Category: doubles

Common Mistakes Made When Playing a Doubles Match

Most table tennis tournaments feature both singles and doubles matches for players to compete in. As the name suggests, a singles match is where two players face compete against each other on opposite ends of the table. In a doubles match, however, there are two 2-person teams competing against each other. If you’ve never played in a doubles match, you’ll naturally have a disadvantage due to its unique nature. To help you get started on the right foot, keep reading to learn what some of the most common mistakes are during a doubles match.

Mistake #1 – Not Serving Correctly

In a doubles match, you must remember to always serve the ball diagonally across the table; otherwise, you will forfeit a point. This is an all-too-common mistakes that players make in doubles matches. I know this rule is different than traditional singles, but you must get into the habit of following this rule if you want to win. Assuming you are standing on the right side of the table, you would serve to the left on the opposite end of the table (your opponents’ right side).

Mistake #2 – Poor Communication

You can’t expect to have any level of success during doubles matches unless you communicate with your partner. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean shouting out commands that your opponents can hear, but instead consider using hand signals. You can use behind-the-back hand signals to tell your partner where exactly you are going to serve the ball. Before the match starts, go over the hand signals with your partner so you both know what to expect. This alone will give you a huge advantage during a doubles match.

Mistake #3 – Not Thinking Ahead

Whether it’s a singles or doubles match, the sport of table tennis is all about thinking ahead and planning upcoming moves. However, this is especially true in doubles matches, as you need to plan ahead for your partner to successfully return the ball. When you serve or return the ball towards your opponents’ side of the table, try to land it in a position that will give your partner a better chance of hitting. By making it easier on your partner, the two of you will naturally have a better chance at scoring a point.

After reading these mistakes, you should have a better understanding of what not to do during a doubles match. Just remember to keep the lines of communication open and always think several moves ahead.

Table Tennis Doubles Tips For Beginners

Table tennis is a fun and rewarding sport that requires proper hand-eye-coordination, agility and a sharp mind. Like most things in life, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. However, there’s nothing that can prepare you for the added element of playing a doubles match. You can practice for hours each day and still feel lost and confused once you get in front of the table for a doubles match. Although most of the rules are the same, there are some major differences that you need to be aware of. Keep reading for some essential doubles tips for beginners.


Serving is slightly different in doubles, so you need to familiarize yourself with the proper method. Instead of allowing the ball to hit anywhere on your opponents’ side of the table, you must hit it on the side that’s diagonal to your position. If the ball fails to reach this side of your opponents’ table, the serve will be considered illegal and you’ll forfeit a point. For this reason, it’s recommended that you practice serving balls to specific sides of the table. This will give you an advantage once you are placed in a doubles match where you must serve the ball on specific sides.

Alternating Returns

Contrary to what some people may believe, you must alternate turns when returning the ball in doubles matches. For instance, if you served the ball and one of your opponents returns it, your partner will then be required to return it back. After hitting the ball back, the other opponent will have to return the ball to you. This cycle will continue until one team makes a mistake.

Since doubles matches work on the principle of alternating returns, a good strategy is to serve the ball so your partner will have a clear shot at returning it. Table tennis is a strategic game that’s all about planning ahead, and this is one of the many ways to lay out a clear plan of attack.

Working With Your Teammate

The key to winning doubles matches in table tennis is to work with your teammate. Don’t be afraid to use hand signals to let your partner know where the ball is going. Just remember to avoid saying it out loud, as your opponents could overhead and anticipate the move. Develop a series of hand signals before the match and simply use them behind your body. This will allow your partner to better prepare for the return without your opponents catching on.