Table Tennis Net and Post Sets

Top tips to help you choose your ideal table tennis net.
Discover what you need to know before you buy a net and post set

 By Martin Hughes
 Owner and Editor

Table Tennis Net and Post

A table tennis net and post set might seem to be a boring piece of table tennis equipment, but they're extremely important items.

And with so many different styles available, you'll need to know what to look for and what to avoid when buying them.

Unlike some items of equipment, a bad net won't necessarily spoil your enjoyment of the game, but if it doesn't look good or it's difficult to set up and adjust, it shouldn't be used for serious play.

So let's take a look at what you need to know about choosing a table tennis net and post set that's suitable for YOUR needs.

 


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What do the rules say about the net and posts?

Law 2.02 states...

THE NET ASSEMBLY

  • The net assembly shall consist of the net, its suspension and the supporting posts, including the clamps attaching them to the table.

  • The net shall be suspended by a cord attached at each end to an upright post 15.25cm high, the outside limits of the post being 15.25cm outside the side line.

  • The top of the net, along its whole length, shall be 15.25cm above the playing surface.

  • The bottom of the net, along its whole length, shall be as close as possible to the playing surface and the ends of the net shall be attached to the supporting posts from top to bottom.

 

So this means that the net must be...

  • 6 feet (1.83m) long
  • 6 inches (15.25 cm) high, and that
  • the top of the net must be the same height along its whole length and
  • the bottom of the net must be as close as possible (but not touching) the playing surface and
  • the ends of the net must be attached to the supporting posts from top to bottom

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International Regulations

Before we go any further, it's important to know the difference between the The Laws of Table Tennis (commonly referred to as the rules) and the International Regulations.

The Laws are the "basic" rules of the game and are mandatory for all sanctioned table tennis events, whereas the International Regulations contain supplementary rules which are used in addition to the Laws in all international events and also in many higher-level domestic events.

So the basic rules for a net are as set out above, but if your net will be used in a competition where the International Regulations are being used, it will also have to be one which has been approved by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). You'll find a list of approved nets below.


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The function of the net

Buy Your Net & Posts Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Joola & more

Buy Your Net & Posts Here


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Net & Posts Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Joola & more

Buy Your Net & Posts Here


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

The net is intended to be an obstacle, but it shouldn't increase the probability of a player gaining a lucky point.

Therefore, a ball hitting the top of the net should either fall back on the hitter's side or bounce forwards - it shouldn't just roll over onto the receiver's side.

This means that the tension along the top of the net should be significantly higher than the rest of the net.

Therefore, the fabric must be suspended by a cord which must be tight, and it must be attached relatively firmly to the posts, but hanging from the cord.

Net assemblies which do not have a suspension cord therefore cannot be used in sanctioned events.

But remember, as we discussed above, if your net will be used in a competition where the International Regulations are being used, it will also need to comply with additional criteria AND be on the approved list.


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ITTF approved nets

If your net is going to be used in sanctioned events, the net assembly must be one which has been approved by the the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

And in order to receive ITTF approval, a net assembly must comply with lots of different criteria. These include...

  • The upright post must be a single matt colour, and cannot be white or yellow.
  • The net must be made of soft dark mesh and have a white or pale yellow top (tape) not more than 15mm high.
  • The mesh should be made of spun fibre rather than single filament and the knots should be firm and regular.
  • The mesh should not be less than 7.5mm square or more than 12.5mm square.

 

Table tennis net supporting post

The net supporting post consists of:

  1. upright post

  2. height adjuster

  3. horizontal part of the net post

  4. attaching system (clamp)

Of course, it's important to remember that if you're just playing for fun, then your net will not have to meet all these additional requirements.


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Choosing a suitable net and post set

Well, if you're looking for a table tennis net to use at home, or for a table that won't be used for serious competitive play, then there's a vast range of different nets to choose from.

Although some new table tennis tables have a net and post set supplied with them, in most cases you'll need to choose your own net and post set separately.

Generally, there are three types of net assemblies...

  1. Permanently affixed to the table
  2. Spring loaded clip
  3. Hand tightened screw clamp

 

1. Permanently affixed

Table Tennis Net and Post

Outdoor tables generally have a net assembly which is permanently affixed to the table.

These are usually only the same width as the table, i.e. five feet long, rather than the official length of six feet

Table Tennis Net and Post

and ...

some rollaway tables also have a net assembly which is permanently affixed to the table, although these are usually the correct length of six feet.

2. Spring loaded clip

Table Tennis Net and Post

Some net assemblies use a spring loaded clip to attach the net assembly to the table. These are popular because they're quick and easy to attach to your table.

3. Hand tightened screw clamp

Table Tennis Net and Post

But the most widely used variety are the hand tightened screw clamp.

These provide the best stability and adjustment capabilities.


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What type of table tennis net do you need?

