Are Olympic Ping Pong Tables Smaller?

When the Olympics are all around the corner and the world gears up for this thrilling sports season, ping pong always stays at the forefront of many people’s minds because of all the energy and excitement it brings.

While feeling mesmerized by lightning-fast shots of the players, many table tennis enthusiasts wonder, “Are Olympic ping pong tables smaller than the ones you usually play on?”

The answer might surprise you because Olympics tables are not smaller than conventional ping pong tables. In fact, they have precise regulations proposed by the International Table Tennis Federation regarding the dimensions and size for the competitions.

Olympic table tennis events strictly follow these rules to ensure challenging yet level playing for all the athletes.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into the world of table tennis and will have a closer look at the elements you need to know about Olympic ping pong tables. So, let’s get straight into it.

Going Pro with Ping Pong Tables: The History

Ping pong, also known as “table tennis,” is one of the most popular indoor sports played all around the globe. The game is typically played on a table with the mesh dividing the playing surface into two halves.

Two or four players can play the game at a time, and the player’s primary goal is to score points by hitting a ball with a ping pong paddle onto the opponent’s side.

The sport of ping pong originated in England in the late 19th century as for upper-class English as after-dinner entertainment. Initially, people called it “Whiff Whaff” and used to play with other makeshift equipment.

For instance, they used champagne corks as balls and books as paddles. As the game started gaining popularity, proper equipment, such as celluloid table tennis balls and wooden paddles, was developed.

Ping pong is governed by the International Table Tennis Federation, which designed all the rules and regulations. ITTF has been organizing table tennis tournaments since 1926 and has been a significant part of the Olympics since 1988.

olympic table tennis tables

What Table Tennis Tables are Used in the Olympics?

In the Olympics, only premium quality, professional-grade table tennis tables are used that meet all the standards set by ITTF in terms of size, surface, and bounce quality.

Generally, tables’ materials include wood, metal, or synthetic materials. Coming towards the playing surface, it should be smooth and flat and provide a uniform bounce for the ball.

The surface is coated with a special matte finish to ensure precise and consistent bounce. Moreover, the table frame is usually metal designed to withstand the rigors of intense competition.

What is the Size of an Olympic Ping Pong Table?

The ideal size of Olympic ping pong tables is proposed by the International Table Tennis Federation.

According to ITTF, the optimum length of the table should be around 9 feet (2.74 meters), 2.5 feet height (0.76 meters), and 5 feet (0.76 meters) width. These dimensions ensure the table provides a consistent and fair playing surface for all the players.

The table’s playing surface should be crisp enough to provide an ideal bounce of around 9 inches (23 cm) on being hit by a standard ball at approximately 11.8 inches (30cm) height.

Moving on, the ping pong net of an Olympic table is kept around 6 inches (15.25cm) in height and must be made up of the finest mesh material.

How Thick is an Olympic Ping Pong Table?

The optimum thickness of an Olympic ping pong table set up by the International Table Tennis Federation is approximately 16mm. The official thickness guarantees that the ball bounces uniformly on the table, giving a perfect shot.

Apart from the thickness, the material used to construct the surface also matters significantly. Generally, the table surface comprises high-quality materials like wood, particle board, or plywood, designed explicitly for making table tennis tables.

Moreover, the legs and frame of the table are also designed with superior materials to cater to fair play. The thickness of the ping pong table legs should be no more than 50mm, along with a length of 400mm, bringing the best potential out of both players.

The table frame must be fabricated with sturdy materials such as metal, and its width should not exceed 40mm.

olympics sports

What is an Olympic Ping Pong Table Called?

The official name for the Olympic ping pong table proposed by the International Table Tennis Federation is “table tennis table” or “whiff whaff.”

Ping pong is generally used to refer to the game; however, table tennis is officially used among higher organizations and professional players. The term “table tennis” was first used in the late 1800s when this sport was initially considered an indoor version of lawn tennis.

With time, the sport gained popularity and evolved into a fast-paced and competitive game with standardized rules and regulations. As the game has come a long way, it has spread worldwide as one of the most popular Olympic sports drawing millions of views.

Who Makes Olympic Ping Pong Tables?

Several manufacturers make Olympic ping pong tables used in high-grade competitions. ITTF recognizes these brands because they make their tables by meeting the standard rules and regulations of the International Table Tennis Federation.

ITTF doesn’t endorse any particular brand to import ping pong tables for the Olympics or other high-grade tournaments. However, there are several highly respected brands that ITTF trusts for International events. A few of them include the following:

All these brands produce top-of-the-line professional grade tables meeting the strict regulations set by ITTF and are used by top-level athletes in competitions worldwide.

olympic players

Outdoor Ping Pong Tables

If you are looking for professional brands making outdoor table tennis tables meeting all the criteria of ITTF. In that case, manufacturers like JOOLA, Kettler, and Cornilleau can be ideal options.

They make their tables specifically designed to withstand the rigors of outdoor conditions like wind, sun exposure, and rain and make sure to use the build materials that can handle fading and warping.


Hopefully, you have got your queries sorted regarding, are Olympic ping pong tables smaller?” by the end of this read.

These tables are not smaller than standard-size tables; however, their size and overall dimensions are strictly regulated by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) to cater to fair and challenging competition for all the players.

There are several tables of different sizes and dimensions in the market that indeed make a difference in performance. However, the size of Olympic table tennis tables is fixed to ensure the ultimate level of precision and consistency in the game that is matchless by other tables.

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Wajeeh was introduced to Table Tennis at a young age of 11. What started as a hobby, quickly turned into a passion that had him compete in several professional tournaments at the district level in his home country. To date, he plays at a local sports club on the weekends and loves helping newcomers master the art of offense in Table Tennis.