Table tennis follows very similar rules to the regular game of outdoor tennis, because it is just the smaller version of it. This means that the scoring system used in table tennis is fairly easy to follow, because just like in regular tennis, only one point can be scored by a single player at a time. A point is scored when the opposite player cannot return the ball back to the other side over the table's netting. The server must make the ball touch both his side of the table, and then bounce over the net and touch his opponent's side in order for the serve to count, and for a point to be earned if the ball is missed by the other player. In addition, the ball must land on top of the table and not on the side of the table.
Like most sports, the score begins at 0-0, and the designated server will begin in possession of the ball. Each player gets two serves before the ball possession will switch to the opposing player, and so forth until the game ends.
In the case of the ball touching the netting in the middle because of a player's serve, then a let serve will be called, and no point can be earned for that serve. If the ball contacts the net within a rally, but passes over to the other side, then the rally will continue. If the ball hits into the net and does not make it over, then their opponent will earn the point for that rally.
In order to win a full game of table tennis, an individual player must win the majority of the games played throughout the entire table tennis match. Each match consists of five games total, and therefore, the player that is able to win three games first will be named the winner of the entire series. To win a game, a player must earn a minimum of eleven points. However, this earning of a minimum of 11 points is not the only requirement needed to win the overall game. In table tennis 11 points is not enough to win the game.
In order to successfully win the game, the player must also have a two point advantage over their opponent when they have earned their eleventh point. This means that if the opponent of the player who has just earned their 11th point has 10 points, then the game isn't over. The game will then proceed to continue until one player has a two point lead. In this special case of a 10-10 tied game, each player will only serve once, alternating back and forth, instead of two times before alternating. Once a two point lead has been reached past the 11 point mark, the game will end, and a new game will begin until the match has been completed.
In table tennis, both the server and the defending player are able to score points. Although it tends to be easier for the server to earn the point because they are in possession of the ball, if their opponent is able to return the ball, a rally will begin and any player is capable of earning the point for that serve. Each individual player is given two consecutive serves, before the serving possession is changed. This continues throughout the game, until there is the special circumstance that the score becomes tied at 10-10, and then the possession of which player serves will alternate after each single serve.
In table tennis, players cannot lose points, meaning points that have been earned cannot be taken away from them. However, a point can be lost in the sense that for each serve one point is available to be earned by both players, and therefore if the player is unable to return the ball back over the net, or if the ball is hit and does not hit the table, then the opposing player will earn that 1 point.
Unlike other sports, no wearable equipment is required for table tennis. However, there are very specific requirements regarding the necessary pieces of equipment used. These pieces include the actual table tennis ball itself, a table tennis paddle, and an eligible table in which follows the specific competition requirements. For the ball, either a white or orange ball is acceptable, but it must be 40 mm in diameter. For the paddle used, each individual paddle should have both a black and red side to it. And lastly, the specific dimensions needed for a proper table tennis table are 2.74 meters in length, by 1.525 meters wide, and 0.76 meters high.