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A real low and short no-spin serve can give you some easy points in matches, as they are difficult to flip hard, and they require good timing to push hard. Mix it up with a heavy backspin in the same spot. Remember to get it short, the ball should bounce short on your side close to the net...

 Table tennis table size and specifications
One of the most important item of table tennis equipment is the table, where a bad table can produce abnormal, irregular or unpredictable bounces compared to a good table. Although at recreational level this may not be such an important issue or even noticeable, at competition and tournament level it must be ensured that the bounce is predictable and consistent, so that itís not only skill not luck involved in winning points.

The basic size and height of a competition level table tennis table is pictured right.

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) tests and approves tables, thus setting a standard for sporting quality and safety during international competitions. Full details of the procedure for applying for or renewing ITTF approval of tables is contained in ITTF Technical Leaflet T1, available to Associations and manufacturers from the ITTF Web-Site. The latest list of ITTF Approved tables can also be obtained from the ITTF website.

 The Laws of table tennis relating to the table are:
2.1 The Table
2.1.1 The upper surface of the table, known as the playing surface, shall be rectangular, 2.74 m long and 1.525 m wide, and shall lie in a horizontal plane 76 cm above the floor.
2.1.2 The playing surface shall not include the vertical sides of the tabletop.
2.1.3 The playing surface may be of any material and shall yield a uniform bounce of about 23 cm when a standard ball is dropped on to it from a height of 30 cm.
2.1.4 The playing surface shall be uniformly dark coloured and matt, but with a white side line, 2 cm wide, along each 2.74 m edge and a white end line, 2 cm wide, along each 1.525 m edge.
2.1.5 The playing surface shall be divided into 2 equal courts by a vertical net running parallel with the end lines, and shall be continuous over the whole area of each court.
2.1.6 For doubles, each court shall be divided into 2 equal half-courts by a white center line, 3 mm wide, running parallel with the side lines; the center line shall be regarded as part of the each right half-court.
3.2.1.2 ... the equipment Ö shall be selected from brands and types currently approved by the ITTF.
3.2.4.2 Fluorescent or luminescent colours shall not be used anywhere in the playing area.
3.2.4.6 Advertisements on tables:
There may be 1 temporary advertisement on each half of each side of the tabletop and 1 on each end, clearly separated from any permanent advertisements and each contained within a total length of 60 cm; they shall not be for other table tennis equipment suppliers.

 

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The main criteria for manufacturer to get a table tennis table ITTF approved, are summarised below. For more details see the ITTF technical leaflet.

4.1. Name of the table
Each table must have a specific name that distinguishes it from any other tables.

4.2. General appearance of the table
The table must look professional suitable for top level competition, with no irregularities or flaws. A table that for some reason looks home-made, flimsy or cheap, regardless of the playing qualities of the tabletop, will not be given approval.

4.3. Material of the playing board
For an ITTF approved table, only wood or wooden derivates may be used for the playing board, and the ITTF therefore approves only wood or its derivates.

4.4. Overall table dimensions
The length (l1) must be within 5 mm of 2.740 m, and the width (b1) and height (h1) must be within 3 mm of 1.525 m and 0,760 m, respectively.

4.5. Net attachment area
If the edges of the table are reinforced, the battening must be cut away where the net posts are to be attached. The free space between the battening on the two halves of the table should be at least 70 mm wide, and it should extend under the table at least 100 mm.

4.6. Flatness of the tabletop
The playing surface must not be warped.

4.7. Surface colour, finish and lines of the playing surface
An approved table must be green or blue, of any degree of darkness having a Y-value under illuminant D65 of not more than 30% (CIE system). 

The finish must be uniform over the entire surface; it must therefore be applied in some uniform manner such as spraying or roller coating; brush marks are unacceptable. The finish will also be unacceptable if, regardless of the measured degree of gloss, it permits the shape of a light-source to be distinguished in its reflection.
The finishes may not transfer surface pigment to the ball. This causes concern to players, spectators and TV crews. 

In addition to the principal finish, the playing surface must be marked with white lines.
These comprise a 20 mm wide (b6) line round the perimeter of the playing surface to ensure that its limits are clearly visible, and a 3 mm wide (b7) line, parallel to the sidelines, dividing each end of the table into two half-courts. The tolerance on width of all lines is plus or minus 1 mm; there may be a gap (l8) of up to 10 mm between the center line and the end line and a gap (l7) of up to 50 mm between the centerline and the net. The difference in level of all lines should not be detectable by the fingers, and in no case should it be measurable.

4.8. Friction of the playing surface
The dynamic CoF between the playing surface and that of any ITTF-approved ball should not be greater than 0.6. The CoF should be essentially the same regardless of the direction in which it is measured.

4.9. Bounce on the playing surface
Both speed and spin of a ball are affected by the resilience of the playing surface and other properties that together define the bounce. This is measured by dropping an approved ball of average bounce on to the table; from a height of 300 mm, measured between the playing surface and the bottom of the ball, the ball must rebound to a height of 230-260 mm. A table will not be approved unless the bounce is legal and uniform (see below) over the entire playing surface.

4.10. Advertisements and markings on the table
A logo shall be visible in an area of at least 25 sq cm that may be located on the frame of the tabletop or on the undercarriage.
Advertisements on tables are allowed only on the sides and ends of the tabletop and each shall be not longer than 60 cm on any face. On each face, a continuous length of 70 cm shall be free, i.e. without any permanent marking, so that temporary advertisements can be affixed. The organising authority of a competition may grant permission for additional, but not other table supplierís, temporary advertisements, one on each half of a side and one on each end, clearly separated from the permanent advertisements.
The undercarriage may carry the ITTF-logo but shall not carry any advertisement.

4.11. Height adjustments on the undercarriage
Tables of type (I) do not need height-adjustment devices because of their rigid structure.
Tables of type (II) to (IV) shall have height-adjustment devices at least at the bottom of their end feet, but preferably also under their net ends. All of these should be easy and safe to handle, to adjust and to fix. A desirable feature permits lifting the table from the wheels on to non-rolling feet, which should be large enough to avoid indenting a sports floor.

4.12. Colour of the undercarriage
The undercarriage should not be white or fluorescent; its finish must not reflect light upwards, so that the players and the spectators are not dazzled.

 

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Table tennis table sizes and specifications Table tennis conversion tops
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