How to Play Table Tennis – The Ultimate Guide

The game of table tennis is thought to have originated in Victorian England. It was viewed as a parlour game and only played amongst the upper class as a type of after dinner entertainment. There have been numerous suggestions that it was developed and played by British military officers in India in the 1860.

These days it is a game that anyone can play. It does not need a whole lot of outlay to start playing. It’s a fun game that you can play with friends and family in your own home or backyard! Not only is it fun but also a great way to get fit!

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Table of Contents

What is table tennis?

The easy way to describe the game of table tennis – also known as ping pong – is that it is a game of either two or four players who hit a very light, small ball across a net using a small short handled bat. The game is played on a table which is hard and has a net which divides it in two.

Apart from the first serve the rules are very simply that players must allow a ball which is bounced towards them to land on the table top one time before they strike the ball and return it to their opponents. After striking the ball back, it must bounce at least once on the other side of the table.

Points are scored when a player fails to return a ball within these limits.

Table tennis is a very fast game and demands quick reactions from both players. Techniques such as spinning the ball will alter the trajectory and therefore give the opponent less options to return it, thus giving the hitter a better advantage.

Starting Position

As the name suggests, this is the position used at the beginning of every stroke you play. It is a neutral position and every stroke can be played from it. It is therefore the starting point and is the perfect position to be in, to reach and play any other stroke.

How to: The position starts off with you having your feet in a fairly wide stance, your knees are bent and there is a slight forward lean. Make sure your eyes are level with the tape at the top of the net. You should be aware of the weight being on the balls of your feet instead of on your heels. It is because of this placement of weight that you will be able to spring forward quickly to hit the ball. Your racket should be in front of you and held straight so that you can use it for either a forehand or a backhand shot.

From here you will be able to see and anticipate the move your opponent is going to make. You will also be able to pre emt some of his shots because you are in the perfect position to see him. This is the very first position you should master as it is possibly the most important one. All your future moves will stem from here. It is worth spending some time developing muscle memory to ensure that you get this stance right every time.

Four Racket Grip Techniques

To improve at any sport, it is important that you master certain things and the grip on your racket is one of them. The grip is exactly what it sounds like. There are similarities between holding a table tennis racket and regular tennis racket in that the action should remind you of shaking someone’s hand.

How to: the handle is held in the palm of your hand and the head of the bat then fits snugly into the ‘V’ shape which is formed by the thumb and first finger. Your other fingers are then wrapped around the handle in a relaxed position. This will provide extra stability for you. The grip is one of the most fundamental skills which you must master before moving on to the other skills. There are no restrictions on how to grip your racket, although if you research this, you will find that over the years, two styles of grip have become popular and are recognised as the best for playing the game.

1. The Shakehand Grip

This grip is the oldest grip and possibly the most well used and recognised. Most Western players have adopted this as well as many Asian players.

How to: this is the same as holding a regular tennis racket. It is the classic style of shaking hands.
The handle is placed in the palm of your hand, while the head should fit snugly into a ‘V’ shape which is formed by thumb and forefinger. If you let your thumb and forefinger lie almost parallel with the straight edge of the rubber at the bat base you will feel that you have more control over the shot. The remaining fingers should then be loosely wrapped around the handle. This will also help to provide extra stability for the shot. Imagine that the bat is an extension of your forearm and hold firmly, but not tightly. Try to keep the grip constant during your game and or tighten or let it get slack.

Pros:

  • Easy to master, it feels very natural
  • More power in strokes, so is well suited for aggressive players
  • Has more control for both forehand and backhand shots
  • Bats for this grip are readily available

Cons:

  • The wrist is locked and this may inhibit the player’s adjustment to the opponent’s shots
  • The Crossover point is more difficult to play. It requires wrists to be very supple

2. Penhold Grip

There are some variations in this grip such as the traditional Chinese Grip, the Reverse Penhold Backhand Chinese Grip and the Japanese/Korean Grip.

