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Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Monday, 20 September 2010 11:54 UK
Table tennis guide

A table tennis table is 76cm off the floor

There is not a lot you need for table tennis. At a basic level, all you are looking for is a table, a ball and a paddle.

International rules state that the table must be 2.74m (nine feet) long, 1.525m (five feet) wide and 76cm (30 inches) high and that it should be divided into two halves by a 15.2cm (six inches) high net.

The high-bouncing hollow celluloid ball weighs 2.7g and is 40mm in diameter.

Table tennis is the only racquet sport that allows different surfaces on each side of the racket and most players will customise their paddle to suit their style of play.

Racquets are made out of wood and covered with rubber - there is no limit to the size and weight, so you could conceivably play with a frying pan-sized paddle should you so desire.

Different rubbers help impart spin and speed on the ball, but even if the rubbers on each side of the paddle are the same, one must be red in colour and the other black, so opponents can tell which side of the paddle you are using.

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