Illawarra District Table Tennis Association

Triples Table Tennis

With Wollongong officially the ‘City of Innovation’ , our club is playing its part in being the first table tennis club worldwide in which TRIPLES table tennis is offered – and where it has been played regularly for over 10 years now. – Let us know if you want to try it and if there is enough interest we will set up a session.

What is Triples, and why?

Traditionally the only true form of table tennis as played in a team is Doubles – the two players do form a real ‘team’, as they play together. Yet our IDTTA competitions, as well as most so-called table tennis ‘team’ events (e.g. World Championships, Olympics) have three or four players per team. But since there is only ‘room’ for 2 players at the normal table, whole teams can never meet each other at the table as teams. – So, are these real ‘team’ events?

No – for that you need a ‘Triples table’, on which teams of 3 play each other! And yes, preferably it’s round, or at least nearly so… And you also need some new rules. And we have all of that at Beaton Park…

But the round table is big and expensive, so the alternative solution is the ‘Clip-On’ version, with 4 side wings clipped onto any standard table, which actually results in a game environment more like what we are used to.

How come? – Some history… It all started in the 1980s, after Günter (or Guenter) Arndt got sick of sitting around waiting for a game during pennant matches, and so invented (and patented) the round table tennis system. He then became side-tracked by academia, but followed this up after his ‘retirement’, by publishing (in 2007) his

‘Table Tennis Triples’ book available here – Wollongong University research publication: Prof. G. Arndt – you may be interested to read what the then president of the ITTF had to say in its foreword and starting our annual Triples Championships at Beaton Park in 2009.

Since then much has changed, mainly based on experience and feedback from our players. For example, with the original game players were numbered and had to wear bibs, and games went to 31, with strict service rules – all that was too complicated, so that today we have no numbers, no bibs, and play to 11 as usual (with a twist…).

In a nutshell, there are just THREE new rules:

            1. Serve Celery (yes, we are green)!  CE-LE-RI:

all serves from centre court : first one to

         opposite CEntre, then to your LEft, then Right.

      2. GO LEFT after you have served, to the next court.

             3. hit ANY ball (no more alternating!), but no more than 2 in a row

                      ……….the rest is standard table tennis.

The full rules can be found here

TEAM Table Tennis made easy – the power of the ‘Clip-Ons’

See the power of clip ons in the document below. The document will scroll.


Triples in Action

See the triples game being played here

A-Graders playing on ROUND Triples table
Casual Triples on ‘CLIP-ON’ tables
Four teams at 10th IDTTA Triples Championships 2018
TV demonstration Triples game
Original ‘Triple your table tennis’ educational video 2013