How to: with this grip the racket is held in much the same way as you would hold a pen, with the thumb and forefinger. The rest of the fingers are then curled or perhaps spread on the other side.

The handle is a short version I the Chinese Grip and the three remaining fingers rest against the other side. Japanese bats have a slightly raised handle and this is called a hook. You must place the index finger around the hook for extra motion.

This type of bat usually only has one side covered with rubber fabric and this is what makes them somewhat lighter than Shakehand bats. The other side is still subject to paddle rules so it is usually painted either red, black or even covered with coloured paper.

Pros:

  • This style allows the wrist to move more freely
  • Returns are made quicker as the wrist is more flexible
  • There is no crossover point because the same side is used to return all shots
  • Psychological advantage as most players are unfamiliar with the style and are somewhat put off

Cons:

  • Tends to make a weak back hand shot
  • Less power in the grip

Other grips
There are some lesser known grips which you may come across, and over the last few years they have gained in popularity and success.

3. Seemiller grip

Another pet name for this grip is the ‘windshield wiper’ grip. Developed in the 1070s by a former American champion named Dan Semiller, this grip is very similar to the Shakehand grip. It does however, add a 90 degree turn which means that the thumb and the forefinger are both used to grip the side of the racket. This grip lends itself to a good wrist movement on the forehand shot, thus giving a very aggressive top spin. It is also very successful in blocking on both sides. Players who have mastered this grip achieve a tremendous snap on the forehand shot. They must hit the backhand shot with the same side of the bat because he grip does not make it easy to hit traditional shots of backhand.

4. ‘V’ grip

If you were to make a ‘V’ for victory sign with forefinger and middle finger and thn place these two fingers on the bat, and resting the other fingers under and on top of the handle, then you will have this grip. It was developed in China and the blade has to be modified to grip properly. This grip produces more spin and leverage. The down side is that it is less flexible when returning shots towards the opponents’ elbow.

Basic strokes

As with all sports, it is vitally important to master the basic techniques. These are the foundations that the rest of the game is built on. While it may be possible to correct bad form later on, it is far easier to start off with the correct shot so as to eliminate major technical problems later in your table tennis career. There are really only four basic table tennis strokes, everything stems from these four shots and it is a good idea to strive to perfect them right at the very beginning. This is essential if you are going to move onto complicated adaptations of them.

1. Forehand drive

This shot is the one that you will use the most often in your game. Once you have mastered the shot you will find that it is the one that you will use the most often in your game. It is the foundation shot for more advanced adaptations such as the block and the loop so it is important to develop a strong shot which you can play repeatedly.

This shot is called an attacking shot and is played with a small amount of topspin. It is a drive shot and is fairly aggressive. This shot cannot be played off a short ball shot and if you were to play a backhand drive off a ball with backspin it would end up in the net.

It is usually played from the forehand side but may also be used against balls that come to them in the middle. You may see advanced players sometimes move to play a forehand drive from a backhand side if they can see the ball soon enough!

2. Backhand drive

This shot is usually the second shot that a beginner is taught. This is the shot that will allow you to control rallies and return opponents attacks. Should you fail to learn this shot in the early days, you will find that it becomes much harder later on in your games when you need to block with a backhand or even return an aggressive topspin shot.

This drive is actually easier than the forehand drive, most likely because it does not need any body rotation and weight transference that is needed with the forehand drive. Also true is that it is often under practised as most players prefer to work on their forehand drive. Therefore, many beginners cannot play a successful backhand drive.

The backhand drive is called an attacking shot and is played with a small amount of backspin. Think of it as a drive and not a topspin shot. It is relatively aggressive. You would take this shot against any long or medium length topspin balls, and even against a float ball.

This shot is usually encouraged from the backhand side instead of the forehand otherwise this tends to lead to forming a bad technique.

3. Forehand push

This is the third basic table tennis shot and it is usually thought of as the most difficult of the four shots to master. It is actually classed as a defensive shot than the drive. The aim of this shot is to play down the back and the underneath of the ball to create backspin.

