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Table Tennis 101: Scoring

Table Tennis 101: Scoring
Posted at 9:12 AM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 11:24:40-04

Singles matches will be won by winning the best of seven games. 

Team matches consist of four singles matches and one doubles match, each played over the best of five games.

Games are won by the first player/team to score 11 points while winning by two. If there is a 10-10 tie, the game is won by the first player/team to score two points more than the opposition. In the last possible game of a match, the players/teams change ends when either player/team has scored five points.

A point can be won on every serve and a player can score a point whether he or she is serving or receiving. A player scores a point if the opponent does any of the following: 

  • Fails to make a good service 
  • Fails to make a good return 
  • Obstructs the ball from landing on the table
  • Allows the ball to touch his/her court twice successively 
  • Deliberately hits the ball twice successively 
  • Strikes the ball and it passes over the player’s court or beyond the end line without touching the court 
  • Strikes the ball with a side of the racket that is not covered by an approved material 
  • Moves the playing surface 
  • Allows his or her free hand to touch the playing surface while the ball is in play
  • Allows any part of his or her body or anything he or she wears or carries, to touch the net assembly while the ball is in play 
  • In doubles, strikes the ball out of the sequence established by the server and receiver 

In determining the server for points, after the initial serve is determined by a coin toss, the receiving player/team becomes the serving player/team after two points have been scored. This rotation continues until the end of the game, or until a game is tied at 10, at which point players/team alternate service after every point. The player or pair who served first in a game receives first in the next game of the match. In doubles, after each game, the serving rotation changes so the players receive from the server they did not receive from in the previous game.