Ping Pong is a well-loved sport all over the world. Its history dates back in the 1800s and started as a parlor game, for anyone with a table, a paddle, and a ball. It was originally adapted from lawn tennis when in the winter, players tend to play indoors. Ping Pong was a trademark name owned by John Jacques of England, but rights were later sold to the Parker Brothers. Later, the name table tennis was used in 1921-22.
The popularity of the game has increased tremendously since then until finally, it became an Olympic sport. Organizations like the United States Table Tennis Association were created to standardize and officialize rules and mechanics. After 2011 however, table tennis and ping pong were differentiated with very minor differences.
Being a highly versatile sport for the masses, anyone can enjoy the game whether for fun or professionally. But how does one start?
How to Play?
The overall target of Ping Pong is to win a match by getting 15 points and if you are 2 points ahead of your opponent. A point is earned when the opponent cannot hit the ball over the net onto the other side of the table. In case of a 15-15 tie, each server only serves one point before switching service. After one completed match, the players switch courts. If one player wins both matches, he is declared the winner. But in case of one match won per player, a third match will break the tie. But up to 5 points only.
Serve. The ball and the racket must be behind and above the table during the serve. The ball rests on a motionless open palm. The player must toss it up to at least 6 in high and strikes the ball with a racket that it touches first his court and the touches the receiver’s court without touching the net assembly.
Spin. The direction of your brush will put a different spin on the ball. Spin is imparted onto a ball by using a tangential brushing action with your racket. Do this with your racket at less than a 90-degree angle. The faster a racket brushes a ping pong ball, the faster it will spin.
Smash. A smash is a very important stroke in ping pong. It is always heavy and aggressive. This makes it hard for your opponent to successfully return the ball to your court.
Trick. More than being a game of agility and speed, Ping Pong is a game of strategy. It is important that a player learns tricks and tactics that will confuse the opponents.
The Ping Pong equipment is relatively simple and inexpensive. The ball, which may be colored white, yellow or orange, weighs about 2.7 grams. It is spherical and hollow and it was once made of celluloid or a similar kind of plastic. The choice of ball color is made according to the table color and its surroundings. For example, a white ball is easier to see on a green or blue table than it is on a gray table. For official competitions, the ball has to be ITTF approved and must have a seal printed on it.
The major difference between Ping Pong and Table Tennis is with the paddles used by the players. In table tennis, players are free to customize their blades including pips-in and pips-out rubber material. But for Ping Pong, it has to be the same equipment for both / all opponents: blue sandpaper bats. Ping Pong use sandpaper which provides medium to slow speed and medium spin.
Finally, the Ping Pong table. No game can ever be played without it!
PING PONG PLAY AREA & TABLE SIZE AND DIMENSIONS
Just because you can play Ping Pong indoors and in a small space, doesn’t mean that you should. Ideally, it should be played in a dedicated space with appropriate facilities permanently available. But that is also just not possible!
Standard sizes of spaces for Ping Pong tournaments range from 9m x 5m up to 14m x 7m, depending on the level of competition – Local League, National Leagues (representative matches), National Tournaments and International Events, World Championships & Olympic games. But of course, if you want to play at home, any space that can accommodate a table tennis can be used. The minimum height ceiling, on the other hand, is 3 meters or 10 feet above the floor.
For recreational play and coaching, a smaller 8.5m by 4m space can be used. Keep in mind though that any area smaller than the recommended sizes can affect the type of strokes you can use and your style of play.
Moreover, there are varying Ping Pong table sizes available in the market, making it hard for people – who can play but are not professional players – be lured by the temptation to buy any table to just play.
The International Table Tennis Foundation dictates that an official Ping Pong table is rectangular, and is 2.74 meters long and 1.525 wide, or about 9 by 5 feet. The table top must be 76 cm above the floor and should be level across the entire surface. It should be made of any material that results in a 23 cm high bounce when a standard Ping Pong ball is dropped on it from a height of 30cm.
Part of the Ping Pong table is the net. It should be 6 feet long and 6 inches high.
But there are just so many Ping Pong table sizes and types to choose from. Other tables can be significantly small that standard but are proportionately correct. Manufacturers call them “midsize” or “mini”.
Ping Pong has been around for a very long time than we ever realize. What started out as a parlor game for bored rich people turned into a recognized Olympic sport.
It continues to be a game for men and women and children of all ages, all over the world. The right skill and equipment are keys to a great ping pong experience!
There are several pieces of equipment needed to play Ping Pong. But one of the most important among them is the Ping Pong table.
With so many sizes and types to choose from, it is best that you ensure that you pick the one that’s best for you. Never think that they are all the same, there are just so much that might not suit you and you don’t want to end up making an expensive mistake. Price can be an indicator of what matches your needs.
But the utmost target of playing Ping Pong is that the players should be having fun! Most especially you!