Welcome to the Pingpod, the ping pong podcast
by PingSkills. I’m Jeff Plumb and I’ve got Alois with me. Welcome Alois. Thanks Jeff. Today we are going to be talking about games
up to 21 versus games up to 11 and which is better. Now before I ask Alois, I just want to say,
I prefer games up to 21. Anyway, lets get on with it. Alois what do
you think? Well Jeff, I really like the new format of
scoring since games are played up to 11. I think at any stage in the match now, each
game is interesting because even if it’s 8 – 2, the game is still alive. However if the
score is 17 – 3 or 15 – 5, the game is dead and the rest of the game is just boring. But if the game is 17 – 3, it’s kind of like
being 3 – 0 and 8 -2 in which case you are also not very interested. It’s the same but
you’ve kind of shortened each game and made each game not so valuable. Yeah but then each game it’s a new start,
it’s fresh and even if I’m losing this game easily or I’m 2 – 0 down, I’ve still got a
chance of winning a game and that become exciting for me. Yeah but, you don’t get these really titanic
battles where some guy might be down 19 – 11 and make a comeback and win and it’s a really
big comeback whereas if it’s 7 – 3 and you come back and win, it doesn’t seem as important. Yeah that can be true but I still think there’s
a lot of value in the shorter highlights of the game. So you like the shorter, instant gratification. Yeah that’s common in our generation isn’t
it? Maybe. Also if the games are shorter, doesn’t
that mean they are over quicker generally? Now you only have to win 44 points, before
you had to win 63 points to win a match. That’s right. They can be. But you’ll find
that the top games are still going for 45 minutes to an hour so you are still getting
value. In a close match the games have still got their time value. And maybe in the case
of a really one side match it’s over quicker so they do move on quicker. Yeah the quicker matches do move on quicker.
🙂 But then if we look at a sport like tennis,
they have extremely long matches and tennis is extremely popular around the World. But why are those games more exciting? Because
every game is up to 4 points. Hmmmm. And every game has a little crescendo so it’s
deuce and suddenly there’s a little crescendo and you’ve got something exciting. So do we need to just extend it out and use
the tennis scoring system? Would that be better? Well there is an option. I think it has been
trialled. It would be worth having a look at? Do you think that would be better than games
up to 11? It might be, I don’t know. I haven’t seen
enough of it. I’m always willing to explore and change. OK. So there you go. We want to know your thoughts. Let us know
if you prefer games up to 11 or games up to 21. Or would you like the tennis scoring system?

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Dennis Veasley

22 thoughts on “PingPod #38 – The Best Table Tennis Scoring System”

  1. I think i still prefer 11 but tennis scoring would be interesting. I also prefer how each player only has 2 serves with 11 system over 21 system

  2. I dont think the tennis score system is good for table tennis. In tennis the spin on the ball does not have as much effect like in table tennis and you have to ajust to the spin from different opponents. For example if my opponent has a good serve that I cant return and he can serve the entire game I would have no chance at all. 

    And also the score in tennis goes only up to 4 points because most rallies last till atleast 15 balls and if the 2 best players of the world are playing eachother rallies will last 20-30 balls. And in table tennis most rallies only last 3 or maybe 4 balls.

  3. The new system is so much better. And I can tell you why:
    1. Five serves in a row is too much. Imagine you're leading 15 – 5 and you have 5 serves in a row…
    2. You have to be more concentrated now. If you were behind 2 – 10 in the old system you still had a very good chance of winning the set. Now each single point for itself is more important, which brings much more tension into the match.
    3. The game reaches the point of what Alois calls "crescendo" much earlier which is better for the viewers.

  4. I've played TT with tennis scoring before (on an indoor tennis court no less!). I do actually prefer it and I think it offers a lot of advantages. First off there are a lot more "important" points in the match–game points, set points, match points, deuce points. Secondly, it's much more obvious how important it is to "hold your serve" or how skilled a good receiver when they "break the server". Thirdly, it lengthens the match considerably–instead of a ⅔ match to 21 or a 3/5 match to 11 taking about 20 minutes, a ⅔ set match takes almost an hour. This allows for more drama to unfold and is more in line with many other sports that are more popular as spectator sports–football (American), hockey, etc.–with game times of 1 hour. I think this time length would make our sport into more of an athletic endeavor as endurance would become a more critical factor in determining the winner. I say let's switch now!

  5. I prefer playing games to 21, because it feels like a more cohesive experience where I can build momentum, employ mind games, etc. But I prefer watching games to 11, because it does make each point feel like it counts more.

  6. The one thing I don't get with table tennis scoring is that edge and net are not called let consistently. Both make the game unpredictable and with short sets they can easily influence a close game. It would remove a lot of frustration from the sport, especially at the lower levels. People will say "it's part of the charm" but I find no charm in randomness.

    Apart from that I prefer to watch 11 point sets but play 21 point sets for the same reason: shorter sets are much tenser. It's more spectacular for spectators but more stressful for players.

    The major difference with tennis is that the "games" in tennis are one sided service games and serving has a much higher impact on the point, so the intensity evolves about capturing the opponent's service game aka service breaks. This would be difficult to emulate in table tennis, even with the slight advantage on serve we have too.

  7. Hmmm i wouldn't say the tennis score because it's alot more nervous in a competition or tournament because if the ball in table tennis goes so fast then. You'll might not get it only pros maybe. and as you may know, the tennis rallies are a bit longer and in my opinion even intermediates or advanced beginners in tennis can go topspin to topspinning quite a few times because you also have alot of space to run. And you might find the ball goes slower than the one on the table. Oh and by the way im George Howerson in Pingskills!
    Tell me what you think.

  8. 3 games to 11 any day, you still get supreme comebacks and great game play, but it usually actually takes less time to play this(I've timed quite a few ) yet more points have been played 🙂

  9. I think 21 because it is more exciting because like jeff plumb said if it is 17-11 and the person on 11 made a comeback that would be more tense than a game UPTO 11

  10. I prefer 21 only because it lowers the chance of a lucky win.  You can get maybe 5-6 lucky points in a match and have an inferior player win to 11, even with a decent gap in skill.  With 21, that luck factor is reduced.  Also falling behind is less deadly, you can't really come back tactically from 9-2 or 10-4 but to 21 you have a chance to adjust if you have the skill.  

  11. When playing with my buddies I prefer playing to 21 because it does ensure that I don't lose any sets to them, unlike if I'm trying to work on my technique playing to 11, they have a chance of getting a win which makes them too happy. regarding serious matches though, I prefer 11 for the following reason:
    Serve and serve receive very much distinguish ability. So lets say your serve deceives your opponent for for your first 4 serves before they figure out how to return it well. This would then be 36% of the whole set, vs only 19% of the set if playing to 21. The shorter match just puts more value on this aspect at least.

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