Did you know that one benefit of table tennis players is strong mental acuity?
Do you play ping pong but want to learn more about the history of table tennis? Not to worry! In this article, we’ll cover the origins of the game and share five intriguing facts.
Want to learn more? Keep reading to find out.
The History of Table Tennis
Have you been playing table tennis for a while now? The history of table tennis goes back quite a way. Let’s take a look at when table tennis began and how popular it is today.
1. Origination of Table Tennis
The game began in Victorian England, played by the upper class for fun. After dinner one night, some folks came up with the game.
They arranged books in the middle of their dinner table to act as a net. They then used cigar box lids for paddles.
They called it Whiff-Whaff at first. A row of books lined the centre to divide the table. Instead of using rackets, people used two books to hit a golf ball from one end of the table to the other.
An English gentleman, Mr Gibb, brought a celluloid ball for the game. The sound from the smacked ball changed the name of the game to Ping Pong. Other players called it Table Tennis.
2. International Ping-Pong Federation
People used the term table tennis in 1921 after the old Ping-Pong Association revived. The first association broke up, but people continued to play in parts of England. By the 1920s, people played in other countries.
Reps from England, Hungary, and Germany created the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). 165 national associations joined by the mid-1990s.
This body governs international table tennis associations and recognises six continental federations.
3. Change to the Bat
In the 1950s, an invention changed the game. Rubber and sponge became the new material for bats. Up until then, the bats had a thin covering of pimpled rubber.
The ITTF came up with a legislation, so players didn’t have an unfair advantage.
4. Speedy Ping Pongs
Skilled players can hit a ping pong ball across the table at speeds over 100 miles an hour. In 1993, players named Lisa Lomas and Jackie Bellinger made a world record. They hit the ping pong ball back and forth 173 times in a minute.
5. Worldwide Popularity
Table tennis grows every year. It became recognised as an Olympic Games sport for the first time in 1988 in Seoul. Over a billion tuned in to watch the men’s singles.
In China, the game’s played by millions in school, community parks, and at work.
Check out how to plan a table tennis tournament for your next holiday.
Want to Learn More?
We hope you found this article on the history of table tennis insightful. Table tennis has become a favourite sport worldwide and even made it to the Olympics.
Impress family at your next dinner party with these facts on table tennis.
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