2024 Paris Olympics

Table tennis at the 2024 Olympics: Rules, format and scoring explained

Here is everything to know about table tennis at the 2024 Games in Paris

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Ping pong is headed to Paris.

The 2024 Olympics will feature table tennis events in the French capital. The sport has been included at the Summer Games since 1988, and everyone will be looking to knock a dominant country off its pedestal.

Let’s set the table for the events in Paris:

Olympic table tennis format

There are five table tennis events at the Olympics: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s team, women’s team and mixed doubles.

All five events have a preliminary round, quarterfinals, semifinals and a final. Top-seeded players get byes into the later rounds, while players with lower seeds begin all the way at the start of the preliminary round.

Each team features two athletes, with mixed doubles including one man and one woman. A country can enter up to six athletes across the five events.

Olympic table tennis scoring

A player or team wins a game by being the first to score 11 points while winning by two.

Single matches are best of seven games. Team matches consist of four singles matches and one doubles match, all of which are best of five games. 

The initial serve of a table tennis match at the Olympics is determined by a coin toss. The coin toss winner can choose to serve the ball, receive the ball or pick a side of the table to start on.

A server begins a game by tossing the ball in the air and striking it so it bounces once on their side and then bounces on the opponent’s side. In singles, a server can serve the ball to any part of the table. In doubles, the serve must travel diagonally across the table.

The two sides alternate serves after every two points until the end of the game or until the score is tied 10-10, at which point the two sides alternate serves after every point. The first player or team to score two more points than their opponent after a game is tied 10-10 wins the game.

If a match reaches the last possible game, the players or teams will also switch ends of the table once the first player or team has scored five points in the game.

Olympic table tennis medal count

China has been the dominant country in table tennis since the sport made its debut at the 1988 Seoul Games. China took home 32 of 37 gold medals from 1988 to 2020, including four of five in Tokyo. Japan earned one gold on home soil in the first ever mixed doubles event.

Overall, China leads the way with 60 table tennis medals. It is followed by South Korea’s 18, Germany’s nine and Japan’s eight.

Table tennis is one of five sports in which the U.S. has never earned an Olympic medal (excludes breaking, which is a new addition for the 2024 Games).

Table tennis at the 2024 Olympics

All five table tennis events will be held at South Paris Arena 4.

Here is a look at the competition schedule:

  • Men’s singles: July 27-Aug. 4
  • Women’s singles: July 27-Aug. 3
  • Men’s team: Aug. 5-9
  • Women’s team: Aug. 5-10
  • Mixed doubles: July 27-30

How to watch table tennis at the 2024 Olympics

Viewers can watch all of NBC’s table tennis coverage from Paris live on Peacock.

Paris Olympics organizers have unveiled a display of the five Olympic rings mounted on the Eiffel Tower.
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