If you’re thinking about buying a ping pong table, you’ve probably asked, “How much room do I need?” With many choices and table sizes available, you can absolutely add a ping pong table to your home. But there’s a lot to consider beyond the size of the table. We’ll walk you through the basics of determining how much space you need, as well as some important details you’ll also need to consider as you plan your rec room space.
The Basics: Table Size and Play Area
Regulation Play requires use of a ping pong table that is 2.74m long and 1.525m wide (a 9ftx5ft table). The table height must be 76cm (2.5ft) from the floor.
The ITTF handbook also states that the playing space/room should be rectangular and a minimum of 14m long, 7m wide, and 5m high (a 45x23x16 foot room). Professional players use a good deal of space around the table to move freely and make their shots.
While you won’t need that much space at home to play a great game of table tennis, you definitely want to have enough space around the table to play comfortably and develop your skills. Not to mention, you may want to have even more room to entertain friends and family who want to watch!
So how much space do youneed for your ping pong table?
Consider the height of your players. When you play table tennis, you want to be able to move your arm and the paddle freely, even when standing at the corners of the table. To accommodate most adult players (averaging 6ft tall), you really need an additional 3-6 feet (1-2m) of space around all sides of the table.
That means the ideal room for your ping pong table is a minimum of 19ft long and 11ft wide (approximately 5.75×3.5m). If you intend on purchasing a smaller ping pong table or converting your pool table with a table tennis top, add 10ft to your table’s length and 6 feet to your table’s width to determine the size of the room you will need.
Indoor Ping Pong Tables: Space Considerations
Start with a room that’s at least 11x19ft, or 10ft longer and 6ft wider than the ping pong table you are considering.
Next, look around for light fixtures, ceiling fans, large pieces of furniture, and doors that swing open into the area around your ping pong table. Again, consider the entire playable area and not just the dimensions of the table itself. A sharp corner from a bookshelf or a ceiling fan with a light could cause problems for players, even around the perimeter of the space.
If there are any lamps or light fixtures above or around the table, make sure that there is enough room between the table top and the bottom of the light fixture for the ball to bounce. A regulation table is supposed to have the ping pong ball bounce 23cm (9in) high when dropped from 30cm (approximately 12in) above the table top. Plus, you’ll need to consider the space needed if a player is leaning across the table to make a shot. Make sure that you have at least 3ft (90cm) between the table top and the bottom of a light fixture, or at least 5.5ft (approximately 1.75m) from the floor to the bottom of a light fixture.
And don’t forget that table tennis at home is a form of entertainment for everyone! Lots of people like to gather around a game to watch, cheer, and wait for their turn. Consider where spectators will sit and stand, making sure they have enough room to be comfortable without getting in the players’ way.
Many indoor ping pong tables have a playback feature, meaning one side folds up to allow a single player to practice. Check to see that your room is tall enough and that you have clearance to allow for the extra height required for the playback position. Generally, you will need about 6ft (2m) from the floor to use the playback position. Again, make sure you consider ceiling fans, light fixtures, and any windows or artwork that would be in the way of your ping pong table.
Many table tennis tables fold up to 5ft wide, 6ft tall, and 2.5ft deep (1.5x2x.75m) for storage. If you plan on pushing your indoor table against a wall or other piece of furniture, check that space for obstacles such as doors that need to open, light fixtures, or artwork on the walls.
Outdoor Ping Pong Tables: Space Considerations
Start with a space that’s at least 11x19ft, or 10ft longer and 6ft wider than the ping pong table you are considering.
Then consider all of the features and obstacles inside and around the playable area. The space where the table will go should be level (if it isn’t, you may want to find an outdoor ping pong table that has adjustable legs). The terrain inside the playable area should also be even so that players are safe as they move around.
Don’t forget to look up! Are there trees or awnings above you that could interfere with the ball’s bounce or a player’s movements? You definitely want at least 3ft of clearance above the tabletop (5.5ft from the ground) throughout your space.
Add a few extra square feet to make room for family and friends who want to hang out and watch a game or wait for their turn.
If you are planning on putting your outdoor ping pong table on an elevated deck that has railings, stairs, or other hazards, make sure that there is plenty of space around your table. Your players will be safest if none of these hazards are in or near the playable area.
Also think abouthazards around your game space. Where will you have to go to retrieve a loose ball? Are there drains, roads, retaining walls, etc. where you could lose your ball? Or a garden you want to protect? Depending on your outdoor space, you might consider purchasing a table tennis barrier, which helps keep balls inside of the play area. These are about 2.5ft tall and 6.5ft long (73cmx200cm).
Playback Position and Storage
Ifyour outdoor ping pong table has a playback feature, your space will need to be able to accommodate the extra height. You’ll need about 6ft (2m) from the ground to use this mode. You’ll also need that extra height when storing your table. If you plan on pushing your folded table against a wall, check the total wall area (6ft high by 5ft wide by 2.5ft deep) for obstacles such as windows, doors, light fixtures, downspouts, etc.
Space considerations for doubles games:
For 4 adults to compete comfortably in a doubles game, you’ll likely need more than the 19x11ft playing space, especially in the width of the ping pong table. Consider a room or area that’s closer to 14x19ft.