Rules of Table Tennis

Scoring and Games

  • Games are played to 11 points
  • Players serve two serves each, alternating. A player does not have to win specifically off their own serve in order to win a point
  • If a game ties at 10-10, a player must win by 2 points. In this situation, players serve one serve each, alternating
  • In competition, games are played best of 5 (first to win 3 games) or best of 7 (first to win 4 games). Social games can also be played best of 3 (first to win 2 games)

Legal Serving

  • You must throw the ball up straight, from a flat palm, at least 6 inches (16cm)
  • Your toss and service contact must be behind the table surface (not over)
  • You cannot hide the ball from the ball toss to contact, with any part of your body
  • If the ball hits the net during service, it is a let, the point is replayed. There is no limit or point deductions for let serves.

Equipment Basics

  • A table tennis racket must be one side black, one side (recently approved) any approved color
  • The official approved ball is the 40mm+ plastic ball
  • The dimensions of an approved table tennis table are: 9ft long, 5ft wide, 2.5ft high
  • The approved height of a table tennis net is: 6 inches

Official Rules of Table Tennis

For any questions regarding the official rules of table tennis, please contact the Head of the USATT Rules Committee, Roman Tinyszin at


  • Calendar
  • Ratings
A logo that combines USOPC and Table Tennis

© 2023 Copyright USA Table Tennis - All Rights Reserved.