Most players pay little thought to the table tennis net. After all, what can be exciting about a simple net, a piece of equipment that just sits there? So while players will often spend hours upon hours poring over tables and obsessing over paddles, the net remains confined to the background.
Granted, the net is not exciting, but it is an important piece of equipment nonetheless, without which a game of ping pong would be simply impossible.
While the quality of the table, ball or paddle could have a massive impact on your game, the quality of the net will not really alter it a great deal. You can get away with using a cheap net, though a poor quality net on a high quality table will look out of place. So, before you buy, here are a few things you should keep in mind.
Table Tennis Net – Regulation Dimensions
Rules given by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) say the net must be
- 6 feet long
- 6 inches high
- Have a white top tape not more than 15mm in width
- Be of a dark color – dark green, dark blue or black (which can vary with the color of the table)
The ITTF also mandates that the bottom of the net should be as close to the playing surface as possible, while its ends must remain close to the supporting post.
A table tennis net system typically consists of an upright post, a height adjuster, clamp system for attaching the net, and the actual, horizontal part of the net.
The upright posts are installed at either ends, in the middle of the table; the clamp system ensures that the net stays in its place, and the height adjuster, obviously, is used to ensure that the net is adequately high.
Competition-level nets also have a taut cord embedded within the net fabric that keeps the net from sagging in the middle.
While a lot of newer ping pong tables nowadays come with their own net and post system, many people still prefer to use their own nets.
Securing The Net To A Table Tennis Table
You can fix the net to the table permanently, use a spring loaded clip assembly or a hand tightened screw clamp assembly. The last one – hand tightened assembly – is arguably the most popular method since it allows for greater control and calibration of the net’s height.
A spring loaded assembly is also very popular as it is quick and easy to install. Permanently fixed assemblies should be avoided since they do not allow for a great deal of flexibility.
The height is one of the most important factors when using a table tennis net. Serious players should invest in a table tennis net gauge – a simple tool that will not only help you adjust the net to the correct height, but can also be used to measure the thickness of paddle rubbers, etc.
Table Tennis Net – Summary
While you should always try to buy a quality net set as it is more likely to maintain tension over the years and last well. Chances are it will look better too.