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Individual and Dual Sports


What is individual and dual sports?

In individual sports, a player competes without a partner, but in dual sports, a player has
two or more partners. The other kind of sport is team sport, where games are played by a group
of people against an opposing group. Individual sports are better than team sports because they
teach athletes how to become self-reliant. The outcomes of the athletes' respective sports relies
solely on them and not the successes or failures of others. Individual sports allows for athletes
to compete at the pace most comfortable to them. They also teach athletes to motivate
themselves and adapt to a direct focus targeted on them. The main difference between
individual sports and team sports is that in individual sports, athletes compete by themselves,
whereas in team sports, athletes compete cooperatively in a group of at least two people. By
their nature, individual and team sports emphasize different values.


10 examples of individual and dual sports.

1. Tennis
Tennis is a racquet sport that can be played individually against a single opponent
(singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a racquet that
is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into
the opponent's court. The object of the game is to play the ball in such a way that the opponent
is not able to play a good return. The opponent who is unable to return the ball will not gain a
point, while the opposite opponent will.
Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society and at all ages. The sport
can be played by anyone who can hold a racquet, including wheelchair users. The modern
game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as "lawn tennis".[1] It
had close connections both to various field ("lawn") games such as croquet and bowls as well
as to the older racquet sport of real tennis. During most of the 19th-century in fact, the term
"tennis" referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis: for example, in Disraeli's novel Sybil (1845),
Lord Eugene De Vere announces that he will "go down to Hampton Court and play tennis."[2]
The rules of tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from
1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, and the adoption of the
tie-break in the 1970s. A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of
electronic review technology coupled with a point challenge system, which allows a player to
contest the line call of a point.

2. Boxing
Boxing is a martial art and combat sport in which two people engage in a contest of
strength, speed, reflexes, endurance and will, by throwing punches at each other, usually with
gloved hands. Historically, the goals have been to weaken and knock down the opponent.
Amateur boxing is both an Olympic and Commonwealth sport and is a common fixture in most
international gamesit also has its own World Championships. Boxing is supervised by a

referee over a series of one- to three-minute intervals called rounds. The result is decided when
an opponent is deemed incapable to continue by a referee, is disqualified for breaking a rule,
resigns by throwing in a towel, or is pronounced the winner or loser based on the judges'
scorecards at the end of the contest. In the event that both fighters gain equal scores from the
judges, the fight is considered a draw. While people have fought in hand-to-hand combat since
before the dawn of history, the origin of boxing as an organized sport may be its acceptance by
the ancient Greeks as an Olympic game in BC 688. Boxing evolved from 16th- and 18th-century
prizefights, largely in Great Britain, to the forerunner of modern boxing in the mid-19th century,
again initially in Great Britain and later in the United States.

3. Car Racing
Auto racing (also known as car racing, motor racing or automobile racing) is a sport
involving the racing of automobiles for competition. The main aim of an individual event is to set
the fastest time in a set number of laps or time limit. The finishing order is determined by race
time, with the fastest time in first place, second-fastest in second place and so on. Any driver
failing to complete a race for any reason is deemed "retired", or, more commonly, "out". Retired
drivers will have their positions determined by the order in which those retired, with the first to
retire finishing last, the next second-last and so on. In most events, a driver's final race position
may be classified if he/she completes a certain amount of the race distance, usually just short of
completing the full race (for example, in Formula 1, a driver's race position is classified if he/she
completes 90% of the full race distance). There are numerous different categories of auto
racing, each with different rules and regulations, such as compulsory pit stops and car
regulations, for all cars and drivers to comply.

4. Ice Skating
Ice skating is moving on ice by using ice skates. It can be done for a variety of reasons,
including exercise, leisure, traveling, and various sports. Ice skating occurs both on specially
prepared indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water,
such as lakes and rivers. A study by Federico Formenti of the University of Oxford suggests that
the earliest ice skating happened in southern Finland more than 3,000 years ago.[1] Originally,
skates were merely sharpened, flattened bone strapped to the bottom of the foot. Skaters did
not actually skate on the ice, but rather glided on top of it. True skating emerged when a steel
blade with sharpened edges was used. Skates now cut into the ice instead of gliding on top of it.
Adding edges to ice skates was invented by the Dutch in the 13th or 14th century. These ice
skates were made of steel, with sharpened edges on the bottom to aid movement. The
construction of modern ice skates has stayed largely the same since then. In the Netherlands,
ice skating was considered proper for all classes of people, as shown in many pictures by the
Old Masters.