Further adaptations of this shot are the ‘dig and chop’, which is based on the technique of the forehand push.

There is a certain amount of hip rotation with this shot, also some torso and shoulder movement. In the beginning it may feel quite unnatural to play it but if you stick with it and master it, you will find it has a myriad of advantages to it.

4. Backhand push

This shot is the easiest shot to perfect, and it is also the easiest to learn. Any type of push is actually more of a defensive shot than a drive and you should be thinking of playing it down the back and underneath the ball which will create some backspin. This will make it more difficult for your opponent to attack the ball.

You will find that once you have mastered this shot it becomes the foundation for the ‘dip and chop’. Having achieved a strong spin backhand push, you will be able to adapt it to a spin backhand serve.

This shot does not actually require any movement from the body, unlike the forehand shots. Really, all you need to do is keep behind the ball and use your arm to play this shot.

Basic serve shot
The official rule for a service shot is that you must have the ball in the flat of your hand. This is so that your opponent can actually see the ball and also so that you cannot put any spin on it. This is the only legal way to serve to start the game. You should master this technique if you do not want to be penalised often.

Many errors are caused when serving so try to stick to the easy, simple way of doing it. Basically you are hitting the ball over the net, on to the table on the other side and getting the game in progress. Do not lose points by trying fancy moves which may get you into trouble.

A good table tennis player will plane the strategy and use their own strengths, while taking advantages of an opponent’s weaknesses.

  • Against a Shakehand grip you should aim to the backhand side of the bat itself
  • Against a penholder grip you should aim to the backhand side
  • Opponent too close to the table you might make a deep topspin
  • Opponent too far from the table or if they are short in stature, you may do a short serve

To serve the ball to your opponent, you should – without having the ball bounce – throw it up and hit it with your bat. You must make it bounce before the net and over the net on the other side.

Once you have served the ball to your opponent, you then wait for his return ball. The advantage is yours now in that you know he spin and speed of your serve. Your opponent is therefore at a disadvantage. You should aim to keep your advantage and win the point.
Winning is not all about hitting the ball hard or soft, but about exploiting the advantage you have in your serve. Your opponent will tire quicker and then make more mistakes.

Sometimes you will get to play against an opponent who is clearly playing ’emotionally’. In this instance, he will eventually defeat himself but smashing the ball aggressively when a gentler shot would have won the point. The very best plan of action you can have is the one that helps you to win. Smashing the ball at you may make your opponent feel better but that’s as far as it will go. Table tennis is not only a physical game but a mental one. Sometimes the mental attitude is more important that the physical brute force of an emotional player.

As your game improves you will be able to master variations of shots and include spins and speed shots. A side spin will cause the ball to go in a completely different direction so it is worth practising these shots so that you know where your shot will end up! Top spin and under spin will make the ball go longer or shorter and add a vertical element to your services.

A topspin serve is a good idea against an opponent who plays too close to the table. It has a tendency to overshoot the table and will force an opponent backwards. It is quite normal to have to play shots from the back edge of the table and even some that clip the edges.

A bottom spin shot is handy when your opponent has chosen a receiving position quite far from the table. You may well shoot an ace here and even if you do not, it will bring him closer to return the shot and he will find himself in an awkward position.

It’s a very true saying that ‘practice makes perfect’ and to this extent you should keep trying and practising your serves – and every variation of them that you can. Practice serving to different parts of the table along with short and long shots, and you will keep that advantage!

Use different speeds when serving and also try some different rhythms. One variation on the rhythm is to serve as soon as you possibly can. It is still within the legal framework, but you will catch your opponent off guard and may score an ace or two this way. Generally, it is not a good idea to keep doing this, it is better to stick to a good solid game, although it is a quick way to hit a winner!

When you practice your serving it is a really good idea to have a target to aim for. You may place a coin on the table and aim to land on it, or as close as possible to it over and over again.

