Ping Pong is for Recreation – Teach Table Tennis in Phys. Ed. [Video]

Table Tennis is an incredibly fun game, and can be a great way to teach eye-hand coordination, strategy and teamwork. The below videos make teaching table tennis easy by teaching your students how to play the correct way. The videos offer rules on how to serve and basic gameplay for singles and doubles.

Table Tennis

While there are many different types of serves in Table Tennis, there are some basic guidelines that you must follow. The serve must start with the ball resting freely in an open palm, and must be tossed up at least 6 inches before making contact with the paddle. The ball must always be visible to the opponent during the entire serve. In singles, a serve can go anywhere on the table. The centerline is there for doubles play. Watch the video above for a visual demonstration.

Table Tennis Gameplay


An official game of Table Tennis starts with a coin flip where players can elect to serve, return or decide which side of the table to start on. A match is played best of an odd number agreed upon ahead of time, either 3, 5, 7 or 9. Each game is played up to 11 points, win by two. Each player serves two points until one player scores 11 points and has won by 2. If the score is tied 10-10 then each server only serves one point until one of the players wins by 2. Watch the video above for more detail!

Table Tennis Doubles

In Doubles, all of the basic serving and gameplay rules apply, however, there are slight variations. A server must serve the ball diagonally to the opponent and if the ball does not clear the line, the ball is considered out and the point is lost. Lines are in. The ball is also always served on the right side of the table. After the serve, players must alternate hitting the ball. If a player hits the ball out of order, their team loses the point. Play continues until one team scores 11 points, win by two. Matches are played best of 3, 5, 7 or 9 games. Watch the video above for a visual explanation!

Teach your class the correct way to play Table Tennis! Gopher offers a wide selection of table tennis tables, paddles, and balls, including 12- and 24-player equipment packs, or build your own table with the AlterNet Table Tennis Barriers – a great option for playing table tennis anywhere! If you have any tips for teaching table tennis in physical education, please leave them in the comments below.

7 Responses

  1. This is a great resource to teach kids with the basics of table tennis. It’s important to start with the training as soon as possible and be able to let children know about the beauty of sportsmanship.

  2. If you really can’t afford a coach, or even if you can, another thing you can do is watch videotape, not only of yourself but of others. For yourself, watch how you play. See if you can spot any problem areas with your serves or returns. See if you can spot certain giveaway signs in your swing that might be tipping your opponent off as to what’s coming. See if you can spot any flaws in your serve or return. You may need someone to help you identify these, but if they’re glaring flaws they should jump right out at you.

  3. Table Tennis is an awesome game for all family members, I also play with my family members, thank you so much for your article about Table Tennis.

    -Mark

  4. It is a really great platform to learn about table tennis. The way you explain the things is really great. Table Tennis is my favorite game. I used to paly in college. Now play with my kids, oh how, fast life is… just like a ping pong ball.

  5. I think this video has the proper amount of detail for beginners. For those saying it’s too detailed, there’s no better time to be extra careful about your technique than when you’re just starting out in the game. I’d say to all the beginners out there, the left foot usually steps forward when playing a powerful put away shot and not for a controlled, repetitive forehand drive.

  6. Got to love Ping Pong, it’s one of the best indoor sports in my opinion. It doesn’t cost a lot to get started and it can be a great game once you’ve mastered the basics.

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