5. Track and Field

Track and field is a sport which combines various athletic contests based on the skills of
running, jumping, and throwing. The name is derived from the sport's typical venue: a stadium

with an oval running track enclosing a grass field where the throwing and jumping events take
place. The running events, which include sprints, middle and long-distance events, and hurdling,
are won by the athlete with the fastest time. The jumping and throwing events are won by the
athlete who achieves the greatest distance or height. Regular jumping events include long jump,
triple jump, high jump and pole vault, while the most common throwing events are shot put,
javelin, discus and hammer. There are also "combined events", such as heptathlon and
decathlon, in which athletes compete in a number of the above events. Most track and field
events are individual sports with a single victor, but a number are relay races. Events are almost
exclusively divided by gender, although both the men's and women's competitions are usually
held at the same venue.
Track and field is categorized under the umbrella sport of athletics, which also includes
road running, cross country running, and race walking. At the international level, the two most
prestigious international track and field competitions are athletics competition at the Olympic
Games and the IAAF World Championships in Athletics. The International Association of
Athletics Federations is the international governing body. Records are kept of the best
performances in specific events, at world and national levels, right down to a personal level.
However, if athletes are deemed to have violated the event's rules or regulations, they are
disqualified from the competition and their marks are erased. In North America, the term track
and field may be used to refer to other athletics events, such as the marathon, rather than
strictly track-based events.

6. Swimming
Swimming is a water based team or individual sport. Competitive swimming is one of the
most popular Olympic sports, with events in freestyle, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly.
Recreational swimming is a popular low-impact form of exercise. Competitive swimming
became popular in the nineteenth century. The goal of competitive swimming is to beat the
competitors in any given event. Swimming in competition should create the least resistance in
order to obtain maximum speed. However, some professional swimmers who do not hold a
national or world ranking are considered the best in regard to their technical skills. Typically, an
athlete goes through a cycle of training in which the body is overloaded with work in the
beginning and middle segments of the cycle, and then the workload is decreased in the final
stage as the swimmer approaches competition.
The practice of reducing exercise in the days just before an important competition is
called tapering. A final stage is often referred to as "shave and taper": the swimmer shaves off
all exposed hair for the sake of reducing drag and having a sleeker and more hydrodynamic feel
in the water. Swimming is an event at the Summer Olympic Games, where male and female
athletes compete in 16 of the recognized events each. Olympic events are held in a 50-meter
pool, called a long course pool. There are forty officially recognized individual swimming events
in the pool; however the International Olympic Committee only recognizes 32 of them. The
international governing body for competitive swimming is the Federation Internationale de
Natation ("International Swimming Federation"), better known as FINA.

7. Badminton
Badminton is a racquet sport played by either two opposing players (singles) or two
opposing pairs (doubles), who take positions on opposite halves of a rectangular court divided
by a net. Players score points by striking a shuttlecock with their racquet so that it passes over
the net and lands in their opponents' half of the court. Each side may only strike the shuttlecock
once before it passes over the net. A rally ends once the shuttlecock has struck the floor, or if a
fault has been called by either the umpire or service judge or, in their absence, the offending
player, at any time during the rally.
The shuttlecock is a feathered or (mainly in non-competitive matches) plastic projectile
whose unique aerodynamic properties cause it to fly differently from the balls used in most
racquet sports; in particular, the feathers create much higher drag, causing the shuttlecock to
decelerate more rapidly than a ball. Shuttlecocks have a much higher top speed, when
compared to other racquet sports. Because shuttlecock flight is affected by wind, competitive
badminton is played indoors. Badminton is also played outdoors as a casual recreational
activity, often as a garden or beach game.
Since 1992, badminton has been an Olympic sport with five competition/events: men's
and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles, in which each pair
consists of a man and a woman. At high levels of play, especially in singles, the sport demands
excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, explosive strength, speed and
precision. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of
sophisticated racquet movements.

8. Frisbee
A flying disc is a disc-shaped gliding toy or sporting item that is generally plastic and
roughly 20 to 25 centimeters (8 to 10 in) in diameter with a lip,[1] used recreationally and
competitively for throwing and catching, for example, in flying disc games. The shape of the
disc, an airfoil in cross-section, allows it to fly by generating lift as it moves through the air while
spinning. The term Frisbee, often used to generically describe all flying discs, is a registered
trademark of the Wham-O toy company. Though such use is not encouraged by the company,
the common use of the name as a generic term has put the trademark in jeopardy; accordingly,
many "Frisbee" games are now known as "disc" games, like ultimate disc or disc golf.
Flying discs are thrown and caught for free-form (freestyle) recreation and as part of
many flying disc games. A wide range of flying-disc variants are available commercially. Disc
golf discs are usually smaller but denser and tailored for particular flight profiles to
increase/decrease stability and distance. The longest recorded disc throw is by Simon Lizotte
with a distance of 263.2 meters. Disc dog sports use relatively slow flying discs made of more
pliable material to better resist a dog's bite and prevent injury to the dog. Flying rings are also
available; they typically travel significantly farther than any traditional flying disc. There are also
illuminated discs meant for nighttime play they are made of a phosphorescent plastic or
contain battery-powered light-emitting diodes. Others whistle when they reach a certain velocity
in flight.

