How to Play Competitive Ping Pong

Опубликовал Admin
26-12-2020, 16:30
Most people think that Forest Gump is the ultimate ping pong master. But the truth is that playing competitive ping pong requires more than just hitting the ball back. This article will help you master the sport.


  1. Get a good ping pong racket, one with some weight to it, a sponge (at least 1.5mm thick), a smooth rubber surface, and a comfortable grip.
  2. Get standard ping pong balls. These should be 40mm in diameter, not 38mm.
  3. Find people to practice with.
  4. Choose a racket gripping style. The two main gripping styles are the pen hold grip (holding like a pen) and the shake hand grip (holding like a gun without your finger on the trigger). The second style is more common and makes backhand skills easier to develop. When using the shake hand grip, press the index finger against the racket back and the thumb against the racket front. Lower your wrist so that the racket points in the same direction as your forearm. This helps produce better ball topspin. Hold your index finger and thumb nearer to the tip of the racket during forehand strokes for a more comfortable holding position. Lower your index finger during backhand strokes so that the ball doesn’t hit it, and put your thumb down for more comfortable holding. Keep your eye on the ball and use peripherals for gauging what kind of spin is put on it by your opponent.
  5. Practice the techniques listed in the Tips section.
  6. Learn the skills of better opponents and beat them!


  • The topspin. Top spins are really useful when the opponent serves/returns a low ball. Especially when it's lower than the table. It's also useful for converting an opponent's backspin ball or just to make the ball faster after it hits the table. To do the topspin, do not hit the bottom of the ball and then pull up. Always hit the ball with your racket facing down. The less it faces down, the higher the ball goes. When you hit the ball, pull the ball up to give it height and spin. If you are hitting the ball at the same height as or above the net, push the ball forward as you wipe your racket on top of it.
  • The simple forehand hit. Keep your arm to your side, and have a fist’s length between your elbow and ribs. Hold your forearm out so that it's parallel to the ground. The racket should face slightly down and the tip of the racket should point in the same direction as your forearm. To hit the ball, have your racket lead the hit (important). Push the racket forward and fold your forearm in. The racket should end up a foot in front of your nose, the tip of the racket and your forearm should be pointing up and tilted to the opposite side of your hitting hand. If you do it right, you'll find yourself doing an up-pulling motion that puts a slight up spin on the ball and curving it over the net. Do not raise your elbow; it should always point downwards (very important).
  • Serving. Throwing the ball upwards before serving is a rule. So work on that in the beginning. Hit the ball as it comes down. For pretty much every kind of serve, hitting the first bounce closer to your end of the table is more effective. Putting the balls close to the net on the second bounce is good if you have a strong backspin. Putting it closer to the edge is good for top spins, fast balls, balls that go straight at the opponent's body, and basically whatever balls that would be hard to return as a topspin or smash.
  • The simple backhand hit. Put your arm in the same position as in the beginning of the forehand hit. Don't move your elbow, and bring your racket in front of your stomach. The racket should face slightly downwards, and the tip of your racket should point in the same direction as the forearm. The hit is just a simple push out motion. Push out until your arm is straight, and you should find the forehand side of your racket facing up.
  • Stay on your toes, bend your knees and hips, but keep your back straight. This lower height makes you much quicker. Keep your arm in neutral position, where your elbow is a fist’s length away from your ribs, and stick your forearm forward.
  • One game has 3, 5, or 7 sets, with 11 points per set. Serves must be done behind the edge of the table, tossing the ball straight upwards, and hitting it to both you and your opponent's sides of the table. Serving changes every 2 serves. Touching or moving the table with your non-hitting hand gives your opponent a point.
  • Spins. Winning in competitive ping pong is all about spins. Different rubber provides different spins, and rare rubbers are sometimes very effective. To hit a spin shot, pull it in the direction you want it to spin towards. Develop as many different spins as possible that you can use in serves and rallies to confuse your opponent.
  • Always be offensive. Smash the ball earlier, change the direction earlier, and change the spin earlier.
  • Receiving spins. Very critical for ping pong, one simple rule to help you receive any kind of spin is to return the ball the opposite way it spins. This includes receiving topspin balls with topspin and backspin balls with backspin. If the opponent pulls the spin to their right, you pull it to your left, and vice versa. It sounds strange but it helps you return them easily. If you spin in the same direction the ball was spinning, you have to spin twice as fast to return it where you want.
  • The backspin. Backspin is useful for defending against fast balls, slowing down the pace of the game, and returning down spin balls coming at you. The technique is simply tilting the racket at least 45 degrees facing up, and pushing the racket straight forward to put a backspin on it.


  • Competitive ping pong isn’t easy to learn. Don't give up, keep practicing, follow the instructions strictly, and you will soon play fast, spinning ping pong like the professionals.
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