Table tennis

racket sport

Table tennis,also known as Ping Pong (a trademarked name), is one of the most popular sports in the world, with players in many countries. It is played by two or four people on a table. To play this game, people use bats and small celluloid balls. You need also a net and a table. Table tennis was invented in England in 1880.

A game of table tennis being played
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The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the worldwide organization, was founded in 1926, exactly 46 years after invention. Table tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988, 108 years after invention. Many of the best players in the world today come from China.

  • 乒乓球 (Ping Pang Qiu) is the official name for the sport in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • 卓球 (Takkyu) is the official name for the sport in Japan.


The game is played on a rectangular table that is divided in half by a net. Two or four players use small paddles, called rackets, to hit a lightweight ball back and forth across the net. The goal of the game is to hit the ball in such a way that the opponent is unable to return it. Points are awarded to the player who wins each rally, and the first player to reach a certain number of points, typically 11 or 21, wins the game.

Table tennis is a great sport for people who are looking for a fun, low-impact way to stay active and improve their fitness. It is also a great way to improve hand-eye coordination, reaction time, and overall cardiovascular fitness. The sport is relatively easy to learn and is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

One of the things that makes table tennis so appealing is the fact that it can be played in a variety of settings. It can be played indoors or outdoors, in a gym or in a park, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Many communities have local table tennis clubs where people can gather to play and socialize, and tournaments are often held for players of all ages and skill levels.

Table tennis is also a very popular sport in schools and universities. Many schools have table tennis teams that compete against other schools, and university teams often compete in national and international tournaments.

There are many different techniques and strategies that can be used to improve your table tennis game. One important aspect of the sport is footwork, which is the way you move around the table to position yourself for the best shot. Another important aspect is the way you hold the racket, as this can affect the power and control of your shots.

Another important aspect of table tennis is spin. The ball can be hit with different types of spin, such as topspin, backspin, and sidespin, which can affect the trajectory and speed of the ball. Spin can be used to make the ball more difficult for your opponent to return, and is an important part of advanced table tennis strategy.

Overall, table tennis is a fun and exciting sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced player, there's always something new to learn and enjoy about the game. It's a great way to stay active, improve your fitness, and socialize with others. So why not give it a try and see for yourself?


The sport comes from England during the Victorian era, where it was played by the upper-class as a game to be played after meals. It has been suggested that simpler versions of the game should be developed by British military officers living in India during the 1860s or 1870s, who brought it back with them. A row of books stood up along the center of the table as a net, two more books served as rackets and were used to continuously hit a golf-ball.

The name "ping-pong" was in wide use before the British manufacturer J. Jaques & Son Ltd coined the term in 1901. The name "ping-pong" then came to describe the game played using the rather expensive equipment, Jaques provided, with other manufacturers calling it table tennis. A similar situation arose in the United States, where Jaques sold the rights to the "ping-pong" name to Parker Brothers. Parker Brothers then enforced its trademark for the term in the 1920's making the various associations change their names to "table tennis" instead of the more common, but trademarked, name.

The next most important innovation was by James W. Gibb, a British addict of the sport, who discovered novelty celluloid balls on a trip to the US in 1901 and found them to be ideal for the game. This was followed by E.C. Goode who, in 1901, invented the modern version of the racket by fixing a sheet of rubber to the wooden blade. Table tennis became more popular by 1901, to the extent that tournaments were being organised, books being written on the subject, and an unofficial world championship was held in 1902.

In 1921, the Table Tennis Association was founded, and in 1926 renamed the English Table Tennis Association. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) followed in 1926. London hosted the first official World Championships in 1926. In 1933, the United States Table Tennis Association, now called USA Table Tennis, was formed.

In the 1930's, Edgar Snow commented in Red Star Over China that the Communist forces in the Chinese Civil War had a "passion for the English game of table tennis" which he found "bizarre". On the other hand, the popularity of the sport waned in 1930s Soviet Union, partly because of the promotion of team and military sports, and partly because of a theory that the game had adverse health effects.

In the 1950's, paddles that used a rubber sheet combined with an underlying sponge layer changed the game dramatically, introducing greater spin and speed. These were introduced to Britain by sports goods manufacturer S.W. Hancock Ltd. The use of speed glue beginning in the mid-1980's increased the spin and speed even further, resulting in changes to the equipment to "slow the game down". Table tennis was introduced as an Olympic sport at the Olympics in 1988.

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