What Is Skunk In Ping Pong? – Is There Is A Skunk Rule In Table Tennis in 2023

Are you familiar with the Skunk rule in ping pong?

Despite the fact that this is not an official ITTF rule, it is quite popular amongst players.

Therefore, you should not disregard the Skunk rule to become a professional ping pong player.

Skunk rule’s origin is currently a mystery since it is often discussed orally, and there are no records of its origin.

The Skunk rule is often applied when playing table tennis at home, at the pub, or work. 

Let’s look at the following information to understand this rule better.

What Is Skunk In Ping Pong?

What Is Skunk In Table Tennis?

When a player runs up a big score against their opponent, they call it a skunk.

source: liveabout

This is because the winner is generally better than the loser, and the better player will take advantage of this fact.

Players who “skunk” their opponents are accused of terminating a game quickly or dominating the competition.

Skunks occur when a player wins a game with an outrageous margin.

An example is a 7-0 score. A 15-2 score is also a skunk.

Both are games winning scores.

In the losing player’s match against the competitor, he didn’t have much chance of winning many volleys.

The losing player can save some face rather than play more by enacting the mercy rule.

Heavily mismatched players create a skunk.

Beginner and intermediate players need to play against better players to improve their ping pong skills.

However, it is still important to play against players of similar skill levels.

A player with vastly different skills and abilities is much more likely to win a game by running it and skunk the opponent.

A player who doesn’t win can be very frustrated by this.

Although skunking isn’t part of the official rules, many players will end the game early when they are so different.

source: tempatation gift

By doing so, the loser saves face, avoids having to face a stronger opponent, and avoids the need to hold on.

Accepting a skunk is a sign of being kinder, preventing beginners from becoming discouraged.

If players win by 7 points, they can move on to the next game with a better ping-pong player.

Therefore, everyone will have a good time playing the game as much as they like without getting frustrated.

Although not all games use the mercy rule, it makes them run more smoothly in general.


For a Ping Pong Player who hopes to master the game, it is crucial to know all the rules to follow.

It can only be learned if they practice regularly and play against better ping pong players and play against them themselves.

There are still some rules in ping pong that most players don’t know, although most know the common rules.

You can become the best ping pong player by learning these rules, even if they’re not official.


1. How does the tennis mercy rule work?

When one competitor has a large and apparent insurmountable advantage, the mercy, slaughter, knockout, or skunk rules eliminate the competition.

The mercy rule ensures that losers won’t be humiliated further.

2. What is a skunk’s score?

According to USATT, a ‘skunk’ score is anything that wins by a score of 7-0, 11-1, 15-2, or 21-3.

Skunks may be forced to do push-ups or drink two beers as punishment for being ‘skunked.’

3. Is the skunk rule is a rule defined by the ITTF?

There is no historical background to the skunk rule.

As a term of humiliation, skunking refers to athletes humiliating their opponents by running up the score during games.

Many professional players consider this bad sportsmanship.

4. When you get a mercy point, what should you do?

In this case, saying “thank you” and returning the kindness is the most appropriate course of action.

If you receive a gift from someone (whether in Asia or anywhere else),

you’re supposed to return it as soon as possible. For instance, when you have a negative balance of 0-10.

You were given a mercy point to get 1-10.

You don’t need to play the next point to return the mercy. Let them finish the set with free points.


Skunk rules apply to ping pong and many other games, including beer pong and tennis.

As can be seen, ping pong players don’t have too much difficulty understanding the law of skunk.

However, applying the skunk rule when learning this game will offer many benefits worth exploring.

Here’s my best shot at answering your questions about skunk.

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