Lift is generated in the same way as a traditional airfoil. The rotating flying disc has a
nearly vertical angular momentum vector, stabilizing its angle of attack via gyroscopic action. If
the disc were not spinning, it would crash to pitch. When the disc is spinning, however,
aerodynamic torque instead leads to precess about the spin axis, causing its trajectory to curve
to the left or the right. Most discs are designed to be aerodynamically stable so that this roll is
accurate for a fairly broad range of velocities and rates of spin. Many disc golf discs, however,
are intentionally designed to be unstable. Higher rates of spin lead to more stability, and, for a
given rate of spin, there is generally a range of velocities that are stable. Even a slight
deformation in a disc (called a "taco," which in extreme cases looks like a taco shell) can cause
negative effects when throwing long range. A disk can be checked for these deformations by
holding it horizontally at eye level and looking at the rim while slowly turning it.

9. Chess
Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard, a checkered game board
with 64 squares arranged in an eight-by-eight grid. It is one of the world's most popular games
[citation needed], played by millions of people worldwide in homes, urban parks, clubs, online,
correspondence, and in tournaments. In recent years, chess has become part of some school
curricula. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces: one king, one queen, two rooks, two
knights, two bishops, and eight pawns. Each of the six piece types moves differently. The
objective is to 'checkmate' the opponent's king by placing it under an inescapable threat of
capture. To this end, a player's pieces are used to attack and capture the opponent's pieces,
while supporting their own. In addition to checkmate, the game can be won by voluntary
resignation by the opponent, which typically occurs when too much material is lost, or if
checkmate appears unavoidable. A game may also result in a draw in several ways, where
neither player wins. The course of the game is divided into three phases: opening, middlegame,
and endgame.
Chess is played on a square board of eight rows (called ranks and denoted with numbers 1 to
8) and eight columns (called files and denoted with letters a to h) of squares. The colors of the
64 squares alternate and are referred to as "light" and "dark" squares. The chessboard is placed
with a light square at the right-hand end of the rank nearest to each player, and the pieces are
set out as shown in the diagram and photo, with each queen on a square of its own color. By
convention, the game pieces are divided into white and black sets, and the players are referred
to as "White" and "Black" respectively. Each player begins the game with 16 pieces of the
specified color, which consist of one king, one queen, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, and
eight pawns.

10. Ballet
Ballet is a type of performance dance that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of
the 15th century and later developed into a concert dance form in France and Russia. It has
since become a widespread, highly technical form of dance with its own vocabulary based on
French terminology. It has been globally influential and has defined the foundational techniques
used in many other dance genres. Ballet requires years of training to learn and master, and
much practice to retain proficiency. It has been taught in ballet schools around the world, which

have historically used their own cultures to evolve the art. Ballet may also refer to a ballet dance
work, which consists of the choreography and music for a ballet production. A well-known
example of this is The Nutcracker, a two-act ballet that was originally choreographed by Marius
Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a music score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Ballet dance works are
choreographed and performed by trained artists. Many classical ballet works are performed with
classical music accompaniment and are theatrical and use elaborate costumes and staging,
though there are exceptions to this, such as works by George Balanchine.
Stylistic variations have emerged and evolved since the Italian Renaissance. Early,
classical variations are primarily associated with geographic origin. Examples of this are
Russian ballet, French ballet, and Italian ballet. Later variations, such as contemporary ballet
and neoclassical ballet, incorporate both classical ballet and non-traditional technique and
movement. Perhaps the most widely known and performed ballet style is late Romantic ballet
(or Ballet Blanc), a classical style that focuses on female dancers and features pointe work,
flowing and precise movements, and often presents the female dancers in traditional, short
white tutus.

3. Table Tennis
Table tennis, also referred to as ping pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a
lightweight ball back and forth across a table using a small, round bat. The game takes place on
a hard table divided by a net. Except for the initial serve, players must allow a ball played toward
them only one bounce on their side of the table and must return it so that it bounces on the
opposite side. Points are scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules. Play is
fast and demands quick reactions. Spinning the ball alters its trajectory and limits an opponent's
options, giving the hitter a great advantage. When doing so the hitter has a better chance of
scoring if the spin is successful. Table tennis is governed by the worldwide organization
International Table Tennis Federation, founded in 1926. ITTF currently includes 220 member
associations. The table tennis official rules are specified in the ITTF handbook. Table tennis has
been an Olympic sport since 1988, with several event categories. In particular, from 1988 until
2004, these were: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles and women's doubles. Since
2008, a team event has been played instead of the doubles.

