The table tennis tables or the ping pong tables are the hard surfaces on which the ball is struck and hit. The playing surface is 2.74 metres long, 1.525 metres wide and placed 76 cm (2.5 ft) high above the floor. The table should yield a uniform bounce of 23 cm when a standard ball is dropped from a height of 30 cm (11.8 inches). The surface is dark coloured with a matte finish over it.
The playing surface is divided into two halves by placing a net that runs vertically to the end lines. For the doubles event, the court is further divided into two halves with a 3 mm wide white centre line. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is the governing body of table tennis that approves the standards and all the rules regarding the table.
The table tennis tables are classified into four types depending on the construction -
The table tennis playing surface or the tabletop board is made from materials like plywood, particle-board, metals, plastics, concrete or fibre-glass. The finishing of each board affects the frictional and bouncing properties of the surface rather than the choice of material. Therefore, tabletop manufacturing can include a wide range of materials. However, during the major tournaments, only wood and its derivatives are used for manufacturing the playing board.
The ITTF always approve dark coloured table with CIELAB lightness of a maximum 40% and should have a maximum of 60-degree specular gloss. On the other hand, the undercarriages are never white and have a lightness (L) in the CIELAB system maximum of 90%. The undercarriages should be designed in such a way that it doesn’t reflect light upwards and never create any dazzling to the spectators or players. It is generally painted with fluorescent paint or accommodated with under-table light to increase the attractive presentation of the table.