Table Tennis Oregon State

Table Tennis tournament rules

All table tennis tournaments shall be governed by the rules adopted by the United States Table Tennis Association. The following rules are cited for your information and/or clarification.


A game shall be won by the player who first wins 21 points unless both players shall have scored 20 points. The winner of the game shall then be the player who first wins two points more than their opponent.


A match is the best two out of three games.


May be of any size, shape, or weight. The blade may not be covered with sandpaper material.


The ball shall be placed on the palm of the free hand, which must be stationary and above the level of the playing surface. Service shall commence by the server projecting the ball by hand only, without imparting spin and nearly vertically upward. As the ball is descending, it shall be struck so that it touches first the server's court and then passes directly over or around the net and touches the receiver's court. If, in attempting to serve, the server misses the ball altogether it is a lost point.

Ball in Play

The ball is in play from the moment at which it is projected from the hand in service until:

  1. it has touched one court twice consecutively
  2. it has, except in service, touched each court alternately without having been struck by the racket intermediately
  3. it has been struck by any player more than once consecutively
  4. it has touched any player or anything that is worn or carried except the racket or racket hand below the wrist.
  5. on the volley it comes in contact with the racket or racket hand below the wrist.
  6. it touches any object other than the net or supports.

Choice of the Order of Play

The choice of ends and the right to be server or receiver in every match shall be decided by coin toss. The winner of the toss shall have the choice of either being server or receiver, or the choice of ends. The other player will then take the remaining choice.

The Order of Service

After five points the receiver shall become the server, and the server the receiver, and so on after each five points until the end of the game or the score 20-all. From the score 20-all the service shall change after each point until the end of the game. The player who served first in a game shall be receiver first in the subsequent game and so on until the end of the match.

A Let

  • If the ball served, in passing over the net, touches it or its supports and is otherwise good, a let is declared and the point is re-played.
  • A let is declared if the receiver is not ready to return the service and makes no attempt to strike at the ball.
  • The rally is a let if the ball becomes split or otherwise fractured in play.

A Point is Scored by the Opponents if:

  • A server fails to make a good service.
  • A player fails to make a good return when it is his (her) turn to do so.
  • A player, his racket, or anything he wears or carries, touches the net or its supports or moves the playing surface. A player's freehand touches the playing surface while the ball is in play.
  • Before the ball in play passes over the end lines or sidelines not having yet touched the playing surface on his side of the table, it comes in contact with the player or anything he wears or carries.
  • At anytime either player volleys.


Games will be played at the Walb Union Student Recreation Center in the lower level of the Walb Student Union.


A list of participants will be left at the check in desk. You must show your ID to get the equipment. You will be allowed to play the best 2 out of 3 games only. Additional time must be purchased by the participants. Upon completion of the match, you must turn in your score card to the desk with both players authorizing the score. After a play-by-date schedule is completed a single elimination tournament will be held.

Doubles Rules

All table tennis tournaments shall be governed by the rules adopted by the United States Table Tennis Association.

The following rules are cited for your information and/or clarification.

A game shall be won by the team who first wins 21 points unless both teams have scored 20 points. The winner of the game will be the team who first wins two points more than their opponents.

Good Service

In Doubles the service shall be delivered so that it touches the server's right half-court or the center line on his side of the net and then touches the receiver's right half-court or the center line on his side of the net.

Order of Play

The server shall first make a good service, the receiver shall then make a good return, the partner of the server shall then make a good return. The partner of the receiver shall then make a good return, the server shall then make a good return and thereafter each player alternately in that sequence shall make a good return.

The pair who have the right to serve the first five serves in any game (determined by toss) shall decide which partner shall do so. In the first game of a match, the opposing pair shall then decide similarly which shall be the first receiver. In subsequent games, the serving pair shall choose their first server, and the first receiver will then be established automatically to correspond with the first server as provided below.

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