Till 2001, a regular ping-pong game was played with the 21 point system. But in order to make the match more exciting and fast-paced, the scoring system was changed to 11 points.
With this change, the ping pong rules for 21 point game did not change much while transitioning to the 11 point system. The player who is the first to score 11 points is declared the winner of the game.
Although now most players follow the 11 point system, the ping pong rules for 21 point game are still applicable as of today as well. Let’s start off with the general rules of the game –
General rules of ping pong –
- A coin toss determines which player serves the ball at the start of the game. The winner of the toss also gets to decide the playing positions of the game.
- The change of service occurs when the first 5 points have been scored.
- One point is generally awarded when they play of service has concluded. That is when the receiver becomes the server and vice versa. This continues until the end of the game, or until the game reaches a point of 20 all.
- The players change ends of the table after each game.
- One match consists of the best of two or three games.
- A serve where the ball is thrown from the free hand and one which starts above the playing surface is considered as a good serve. The ball is tossed into the air. As the balls come down from the air, it is hit by the paddle so that it can reach the server’s court. The second the paddle hits the ping pong ball, the handle and the ball both must be behind the end line of the court of the server.
- As soon as the ball when served is hit by the opponent and it bounces once and passes on top of the net and reaches the other side, that is the only way that shot can be counted as a good return to a good serve.
- When a player fails to make a good serve, a point is awarded to the opponent.
- If the player fails to make a good return of a good serve, a point is awarded to the opponent.
- If the player, the racquet, or anything that the player wears or carries touches the net or its supports while the ball is in play, the opponent is awarded a point.
- When the ball comes in contact with the player to which the ball has been served and it cleanly passes by without touching any part of the player or their clothes, they player who hits the ball gets the point.
- A point is scored by the player who makes the last successful return before the end of one rally.
- An unsuccessful return is when the ball is missed, is hit off the table when the ball hits the net or hits their own side of the table.
- Ball in play referred to when the ball is in mid-air – that means from the time the ball has been served until it has been received.
These basic ping pong rules for 21 point game should be kept in mind if you want a career in ping pong, or just if you consider yourself a ping-pong enthusiast.