Table tennis is a racket-and-ball sport played between two players, similar to tennis but on a table. Check out history of Table Tennis here.

Table tennis : History of Table Tennis

Table tennis, predominantly known as Ping Pong, is a fast moving racquet sport requiring exceptional hand-eye coordination.

Table tennis : History of Table Tennis

Type Racquet sport, indoor   
       Equipment          Poly, 40 mm (1.57 in),
2.7 g (0.095 oz)

Men and Women play either as individuals or in pairs and win points by hitting a lightweight ball over a net so that their opponents can’t return it or are forced into an error.

The game came into existence in the early 1900s in England where it was played among the upper-class people as an after-dinner game.

The global governing body of Table Tennis is International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) which was founded in 1926.

History of Table Tennis 

The roots of table tennis originate from Victorian England and go to British India where British officials played similar variants of the modern sport by stacking up a row of books as nets and using two more books as rackets to hit a golf ball.

Table tennis : History of Table Tennis

The name ping pong and table tennis were synonymous until 1901 when a trademark made it brand specific for J. Jaques & Son Ltd (who later sold it to parker brothers).

Thus, several companies, manufacturers, and associations were forced to change their names from “ping pong” to “table tennis”.

Another revolutionary change in the sport of table tennis came 1901, when James W Gibb, a British sports enthusiast, invented and introduced the celluloid balls.

The first table tennis governing body, called the Table Tennis Association, was founded in 1921, while the ITTF was founded in 1926.

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 1950s, 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-1980s 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.

Equipment History

  • Celluloid balls were introduced in 1990; hence replacing the less efficient rubber and cork balls.
  • The classic hard bat era lingered in between 1920 and 1950, marking the period of European dominance in the sports.
  • The 1950s became the age of sponge bat and technology; henceforth marking the beginning of Asian dominance in the game.
  • After the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the standard ball size was increased to 40 mm as to provide better and enhanced visibility of the ball during a live telecast.
  • Plastic balls were first used in world championships and Olympics in 2016.

Table tennis is played on a table which has a length of 2.74 m, the width of 1.5 m and the height of 0.76 m. Also it is divided into halves by a vertical net having the height of 15.25 cm.

Table tennis : History of Table Tennis

Usually, wooden tables are used having a dark colored playing surface (mostly dark green, dark blue or black).

The center line on the table divides it vertically for doubles game.

According to ITTF rule 2.13.1, the first service is decided by lot, normally a coin toss.

It is also common for one player to hide the ball in one or the other hand, usually hidden under the table, allowing the other player to guess which hand the ball is in.

Playing table tennis competitively provides great agility work, coordination, and cardio.

By Rishabh

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