Official Ping Pong Paddle Dimensions and Restrictions

Whether you’re new to the game of table tennis or you’ve been competing for many years, there are a few things the inner nerd of many players wants answered.

Now, personally, I started looking into the detailed dimensions when I was trying some home DIY projects and wanted to see if I could make a paddle at home. Of course, I wanted to make sure it would comply with official regulations so I had to do a lot of research.

This page is essentially the notes I had taken for my DIY project which turned out to be a very fun experience.


The Official Numbers

To help you be able to learn what you need to know before you join the “big league,” we’ve compiled some of the important things that you need to know about paddle dimensions and restrictions. Take a look:

  • The paddle that you use must be a laminated wooden one, covered with rubber strips on both sides, although you can use paddles that only have it one side.
  • The wooden part should have no less than 85% of natural wood. It may sound like something that will never be checked during a game, but you don’t want to risk it.
  • For you to be able to use a paddle for a ping pong game governed by ITTF standards, you can choose almost any size. For the best results in the game, you should try to use one that is 6.7 inches long and 5.9 inches wide.
  • You can use various types of surfaces for your paddle, which is very helpful for those who have their unique styles. For example, if you like one side to be a bit harder and the other side that is more sponge-like, you will be able to get away with it with ITTF.
  • If you do decide to use different-textured surfaces on your paddle, they do need to be a different color. You’ll need to indicate that you are using different surfaces according to ITTF standards and regulations. This is so that opposing players can better understand what kind of ball they will receive, according to the color that you hit with. While it would be nice to surprise your opponent and potentially win the game, it isn’t allowed.
  • Your racket surfaces cannot be thicker than 2mm or 4mm. Keep in mind that this includes the glue or adhesive used to keep the material on your paddle. Be careful with older paddle that require repeated adhering of surfaces, as you may unintentionally be making the surface thicker due to the build-up of adhesive and glue.
  • You can only clean your paddle surfaces with water. Previously, players would often use different types of liquids to clean them, but many times players were using boosters that would enhance their paddle, making it unfair for their opponents.
  • It’s easy to grow attached to your paddle over the years but unfortunately if your paddle is too damaged that it could break apart or cause the ball to rebound unpredictably, then it’s time that you get a new one.
  • Your opponent and the umpire are allowed to examine the paddle before your game, just as you are allowed to examine theirs. This is beneficial in helping you and the umpire make sure that there is no cheating going on in the game.
  • If you’re an advanced player, you won’t be able to change your paddle during the game, so that you can’t secretly use one that is rigged in any way.
  • If you end up playing in an authorized event, you’ll need to only use a paddle with surfaces that have been authorized by ITTF.

More Tips

It can be a lot of fun to take your skill in ping pong to the next level. It’s important that you read up on the rules and restrictions of the game and your paddle before you commit to competitions. The good news is that if you already have the talent, you’re already half way to victory.

This list will help you better understand what type of paddle to use should you decide to start playing higher level competitions. It can be tricky to know measurements and surface width simply by looking at a paddle, so make sure to pay close attention to the paddle’s description before you buy it.

If you really want to excel in ping pong and play in the highest level competitions, make sure that you use paddles that have been approved by ITTF.


Final Thoughts

If you’re ready to start playing with the “big boys” these tips on your paddle dimensions and restrictions will help you out. Of course, you’ll also want to research the official rules of the game, etc., but being able to practice with the right kind of paddle is a great start. If you don’t fancy making one yourself, then check out our detailed review page.

Hi, my name is Dave Spalding and I’m a high school teacher for Chemistry and Biology as well as the coach for the basketball team. Teaching has been something I always wanted to do after it became clear that my ambitions of becoming an NBA player didn’t quite match my talent as a player.

I’ve been playing basketball for as long as I can remember. I think my parents bought me a small indoor kids; hoop and ball when I was 3 years old and I don’t think a day goes by where I don’t pick up a ball and either coach or practice myself.

Coaching has definitely been one of the most rewarding things I’ve done, and helping some kids gain scholarships to big Universities has literally changed lives for students that would have struggled with further education.

On this site I contribute to all things basketball with some fitness and exercise tips thrown in as well. If you have any questions at all, then feel free.

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