Category Archives: Table Tennis

Racquetball Rules

Racquetball Rules

Racquetball is a racquet sport in which competitors stand on either side of a court and use a racquet to hit and return a ball. It can be played by two people (singles) or four people (doubles). A single match of racquetball consists of 2 games of 15 points each. If each side wins 1 game, then a third game is played for 11 points. Racquetball rules revolve around servers, receivers, and scoring. Read this article to understand the simple rules and you’ll soon be playing like a pro!

The Serve
The serve in racquetball is similar to tennis. The server is the person who serves the ball to the opposing person/team. The server is decided by the toss of a coin. In a doubles’ game, the first server remains the server throughout the game. The rules regarding serves are as follows.

The server will not serve until the receiver is ready.
The server can bounce the ball within the service zone (the area marked from the outer border and the service line) only thrice before serving.
The serve must be such that it bounces on the serving zone floor once, touches the server’s racquet and then crosses the short (center line dividing the court) and proceeds to the front wall.
Any other path that the ball may take as a result of the serve may be disqualified as a defective serve.
These defective serves are deadball serves (hits the partner, impedes the eyeshot of the returning side or hits a random part of the court), fault serves (server or partner move out of service zone before the serve is completed, the ball does not cross the short line, hits the ceiling, reaches the back wall directly or goes out of the court) and out serves (server bounces ball more than thrice before serving, server misses to strike the ball in the first attempt, ball hits partner of server or any other part of the court before crossing the short line and in case of doubles, if a server serves out of order/turn).

Returning the Serve
Once the server has served, the game continues by the receiving team, which returns the serve. The receiving side must keep the following points in mind while returning the serve.

The receiver cannot hit the ball unless it crosses the short line.
The receiver must be careful that no part of his body or his racquet crosses the receiving line, which is clearly marked on his side of the court.
The only instance in which the receiver or his racquet can go beyond the receiving line (without breaking the short line’s plane), is, if the ball has been hit by him after rebounding from the back wall.
When a receiver identifies and the referee calls a defective serve, the receiver must not strike the ball.
The receiver must hit the ball after the first bounce after it crosses the short line or when it is on the fly (in the air before first bounce). No more than 1 bounce in the receiving side is permitted before returning the serve.

According to the official rules of USA Racquetball, only the serving side can score points. This is done when it wins a rally (a continuous, uninterrupted play). A rally is lost if the following take place.

The striker bounces the ball more than once before serving.
A person switches the racquet holding hand.
The ball hits any of the players.
The ball goes into any area that is outside the marked court.
A player misjudges the velocity of the ball and it hits him.
A player carries or slings the ball with the racquet.
A penalty hinder takes place.
Hinders are any occurrences that put the game on hold. They may be avoidable (moving enough to let a partner take a shot, player being hit by ball after it is hit by his partner or when a player gets rough with an opponent) or dead ball (explained above).
The ball hits the front wall, not on the fly, but by a player of the opposing team.
If it is discovered that a player is not using a wrist safety cord.

These were the rules of racquetball in a nutshell. You’ll get good only with practice and you’ll get practice only after knowing the rules. So now that the first step is complete, go out there and enjoy this sport thoroughly!

How to Measure a Table Tennis Table Dimensions

How to Measure a Table Tennis Table Dimensions

Although when people think of ping pong they have the image of the universal table tennis table dimensions in mind, the variety of the tables that you can find on the market nowadays is wider.
Whether you need to purchase a tennis table cover, you build a ping pong table and are making the last adjustments or you are starting to take the game more seriously and want to participate in competitions, you need to know the table dimensions. In order to measure the tennis table all you need is the actual ping pong table and a measurement tape.

Here is how you can measure the size of your tennis table:

1. When you are measuring the height of the table, simply extend the measurement tape from the floor where you placed the table to its corner. You need to repeat this for all four corners of the table and it is very important that the ping pong table is placed on a flat surface so that you do not get any interference when you want to find out your table tennis table dimensions.

2. If you are trying to find out if you have the correct width for your table, start from a corner and reach for the other one.

3. In order to measure the length you need to hook the end of the measuring tape at a corner and then extend it in a straight line to the parallel corner.

4. Besides the height, length and width another important aspect that you should check out is whether the playing surface is divided in two perfect halves. You can check if these table tennis table dimensions if you attach the measuring tape at one corner and afterwards run it down till the middle of the playing surface, which should be separated by the net.

However, if you consider that the classical tennis table dimensions are too big to be placed in any of the rooms you have in mind, you can opt for a smaller table. You can either order a table with the right dimensions for the room, build it yourself or make the adjustments on an already made table. What is important is that you have some space left around the table so you can move and take your shots properly.

When you choose the dimension of the tennis table, try to play a little on it before you buy it to check if you are feeling comfortable playing on that ping pong table.

If you are preparing for a competition, then you will also have to make sure that the space around the tennis table is large enough to allow you to take your shots properly without anything interfering.

