Table Tennis Rules

Any intramural policies not mentioned here may be found in the intramural handbook.  Unless specifically mentioned below, Intramural play is governed by Olympic Table Tennis rules. By participating in intramural sports, the participant agrees to abide by all intramural rules and policies.

You may suffer physical and/or mental injury from participating in Intramural Sports. There are certain risks of injury that are inherent to participation in sports and recreational activities. These types of injuries may be minor or serious and may result from the actions or inactions of themselves or others. By choosing to participate in Intramural Sports, you do so at your own risk. It is understood that most activities require a certain level of fitness and health, and that each person has a different capacity for participating in these activities. Participants of Intramural Sports are highly encouraged to have a physical examination and procure health insurance prior to play. UC Campus Recreation does not provide health insurance.

Intramural Supervisors undergo concussion recognition training. In the instance a participant is exhibiting any signs or symptoms of a concussion as a result of a head injury sustained during intramural play, he or she will be removed from the activity. This individual must provide a physician’s note clearing the individual to play by a specific date. This note may be e-mailed to or faxed to 513-556-0601.


Following each game, teams will receive a sportsmanship rating between 0.0 and 4.0.


In order to qualify for playoffs, teams must obtain a 3.0 or higher sportsmanship average during the regular season based on the table below:

Sportmanship Rating
Score Player & Team Behavior  
4.0 Always respectful to officials and opposing team.
No complaining or arguing.
Does not comment about officials’ calls.
3.0 Usually respectful to officials and opposing team.
Minimal arguing or complaining about officials.
Maximum one unsportsmanlike penalty issued.
2.0 Consistent dissent or disrespect to officials/opposing team.
Consistent arguing and/or complaining about officials’ calls.
Maximum of two unsportsmanlike penalties or one ejection.
1.0 Excessive complaining, dissent or disrespect to officials/opposing team.
Contact or provocation of officials or opposing team members not inherent to the sport.
Any player involved in a fight.
Maximum of three unsportsmanlike penalties or two ejections.
0.0 Team and/or players are unsafe/out of control.
Multiple players on team fighting.
Destruction or abuse of UC property.

* A team that receives a "0" rating will be suspended from competition until its captain meets with the Assistant Director or Coordinator of Intramural Sports. The team may be removed from competition without refund.


In addition to team ratings, any unsportsmanlike actions may be forwarded to Judicial Affairs and may include but is not limited to revocation of Intramural Sports and/or Campus Recreation privileges.


To be eligible for intramural sports, each player must be a current University of Cincinnati student [enrolled in at least one (1) credit hour], faculty, or staff member. Additionally, participants must have a valid and active Campus Recreation membership.


Uptown, full-time UC students receive a Campus Recreation membership through full payment of the Campus Life Fee. All other populations will need to purchase a membership in order to be eligible to play.


Participants may participate on one (1) mixed gender and one (1) non-mixed gender (i.e. men's, women's, open, fraternity, sorority) team per sport, per season. Substituting for another team in the same league is prohibited.


Every game, each participant must check in with the intramural official with a valid Bearcat card.


Intramural particpants must additionally meet all requirements of Section 3.4:


Teams may not have any competitive club sport participants (in the same or similar sport) on its roster.


Current varsity athletes and professional athletes are not allowed to play on an intramural team of the same or similar sport as their varsity sport.


Former varsity athletes must sit out 365 days from last appearing on a varsity roster to be eligible to play in the same or similar sport as their varsity sport. Teams are allowed one (1) former varsity athlete (in the same or similar sport) per roster.


There will be no jersey requirements for teams


Paddles are to be provided by the player. Campus Rec paddles are limited, and are available on a first come - first serve basis.


Prior to registration close, a team must have at least one player confirmed on its IMLeagues roster. Teams that fail to do so may not be included in the league.


Teams may have up to one (1) player on its roster.


Teams are permitted one (1) checked-in coach on the bench. 


A match will consist of one set to twenty-one (21)


There are no timeouts


Teams that arrive late to games and/or are not ready with the minimum roster by start time will receive the following penalty:


1-4 minutes late = Other team starts up 5-0 and gets first serve


5-9 minutes late = Other team starts up 10-0 and gets first serve


10+ minutes late = Game is forfeited.


Teams that forfeit must pay a $20 non-refundable reinstatement fee prior to the end of the regular season to be eligible for playoff consideration [Refer to Section XII of the Intramural Handbook for more information]



In order to prevent forfeits, teams may also default once per season. Teams must give a minimum 48 hour notice of default to qualify by emailing [Refer to Section XII of the Intramural Handbook for more information]


Teams must win by two (2) points to win the set [Exception Section 7.1.1]


Sets are capped to 30 points, making the first team to reach 30 points declared the winner


Overtime shall begin with the first player to reach twenty (20) being awarded first serve


The serve for even scores (21-21, 22-22...) shall be given to the first player to reach the mark


The opponent who is losing (21-20, 22-21...) shall be the server for the specific point in overtime


The Captains will hold a pre-match Rock, Paper, Scissors. The winner will receive first serve


In league playoffs, the higher seed will receive first serve


Players shall alternate service every five (5) points scored [Exception: Section 8.2.1]


Once the first team has reached twenty (20) points, the opponent shall serve continuously until they reach twenty (20) points as well


Servers are free to serve from either service court regardless of score


Scoring shall be rally scoring


Any points that are unable to be agreed upon by the teams and/or Intramural staff will result in a replay


Servers must hold the ball with an open palm and perform a clear toss up


Servers are allowed to serve to any part of the table on the opponent's end


The following shall be considered faults:


The server fails to hold the ball with an open palm


The server fails to toss the ball upwards before the serve


The serve makes contact with the net or connecting pieces of the net and fails to otherwise legally bounce in play


A player touches the table or its supports with their body or paddle


A player contacts the ball on the opponent's side of the net


The ball makes contact with any part of the player's body, with exception of the paddle hand


The ball is hit twice in succession by a player


Services that touch the net but legally bounce in play must be called "Let" before the server makes second contact to initiate a replay


Opponents that fail to call Let prior to the second contact by the server lose their replay rights, and play continues until a point is scored


Servers are given one Let redo per scored point, a second repeated offense results in a fault


It is not considered a fault if a player fails to make contact on a serve