Ping Pong is a popular and ever-growing game in the U.S. and around the world, and many people enjoy setting up tournaments to play against their friends, rivals, and neighbors in fun but fierce challenges. Deciding to have a tournament requires some know-how and equipment for a successful event. If you have always wanted to set up a Ping Pong tournament, but are unsure of what that entails, here are a number of rules, equipment suggestions, and even some venue ideas for those who do not have a table at home. Whether you want to practice competing professionally, or just enjoy a lighthearted game with your friends, here is everything you need to know about setting up a Ping Pong tournament.
The basic beginner’s version of the rules varies slightly from the professional rules, but for a tournament you can essentially follow the same guidelines, or laws as they are called. Originally, you played until one side reached 21 points, but that has been reduced more recently to 11 to make the game more exciting.
Choose who is to serve first by flipping a coin; the winner may either choose his preferred side of the table, or to serve first. Once sides have been taken and the server picked you can begin the game.
When serving, the ball must hit the table once on the server’s side before hitting the opponent’s side at least once. If the ball bounces twice on the opponent’s side, the server gains a point. If the ball hits the net and goes over to the opponent’s side you must replay the serve. If, however, the ball hits the net and falls to the server’s side the opponent gains a point.
The person who serves switches every two serves. Should both players reach ten points, serving switches off every point until there is a two-point lead, that is the winner.
The most obvious equipment necessary, whether for a tournament or just a friendly game, is a ping pong table, a net, a couple paddles and at least one ball. But for those who want to be prepared for grander things, you should have back up paddles for doubles play or incidents, extra balls for similar reasons, and a device for keeping track of players’ names and tallying scores. Organizing is a necessary component of organizing a tournament, so have plenty of paper and pens, or even better a whiteboard and pens, to create and alter brackets as required.
Understandably not every owns a Ping Pong table, but that should not stop you from enjoying the sport or hosting a table tennis tournament. Source your local Ping Pong clubs and speak with the managers. Chances are they already run tournaments that local amateurs can join, and if not they would probably appreciate the business that comes with one. Discuss with your friends and the club manager when the best date and time would be, probably on the weekend. Size of the tournament will be an important factor, so have a good idea of the number of players in advance.