ping pong rules 21 points adam bobrow adriana diaz table tennis

What Happens If You Hit The Table In Table Tennis?

Table tennis is exciting, especially when you watch the pros do their thing. However, there are many rules around the sport that some people don’t know and never heard about. Maybe you are wondering what happens if you hit the table in table tennis.

When a player hits the table tennis table with the bat, there are no consequences, and the game continues. The only reason why hitting the table with the bat will be an issue is if the player moves the table because of it, thus rewarding the opponent a point only on the umpire’s call.

It could be confusing if this rule applies all the time, only during play or at certain times. Some clarity might explain other parts of hitting the table in table tennis better so you can apply these rules on vacation when you play against your family.

Touching The Table With Your Bat In Table Tennis

Some people get confused and might think that the bat hitting the table scores the opponent a point, but this is not the case. While you are in play, and you hit the table with your bat, but the ball is perfectly projected to the opponent, the game goes on.

The game continues when a player is serving and hits the table with the bat, but the opponent receives it. If you touch the net, the bat hits the table, but the ball goes over to the other side’s opposite block, it is a let shot, and the player gets a second serve opportunity.

When Does Hitting The Table Tennis Table With The Bat Count?

There is only one way to touch or hit the table with your bat in table tennis, which will give your opponent a point. When you move the playing surface, the table, when hitting the bat against it, the other player will get the point no matter what happens after the table is moved.

This rule, however, doesn’t only count when moving the surface with your bat but with any means during play. For example, some players come in with momentum to hit the ball and bump the table with their bodies, arms, or bat.

The umpire has the final say, and the table should be visibly moved. It counts if the table moves and can be seen with the eye. Thus, even if you think you or the opponent moved the table, play table tennis on until the umpire makes a call. If he doesn’t, the play goes on.

What About Touching The Table With Your Hand During Play?

Touching the table with your hand has a whole other rule when it comes to the game of ligapro table tennis. Suppose your hand holding the bat hits the table; this does not count as a penalty because your hand is seen as part of the bat.

Some pros can switch hands during play, which will also change the working hand. For example, suppose the player has the bat in the left hand; the left hand is seen as the playing hand. If this hand touches or hits the table, there are no penalties unless he moves the table.

When the open hand, or the hand that doesn’t have a bat, touches or hits the table, it will lead to an instant penalty. When the game is in play, there is no way the loose hand may touch the table. Any body part may touch the table when in play, as long as the table doesn’t move. The only exception is when the free hand touches the table.

Whether you are serving, returning the ball, or smashing a winner, the opponent gets the point if the free hand touches the table.

head on air personality usc's table tennis club youtube channel

Why Do Table Tennis Players Touch The Table?

Table tennis players have this way of touching the side of the table sometimes or walking forward and touching the table close to the net. Again, there is no apparent reason or rule linked to it. There are, however, a few reasons why they do this.

The first reason is to wipe their sweaty palms. Unfortunately, players do not always have access to their towels, and the concentration and stress might cause them to sweat a little extra. They wipe their hands on the table in front of the net, where the ball doesn’t come often. Using this area to wipe off excess sweat won’t compromise the game.

Some have started to do the table wipe as a ritual. Like Nadal’s ways in tennis before he serves, these table tennis and extreme ping pong players use this table wipe to stay in the zone, take a breather, and keep their concentration high.

Table tennis requires that you follow a small ball close to you, hitting it back and doing all this at a super speed. Most players would like to do anything to rewire and focus their eyes again. They do this by walking around to the side and touching or wiping the table.

Others might perform the infamous table touch to rewire their thoughts after they lost a point. Another reason might be to sneak in harsh eye contact with the opponent and force the opponent to take that breather, although they are on a roll. Breaking their momentum for that short bout might give the player a chance to win the next point.

Players will sometimes touch the edge of the table. Some do it as a ritual; others want to regain their position and ensure they are an adequate distance away from the table to receive a serve.

Lastly, some see the touch of the table tennis table between plays or after they win a point as good luck. All these touches are sometimes done with the bat, with no penalties applied.

None of these are against the rules, as the touching happens out of play. The surface may be moved outside of play, and players can jump on the table if they want; there will be no penalties outside of gameplay.


You may touch the table in table tennis with any part of your clothing, gear, or body, as long as it isn’t during a relay. If you do touch the table in play, ensure that you keep your free hand as far from it as possible, as this is the only part that will give your opponent a point for free.


Similar Posts