How to Play
These are the official Poly Pong basic rules. There are many variations of the rules for different types of games which can be found by clicking the links in the navigation bar under ‘How to Play’.
Serving the Ball
- Best Method: The server strikes the ball causing it to strike in his court, bounce over a bumper into an opponent’s court, striking that court, then on to play.
- Beginners: The server may bounce the ball in his own court, then strike it with his paddle causing it to go over a bumper, then bounce in an opponent’s court, then on to play. The ball must be lofted to the opponents court and not slammed.
If the ball strikes any bumper during service, or fails to strike opponent’s court. A server is allowed to replay one bad serve without losing his serve.
A ball may strike a bumper as many times as it will during play of the game. Any player who receives a ball in his/her court from off a bumper, must continue to play the ball before its second bounce. Any time a ball strikes a bumper, the “bounce count” resets to zero for all players. Note:
the ball does not have to bounce before it is played from a bumper, or another player.
Ball Bounce Rule
- A player may return a ball when it enters his court before it bounces in his court but may result in a foul if it fails to strike an opponent’s court or is not played by his/her opponent.
- A player must return a ball that has bounced in his court before the second bounce. The only exception is when a ball bounces once in his court then goes over the bumper to an opponent’s court. This ball then become the responsibility of that player once it strikes his/her court. This is called “the ball bounce-through rule”.
Players Court Definitions
A players court is defined as the area above the surface of his playing area. A ball that passes beyond this region may be played by any player as long as he/she does not make physical contact with the player who is defending that court.
- Failing to return a ball that enters your court before its second bounce. Exceptions:
- When the ball continues on to another court after the first bounce, (bounce-through rule).
- When another player returns the ball after it has passed beyond the boundaries of our court. (They are helping you since you missed the ball).
- Returning a ball to your opponent’s court but missing the table. Your opponent could have helped you by playing it anyway.
- Returning a ball to an unauthorized court. (Some games like Color Rotation and some two player
games have this rule.)
- Returning a ball by some other means other than by a paddle. This is allowed in some game.
- Playing a ball which is within the boundary of an opponents court. A player fouls when he/she reaches over a bumper to play a ball in a neighbors court. The ball may be played in the area beyond any court by any player provided that no physical contact is made with other players.
- A player fouls if he/she is struck by the ball while he/she is attempting to shield his/her court preventing the opponents opportunity to play the ball.
Determined by the first player to achieve the previously decided, winning score such as. 7, 11, 15, 21, etc.
More than Four Players
New players may enter the game at any time by joining the line of waiting players.
There are over 20 different game types! Find descriptions and rules to all of them in our Downloads page and save them to your computer.