Take a closer look at some of the world class player and you will notice that when they serve, they tend to disguise the shot by turning their bodies sideways. The ball may be tossed higher for greater speed, and mostly they play a really fast game.

Scoring

When you are playing for fun and with a bunch of friends and family in your dining room or backyard, then you may score any which way you choose! You can make up your own rules and play any way you please.

Competitions, however are a whole different kettle of fish and you will find that there are many rules and regulations involved with them. Table tennis scoring in competitions always follows the ITTF rules and regulations, so it is very important that you are familiar with this method. This is not only useful to know your own score but sooner or later you will be asked to umpire a game and you need to know how to score. It is also not unusual in some matches to have no umpire and for the players to score themselves, so you can appreciate how important this is!

Before you start the game make sure you have a score sheet and a pencil. Failing this at least a piece of paper to write the scores down as each game finishes. Never wait until the end to write them down as you will have forgotten them.

Check whether your match is going to be the best of 5 or 7 games. These are the most frequently used game numbers although you can play any odd number of games.

You must do a coin toss to decide who serves first and at which end they will be starting. Make a note on your score sheet of who starts and the choice of side.

The start of the game has both players on 0-0 and the server will serve first. Each player then serves for two points and then it is the turn of the other player to serve for two points. Players may not choose to give a serve away and receive all the time.

Your serve must follow the rules and touch your side of the table, bounce over the net and tough the other side.

A let serve is when the ball (which has first touched your side of the table) touches any part of the nest assembly and then bounces over onto the other side. This serve must be replayed. By the server and here are no limits to how many times you can have a let shot in a row.

During a doubles game, the server must serve to the opposite corner of the table. The ball will therefore first bounce in your corner, clear the net and bounce in the opposite corner where that player will receive it. He will then hit the ball back over the net, making sure that it bounces on your side of the net. If it does not, then you win the point. Having received the opponent’s ball, you then hit it back again to bounce fort on his side and so on. Play continues until one player cannot return the ball legally and the other player wins the point.

In doubles games the players must take it in turns to hit the ball. If a player hits out of turn his team loses that point.
On winning a point, it is added to the score. The game is won when one player or one team reach 11 points first, with a lead of at least 2 points. Should both teams or players find themselves on 10 points each, the game continues until someone or team has reached 2 clear points ahead of the other.

On reaching 10 points aside, the players or teams will take the shots in turn to serve until the game is won. The score is always called out with the score of the server being the first number called.

In the last game of the match when the first player or team reaches a score of 5, they then change ends. In a doubles game they would also change the order of the receivers.

The winner is declared when one player or team has won more than half the maximum possible games. So in a match where 7 games are being played, the first player/team to reach 4 games will win because the other player/team cannot beat that score. The match is therefore over and the other games are not played.

After the game is over – and whether you have won or lost – it is customary to shake the umpires hand an also your opponents hands and to thank them for the game. Be sincere when doing this, it shows not only a good winner but also a good loser and is a sign of respect.

You may be asked to return the ball to the umpire after the game and if so, you should do it. If not, you should put the ball back on the table resting against the net so that the next players can locate it to use.

Your final job is to check that the scores have been written down as they should be. You must also make a note of who the winner is. This is a good habit to get into whether you have an umpire or not, just to make sure that things are recorded correctly.

Analysing your opponent

There are a few basic styles of players and you would do well to look for these traits in an opponent as it will give you an insight into how the game will progress.
The styles you should learn to recognize are as follows:

  • Control: these players certainly do not like to take chances! They will attempt to get the ball on the table as often as they can rather than take a chance and smash a winning shot
  • Defensive: these guys will try to outlast you. They will do this by either avoiding their own mistakes or maybe provoking you into making unforced errors
  • Offensive: here you will find the aggressive players who use heaps of top spin. The actual style will vary from player to player. Sometimes they will focus on provoking you to make mistakes while others will outlast you by just being fiercely aggressive. The aggressive ones usually have very good control of the ball and excellent placement. They can normally perform impressive spins and are able to do this both on serves and returns
  • Power: these players will win points mostly through the speed and power with which they deliver their shots

