If you’re buying a new ping pong table, one of the first decisions is which size to get. Most people buy a regulation-size table, but is this always the best option? And what other sizes are available?
In this article, we’ll explain why regulation dimension tables are recommended for most people. We’ll also discuss when smaller tables might be a better option, including for children or people with space constraints.
What Are Regulation Ping Pong Table Dimensions?
Ping pong table dimensions are regulated by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). The ITTF sets the official table size and recommended size of the playing environment.
For serious practice or competition, it is essential to adhere to the official size regulations for table tennis tables. Practicing on standard-size tables will mean that you are familiar with the table size when you compete.
However, if you are playing ping pong for fun at home or in a non-tournament situation, non-regulation ping pong table dimensions might be worth considering. Still, most people should stick with regulation sizes.
There is a bit more leeway with the playing area. Recreational ping pong games don’t need as much space as professional players, although you still need enough room to move freely.
It is worth noting that adhering to the ITTF’s regulations as much as possible will ensure you have the best quality ping pong experience.
Here are the official table tennis dimensions:
- Length: 2.74 meters (approximately 9 feet)
- Width: 1.525 meters (approximately 5 feet)
- Height: 76 centimetres above the floor (approximately 2.5 feet)
Table tennis playing area regulations vary depending on the level of competition.
For intermediate-level games, coaching, or serious practice, we recommend a space of at least 8.5 metres by 4 metres. This is smaller than tournament regulations, but enough to practice most strokes or styles.
You can obviously play in smaller spaces than this if you just want a fun game at home. But spaces smaller than 8.5m x 4m will restrict you to certain play styles. We’ve written more about playing areas if you’d like to learn about the ideal dimensions.
Court sizes are much larger for competitions. Here’s a quick overview:
- Local tournaments – 9 metres x 5 metres
- National tournaments – 12 metres x 6 metres
- International tournaments – 14 metres x 7 metres
The ITTF doesn’t regulate table thickness. However, for a competition standard table, the ball must bounce 23cm after being dropped from a height of 30cm. In practice, this means that most regulation tables are 25mm in thickness.
Recreational players don’t need a such consistent bounce, but you should still be careful about which thickness you choose. The thickness influences bounce quality and consistency, making it one of the most important considerations when buying a ping pong table.
The cheapest tables often have a very thin playing surface of about 12 millimeters, which have poor bounce and will break or get damaged quickly. We generally don’t recommend buying these tables.
If you have a small budget and are looking for recreational tables, aim for one with a 16-millimeter top, this will have better bounce and be more durable than the 12-millimeter version.
If you really enjoy the game and like to play frequently, a 19-millimeter table tennis table is a better investment. This table will be more expensive but has significantly better durability and bounce, resulting in a better game.
For competitive players or those who can afford to invest in a high-quality table tennis table, choosing one with a thickness of 22 or 25 millimeters is the way to go. This will result in a long-lasting table tennis table with excellent bounce.
The only ITTF regulation regarding the table markings is that the surface is a uniform dark color. Most tables used at international tournaments are dark blue, but any dark color is acceptable.
If you’re purchasing a table for recreational use and prefer a light color, that is perfectly acceptable. It is only necessary for tournament tables to be in the correct color.
You may notice that the umpire measures the net before a table tennis match. This ensures that the net adheres to the International Table Tennis Federation regulations. The net height needs to be 15.25 centimeters across its entire length. The tension of the cord holding the net will keep it at the correct height.
The posts holding up the net must be 15.25 centimeters high and extend 15.25 centimeters from either side of the table. The net should be touching the table as much as possible.
Are There Smaller Ping Pong Tables?
Yes, there are smaller tables available. However, smaller ping pong table dimensions aren’t as standardized as full-size table tennis tables.
The most common smaller table tennis sizes are 3/4 size, midsize, and mini ping pong tables.
Depending on how much space you have available, you may opt for mini tables or midsized ping pong tables for your home or office. Smaller tables are also great for teaching young children how to play.
Foldable tables are another great option due to their smaller storage dimensions. They allow you to practice on a full-size table even if you don’t have the space to store one permanently.
Which Size Should You Buy?
A regular-size table is best for most situations. It’s best to practice on a table that’s the correct size, plus these tables often provide the best matches.
However, if you want to teach your kids how to play, consider buying a smaller, non-regulation size table. A smaller ping pong table, such as a midsize ping pong table, will be easier for them to manoeuvre around. Children will also enjoy the game more if it is more accessible.
Smaller tables, such as a mini ping pong table, are also great if you have a small space or want to install a ping pong table in a games room or bar.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is An Olympic Table Tennis Table Smaller?
No, the Olympic ping pong table dimensions are the same as the ones provided by the International Table Tennis Federation. This is to ensure that there is standardization within the game. It also ensures that all players can learn on a standardized table.
How Much Do Ping Pong Tables Weigh?
Ping pong tables come in many shapes and sizes. A high-quality regulation table typically weighs between 70-130kg, which is why many come with wheels or two-part designs.