the bat. However, the rules say that the ball must be tossed at least 6 inches, or 16 centimetres, into the air during the serve. This is primarily due to the fact that most people simply perform a ‘drop hit’ where they simply drop the ball from their hand and hit it immediately.

This is quite unfair as it takes a lot more skill to actually set up a shot with a ball that’s moving in the air. When you drop the ball out of your hand, it is practically stationary and can be hit with ease.

2) Straight Up!

It is mandatory that you toss the ball near vertically upward when performing the serve. You cannot toss the ball diagonally or horizontally or in any other way! You’d think that this was obvious, but no, it is an official rule, and the referee can call you out on it.

Of course this is all up to subjectivity, and if the referee feels like you haven’t thrown the ball vertically upward, they may call a foul. So just to be safe, be sure to throw the ball, at worst, 15 degrees off from a vertically straight angle.

3) Serve On The Drop

This rule is very important, as most beginners actually make this mistake all the time.

While serving, you are not allowed to hit the ball while it’s still rising in the air. You can only make contact with it after it finishes its ascent and begins to descend. Of course, it doesn’t have to drop all the way down to where you tossed it, but the ball has to reach its peak before you hit it.

So let’s say you threw the ball 18 centimetres in the air, you can hit it and soon as it falls even one centimetre.

Pay Attention!

These rules are often broken by rookies and a few pro players as well. It’s important to remember the rules during gameplay and pay close attention to them when you’re squaring off against someone.

If you’ve got these down, you can avoid causing fouls while playing the game. And whether you’re in a tournament or a bet match, this can be the difference between winning and losing.

Also read: 4 Table Tennis Shots For Every Beginner To Learn

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Arjun Thomas

I'm a full time bboy and content writer. I love travelling and I'm dedicated to a vegan lifestyle.

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