Basic Rules


2.4.1 The racket may be of any size, shape or weight but the blade shall be flat and rigid.

2.4.2 At least 85% of the blade by thickness shall be of natural wood; an adhesive layer within the blade may be reinforced with fibrous material such as carbon fibre, glass fibre or compressed paper, but shall not be thicker than 7.5% of the total thickness or 0.35mm, whichever is the smaller.

2.4.3 A side of the blade used for striking the ball shall be covered with either ordinary pimpled rubber, with pimples outwards having a total thickness including adhesive of not more than 2mm, or sandwich rubber, with pimples inwards or outwards, having a total thickness including adhesive of not more than 4mm. Ordinary pimpled rubber is a single layer of non-cellular rubber, natural or synthetic, with pimples evenly distributed over its surface at a density of not less than 10 per sq cm and not more than 50 per sq cm. Sandwich rubber is a single layer of cellular rubber covered with a single outer layer of ordinary pimpled rubber, the thickness of the pimpled rubber not being more than 2mm.

2.4.4 The covering material shall extend up to but not beyond the limits of the blade, except that the part nearest the handle and gripped by the fingers may be left uncovered or covered with any material.

2.4.5 The blade, any layer within the blade and any layer of covering material or adhesive shall be continuous and of even thickness.

2.4.6 The surface of the covering material on a side of the blade, or of a side of the blade if it is left uncovered, shall be matt, bright red on one side and black on the other.

2.4.7 Slight deviations from continuity of surface or uniformity of colour due to accidental damage or wear may be allowed provided that they do not significantly change the characteristics of the surface.

2.4.8 At the start of a match and whenever he changes his racket during a match a player shall show his opponent and the umpire the racket he is about to use and shall allow them to examine it.


2.6.1 At the start of service the ball shall be stationary, resting freely on the flat, open palm of the server's free hand, behind the end line and above the level of the playing surface.

2.6.2 The server shall then project the ball near vertically upwards, without imparting spin, so that it rises at least 16cm after leaving the palm of the free hand and then falls without touching anything before being struck.

2.6.3 As the ball is falling the server shall strike it so that it touches first his court and then, after passing over or around the net assembly, touches directly the receiver's court; in doubles, the ball shall touch successively the right half court of server and receiver.

2.6.4 The ball and the racket shall be above the level of the playing surface from the last moment at which the ball is stationary before being projected until it is struck.

2.6.5 When the ball is struck it shall be behind the server's end line but not farther back than the part of the server's body, other than his arm, head or leg, which is farthest from his end line.

2.6.6 It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or assistant umpire can see that he complies with the requirements for a good service. If the umpire is doubtful of the legality of a service but neither he nor the assistant umpire is sure that it is illegal he may, on the first occasion in a match, warn the server without awarding a point. If subsequently in the match the same player's service is of dubious legality, for the same or for any other reason, he shall not be given the benefit of the doubt and the receiver shall score a point. Whenever there is a clear failure to comply with the requirements for a good service no warning shall be given and the receiver shall score a point, on the first as on any other occasion.

2.6.7 Exceptionally, the umpire may relax the requirements for a good service where he is notified, before play begins, that compliance is prevented by physical disability.

2.11 A GAME

2.11.1 A game shall be won by the player or pair first scoring 11 points unless both players or pairs score 10 points, when the game shall be won by the player or pair first scoring subsequently 2 points more than the opposing player or pair.

2.12 A MATCH

2.12.1 A match shall consist of the best of an odd number of games.

2.12.2 Play shall be continuous throughout a match except that any player shall be entitled to an interval of not more than 1 minutes between successive games.