The sport originated in England during the 19th century, where it was played among the
upper-class as an after-dinner parlour game. It had several different names, including 'whiffwhaff', and it has been suggested that the game was first developed by British military officers in
India or South Africa, who brought it back with them. A row of books was stood up along the
center of the table as a net, two more books served as rackets and were used to continuously
hit a golf-ball. The name "ping-pong" was in wide use before British manufacturer J. Jaques &
Son Ltd trademarked it in 1901. The name "ping-pong" then came to be used for the game
played by the rather expensive Jaques's equipment, with other manufacturers calling it table
tennis. A similar situation arose in the United States, where Jaques sold the rights to the "ping-

pong" name to Parker Brothers. Parker Brothers then enforced their trademark for the term in
the 1920s making the various associations change their names to "table tennis" instead of the
more common, but trademarked, term.
The next major innovation was by James W. Gibb, a British enthusiast of table tennis,
who discovered novelty celluloid balls on a trip to the US in 1901 and found them to be ideal for
the game. This was followed by E.C. Goode who, in 1901, invented the modern version of the
racket by fixing a sheet of pimpled, or stippled, rubber to the wooden blade. Table tennis was
growing in popularity by 1901 to the extent that tournaments were being organized, books being
written on the subject, and an unofficial world championship was held in 1902. During the early
1900s, the game was banned in Russia because the rulers at the time believed that playing the
game had an adverse effect on players' eyesight.
In 1921, the Table Tennis Association was founded in Britain, and the International Table
Tennis Federation (ITTF) followed in 1926. London hosted the first official World Championships
in 1926. In 1933, the United States Table Tennis Association, now called USA Table Tennis, was
formed. In the 1930s, Edgar Snow commented in Red Star Over China that the Communist
forces in the Chinese Civil War had a "passion for the English game of table tennis" which he
found "bizarre". In the 1950s, rackets that used a rubber sheet combined with an underlying
sponge layer changed the game dramatically, introducing greater spin and speed. These were
introduced to Britain by sports goods manufacturer S.W. Hancock Ltd. The use of speed glue
increased the spin and speed even further, resulting in changes to the equipment to "slow the
game down". Table tennis was introduced as an Olympic sport at the Olympics in 1988.


Assortment of 40 mm table tennis balls

The international rules specify that the game is played with a sphere having a mass of
2.7 grams (0.095 oz) and a diameter of 40 millimetres (1.57 in) The rules say that the ball shall
bounce up 2426 cm (9.410.2 in) when dropped from a height of 30.5 cm (12.0 in) onto a
standard steel block thereby having a coefficient of restitution of 0.89 to 0.92. The ball is made
of plastic or similar plastic material, colored white or orange, with a matte finish. The choice of
ball color is made according to the table color and its surroundings. For example, a white ball is
easier to see on a green or blue table than it is on a grey table. Manufacturers often indicate the
quality of the ball with a star rating system, usually from one to three, three being the highest
grade. As this system is not standard across manufacturers, the only way a ball may be used in
official competition is upon ITTF approval (the ITTF approval can be seen printed on the ball).

The 40 mm ball was introduced after the 2000 Summer Olympics.[18] However, this created
some controversy at the time as the Chinese National Team argued that this was merely to give
non-Chinese players a better chance of winning since the new type of ball has a slower speed
(a 40 mm table tennis ball is slower and spins less than the original 38 mm one, and at that
time, most Chinese players were playing with fast attack and smashes). China won all four
Olympic gold medals and three silvers in 2000, and have continued to dominate.


Diagram of a table tennis table showing the official dimensions

The table is 2.74 m (9.0 ft) long, 1.525 m (5.0 ft) wide, and 76 cm (2.5 ft) high with any
continuous material so long as the table yields a uniform bounce of about 23 cm (9.1 in) when a
standard ball is dropped onto it from a height of 30 cm (11.8 in), or about 77%. The table or playing
surface is uniformly dark coloured and matte, divided into two halves by a net at 15.25 cm (6.0 in) in
height. The ITTF approves only wooden tables or their derivates. Concrete tables with a steel net or
a solid concrete partition are sometimes available in outside public spaces, such as parks.

Players are equipped with a laminated wooden racket covered with rubber on one or two
sides depending on the grip of the player. The ITTF uses the term "racket though "bat" is common in
Britain, and "paddle" in the U.S. The wooden portion of the racket, often referred to as the "blade",

commonly features anywhere between one and seven plies of wood, though cork, glass fiber, carbon
fiber, aluminum fiber, and Kevlar are sometimes used. According to the ITTF regulations, at least
85% of the blade by thickness shall be of natural wood.[27] Common wood types include balsa, limba,
and cypress or "hinoki," which is popular in Japan. The average size of the blade is about 6.5 inches
(17 cm) long and 6 inches (15 cm) wide. Although the official restrictions only focus on the flatness
and rigidness of the blade itself, these dimensions are optimal for most play styles.
Table tennis regulations allow different surfaces on each side of the racket. Various types of
surfaces provide various levels of spin or speed, and in some cases they nullify spin. For example, a
player may have a rubber that provides much spin on one side of his racket, and one that provides
no spin on the other. By flipping the racket in play, different types of returns are possible. To help a
player distinguish between the rubbers used by his opposing player, international rules specify that
one side must be red while the other side must be black. The player has the right to inspect his
opponent's racket before a match to see the type of rubber used and what colour it is. Despite high
speed play and rapid exchanges, a player can see clearly what side of the racket was used to hit the
ball. Current rules state that, unless damaged in play, the racket cannot be exchanged for another
racket at any time during a match.

