Have you ever heard of Wiff Waff? What about Gossima? Who is Jackie Bellinger, or Lisa Lomas?
Chances are good that there are quite a few table tennis facts you don’t know about! It’s a popular sport with a long history, it’s bound to have some secret nuggets of knowledge stashed away.
If you’re looking to expand your knowledge, then keep reading. We’ve collected some interesting facts that’ll make you appreciate the sport of table tennis even more!
1. Table Tennis Inspired Peacemaking
During the tense years of the Cold War, it was table tennis that bridged the frozen gaps between China and the United States.
In 1971, during the World Table Tennis Championships, two players from the opposing countries were kind to one another. Instead of seeing the other with suspicion, they exchanged gifts.
This interaction brought Chinese Chairman Mao to extend an invitation to the U.S table tennis team. He gave them an all-expenses-paid trip to China.
From there, ties between the United States and China were able to heal after many years of suspicions. All thanks to table tennis.
2. Professionals Hit the Ball at Amazing Speeds
When watching a table tennis match, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the ball. This is even truer when you watch professionals play the game!
For example, in 1993, players Lisa Lomas and Jackie Bellinger set the fastest record of hitting the ball back and forth across the table. In a mere 60 seconds, they hit it 173 times! That’s almost 3 hits per second!
3. There Are Over 1,500 Rubber Patterns
The rubber patterns on the racquet are more than for show. Certain patterns give players the ability to control their hits in certain ways. One style of rubber is never quite like any other.
But did you know that there are over 1,500 types of these rubber coatings? From bumped to lined, from soft to hard, there are a ton of different options to customize your game.
4. Table Tennis Is an Olympic Sport
Becoming an official Olympic sport is a recent accomplishment for table tennis. Professionals played the first Olympic table tennis matches in 1988, during the Summer Olympics.
Ever since then, it’s been a big part of subsequent events!
5. It’s a Game of Many Names
It hasn’t always been called by its official tourney name of table tennis. It’s often called ping pong, for example. Though some people alter the rules of ping pong depending on who’s playing.
But there are other names that are lesser known. Some people speculate that Wiff Waff was the first name for this beloved sport, but others are certain that Gossima is the correct one.
Regardless of those, the sport didn’t kick off to be the one we all know and love until after the game rebranded itself as Ping Pong. From there, the rest is history!
These Table Tennis Facts Show Off the Grand History of This Sport
From impressive world records to creating bonds between countries, these table tennis facts are inspiring. Next time you pick up a racquet, remember these facts to help amp up your game.
Feel confident in the fact that you’re playing a game with a worldwide reach and the power to do a lot of amazing things!
Have any questions? Contact us today for all your table tennis equipment needs!