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Ping-Pong Rules


All participants must be current students full-or part time. Alumni, faculty, staff and community members (Brookville, and Old Westbury) purchase memberships to be eligible to play. IDs MUST be presented whenever requested.


Ping pong or table tennis, as they are interchangeably called, is a game in which either 2 players or 4 players stand across a table divided by a net.

The ball can bounce only once on the player’s side before it is returned to bounce back to the opponent on the other side. If a player misses in doing this, the opponent gets a point. The first player to score 21 points is the winner of the game. The serve is alternated every 5 points. If the players are both level at 20-all, the service is alternated every point, until one player gets a clear 2-point advantage over the opponent.

The match is usually either a best of 2 out of 3 games. Best of 5 games format is used in championship matches.

When a player serves, the ball must bounce once on the side of the serving player and then cross the net and bounce once on the other side, before it is returned. If the ball hits the net and falls back to the server’s side, the opponent gets a point. If the ball hits the net and falls on the other side, it is known as a ‘let’ and the service is repeated again, without any point to both the players. However, in rallies, if the ball hits the net and falls on the opponent’s side and the opponent is unable to return it, the opponent loses a point.

After each game, the players switch sides of the table.

In doubles matches, a line is drawn across the length of the table, dividing the table into 4 boxes. The server should serve from one corner box to the diagonally opposite corner box and when the service is returned, the partner of the server should play the ball, which will be countered by the partner of the player who returned the service. The players should continue to alternate like this till a point is won or lost. The doubles team can consist of 2 men, 2 women or a man and a woman. The first one is called men’s doubles, the second women’s doubles and the third mixed doubles.