Ping Pong Paddle Rules

The game of ping pong is currently exploding in popularity all over the world.  There are now a number of professional tournaments around the world, as well as a very popular Olympic event.  Although there are a number of variations to the game, the professional rules, as laid out by the International Table Tennis Federation, are followed in all of the major tournaments and it’s important that any newcomers to the game know them inside out.  While there are specific rules regarding general play, scoring and table dimensions, there are also very specific regulations when it comes to ping pong paddle rules.

Firstly, it is important to note that there actually are no specific rules that govern the size of a ping pong paddle.  It goes without saying, the larger a ping pong paddle is, the more unwieldy it will become and the greater difficulty a player will experience in controlling the ball.  While there are no specific dimensions, most ping pong paddles will be 15cm across and 25cm long.  The rules of the ITTF also state that the paddle blade should be flat and rigid.

Some of the older paddles are manufactured without rubber padding on the blade.  Under the ITTF rules, this is forbidden.  There must be no more than 2mm of pimpled rubber, including adhesive, on either side of the paddle blade.  Sandwich rubber can also be used, however the thickness can’t exceed 4mm, including adhesive.  It is often the case that a match umpire will check a player’s paddle before a tournament match to ensure that these standards are adhered to.  It has been known for players to alter the rubber thickness, after purchasing a certified paddle.  It can also be possible for the rubber to swell over time and after repeated re-gluing.

It is also important to remember that the rubber may not protrude over the edge of the playing surface of the paddle, although at the point where the paddle meets the handle, there can be a small overhang.    If a player plays with a penhold grip, only one side of the paddle is allowed to be covered in rubber.  A player should note, however, that the uncovered side should be the same colour as the covered side – either red or black.

The ITTF only allow officially endorsed rubbers to be used on paddles in authorised tournaments.  Participants must ensure that both the manufacturer logo and the logo of the International Table Tennis Federation are clearly displayed on the rubber.  If a player changes a paddle in the middle of a match, it should be shown to the umpire for inspection.  The ‘two colour’ rule was introduced in the 1980s whereby one side had to be black and one, red.  Ping pong paddle rules are there to ensure a level playing field for all competitors.  If a purchase is for tournament play, it is vitally important that it bears the ITTF logo as anything else will simply not be allowed.

What is important when buying Ping Pong Paddle

If you are new to the table tennis game also called ping pong you better get acquainted with the quality of the paddles. The sponge thickness, rubber quality and aerodynamics of the paddle can help you enjoy and win during the play.

A few good paddle brands are Butterfly, Stiga, Killerspin, Donic just to name a few from the top.
Also pay attention to the triple numbering system that rates a paddle. For example xx/yy/zz denote spin/speed/handling. The higher the numbers does not always mean a better paddle. No no no. For some the spin could be lower number than the handling, but they simply feel more comfortable having better control that to give the ball a good shot accompanied by speed.

With these in mind it is always better to test a few paddles if you have a chance before you purchase. One good way to do this is attend a ping pong club for a short while, many have all sorts of ping pong paddles available for play.

But always remember sponge and rubber quality means a lot to a good ball spin effect.
Enjoy the wonderful sport of table tennis !


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Leave a Comment: