What is a "Let" in Ping-Pong?

Improve Your Ping-Pong Know-How

Table Tennis Table And Paddles
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Getting good at ping-pong? You may have a natural talent and basic knowledge of the game, but serious players should become familiar with the industry terms associated with the game. For instance, what is the definition of a "let" or a "lob" in ping-pong? Read on to explore some common terms that are common in the game.

Some Table Tennis Terms

  • Bat: A bat is another reference to the ping-pong paddle or racquet.
  • Doubles: Playing a game of table tennis with two players on each side.  
  • International Table Tennis Federation: This is the organization that serves as the international governing body for the sport of table tennis.
  • Backspin: This refers to a spin used on defensive shots, which involves chopping down on the ball and moving the bottom of the ball away from you.
  • Inverted: A rubber type on the racquet that has a smooth finish but grips well; it can generate a large amount of spin and is also known as pips-in.  
  • Topspin: This type of spin causes the ball to bounce low and fast on the opponent's side of the table.
  • Chop: A chop is a defensive stroke that returns a topspin that is played with backspin.
  • Chopper: This is a style of play when a player primarily chops the ball.
  • Long pips: Refers to racquet rubber with a surface of long pimples, which can result in an unpredictable spin. 
  • Fault: A fault in table tennis is the failure of the server to make a good service according to the Laws of Table Tennis
  • Double bounce: If the ball bounces twice on one side of the table without a return, the player loses a point.
  • Block: A defensive play in the game that is used to combat loops and smashes in order to keep the ping-pong ball on the table.
  • Match: A game of ping-pong where the winner is the person who gets the best of three or five games. 
  • Skunk: This refers to a type of scoring method in the game that is used in more recreational play. With this, a player wins the game when they score 7-0 or 11-1.
  • Backhand: This stroke played across the front of the body when the back of the hand faces forward.
  • Spin: This happens when the ball rotates on an axis during flight. This occurs when the rubber surface of the racquet or bat grips the ball. 
  • Closed: This occurs when a player strikes the top of the ball with a specific angle of the racquet.
  • Open: This refers to the angle of the racquet when the bottom of the ball is hit. 
  • Let: This is a rally when the result is not scored. This can occur if the ball hits the net assembly during a serve before touching the opponent's court, or if an umpire interrupts a play. This can also occur if a player serves before the opponent is ready so long as the opponent doesn't try to hit the ball. 
  • Drive: Taking a shot offensively in a rally where the ball is hit back and forth at a medium pace. 
  • Drop shot: Hitting the ball so it just passes the net and the other player has a hard time responding.
  • Twiddle: This is a ping-pong technique that involves a player turning the bat in his hand during the rally so use both surfaces of the racquet on the ball. 
  • Loop: This is an offensive shot with topspin.