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“Ping Pong” redirects here. For other uses, see Ping Pong (disambiguation).
Table tennis |
table tennis at the highest level |
Highest governing body | ITTF |
Nickname(s) | Ping-pong |
First played | 1880s England |
Contact | No |
Team members | Single or doubles |
Mixed gender | men, women or other |
Categorization | Racquet sport, indoor |
Equipment | celluloid, 40 mm |
Olympic | 1988 |
Table tennis, also known as ping-pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight, hollow ball back and forth using table tennis rackets. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net. Except for the initial serve, players must allow a ball played toward them only one bounce on their side of the table and must return it so that it bounces on the opposite side. Points are scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules. Play is fast and demands quick reactions. A skilled player can impart several varieties of spin to the ball, altering its trajectory and limiting an opponent’s options to great advantage.
Table tennis is controlled by the worldwide organization International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), founded in 1926. ITTF currently includes 215 member associations. The table tennis official rules are specified in the ITTF handbook. Since 1988, table tennis has been an Olympic sport, with several event categories. In particular, from 1988 until 2004, these were: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles and women’s doubles. Since 2008 the doubles have been replaced by the team events.
The sport got its start in England towards the end of the 19th century when, after dinner, some upper-middle class Victorians decided to turn their dining room tables into miniature versions of the traditional lawn tennis playing field. Several different every-day objects were employed in constructing the sport. They used a line of books as the net. Rackets were lids from empty cigar boxes, and a ...