Starting a game
According to ITTF rule 2.13.1, the first service is decided by lot. Normally a coin toss. It is
also common for one player (or the umpire/scorer) to hide the ball in one or the other hand (usually
hidden under the table), allowing the other player to guess which hand the ball is in. The correct or
incorrect guess gives the "winner" the option to choose to serve, receive, or to choose which side of
the table to use. (A common but non-sanctioned method is for the players to play the ball back and
forth three times and then play out the point. This is commonly referred to as "serve to play", "rally to
serve", "play for serve", or "volley for serve".)

Service and return

In game play, the player serving the ball commences a play. The server first stands with the
ball held on the open palm of the hand not carrying the paddle, called the freehand, and tosses the
ball directly upward without spin, at least 16 cm (6.3 in) high. The server strikes the ball with the
racket on the ball's descent so that it touches first his court and then touches directly the receiver's

court without touching the net assembly. In casual games, many players do not toss the ball upward;
however, this is technically illegal and can give the serving player an unfair advantage.
The ball must remain behind the endline and above the upper surface of the table, known as
the playing surface, at all times during the service. The server cannot use his body or clothing to
obstruct sight of the ball; the opponent and the umpire must have a clear view of the ball at all times.
If the umpire is doubtful of the legality of a service they may first interrupt play and give a warning to
the server. If the serve is a clear failure or is doubted again by the umpire after the warning, the
receiver scores a point. If the service is "good", then the receiver must make a "good" return by
hitting the ball back before it bounces a second time on receiver's side of the table so that the ball
passes the net and touches the opponent's court, either directly or after touching the net assembly.
Thereafter, the server and receiver must alternately make a return until the rally is over. Returning
the serve is one of the most difficult parts of the game, as the server's first move is often the least
predictable and thus most advantageous shot due to the numerous spin and speed choices at his or
her disposal.

A Let is a rally of which the result is not scored, and is called in the following circumstances.

The ball touches the net in service (service), provided the service is otherwise correct or the
ball is obstructed by the player on the receiving side. Obstruction means a player touches the
ball when it is above or traveling towards the playing surface, not having touched the player's
court since last being struck by the player.

When the player on the receiving side is not ready and the service is delivered.

Player's failure to make a service or a return or to comply with the Laws is due to a
disturbance outside the control of the player.

Play is interrupted by the umpire or assistant umpire.

A let is also called if the ball hits the servers side of the table if the ball does not pass further than the
edge. If the ball hits the table edge and hits the net, it is called a foul serve.

A point is scored by the player for any of several results of the rally.

The opponent fails to make a correct service or return.

After making a service or a return, the ball touches anything other than the net assembly
before being struck by the opponent.

The ball passes over the player's court or beyond his end line without touching his court,
after being struck by the opponent.

The opponent obstructs the ball.

The opponent strikes the ball twice successively. Note that the hand that is holding the racket
counts as part of the racket and that making a good return off one's hand or fingers is allowed. It
is not a fault if the ball accidentally hits one's hand or fingers and then subsequently hits the

The opponent strikes the ball with a side of the racket blade whose surface is not covered
with rubber.

The opponent moves the playing surface or touches the net assembly.

The opponent's free hand touches the playing surface.

As a receiver under the expedite system, completing 13 returns in a rally.

The opponent that has been warned by the umpire commits a second offense in the same
individual match or team match. If the third offence happens, 2 points will be given to the
player. If the individual match or the team match has not ended, any unused penalty points can
be transferred to the next game of that match.

A game shall be won by the player first scoring 11 points unless both players score 10 points, when
the game shall be won by the first player subsequently gaining a lead of 2 points. A match shall
consist of the best of any odd number of game. In competition play, matches are typically best of five
or seven games.

Alternation of services and ends

Service alternates between opponents every two points (regardless of winner of the rally) until the
end of the game, unless both players score ten points or the expedite system is operated, when the
sequences of serving and receiving stay the same but each player serves for only one point in turn.
The player serving first in a game receives first in the next game of the match.
After each game, players switch sides of the table. In the last possible game of a match, for example
the seventh game in a best of seven matches, players change ends when the first player scores five

points, regardless of whose turn it is to serve. Service is subject to change on game point of the
match. If the sequence of serving and receiving is out of turn or the ends is not changed, points
scored in the wrong situation are still calculated and the game shall be resumed with the order at the
score that has been reached.

