Doubles Ping Pong Rules

Table tennis as a social sport

If table tennis in general can be considered a social sport, then this is especially true for table tennis doubles. Only in few sports can so many people be intensively engaged in such a small space – and at home as well. On an area the size of a living room (a table tennis box goes into a tennis court about 10 times) 4 players or more play.

The couple of a table tennis doubles should have about the same playing strength, because if the difference in performance is too big, the game is not very enjoyable.

doubles table tennis

Tactical advices when playing doubles

First of all you have to realize that doubles requires real team spirit. Every action of the individual player must be aimed at sparing the partner difficulties with the backlash of the opponents. This already starts with the serve.

The basic rule is to serve short

A long serve can, if used from time to time, have a surprise effect on the opponent. But the own partner is also surprised, who is then faced with the unusual setback.

Serving player signals under the table

Double pairs, which are trained on each other, help each other with a trick: The serving partner signals his partner under the table surface with a finger signal, which serve he will use next. It goes without saying that a good doubles player must also be able to return serves briefly in order to prevent enemy attacks.

Left handed player in doubles

If the ball is in play when doubles, the most important thing is a sophisticated running technique. Couples in which one partner plays on the right and the other on the left undoubtedly have an advantage. One rarely gets in each other’s way because the right-handed person always moves to the left, the left-handed person to the right to let his partner take the next shot. However, this requires a certain position of the playing partners when serving and accepting the serve: The left-handed is always on the right side of his partner, slightly backwards, so as not to disturb him when receiving the ball or when serving.

Two right-handed players in doubles

If two right-handed players play together, they normally take up positions next to each other, and the same applies to couples where both partners are defenders.

Doubles Table Tennis Rules

In principle, there are almost no differences in terms of equipment, device and playing field for single and double play. However, you should always make sure that there is enough space around the tabletop, especially on the sides, for the doubles game.

The general Rules for Table Tennis also apply to doubles with the following deviations:

The Table tennis table in doubles

The playing surface is divided into two halves by a 3 mm wide white line parallel to the side lines and equidistant from both. This line is called the center line.

The center line divides the court of the serve into the right and left halves, as well as the court of the receiver into the right and left halves. Right and left in the court of the serve is seen from the serve, in the court of the returning player.

Serve According To The Rules

The serve is executed as usual but the ball must first bounce in the right half of the serve or on the white center line and then, after passing the net or around the net, touch the right half of the other side.

Order Of Shots in Doubles

The racket will first hit the ball properly and the receiver will hit it back properly. This ball is to be returned by the partner of the person serving, on the other side by the partner of the person returning. Then the server has to hit back, on the other side the receiver and so on until the rally is finished.

Choice Of Order In The Game

The pair that serves the first five serves determines which of the two players serves first. In the first set of a game, the opposing pair then also determines which of their two players is the first to serve. In the following sets, the pair serving determines the first serve.

Serving Order in Table Tennis Doubles

During each set, the first five serves are made by the player of the pair that has the right to serve. These five serves are returned by the player of the opposing pair.

The second 5 serves are made by the person returning the first 5 serves and are returned by the partner of the first server.

The third 5 serves are executed by the partner of the first 5 serve’s server partner and are hit back by the partner of the first 5 serve’s receiver.

This order is kept until the end of the set or until the score is 10:10 or until the change method is introduced.

From the score 10:10 or until the change method is introduced, the order of serve and return is not interrupted, but each player alternately serves only once until the end of the set.

In the last possible set of a game, the pair that returns must change their order of returns when changing sides (when 10 points are scored for the first time).