Several factors come into play when keeping score in ping pong, such as how many serve each player receives and questionable point decisions.
It may seem unclear to keep score in ping pong at first, but after a few games, it becomes second nature.
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It’s important to keep score in ping pong, so let’s start.
- There are 11 points in a game of table tennis
- There are five games in a best-of-five series in table tennis
- If players win by more than two points, the game is over
- Officially, there are two serves per player and alternate serves
- You can decide who serves first by tossing a coin
Discussion before the match:
How long should each game be? 11 or 21 minutes?
The game’s length is 11 minutes, but recreational players may find 21 minutes to be more enjoyable.
What is the best out of the series?
The best out of five methods are used in most cases, which means the first to three games wins.
Under the table, a player holds the ball in one of their hands while another player tries to pick the hand with the ball in it;
if the player chooses correctly, they serve first.
During recreational play, serves are usually two, but they can vary depending on the level of play.
The game should begin with a discussion. First and foremost, the number of points per game should be agreed upon.
Official tournaments allow offical players to play up to 11 points, but recreational tournaments allow players to play up to 21 points.
After agreeing on the game’s duration, the players should talk about how many games they want to play – like a series.
Play is commonly done as a best of 5 – essentially, the first to three games wins. Official tournaments are usually the best of 5 matches.
The first player to serve should also be agreed upon.
One player should place the ball in one hand and place both hands under the table to accomplish this.
It is now up to the other player to select a hand they think may contain the ball.
A player who makes the correct choice can decide who serves first; if the choice is incorrect, the player with the ball decides.
Serving can also be done by throwing. A rally begins when a player gently throws the ball over the net. Whoever wins the rally will serve.
It is also possible to toss a coin to determine service, which is less fun than we think.
The length of serves is another factor that varies among players.
It is acceptable to vary the length of service for recreational play, and both players can agree on this.
Recreational players, for example, tend to like 3 or 5 serves per player.
How to keep Score:
Your opponent loses a point when:
- The ball fails to cross the net
- Overhit the ball (no bounce on your side)
- Bounces the ball on your side of the table before serving to your side
- Do not bounce the ball on your side of the table
- Does not clear the net on their service
You lose a point when:
- Does not clear the net on any shot, including the service
- Overhit the ball over your opponent’s table (no bounce)
Ensure no bounce on your side of the table before serving your opponent
- Serve to the opposite side of the table without bouncing
For every point a player wins, they receive 1 point, which is added to their overall score. For recreational play, the length of the game can vary.
In official tournaments, each game is first to 11 points. Players who enjoy longer games, for example, may play to 21 points.
There is often confusion amongst Players As To How To Score In Ping Pong.
We hope this piece eliminates any confusion and gives you a basic understanding of how ping pong scoring should be done.
Hey, My Name is Timothy Wang. I’m the U.S. National Table Tennis champion of 2010, 2012, and 2013 and playing the game since the age of 12. The purpose of this blog is to share my experience, tips, and tricks with others so they can master and enjoy this game like I’m doing for years.