Other styles of players

  • Choppers: you must be patient when playing against them. They will succeed because they have forced you to become impatient and make mistakes. Alternate your deep loops and short shots. You may find this is enough to throw him off long enough for you to get back in the game. Chopper like to use any variation of underspin, you should expect them to vary from light to very heavy underspins. You should try to work the chopper more down the middle than side to side because the sides are normally their strong shots. They often have problems with shots down the middle. Use a drop shot frequently especially to their forehand
  • Blockers: they are also defensive players, just like choppers. They will attempt to get into a rhythm and force you out of position. You need to break their rhythm by varying your own shots. One hard and deep, then one short will often work to put them off their stride. Again, you must be patient with them as they will try to use their power to win points. You should use a power shot now and then to trick the blocker into starting an attack because this is where they are at their weakest
  • Counterdrivers: here it is essential that you avoid topspin rallies because this is where they are strongest. You should think about using a heavy spin on underspin shots because they are most at ease with light spin shots. Watch their footwork, they may be lacking here and if so, play the middle of the table. If you can get them into a position where they must make a quick decision between forehand and backhand, you will most likely win the point. Using a selection of chops and pushes will slow the game down and give you the chance to rally for your position
  • Loopers: Watch out for the consistent looper! There is only one way to beat him and that is to fight aggression with aggression! Do everything you can to initiate the attack otherwise he will literally walk all over you. You have to put this player on the defence right away. Work in the middle of the table because they are weak there and try to keep the ball away from the sides which is where they are at their best
  • Penholders: The nature of the grip means that they will favour their forehands. The grip gives the forehand stroke a huge advantage. They usually have excellent footwork so getting them off balance is difficult. You need to work the backhand with them, and especially keep the ball out wide. You must learn to do this randomly so that they cannot predict your next move

Tactics You Should Know

Varying your shots: Most players like to have a comfort zone where they can predict your next shot. They thrive of being able to play returns consistently. If you do this, they will take advantage of your shots and adjust their game to take advantage of this and begin to control the pace of the game.

You should therefore learn to vary your shots. By doing this, you will prevent them from anticipating and returning them. In effect you will be ‘keeping them on their toes’ and this will force them to make errors. Because they will be forced to return to the neutral spot they will be less able to setup for aggressive shots.

When you vary our own shots, you force your opponent to adjust to different speeds and spins and also to different heights of the ball. This way they must focus all the time and then run the risk of becoming more mentally tired than you are. They will need to react to shots instead of initiate them

Placing the ball: every player has an area that they are most comfortable hitting back from. This is sometimes called the ‘Power Zone’. This is where they would like you to place your ball every time. These zones are usually on the forehand side within arms-reach and closer to the body on the backhand. This then leaves zones open for you to exploit, namely a spot in the middle which favours the forehand, and two wide spots on each side of the table.

When you play your shot down the middle you force your opponent to make a split second decision which shot he must take. Sometimes this will result in a weaker shot. You will also find that it cuts down the angle of the shot. Wide shots will move your opponent away from the table and then out of reach for your short shot.

It is a really good idea to try in the very beginning to find the weak spot of your opponent and then to play it as often as you like interspersed with the other two zones he is not comfortable with. This will lead him to react quickly instead of in a controlled manner.

Warm up exercises and Table Tennis Drills

You will find that making a regular plan and a routine schedule for your table tennis training, will make the world of difference to your game. Assuming that you have a job and cannot live in the gym, you should aim to practice table tennis between 2 and 4 times a week and for 2 hours at a time. If you want to improve your game, then this is a realistic target to have.

Multi ball drill: here you will need a large bucket with about 100 balls. A box the size of a regular shoe box is perfect here. You will need to work with a partner who needs to feed you topspin and underspin balls to different areas. The feeder should first bounce the ball on your side of the net. This is a good drill to work on placement and speed. Choose a spot on the table and rapid fire off a number of shots at the point. The feeder should push the balls just faster that you are used to. Multi ball is extremely tiring both mentally and physically so it is best to do this for no longer than a minute or two at a time.

