Ping Pong Terminology
The Basic Terms and Terminology in the Game of Ping Pong
A type of bat rubber that prevents spin and absorbs speed with the effect of returning a ‘dead’ ball.
A stroke played across the front of the body with the back of the hand facing forward.
Spin applied to the ball where if hit with a normal racket position by an opponent the ball would not return back over the net.
A defensive shot played against loops and smashes aimed at keeping the ball on the table.
A defensive shot played with backspin.
A racket angle where the top of the ball is struck.
A return shot played without any spin.
A game played with two players on each side.
An offensive shot usually played in rallies, where the ball is struck at a medium pace.
A surprise offensive shot where the ball is hit so it just passes the net.
After a time limit of 10 minutes during a single point in tournament play the receiver automatically wins the point (provided he/she has successfully returned the ball 13 times in a row).
A shot played to the side of the body with the palm of the hand facing forward.
International Table Tennis Federation
The international governing body for the sport of table tennis.
A bat rubber type with a smooth finish but which grips well. Also capable of producing a tremendous amount of spin. Also known as Pips-in.
A situation where the ball hits the net but still lands in the opponents half during a serve. A let results in play stopping and the serve being retaken without either player being awarded points.
A defensive shot, usually against high-sped shots, where the ball is returned high in the air.
A type of rubber with a surface consisting of long pimples, which results in unpredictable spin.
An offensive shot with topspin.
Usually played as the best of three or five games
A serve played where the second bounce occurs near the edge of the table at the opponent’s end.
A racket angle where the bottom of the ball is struck.
A grip where the bat is held vertically like a pen.
A bat rubber type with a smooth finish but which grips well. Also capable of producing a tremendous amount of spin. Also known as Inverted rubber.
A bat rubber type consisting of many small pimples, which produces high levels of speed and control but little spin.
A defensive shot played against backspin shots.
A type of bat grip named after 5-time US champion Dan Seemiller.
The opening shot of a point where the server plays a shot after tossing the ball in the air.
One game to 21 points in a match.
A grip where the bat is held with the middle, ring and little finger wrapped around the handle.
A serve that would (potentially) bounce twice on the opponent’s half of the table. Can be very difficult to return.
A type of spin that, when applied to the ball during a shot, curves the flight of the ball to either the left or right.
An informal scoring method often used in recreational play where the player wins a game at a score of 7-0 or 11-1
An offensive shot played at high speed.
A type of spin that causes the ball to bounce low and fast on the opponent’s half of the table.