Table tennis is the perfect indoor game (yes, I’m biased!) It’s fun, can be played by everyone, and keeps you active without being too physically demanding.
There’s a problem though: ping pong tables are pretty big. And it’s not just the size of the table that’s the problem – you’ll need space at the sides and ends to play.
With that in mind, here’s a guide to deciding whether you have enough space for an indoor ping pong table.
A regulation table tennis table is 9″ long and 5″ wide. Most nets extend up to 6″ either side of the table, which is something to keep in mind if your room is a tight fit (you can remove the net when you’re not playing though).
Do you need a regulation size table though?
Not necessarily. If you’re only ever going to play for fun, a mini or small table is easier to store and can fit into smaller rooms. These tables tend to develop bad habits, however, as you’ll learn to hit the ball softer to avoid missing the table. If you have any ambitions of improving your game, a full-size table is necessary.
Tip: Not sure which table to buy? Check out our complete guide to choosing the best ping pong table.
If you’ve ever watched a professional game, you’ll notice pro players spend little time near the table. That’s why international tournaments have a huge playing area of 46’x23‘.
Don’t panic. You won’t need anywhere near that for your indoor table. Most beginners or recreational players spend a lot of time at the baseline, so need less space to move back or to the side. There’s nothing wrong with this, as playing close to the table is great for developing control, and it means you don’t need a mansion to play a fun game of table tennis.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the space needed at various levels of skill:
If you don’t have enough space for your skill level, consider an outdoor table. It’s often easier to find a large space outside – although the tables tend to have a different feel.
The width and length of a room are the main considerations when buying a table tennis table – but don’t overlook room height. The standard table is 2.5′ high, so if you have a low ceiling the ball might hit it more than you’d like.
In reality, most rooms are fine for casual games and even practice for more experienced players. But indoor rooms may not allow for lobs to get back into position.
You should also consider the light fittings in the room. Are they likely to get in the way? Dangling lights and lamp shades can be a frustrating problem when playing indoors.
Indoor table tennis can be a great way to stay active on a rainy afternoon. It’s important to make sure your room is big enough before you buy though, as many people underestimate the space needed for an unobstructed game.
As a general rule, a room size of 19’x11′ is enough for casual games. Having 5′ either end of the table is enough to avoid feeling cramped, although you’ll need to make sure there’s no furniture in the way. For serious practice, a bigger room is required.
Do you have any questions about getting a table tennis table? Please let us know in the comments section below!