Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is the second most popular game in the world and the newest of the world's major sports. It is played on a nine-by-five-foot hard rectangular table with the surface usually painted green or dark blue. A miniature tennis net cuts the table in half and a rope is placed so that it extends a few centimeters beyond the table on each side. The edges of the table form part of the legal surface of the table, but not the sides.
A match is played to the best 3 of 5 games. In each game, the first player to reach 11 points wins that match; however, a game must be won with a margin of at least two points. One point is scored after each ball is put into play. The player serving the ball starts one point by dropping the ball (behind and above the edge of the table) with the palm facing up and throwing it at least six inches, and then hitting it, so that it bounces off the middle of the court closest to him and then on the opponent's half.
Team matches consist of four singles matches and one doubles match, each played to the best of five games. At the Olympic Games, athletes compete against each other according to a system of qualifiers. Each match consists of a maximum of seven sets. The athlete who wins four sets first is the winner.
Before 2001, players alternated serves every five points and games were played with 21 points and had to be won by at least two points. The serves alternate every two points (regardless of the winner) and are maintained during the game of two. Most tennis doubles matches are played in the best of three sets, with a 10-point tiebreaker instead of a third set. Originally open only to wheelchair users, standing players were added to the Toronto Paralympic Games program in 1976, and in 1980 a competition for athletes with cerebral palsy was included in the Arnhem program.
At the Australian Open, the French Open, and the United States Open, both men and women play the best of three sets (6 games in each set). In doubles, after each game, the service rotation changes so that players receive from the server that they did not receive in the previous game. All players play in accordance with the laws and regulations of the ITTF, International Table Tennis Federation. The court was 45 feet on each side of the net and the player started from behind and moved forward each time he scored a point.
Table tennis is an exciting sport that requires skill, strategy, and agility. It is an excellent way to stay active while having fun with friends or family.