Table Tennis Rules

Table Tennis – Tournament format

General Guideline (across all categories)

  • A match is composed of best of 3 or 5 games, depending on the stages of the tournament.
  • All group stage matches will be best of 3 games. Quarterfinals, Semifinals & Finals would be best of 5 games
  • Each game is played for 11 points, alternating service every 2 points.
    • On deuces (10-10), players alternate service every 1 point. Win by 2 points difference.
    • Switch ends of the table at the conclusion of each game. If the match goes to the last deciding set (both players have 1 or 2 sets each, depending on the stage), switch ends when the score first reaches 5.

Men Singles/Doubles:  Double Elimination

A double elimination tournament is a competition with a defined number of entrants where teams or players are not knocked out, or eliminated, until they lose two matches.

Double-elimination has two sets of brackets, called the winners’ bracket and the losers’ bracket. Each player begins in the winners’ bracket, but once they lose, they move to the losers’ bracket, where they still have an opportunity to make it to the finals. All the matches in the losers’ bracket is knock out which means that if you lose in losers’ bracket you will be eliminated.

Women Singles: Round Robin

Since we only have 4 registrants in this category, we would be playing a round robin; each player playing against the other 3. The results of the matches will determine the final ranking order for the group. The top two players will qualify to play the final match at the end of group stage.

Women Doubles: Single Match

Since we only have 2 registrants in this category, we would be playing just one final match (best of 5)

Table Tennis – Rules


  • The winner of toss chooses to either serve or receive first, or pick which end of the table to play at, for the first game
  • The first server of a game becomes the first receiver of the next game.
  • To perform a legal serve: Hold the ball in the stationary open palm of the toss hand. The ball is to be held behind the end line of the table and above table level. The ball is not required to be within the boundaries of the sidelines. The ball must remain visible to the opponent throughout the entire service (no ball hiding)
  • Toss the ball straight up a minimum of 6 inches (no maximum) and strike it as it falls. If you fail to make a good serve after you’ve tossed it, you lose the point, even if you don’t contact the ball
  • If the served ball hits the net and falls back on the server’s side, or off the side, the point is lost. If the served ball contacts the net and falls onto the opponent’s side, then the serve is called a “Net” and is re-served. There is no limit to the number of consecutive “net serves”.


  • Players must alternate shots; if one player of a doubles team plays the ball two times in a row, the team will lose a point.
  • In the order of service, after each 2 serve, the previous receiver will become the server and the previous server will become the receiver.
  • A line painted along the long axis of the table to create doubles courts bisects the table. This line’s only purpose is to facilitate the doubles service rule, which is that service must originate from the right hand “box” in such a way that the first bounce of the serve bounces once in said right hand box and then must bounce at least once in the opponent side’s right hand box (far left box for server), or the receiving pair score a point.


The rules & regulations of the ITTF can be found in the ITTF Handbook of 2017