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Beginner's Guide to Table Tennis / Ping-Pong


Welcome to the sport of table tennis (or ping-pong, as it is known in recreational circles)! This Beginner's Guide to Table Tennis / Ping-Pong has been put together especially for you. I'll walk you through the fundamentals of table tennis, and help you improve your game as you move towards becoming an advanced ping-pong player. Along the way you'll learn how to make the most of your potential, and how to avoid making those mistakes that can slow down your progress.
  1. Introduction to Table Tennis / Ping-Pong
  2. Grip Types
  3. Playing Styles
  4. Equipment for Beginners
  5. Rules / Laws
  1. Spin - What You Need to Know
  2. How to Play the Basic Strokes
  3. Training
  4. Competition Advice
  5. Videos / Photo Gallery

Introduction to Table Tennis / Ping-Pong

Table Tennis Equipment

What's the point(!) of table tennis? Find out the answer to that question, and discover the origins of the sport. Learn how to stay injury free, and read some other light-hearted articles about ping-pong and the people who play it.

Grip Types

Photo of Shakehands Shallow Grip

There are a number of grips used by table tennis players, with the main two grips being the shakehand grip and the penhold grip. There are also a number of minor grips in use around the world. Find out more about all the ping-pong grips, and which grip is recommended for you.

Playing Styles

Photo of Cheng Yinghua

There are as many ways to play table tennis as there are players, and no 'right' or 'wrong' way, but most table tennis styles can be classified into one of ten main categories. Learn more about the different ping-pong styles used in today's modern game, and find out which category you belong to.

Equipment for Beginners

Photo of Table Tennis Bag and Bats

Once you have decided that table tennis is the sport for you, the next thing you need to do is to find the right equipment. It's easy to spend more money than you need, or buy substandard equipment. I've got advice to help you find the sweet spot when it comes to what you need to purchase to play good ping-pong.

Rules / Laws

ITTF logo

Read the official ITTF table tennis rules and laws, get explanations of the most important rules, and get answers to your ping-pong rules questions from a qualified table tennis umpire - me!

Spin - What You Need to Know

Diagram of how to spin a table tennis ball

Spin is the magic ingredient of table tennis, the x-factor that separates it from every other racket sport on the planet. In order to become an advanced player, you must master the secrets of spin, and learn to use them at will against your opponents.

How to Play the Basic Strokes

Photo of Kyle Davis

In order to become an advanced player and use advanced techniques, you must first learn the basics. Without a solid foundation in the fundamental strokes of ping-pong, you will struggle to use the advanced techniques of modern table tennis successfully.


Photo of Mark Smith Coaching Session

In order to improve your ping-pong game as quickly as possible, you need to put in the hard work at the practice table. But what exactly is quality training, and how much of it do you need? I've answered these questions and more to help you get the most out of your table tennis training.

Competition Advice

Photo of Simon Gerada

Table tennis is always fun, but it's even more fun when you win! And it's even OK to lose if you have played your best. But how do you avoid playing badly? I've got some tips to help you bring your best ping-pong to the competition table.

Videos / Photo Gallery

Videocamera for table tennis / ping-pong

Look and learn from this collection of table tennis videos and action photographs of ping-pong players.

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