Double game

Service zone in doubles game

In addition to games between individual players, pairs may also play table tennis. Singles and
doubles are both played in international competition, including the Olympic Games since 1988 and
the Commonwealth Games since 2002. In 2005, the ITTF announced that doubles table tennis only
was featured as a part of team events in the 2008 Olympics.
In doubles, all the rules of single play are applied except for the following.
A line painted along the long axis of the table to create doubles courts bisects the table. This
line's only purpose is to facilitate the doubles service rule, which is that service, must
originate from the right hand "box" in such a way that the first bounce of the serve bounces
once in said right hand box and then must bounce at least once in the opponent side's right
hand box (far left box for server), or the receiving pair score a point.
Order of play, serving and receiving
1. Players must hit the ball. For example, if A is paired with B, X is paired with Y, A is the
server and X or Y is the receiver. The order of play shall be AX or Y & BX or Y &
vice versa. The rally proceeds this way until one side fails to make a legal return and the
other side scores.
2. At each change of service, the previous receiver shall become the server and the
partner of the previous server shall become the receiver. For example, if the previous
order of play is AX or Y & BX or Y, the order becomes XB or A & YB or A or
XB or A & YA or B after the change of service.

3. In the second or the latter games of a match, the game begins in reverse order of play.
For example, if the order of play is AX or Y & BY or X at beginning of the first game,
the order begins with XA or B & YA & B in the second game depending on either X
or Y being chosen as the first server of the game. That means the first receiver of the
game is the player who served to the first server of the game in the preceding game. In
each game of a doubles match, the pair having the right to serve first shall choose
which of them will do so. The receiving pair, however, can only choose in the first game
of the match.
4. When a pair reaches 5 points in the final game, the pairs must switch ends of the table
and change the receiver to reverse the order of play. For example, when the last order
of play before a pair score 5 points in the final game is AXBY, the order after
change shall be AYBX if A still has the second serve. Otherwise, X is the next
server and the order becomes XAYB.

Expedite system
If a game is unfinished after 10 minutes' play and fewer than 18 points have been scored, the
expedite system is initiated. The umpire interrupts the game, and the game resumes with
players serving for one point in turn. If the expedite system is introduced while the ball is not in
play, the previous receiver shall serve first. Under the expedite system, the server must win the
point before the opponent makes 13 consecutive returns or the point goes to the opponent. The
system can also be initiated at any time at the request of both players and pairs. Once
introduced, the expedite system remains in force until the end of the match. A rule to shorten the
time of a match, it is mainly seen in defensive players' games.

Though table tennis players grip their rackets in various ways, their grips can be classified into
two major families of styles, penhold and shakehand. The rules of table tennis do not prescribe
the manner in which one must grip the racket, and numerous grips are employed.

The penhold grip is so-named because one grips the racket similarly to the way one holds
a writing instrument. The style of play among penhold players can vary greatly from player to
player. The most popular style, usually referred to as the Chinese penhold style, involves curling
the middle, ring, and fourth finger on the back of the blade with the three fingers always touching

one another. Chinese penholders favour a round racket head, for a more over-the-table style of
play. In contrast, another style, sometimes referred to as the Japanese/Korean penhold grip,
involves splaying those three fingers out across the back of the racket, usually with all three
fingers touching the back of the racket, rather than stacked upon one another. Sometimes a
combination of the two styles occurs, wherein the middle, ring and fourth fingers are straight, but
still stacked, or where all fingers may be touching the back of the racket, but are also in contact
with one another. Japanese/Korean penholders will often use a square-headed racket for an
away-from-the-table style of play. Traditionally these square-headed rackets feature a block of
cork on top of the handle, as well as a thin layer of cork on the back of the racket, for increased
grip and comfort. Penhold styles are popular among players originating from East Asian regions
such as China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea.
Traditionally, penhold players use only one side of the racket to hit the ball during normal play,
and the side which is in contact with the last three fingers is generally not used. This
configuration is sometimes referred to as "traditional penhold" and is more commonly found in
square-headed racket styles. However, the Chinese developed a technique in the 1990s in
which a penholder uses both sides of the racket to hit the ball, where the player produces a
backhand stroke (most often topspin) known as a reverse penhold backhand by turning the
traditional side of the racket to face one's self, and striking the ball with the opposite side of the
racket. This stroke has greatly improved and strengthened the penhold style both physically and
psychologically, as it eliminates the strategic weakness of the traditional penhold backhand.
Shakehand grip



The shakehand grip is so-named because the racket is grasped as if one is performing a
handshake. Though it is sometimes referred to as the "tennis" or "Western" grip, it bears no

relation to the Western tennis grip, which was popularized on the West Coast of the United
States in which the racket is rotated 90, and played with the wrist turned so that on impact the
knuckles face the target. In table tennis, "Western" refers to Western nations, for this is the grip
that players native to Europe and the Americas have almost exclusively employed.
The shakehand grips simplicity and versatility, coupled with the acceptance among top-level
Chinese trainers that the European style of play should be emulated and trained against, has
established it as a common grip even in China. Many world-class Asian players currently use the
shakehand grip, and it is generally accepted that shakehands is easier to learn than penholder,
allowing a broader range of playing styles both offensive and defensive.