Choosing a Table Tennis Table

Choosing a Table Tennis Table

Let me guess. You have finally gone beyond the point where Table Tennis is not just a hobby, but almost an addiction. That’s why, you have decided that it is time to get your very own Table Tennis table, that you plan to set up in your home and enjoy countless hours of ping pong! It is but natural that you look for some tips on choosing a Table Tennis table, to help you make the right choice according to your requirements. That is exactly what I am going to talk about here.

Think about Table Tennis and I can’t help but think about Forrest Gump, (a character played by Tom Hanks in the movie of same name), who goes on to master it to such a level, that he graduates from an amateur to a champion in a matter of few months, as he puts his heart into it. The game requires phenomenal levels of concentration and athleticism.

To play it properly, one needs the right equipment, which includes a good pair of paddles, balls and of course a proper playing surface. A Table Tennis table is a sizable investment which doesn’t come cheap and you need to ensure that you get value for money. There are a few things that you need to check when buying a Ping Pong table. Let us have a look at them.

How to Choose a Table Tennis Table?

The choice of a table will depend on what level of expertise do you have in playing the game, whether you are going to keep it indoor or outdoor and of course your budget allocation. Here are the prime factors of consideration.

You need to be aware of the proper Ping Pong Table size. The standard dimensions, mentioned in Table Tennis rules, for any tournament level Table Tennis table are 9 feet (length) x 5 feet (width) x 30 inches (height). While mos models will confirm to this size, they will differ in the kind of material used for the top. The best tables have a Masonite top, with coating that ensures that the surface has low friction. Make sure that the table has the right dragnet with sufficient tautness and the right height (15.25 cm).

Top Thickness & Finishing
The most important part of the Table Tennis table is its top, which needs to have the right thickness and finishing. This ensures that you have the right bounce when playing Ping Pong. The recommended thickness is 1 inch, but a top with a thickness of 0.75 inch will be good enough for amateur level play.

To check if the table has the right thickness, hold the ball at a height of 30 cm and let go of it. If it bounces 23 cm high, you have a table with the right thickness and if it is anything less or more, the thickness is not right. Depending on your usage, you could either go for a recreational table, a club type or a tournament type table. The table finishing needs to be excellent which provides the right amount of friction for play. Make sure that your table has a smooth finish and is leveled properly.

Strong & Foldable Roller Legs
There are two choices when it comes to choosing the kind of table base or legs arrangement you want. You could either go for a foldable one, with rollers or a fixed one. A foldable one with roller wheels is recommended if you are using it outdoors. It is easier to carry it around or move it with the rollers.

Brands & Cost
There are many brands for you to choose from. Some of the best brands are Butterfly, Stiga, Donic, Joola and Tibhar. They have all kinds of tables ranging from recreational to tournament type. The price of tables ranges from $150 to upwards of $400.

Instead of making a biased choice, browse through the whole range of Table Tennis tables of various brands, made available in the market. Guided by the points shared here, you will be able to choose the right one.

Table Tennis Grips

Table Tennis Grips

The way a player grips his racket is of a major significance in how he plays. There are several types of which decide the direction and the impact of a particular shot. This article will shed some light on the different grips that are used in table tennis.

Shakehand Grip

This is one of the most basic grips in ping pong. This grip is done with the index finger extended over the racket head, in a perpendicular angle to the handle. Even distribution of power over the backhand and forehand shots is facilitated by this grip. The shakehand has two styles―shallow grip and deep grip.

Shallow Grip
In this grip, the index finger is stretched over the bottom of the racket. The thumb is held relaxed on the blade, and not the rubber. To grip the handle, the bottom 3 fingers are used.

Deep Grip
The deep grip is almost the same as the shallow one, except for the fact that the hand goes further up the handle towards the head of the racket. Likewise, the index finger is stretched along the bottom of the racket. The thumb is held relaxed on the rubber. This is one of the most common grips in table tennis.

Counter Driver
This grip facilitates the function of blocking and drives various attacks back at the opponent. It makes the opponent commit a mistake by change of angles and rhythm.

Attacking Chopper
The chopper is like a neutralizing shot, using the chop to return an attack which has a back spin. The opponent is thus compelled to attack all over again. What distinguishes this style is its ‘cool cat’ sort of function, because it does not look to attack and gain initiative.

Penhold Grip

Talking of different grips, the penhold grip seems to have taken a beating somewhat. The reason being, the weakness it brings about in the backhand shot. As the name suggests, this grip resembles the way in which a pen is held for writing. The index finger and thumb are used to hold on to the racket, and the other 3 fingers give support, curling around the back of the racket.

Loopers bring into play the forehand top spin loop as the primary shot. The person using this style has fabulous footwork, and mostly tries to use the forehand for covering the entire table.

Korean Penhold
Akin to the looper, the Korean penhold involves the forehand top spin loop. Players using this style have more of a reach in comparison with others.

Other Grips

Seemiller Grip
Named after Danny Seemiller, an American table tennis champ, this grip is a result of the modification of the shakehand grip. The forefinger and the thumb are kept on the same side of the racket. Such a grip permits forehand as well as backhand shots to use the same side of the rubber.

This is a style which is being worked upon in China. It is basically an experimental style. The grip entails holding the racket between the fore finger and the middle finger, and the other fingers rest on top of and under the handle. This arrangement of fingers forms a ‘V’ for victory.