Physical training: it stands to reason that being in good shape will mean a better game for you. Certainly as you get tired your footwork will suffer. This will then lead to mistakes that you would not normally make. Being in good physical condition will help keep your footwork in the best condition to play the game.

You can improve your stamina by swimming, cycling or jumping rope. Rope jumping is an excellent way to start as it works the feet muscles which are needed for quick movements in table tennis. Aerobic conditioning will also improve your stamina and endurance.
Muscles which you will use primarily in table tennis are legs and abdominals so you should devise a routine that includes these areas.

Stretching
Stretching is the best way to prevent injury after a game. It is a good idea to stretch the muscles gently before you start and after you have finished your game. Being flexible, especially in your feet will reduce injuries. This sport demands a great deal of flexibility in your legs and feet. Try to incorporate a warm up and cool down stretch every game.

The very least you should do is to do a few minutes of jogging – perhaps running on the spot – or jumping rope. Follow this with a stretch where you work on neck, shoulders, back and legs. After your game you should spend some time doing a full body stretch. You should aim to hold the stretch for at least 20seconds, and pay attention to keeping still, not bouncing.

What are the benefits?

Because the game is played at such a fast rate it can be a great way to burn calories. It is a very fast paced sport, whether you are playing singles or doubles.

Playing improves hand-eye coordination: This is a great way to stimulate concentration and mental awareness. Older players will benefit from this as well as younger ones who will be able to sharpen their reflexes.

Develops mental ability: because things such as speed, spin and ball placement are so important in the sport, it has been proven that players become very highly skilled in not only solving puzzles but also creating them.

Improves reflexes: Most of the moves in the game are short, fast spurts and therefore both gross and fine muscle movements are improved. Table tennis is different from most other ball games because of these bursts of speed and recovery which in turn leads to fast twitch muscle development.

Gentle on the joints: If you are looking to improve core strength then this is a good way to do it. It is also very good is you have had knee surgery or back problems. This game will strengthen your muscles without putting extra pressure on those joints.
Burns up those calories: And don’t we just love that! A 150 pound person can burn up 270 calories just by playing table tennis for an hour! It is a fun and relatively easy way to burn them up!

It’s a social game: because both old and young can play this game, it becomes a means of improving communication and even building relationships. It is a great way to bond with other people who are also wanting to lose weight. Playing either at home with friends and family, or at a community centre with other people, it is a very social game. At home it will enable the family to spend more time together, and that’s always a good thing.

Keeps the brain sharp:  Alzheimers Weekly published an article  which states that there is a definite increase in motor skills from playing table tennis. There is also an increase in the flow of blood to the brain and the sport could possibly prevent dementia.

Improves balance: In this game you need to stay balanced and be able to change direction in an instant and in a rally you really need to be quick to move. The game improves balance dramatically. This is particularly important with older people.

Better coordination: The act of following the ball from the racket as it moves towards you will help to improve hand-eye coordination vastly in both young and old.

Stimulates other parts of the brain: The act of anticipating your opponent’s next move means that the frontal cortex of the brain is used. The exercise stimulates that part of the brain responsible for retaining long term facts and events.

How do I get started?

It is surprisingly easy to start this game. It is possibly one of the most accessible games around, whether you play it from a competitive point or from your dining room. Basically all you need is the table to start. Hey, even the net can be adapted from a row of books!

But seriously, if you want to start this fantastic game, there are some things you might want to invest in. Two rackets (also called bats, sometimes paddles), a ball, a table and a playing partner! There are really no excuses for not starting!

What do I wear?

The deciding factor here is how professionally you intend to play the game. The general idea is that the clothing you wear should be comfortable and not get in the way of either bat, ball or feet. The way you dress when playing recreationally will be entirely different from a professional player, so we will start with the recreational player.