The Seemiller grip is named after the American table tennis champion Danny Seemiller, who
used it. It is achieved by placing your thumb and index finger on either side of the bottom of the
racquet head and holding the handle with the rest of your fingers. Since only one side of the
racquet is used to hit the ball, two contrasting rubber types can be applied to the blade, offering
the advantage of "twiddling" the racket to fool the opponent. Seemiller paired inverted rubber
with anti-spin rubber; many players today combine inverted and long-pipped rubber. The grip is
considered exceptional for blocking, especially on the backhand side, and for forehand loops of
backspin balls. The Seemiller grip's popularity reached its apex in 1983 when four of the United
States' five participants in the World Championships used it.

Types of strokes
Table tennis strokes generally break down into offensive and defensive categories.

Offensive strokes
A direct hit on the ball propelling it forward back to the opponent. This stroke differs from speed
drives in other racket sports like tennis because the racket is primarily perpendicular to the
direction of the stroke and most of the energy applied to the ball results in speed rather
than spin, creating a shot that does not arc much, but is fast enough that it can be difficult to
return. A speed drive is used mostly for keeping the ball in play, applying pressure on the
opponent, and potentially opening up an opportunity for a more powerful attack.
Perfected during the 1960s, the loop is essentially the reverse of the speed drive. The racket is
much more parallel to the direction of the stroke ("closed") and the racket thus grazes the ball,

resulting in a large amount of topspin. A good loop drive will arc quite a bit, and once striking the
opponent's side of the table will jump forward, much like a kick serve in tennis.
The counter-hit is usually a counterattack against drives, normally high loop drives. The racket is
held closed and near to the ball, which is hit with a short movement "off the bounce"
(immediately after hitting the table) so that the ball travels faster to the other side. A well-timed,
accurate counter-drive can be as effective as a smash.
When a player tries to attack a ball that has not bounced beyond the edge of the table, the
player does not have the room to wind up in a backswing. The ball may still be attacked,
however, and the resulting shot is called a flip because the backswing is compressed into a
quick wrist action. A flip is not a single stroke and can resemble either a loop drive or a loop in its
characteristics. What identifies the stroke is that the backswing is compressed into a short wrist
The offensive trump card is the smash. A player will typically execute a smash when his or her
opponent has returned a ball that bounces too high or too close to the net. Smashing is
essentially self-explanatorylarge backswing and rapid acceleration imparting as much speed
on the ball as possible. The goal of a smash is to get the ball to move so quickly that the
opponent simply cannot return it. Because the ball speed is the main aim of this shot, often the
spin on the ball is something other than topspin. Sidespin can be used effectively with a smash
to alter the ball's trajectory significantly, although most intermediate players will smash the ball
with little or no spin. An offensive table tennis player will think of a rally as a build-up to a winning

Defensive strokes
The push (or "slice" in Asia) is usually used for keeping the point alive and creating offensive
opportunities. A push resembles a tennis slice: the racket cuts underneath the ball, imparting
backspin and causing the ball to float slowly to the other side of the table. While not obvious, a
push can be difficult to attack because the backspin on the ball causes it to drop toward the table
upon striking the opponent's racket. In order to attack a push, a player must usually loop the ball
back over the net. Often, the best option for beginners is to simply push the ball back again,
resulting in pushing rallies. Against good players, it may be the worst option because the
opponent will counter with a loop, putting the first player in a defensive position. Another

response to pushing is flipping the ball when it is close to the net. Pushing can have advantages
in some circumstances, such as when the opponent makes easy mistakes.
A chop is the defensive, backspin counterpart to the offensive loop drive. [49] A chop is essentially
a bigger, heavier push, taken well back from the table. The racket face points primarily
horizontally, perhaps a little bit upward, and the direction of the stroke is straight down. The
object of a defensive chop is to match the topspin of the opponent's shot with backspin. A good
chop will float nearly horizontally back to the table, in some cases having so much backspin that
the ball actually rises. Such a chop can be extremely difficult to return due to its enormous
amount of backspin. Some defensive players can also impart no-spin or sidespin variations of
the chop.

The block is a simple shot, but nonetheless can be devastating against an attacking opponent. A
block is executed by simply placing the racket in front of the ball right after the ball bounces;
thus, the ball rebounds back toward the opponent with nearly as much energy as it came in with.
This is not as easy as it sounds, because the ball's spin, speed, and location all influence the
correct angle of a block. It is very possible for an opponent to execute a perfect loop, drive, or
smash, only to have the blocked shot come back at him just as fast. Due to the power involved
in offensive strokes, often an opponent simply cannot recover quickly enough, and will be unable
to return the blocked shot. Blocks almost always produce the same spin as was received, many
times topspin. Depending on the spin of the ball, the block may be returned to an unexpected
side of the table. This may come to your advantage, as the opponent may not expect this.
The defensive lob is possibly the most impressive shot, since it propels the ball about five
metres in height, only to land on the opponent's side of the table with great amounts of spin. To
execute, a defensive player first backs-off the table 46 meters; then, the stroke itself consists of
lifting the ball to an enormous height before it falls back to the opponent's side of the table. A lob
is inherently a creative shot, and can have nearly any kind of spin. Top-quality players use this to
their advantage in order to control the spin of the ball. For instance, though the opponent
may smash the ball hard and fast, a good defensive lob could be more difficult to return due to
the unpredictability and heavy amounts of the spin on the ball thus, though backed off the table
by tens of feet and running to reach the ball, a good defensive player can still win the point using
good lobs. However, at the professional level, lobbers will lose the point most of the time, so the
lob is not used unless it is really necessary.

