Table Tennis

Playing Singles

1. Basic Terms

2. Good Serve

3. Good Return

4. "Let"

5. Score a Point

6. Win the Game

7. Win the Match

8. Serving Particulars

Going the Extra Mile

My Printable Rules

Official USATT Rules

Official ITTF Rules

Lesson 1: Basic Terms

  1. Read through the short list below as many times as you need
  2. When you are ready, click here to take Quiz 1

List of Basic Terms

  • Ball - the spherical thing you hit back and forth
  • Table - you know what a table is, right?
  • Playing surface - the top surface of the table is “in bounds” including the edges and the corners
  • Paddle - the racquet-like thing you use to hit the ball with
  • Grip - the part of the paddle that you hold onto with your hand
  • Blade - the part of the paddle that you use to hit with
  • Net - you know what the net is, right?
  • Rally - the period in which the ball is played
  • Game - an individual game to 11 or 21 points
  • Match - a “best of” an odd number of games (best of 3, 5, etc.); this determines the overall winner
  • Server - the one who serves the ball for that rally or play
  • Receiver - the one who is receiving (and hopefully returning) the ball for that rally or play
  • Free - hand your hand that is not holding the paddle
  • Racquet - hand your hand that is holding the paddle
  • Let - when the play stops, but nobody scores a point; you must re-play the rally
  • Lot - some kind of chance game to see who goes first, like flipping a coin or spinning the paddle