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Table Tennis at the Olympics

Jul 30, 2008
Table tennis has long been overlooked as a hobby or diversion, never as a sport. Even today, in some parts of the world, table tennis is still regarded as a basement family activity. With brief origins in England in the late 1800s, and then momentum from Asian countries, table tennis slowly became a more serious and competitive sport-enough so to be entered into the World Olympics in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea. Since then, it has become a worldwide competitor sport, enjoyable for both athlete and spectator; but what are the parameters of table tennis at the World Olympics? Below, I've discussed the most basic rules and standards of Olympics table tennis, to familiarize you with what you need before the games start up this or any year.

General Olympic Table Tennis

· In the Olympics table tennis program, there are four table tennis events: singles and doubles for men and women. There are no mixed doubles events in the Olympics; these can be found in the World Championships.

· Matches are best of five games.

· In singles, the top 16 players play in the main draw. The main draw is the elimination event for singles. The remainder 48 players enter a qualification event, in which 16 players graduate to play those in the main draw.

· The winners receive gold and silver medals, respectively. The losers receive bronze medals.

· In doubles, 32 teams are used.

· The rules for Olympic table tennis are strictly administered according to the ITTF rules.

· In both mens and womens singles competitions, there should be no more than 86 players contesting.

· This year the doubles events have been replaced with teams consisting of 3 players.

The Basic Olympic Game Details

· The equipment standards are as follows: the ball should be 40cm diameter, the net should be 15.25cm high, the table should be 9ft long x 5ft wide x 76cm high, and the court size should be rectangular and at least 14m x 7m x 5m.

· In both mens and womens singles competitions, there should be no more than 86 players contesting.

· This year the doubles events have been replaced with teams consisting of 3 players.

· The racket used must have a blade that is black on one side and red on the other to show which side is being used during competition-as each side can have different blades used.

· The table tennis ball must always be insight of all players involved.

· The free hand of the player should never touch the table during competition.

· Each player is allowed to rest a maximum period of one minute in between games.

· Each player is allowed one time out period per match of a maximum of one minute.

· Each player is allowed to towel off every six points during a match.

· An obstruction occurs when a player touches the ball-with anything-when the ball is above the playing surface and hasn't touched the player's side of the table.

This little article should get you well acquainted with what to expect at this year's 2008 Olympics table tennis division. Once you have the basics in mind, you can easily appreciate the sport of table tennis all the more, both as a player and
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