Effects of spin
Adding spin onto the ball causes major changes in table tennis gameplay. Although nearly every
stroke or serve creates some kind of spin, understanding the individual types of spin allows
players to defend against and use different spins effectively.

Backspin is where the bottom half of the ball is rotating away from the player, and is imparted by
striking the base of the ball with a downward movement. At the professional level, backspin is
usually used defensively in order to keep the ball low. Backspin is commonly employed in
service because it is harder to produce an offensive return. Though at the professional level
most people serve sidespin with either backspin or topspin. Due to the initial lift of the ball, there
is a limit on how much speed with which one can hit the ball without missing the opponent's side
of the table. However, backspin also makes it harder for the opponent to return the ball with
great speed because of the required angular precision of the return. Alterations are frequently
made to regulations regarding equipment in an effort to maintain a balance between defensive
and offensive spin choices. It is actually possible to smash with backspin offensively, but only on
high balls that are close to the net.

The topspin stroke has a smaller influence on the first part of the ball-curve. Like the backspin
stroke, however, the axis of spin remains roughly perpendicular to the trajectory of the ball thus
allowing for the Magnus effect to dictate the subsequent curvature. After the apex of the curve,
the ball dips downwards as it approaches the opposing side, before bouncing. On the bounce,
the topspin will accelerate the ball, much in the same way that a wheel which is already spinning
would accelerate upon making contact with the ground. Again, the most significant change
appears when the opponent attempts to return the ball (with a smooth, pimples inwards rubber).
Due to the topspin, the ball jumps upwards and the opponent is forced to compensate for the
topspin by adjusting the angle of his or her racket. This is commonly known as "closing the
racket". The speed limitation of the topspin stroke is minor compared to the backspin stroke.
This stroke is the predominant technique used in professional competition because it gives the
opponent less time to respond. In table tennis topspin is regarded as an offensive technique due
to increased ball speed, lower bio-mechanical efficiency and the pressure that it puts on the
opponent by reducing reaction time. (It is possible to play defensive topspin-lobs from far behind
the table, but only highly skilled players use this stroke with any tactical efficiency.) Topspin is

the least common type of spin to be found in service at the professional level, simply because it
is much easier to attack a top-spin ball that is not moving at high speed.

This type of spin is predominantly employed during service, wherein the contact angle of the
racket can be more easily varied. Unlike the two aforementioned techniques, sidespin causes
the ball to spin on an axis which is vertical, rather than horizontal. The axis of rotation is still
roughly perpendicular to the trajectory of the ball. In this circumstance, the Magnus effect will still
dictate the curvature of the ball to some degree. Another difference is that unlike backspin and
topspin, sidespin will have relatively very little effect on the bounce of the ball, much in the same
way that a spinning top would not travel left or right if its axis of rotation were exactly vertical.
This makes sidespin a useful weapon in service, because it is less easily recognized when
bouncing, and the ball "loses" less spin on the bounce. Sidespin can also be employed in
offensive rally strokes, often from a greater distance, as an adjunct to topspin or backspin. This
stroke is sometimes referred to as a "hook". The hook can even be used in some extreme cases
to circumvent the net when away from the table.

This type of spin is almost exclusively employed in service, but it is also used from time to time
in the lob at the professional level. Unlike any of the aforementioned techniques, corkspin
(sometimes referred to as "drill-spin") features a unique situation in which the axis of spin is
more or less parallel to the trajectory of the ball. This means that the Magnus effect will have
little to no effect on the trajectory of a cork-spun ball. Upon bouncing, the ball will dart right or
left, depending on the direction of the spin, making it very difficult to return. Although in theory
this type of spin produces the most obnoxious effects, it is not as strategically practical as
sidespin or backspin in terms of the limitations that it imposes upon the opponent during their
return. Aside from the initial direction change when bouncing, provided that it does not exceed
the reach of the opponent, a cork-spun ball is easily countered with topspin or backspin. Similar
to a backspin stroke, the corkspin stroke has a lower maximum velocity, simply due to the
contact angle of the racket when producing the stroke. To impart a spin on the ball which is
parallel to its trajectory, the racket must be swung more or less perpendicular to the trajectory of
the ball. This greatly limits the amount of forward momentum that can be transferred to the ball
by the racket. Corkspin is almost always mixed with another variety of spin, as it is less effective
and harder to produce on its own.