Table tennis is played by standing across a table. The umpire or scorer hides the ball in one hand under the table, and lets the players guess which hand the ball is in. The winner gets to decide if he/she wants to serve or on which side of the table they want to stand. Normally in singles, the first service is decided by tossing a coin.
There is another method called serve to play, where the player plays the ball back and forth three times and then plays out for point.
Professional table tennis is played on an ITTF approved wooden table only. The table is uniformly dark-colored and matt finished. This is simply to avoid any glares while playing. The table is divided exactly at the middle using a net.
Amateurs tend to play on solid tables made of steel that are separated with concrete or any solid material.
The table is 1.525 m (5.0 feet) wide and 2.74 m (9.0 feet) long. It is designed in such a way that it gives a uniform bounce of 23 centimeters (9.1 inch) when a standard ball is tapped on the table from a height of 30 centimeters (11.8 inches). The entire table is made of only one uniform material. The net used to divide the table is of 15.25 cm (6.0 in) in height.
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