Recreational player clothing: comfortable clothes are the best way to enjoy the game. You will find that tight clothing restricts your movement, and even very baggy clothes with interfere with the bat and ball. Long sleeved shorts are especially a nuisance as they can stop your action by just getting in the way of things. Too much jewellery can also cause a problem, as well as distract your partner.

Club player clothing: It is best not to wear t-shirts here with big, bold writing on the front. Save this for your own dining room activities. Not only is it off putting to your partner, but if he chooses to wear similar, it will be off putting to you. So respect the other guy and wear plain t-shirts. Offensive outfits are just not suited to this game, especially in public places. Best to save them for elsewhere.

Professional player clothing: here you should check the rules to see what is appropriate. It may be that all team members should wear the same colour t-shits and bottoms. You should adhere to this as otherwise the team may be disqualified.

In the USA Table Tennis Rulebook you will find a section which covers everything about clothing. The dress code for professional games is far stricter than at club level. You will find that you must wear a short sleeved shirt. Long pants may not be permitted without permission from a referee. Men are required to wear shorts and women wear shorts or skirts.

Clothing must be a different colour from the ball so that your opponent can see the ball easily. It is a good idea to select clothing which is different from your opponents so that the spectators can see the different players. When playing in a doubles match, you and your partner should agree on a colour scheme together.

All about shoes

The basic rule when choosing shoes for table tennis is that they must be comfortable while still protecting your toes from any injury. You will feel better able to play the game in a pair of sneakers instead of sandals – keep your sandals for other occasions. If you value your toes and toenails, then you should spend some time on this important aspect of clothing. The correct footwear is vitally important if you are serious about the game. There are many different types of table tennis shoes available and the prices vary along with the designs. You can in fact get away with playing in any pair of trainers but you should consider that table tennis shoes have been designed with the game in mind, and as such will provide additional support along with being able to benefit your lateral movement.

It is up to you whether you decide to go for a ‘bargain bin’ pair of whether you decide to go for the top of the range shoes. You will, however, find that there are dozens of shoes in the mid-range which may suit your style of playing with an affordable price tag. It is very possible to buy a good, serviceable pair of shoes at around $30.

Expensive or cheap?

There is actually nothing wrong with most cheap shoes you find. Lots of players use them, with success. They do however, lack some of the features that make the more expensive shoes worth paying for. One thing you can look for is a shoe from the previous years’ models. Designs and styles really do not change that fast and you will get them at vastly reduced prices.

Expensive brands such as Butterfly can easily cost upwards of $100, so it is your choice if this is what you are prepared to pay.
Mizuno Wave Drive are one of the most well-known shoe brands and you will find that these are worn by many of the top Chinese players. This is a Japanese brand which also make shoes for many other sports, but the Wave Drive shoe is specifically created for table tennis. This design comes in either red or blue.

Products you might like

Mizuno Table Tennis Rackets : A good table tennis racket is an essential part of your game, and this racket certainly fulfils that! ITTF approved, it’s a 6ply light weight racket that packs a punch!

Mizuno Table Tennis Rack : these unisex table tennis shoes rate as best performance and price for any tournament. Comes in clean white with an attractive blue edging.

Table Tennis Guide Books: here’s a great book to keep you in the know on all table tennis tactics. It is filled with great pictures and clear illustrations along with a self test questionnaire.

Table Tennis Balls: here is a pack of three star yellow balls suitable for practise and beginners alike. Consistent bounce and great spin make them well worth getting your hands on!

Table Tennis Shirts: 100% cotton shirt which comes in navy, asphalt or black. This is a classic lightweight shirt which looks smart anywhere, not only while you play!

Conclusion
Whichever way you look at it, and whether you call it table tennis or ping pong, this game is here to stay! It’s a great way to entertain your friends and an even better way to meet people who also want to play the game. Whether you play in your backyard, at a local club, or aim to play professionally, this game will be suitable for you. Not only is it an excellent way to exercise, but it’s also a super way to get fit and stay active!

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