Unless you have a table tennis table which has a net assembly permanently affixed to it, you'll need to choose either a spring loaded clip or a hand tightened screw clamp net assembly.

Spring loaded clip

Table Tennis Net and Post

These type of table tennis nets are easy to attach to a table, and to take off ... so they're great for schools and for home use, or if you're just in a hurry.

However, the spring clip can become worn over time and you'll find that it'll become more difficult to keep it in place.

 

Hand tightened screw clamp

Table Tennis Net and Post

If you're just playing for fun on a home table, you may only want a cheap table tennis net.

The cheapest available in this category have a very basic clamp as shown here.

However, the net is usually only 5 feet or 5 feet 6 inches long and the net height may not be adjustable.

Table Tennis Net and Post

Another similar net, suitable for home use is as shown here.

This also has a very basic clamp, but the net is usually the official length of 6 feet, although the height may or may not be adjustable.

 

I'd recommend...

Table Tennis Net and Post

This type of screw clamp which is much sturdier and of much better construction.

The screw clamp and the net height are both adjustable which means you'll be able to ensure that the net is at the right height and tension.

Buy Your Net & Posts Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Joola & more

Buy Your Net & Posts Here


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk

Buy Your Net & Posts Here

Butterfly, Stiga, Joola & more

Buy Your Net & Posts Here


Click here to view at amazon.com

Click here to view at megaspin

Click here to view at amazon.co.uk


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Table tennis net gauge

A net gauge enables you to set the net to the correct height (6 inches / 15.25 cm).

The net gauge also doubles as a tool to measure the thickness and flatness of your racket rubbers to ensure that they meet the ITTF regulations.

They're made of plastic and they're really easy to use.

Here's the net gauge I use...

Table Tennis Net Gauge

You position it over the net at various positions...

Table Tennis Net Gauge

Then lower it onto the net cord...

Table Tennis Net Gauge

The height of the net is then adjusted so that the net gauge hangs on the top of the net and the bottom of the net gauge just touches the table surface.

 

Here's an example of an umpire re-measuring the height of the net after the table was accidently moved by the World number one, Ma Long (red shirt), during a rally.

Umpires are instructed to measure the height at three positions (approximately 30cm from each net post and in the middle).

NB. There is no sound on this video.


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ITTF Approved Nets 2020

If you need a top quality net, and one which complies with all the additional requirements of the International Regulations, then you'll need to choose one from the approved list.

So here is a list of ITTF approved table tennis nets valid from 1st January - 31st December 2020.

No Trademark / Brand Name Net Name Colour 1 Colour 2 Colour 3
1 729 729 JD-1 Black
2 Andro Niveau Blue Black
3 Artengo FA950C Blue
4 Butterfly Europa Black
5 Butterfly International Blue
6 Butterfly National League Black
7 Champion 690 Blue
8 Cornilleau Clip Black
9 Cornilleau Competition Black
10 Donic Clip Blue Green
11 Donic Stress Blue Green
12 Double Fish 137C Blue
13 Double Fish Volant Blue
14 Double Happiness P100 Black
15 Double Happiness P105 Blue Green Black
16 Double Happiness P108 Blue Green Black
17 Double Happiness P118 Blue Black
18 Double Happiness P145 Blue Green Black
19 Gewo World Cup Black
20 Giant Dragon 9819N Blue
21 Joola Pro Tour Black
22 Joola Spring Black
23 Joola WM Black
24 Joola WM Ultra Black
25 Kinson Professional Blue
26 Nittaku I.N. Blue Green
27 Peace SP20 Blue
28 San-Ei Integral Blue Black
29 San-Ei Tibhar Integral Black
30 Shaofa Xu Shaofa Blue Green Black
31 Sponeta Classic Black
32 Stag Clipper Blue Green Black
33 Stag Expert Blue Green Black
34 Stag Pro Blue Green Black
35 Stag Smash Blue Green Black
36 Stag Snap-On Blue Green Black
37 Stiga Clipper VM Blue
38 Stiga Evolution Blue
39 Stiga Premium Clip Blue
40 Stiga Premium VM Blue
41 Sunflex Pro Blue Green
42 Tibhar Clip Blue Green
43 Tibhar Smash Blue Green
44 Tmount PN900 Black
45 TSP CL Blue Green Black
46 TSP MS Blue Green Black
47 Victas VC Blue Black
48 Xiom N6 Black
49 Yasaka Master 2000 Blue

 


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MORE PAGES ABOUT
CHOOSING YOUR TABLE TENNIS EQUIPMENT
For more information, tips and recommendations about table tennis equipment, take a look at my other articles...

Table Tennis Rackets (paddles / bats)

 

Table Tennis Tables

 

Table Tennis Nets

 

Table Tennis Balls

 

Table Tennis Shoes

 

Table Tennis Robots

 

Table Tennis Manufacturers/Suppliers

 

Interviews with Table Tennis Manufacturers/Suppliers

 

Recommended Table Tennis Equipment

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