Where can I find table tennis equipment?
Go to the listings of USATT sanctioned equipment and USATT sanctioned equipment dealers.
How much playing space for setting up a table area is required?
The table tennis table is 5 feet wide by 9 feet long. Allowing a minimum of 5 feet on either side makes the width of the playing area 15 feet. Now add to the length 10 feet on either end. This makes the length of the playing area 29 feet. This makes the total playing area 29 X 15 = 435 square feet. Championship table tennis utilizes more space that what is calculated above. So put 10 feet on either side and 15 feet on either end. This makes a total space of 25 feet by 39 feet, for a total area of 975 square feet.
Does equipment need to be USATT approved to be used in a USATT Tournament?
All racket surfaces needed to be USATT approved
to be used in USATT tournaments. Rackets do not need to be USATT approved.
What are the most common types of table tennis racket surfaces?
Inverted - the most common type. It has a layer of sponge on the racket, covered by a sheet of "pimpled" rubber, with the pips pointing inward so the surface is flat. This surface gives the most spin of any surface.
Pips-out - the second most common type. It has a layer of sponge on the racket, covered by a sheet of "pimpled" rubber, with the pips pointing outward. It is the best surface for all-out hitting, but does not give as much spin as inverted.
Long Pips - mostly for defensive play. Long pips are like pimpled rubber, but with extra long pips. It may or may not have a sheet of sponge under the rubber. It basically returns the opponent's spin, so an incoming topspin becomes a backspin, etc.
Antispin - mostly for defensive play. It is like inverted, but has a slick, non-sticky surface so that a spinning ball does not "grab" the surface. The sponge under the rubber is usually slow. This surface is the best for returning spin, but it puts little spin on the ball, and so most shots made by this surface are easy to attack, unless the opponent is caught off guard or is not used to the surface. It is often used by players with the Seemiller grip.
Hard Rubber - the classic surface, used before sponge was introduced in the 1950s. It is like the pips-out surface, but without sponge under the rubber. It is an all-around surface, but is usually at a disadvantage against the spin and speed of a sponge surface.