* BACKSPIN – Under-spin.

* BAT - Racket, paddle.

* BLADE – Wooden part of the racket.

* BLOCK – A stroke executed very close to the table, often before the top of the bounce of the ball. The blocker angles the racket so the ball bounces back fast to the other side of the table.

* CHOP – A heavy under-spin shot. A chop forces the ball to drop downwards when it hits the opponent’s racket.

* DRIVE – Also called a counter, counter-drive or smash.

* DROP SHOT – Short placement, very close to the net.

* DUECE - When a game’s score is 10-10, or even at any point after 10, such as 11-11, 12-12, 13-13, etc.

* FLICK – A topspin or flat shot generated with speed and power close to the net using wrist action.

* GAME – Each game is played to 11 points, unless a deuce occurs. There are usually "2 out of 3" games, "3 out of 5" or "4 out of 7 " games per match. (Games are NO longer played to 21 points.)

* GAME POINT – The determining point in a game.

* ITTF – International Table Tennis Federation and the governing body of Table Tennis around the world.

* JUNK RUBBER – Rubber that produces no spin, such as anti-spin or long-pips.

* LET – An interference in the game, such as a serve hitting the net or a distraction, which causes the point to be played over.

* LOB – A particular shot used when a player is far back from the table in a defensive situation and the ball is lobbed high into the air as a return.

* LOOP – An extreme topspin shot, when executed properly can curve in the air before it hits the table. The spin of the ball causes the ball to dive down onto the table and will "skip" taking sharp changes in direction. The ball, if retrieved by the opponent’s racket, will jump off unpredictably. It can be delivered above, below, close to or far from the table.

* MATCH - A match consists of "2 out of 3" or "3 out of 5" games.

* PADDLE – Racket, bat.

* PIMPLED RUBBER – A type of single layer rubber with a pimpled surface facing upwards and outwards.

* PING PONG – The general public’s reference to the game of Table Tennis or an American Table Tennis equipment trademark.

* POINT – When an opponent or the other gets a score.

* PUSH – An under-spin shot where the ball is literally pushed over or towards the net, close to the net. It is a passive shot used when it is impossible to attack the ball or used when trying to set up for a more aggressive shot.

* RACKET – Paddle, bat.

* RALLY – The period in which the ball is in play.

* REGLUE – To reapply new rubber or speed glue new or existing rubber to the blade.

* RUBBER – The rubber sheet portion of the racket.

* SANDWICH RUBBER –Cellular rubber with a "sponge" layer, usually 1mm, 1.5mm or 2.0mm.

* SIDESPIN – A spin placed on the ball to allow it to curve left or right.

* SPEED GLUE – A fast drying adhesive used to secure the rubber to the blade. When newly applied and wet, the glue penetrates the rubber, causing it to have more bounce and spin.

* SPIN – Rotation of the ball.

* TOPSPIN – Spin placed on the ball that makes the ball curve down into the table.

* TWIRL – Turning the racket, usually in the middle of a serve or while the ball is in play, to confuse the opponent as to which type of rubber is being used at a specific time. Not as deceptive as it once was, because of the "two color rubber" law.

* TWO COLOR RUBBER LAW – A table tennis law put into effect, namely using red rubber on one side of the racket and black rubber on the other side, so opponents will not be so confused and deceived.

* UMPIRE – The appointed person that controls and oversees a match, used during tournament play.

* USATT – The "United States of America Table Tennis" association, which is the ITTF-affiliated, governing body of the sport in America.


Now that you’ve learned about the game, it’s only right to now learn about the “Dark Side” of the game:

Handy Alibi Sheet

Created by Paddle Palace

This list is intended to simplify the problem of selecting a proper alibi to suit the occasion.  While some table tennis players are so bad that they don’t need an alibi, most will at some time feel in need of some explanation to account for their performance, so this handy checklist may prove helpful.

This list can also be helpful in saving time.  Instead of reciting the entire alibi you can simply recite the number listed at the left of your current alibi or alibis.  (Yes, you may use more than one excuse.)  Please remember, however, that it is completely against the spirit of the sport to use the following alibi: “My opponent was better!”

1.not enough sleep




5.just goofing around

6.had some wine


8.wasn’t concentrating

9.wasn’t reading spin right

10. just ate dinner

11. lack of experience

12. too nervous

13. out of shape

14. didn’t feel like playing

15. can’t play weaker player

16. pushed too much

17. didn’t get warmed up

18. warmed up too much

19. haven’t been playing

20. lack of practice

21. can’t get up for the game

22. feet hurt

23. pulled muscle (name location)

24. blister (name location)

25. dirty eye glasses

26. lost my contacts

27. could have beat him

28. always ease up when ahead

29. always ease up against weaker player

30. didn’t have my shorts on

31. no touch tonight

32. cramp in (name of location)

33. chicken

34. snowblindness

35. can’t play when ahead

36. can’t play when ahead

37. no competition

38. nobody rooted for me

39. only play for the exercise

40. only play for the fun of it

41. worried about (fill in)

42. girl friend unfriendly last night

43. girl friend friendly last night

44. I didn’t think

45. I thought too much

46. didn’t have my table tennis shoes

47. felt great & that’s a bad sign

48. can’t stand too much success

49. I have emotional problems

50. can’t play against that type of player

51. I played lousy

52. I didn’t try

53. forgot my Gator-Aide

54. forgot sweat band

55. underrated

56. overrated

57. couldn’t concentrate

58. glasses fogged up

59. I’m better than him

60. I’m only a girl

61. too tense

62. can’t play that style

63. not enough training

64. overtrained

65. don’t want to improve too rapidly

66. saving myself for (name of girl, event, etc.)

67. other guy lucky

68. he changed the score

69. shouting

70. swearing

71. hit side & said edge

72. called too many lets

73. too long between points

74. called too many lets

75. lobs too much

76. pushes too much

77. tricky spin serves

78. too much warm-up

79. illegal serve

a.doesn’t throw it up

b.drops hand

c.hit on way up

d.cups hand

e.hides ball

80. serves when I’m not ready

81. funny spin on ball

82. too much underspin

83. she’s only a girl

84. hit too hard

85. too many nets

86. too many edges

87. too much garbage

88. too experienced\

89. too much time between matches

90. interference by others

91. doubles match on next table

92. spectators razzed my ______

93. people talked to opponent

94. opponent was coached during game

95. lights too bright

96. lights too poor

97. T.V. lights turned on

98. table too slippery

99. table too fast

100. table too slow

101. table legs in wrong lace

102. table was uneven

103. can’t play on end table

104. net too loose, low, high, tight, etc.

105. not enough room in back of table

106. not enough room between tables

107. ceiling too low

108. room too hot

109. room too cold

110. room was drafty

111. bad draw

112. not enough matches

113. too many matches

114. bad referee

a.too many lets

b.too few lets



e.can’t keep score

f.doesn’t like me

115. seeded too low

116. ball soft

117. ball bounced funny

118. crud on ball

119. name your own ball excuse

120. new paddle

121. old paddle

122. new rubber

123. old rubber

124. wrong kind of rubber

125. name your own _________

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