Ping Pong Terminology

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The Basic Terms and Terminology in the Game of Ping Pong (Table Tennis)

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Anti-spin

a rubber type that deactivates spin and speed, returning a dead" ball"

Backhand

a stroke done directly in front of the body, with the racket turned so that the back of the hand faces the opponent

Backspin

a type of spin where, if struck with a normal racket position, the ball would not make it over the net

Block

a defensive shot done mostly against loops and smashes, where the racket is in a closed position to keep the ball on the table

Chop

a defensive shot that carries a tremendous amount of backspin

Closed

a racket angle that allows the top of the ball to be struck

Dead ball

a ball returned without any spin. Very difficult to execute, read, and return

Doubles

a format in table tennis where two people play on each side and must alternate turns at striking the ball

Drive

an offensive shot used mostly as a setup or in rallies, where the racket is in a normal position and the ball is struck at a medium pace

Drop shot

a surprise shot where the ball is placed precisely near the net

Expedite rule

after a time limit(about 10 minutes) has expired during a single point, the receiver automatically wins the point if he/she returns the ball successfully 13 times in a row. This forces the server to change his rallying tactics.

Forehand

a stroke done to the right-front (for right-handers) of the body, with the racket in a normal position (palm of hand facing opponent)

International Table Tennis Federation

the international governing body for the sport of table tennis

Let

a stoppage of play as a result of a serve hitting the net or interference from outside the playing court

Lob

a defensive shot used against high-speed balls, where the ball (usually with unpredictable spin) is returned very high in the air, causing difficulty in timing and technique

Long pips

a rubber type whose surface consists of fairly long pimples. Produces unpredictable spin.

Loop

an offensive shot that carries a tremendous amount of topspin

Match

a competition format with the winner winning best of five or best of seven games

Medium-long

a serve whose second bounce, given the opportunity, would bounce near the very end or just off the table. Difficult because the opponent cannot execute a good attacking stroke

Open

a racket angle that allows the bottom of the ball to be struck

Penhold

a grip where the racket is held exactly as it sounds, with the racket handle held straight up and down

Pips-in

a rubber type whose surface is smooth yet gripping. Produces much spin and in many cases better speed. Also known as inverted rubber

Pips-out

a rubber type whose surface consists of many tiny pimples. Produces much control and speed, but little spin

Push

a defensive shot used to successfully return backspin shots, where the racket is open to lift the backspin over the net

Receive

return of service, usually done tactically to set up an attack

Seemiller

a table tennis grip

Serve

the beginning of a point where one player strikes the ball after tossing it. Usually used tactically to set up a strong attack

Set

one game to 11 points in a match

Shakehands

a grip where the racket is held exactly as it sounds but with the middle, ring, and pinky fingers wrapped around the handle

Short

a serve that, given the opportunity, would bounce at least twice on the table. Difficult because the opponent cannot execute a good attacking stroke

Sidespin

a type of spin where, if struck with a normal racket position, the ball would travel either to the right or left without landing on the table

Skunk

an informal rule in table tennis that says that a player wins a game at a score of 7-0 or 11-1

Smash

an offensive, high-speed shot used against high balls, where the racket is in a normal position to generate the most speed possible. Also called a kill

Topspin

a type of spin where, if struck with a normal racket position, the ball would travel over the opposite side of the table without hitting the surface