Skip to Content

Table Tennis: Why it’s called Ping Pong, plus more fun facts

FYI: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you click through and purchase. See our Affiliate Disclosure for more info.

When our family gathers together for a holiday, we always get a ping pong tournament going. It’s a game that everyone can play regardless of age or skill level-even my seven-year-old grandson gets involved. And yes -you read correctly-we call it “ping-pong” even though officially it is called table tennis.

Ping Pong is the ultimate game because it provides an opportunity for friends and family to get together plus has unexpected health advantages. The game of ping pong combines mental stimulation with physical activity that all can enjoy.

You can play table tennis with either two or four people, all using paddles. The rules are simple: hit the ball back and forth until one side scores a point for failing to send the ball back to their opponent or hitting off the table.

Picture of a family playing ping pong

Ping Pong: Benefits of playing.

The game was first created in London in the early 20th century and was initially known as Ping-Pong. In 1902, players grouped and formed the first Ping Pong organization.

However, the group reorganized around 1922, and the membership voted to call Ping Pong by a new, more acceptable name, table tennis.

Unlike many activities nevertheless, ping pong has a relatively low risk of injury. Ping pong has a variety of health advantages, including:

Hand-eye coordination improvement: An intensive game of ping pong improves mental acuity by increasing cognitive performance and attention.

Enhancing reflexes: Because of the sport’s fast-paced, brief nature, it improves both fine and gross muscular motions.

It’s gentle on your joints: Ping pong is ideal for those who have undergone knee surgery, have a history of serious issues, or are just wary of bending their ankle while participating in other activities.

It is calorie-burning: Do you despise hitting the gym? Alternatively, try ping pong. It’s a simple and enjoyable method to burn fat.

It’s a sport that brings people together: The importance of social contact in mental wellness cannot be overstated. People are becoming increasingly alienated from one another in a society linked through social media.

Why Ping Pong is the ultimate game.

Ping pong is more than just a fun way to spend time with family and friends. Even though sports freaks do not give it the respect it deserves, the physical exercise you get playing ping pong will keep your mind, body, and soul in excellent shape.

We live in a world that moves at a breakneck speed. With so much going on in our professional and personal life, it’s no surprise that we’re worried and agitated all of the time. There is, nevertheless, a fantastic method to relax and release all of that negative energy.

Table tennis is more than just a fun game to pass the time; it’s also an excellent way to beat stress. It doesn’t matter if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just need some time away from the pressures of work; this simple game will have the same effect as other forms of exercise – boosting serotonin levels.

In addition, playing ping pong will focus your mind, provide you with a fresh perspective on issues that may be bugging you, and offer you renewed vigor to deal with the challenges in your life.

People are becoming increasingly reclusive as cellphones become our primary mode of contact. Deciding to play ping pong will make you more sociable, allowing you to make friends while strengthening old ones.

It can also help to close the age difference. You will have the opportunity to meet and establish friendships with individuals of various ages and backgrounds.

Ping pong is a great way to get in shape, relax and have some laughs. Not only will it improve your mood but also make you more friendly with people around you.

The mental benefits include improved concentration skills and better problem-solving abilities – all while having fun playing ping pong instead of being bored on the couch alone watching TV.

History of Ping Pong

Ping-pong is another name for table tennis; even though it is not recognized in official terminology, this name is still quite common nowadays.

How the game became know as “ping pong”.

It is notable for being derived from the onomatopoeic noise of the ball, which first emerged in the Far East back in 1884: ‘ping’ represents the noise of a bat impacting a ball, while ‘pong’ represents the noise of the table hit.

Ping pong originated in England in the late nineteenth century. The earliest participants were middle-class Victorians who got inspiration from lawn sports. A champagne bottle would have served as the pitch, cigarette box as bats, and textbooks as the netting in the first round.

Table tennis was seen as a frivolous diversion for the upper crust at the time. The first tennis match on a table was established in 1890 by Englishman David Foster, who was drawn to it by its widespread popularity. The first regional championships were held in Hungary back in 1897.

In 1901, James Gibb returned from a tour to the U. S. with the first fiberglass ball, which was much lightweight than plastic balls. E.C. Gould, a London bat enthusiast, produced the first rubber pimple and rubbery bats a year afterward, in 1902.

For the first time in table tennis existence, the match was on! The official National Championship was held in 1902, succeeding the success of the inaugural public matches at Queen’s Hall in England.

The UK Table Tennis Association was formed as the sport grew in popularity. After that, in 1907, the first European Games were held. In the 1920s, things accelerated. In London, the Table Tennis Group was established in 1921, and the International Union was founded in 1926.

In England, the Championships amongst the different nations were held in 1926, and the France Table Tennis Association was founded in 1927. In Hungary in 1929, France would compete for the first tournament. Many champions have influenced the history of ping pong.

Picture of competitive table tennis.

Development of Ping Pong in the Olympics

The first time ping pong was played in the Olympic games was in 1998 in Seoul, South Korea. Chen Jing, a woman Chinese player, and Yoo Nam-kyu, a male Korean athlete, won the inaugural medals.

With the formation of the Pro Circuit in 1996, the game progressively became official. Since 1995, Asian players have dominated the practice, notably Wang Liqin, a three-time gold medalist and long-time number one player in the world. Table tennis is the most popular sport in Eastern Asia.

In European nations, champions such as Belgian star Jean-Michel Saive, German Timo Boll, and Dane Michael Maze are have been top ping pong players. In 2016, the global rankings were led by Asian players Ma Long, Fan Zhendong, Xu Xin, and Zhang Jike and the German team led by Dimitrij Ovtcharov.

Popularity of Ping Pong across the globe.

In 2005, it was projected that there were over 260,000,000 gamers around the globe. Over 200 countries and 33 million individuals are part of the International Table Tennis Association. Tournaments, club competitions, and championships are held all over the world.

France alone listed over 200,000 representatives in 2016. The development of table tennis is now characterized by a never-ending obsession fueled by the numerous advantages gained through consistent practice.

The United Kingdom held the inaugural world cup games in 1926, and athletes from Central Europe controlled the sport until 1939, with Hungary winning the men’s team event nine times and Czechoslovakia thrice.

The game’s popularity in China was remarkable for spawning “Ping-Pong politics,” a time in the 1970s when Cold War hostilities among China and the US were calmed by a series of major publicized table tennis games involving players from both nations.

The first of these events, held in Beijing in 1971, is largely regarded for laying the groundwork for US President Richard Nixon’s momentous trip to Beijing the subsequent year.

Is there a difference between table tennis and ping-pong?

There are no differences between table tennis and ping-pong. However, the official name of this game is “Table Tennis.”

What is the difference between tennis and table tennis?

Tennis and table tennis have many differences, but the most obvious is that they’re played on different surfaces: in Tennis, you’ll find yourself outdoors with a large racquet; in contrast to this Table Tennis is played over a table with a paddle. Scoring and ball size differ as well.

More Game Table Gear Reviews