If you fancy a sport that you can play outdoor and indoor, Table Tennis or commonly known as Ping Pong is such a game for you. On a personal note, I always liked smashing a ball with a racket and challenge my body with some twist and turns but running far was not my thing. I said goodbye to the other more exhausting version which is lawn tennis. At a hindsight, that kind of game entails exposure to the sunlight and wider area for running around chasing the ball which definitely is not for me. So this was how I came to love this unique game, it just fits perfectly in my checklist of; the smash hit twist and turn run a bit and score.
Table tennis was known to be first played in England by the upper-class as an after-dinner past time game.
It was originally popular in Asia and Europe but soon gained entry into the United States. Now Ping Pong is actually a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a table using small bats or a racket. The racket or paddle is made from a wooden blade wrapped with a pimpled or inscribed rubber sheet. The average size of the paddle is about 6.7 inches or 17 centimeters in length and 5.9 inches or 15 centimeters in width. These dimensions are optimal for most play styles and the focus is on the flatness and rigidity of the blade.
The game is played on a hard table that is divided into two halves by a net. The table can be built from any continuous material provided it can meet the minimum requirement. The complete set up of the table must be 9 feet or 2.74 meters in length and 5 feet or 1.525 meters in width. From the ground, it should measure up the height of 2 feet and 6 inches. The table must yield a uniform bounce for the standard ball which is 40 millimeter or 1.52 inches to bounce at 23 centimeters (9.1 inches) which is 77% when it is dropped from the height of 30 centimeters.
Generally, players must ensure to let the ball bounce only once on their side of the table and hit it back to the other side. When a player fails to return the ball that way, a point is scored by the opposite side. The first player to gain 11 points wins the game. Many techniques had been shared and the idea is to either smash it hard to let it bounce and fly across to be missed by the opposite side or too soft and the ball bounce near the net and far within the reach of your opponent. Another interesting technique used by official athletes in the sport is to hit the ball and make it spin thereby altering the direction of trajectory giving the hitter the advantage and limits the opponent’s action. So indeed this game demands a fast or quick reaction from the players.
Now choosing the rightful table entails the careful look into the different types and as well as the purpose of the match. Ping Pong has been an official sport in the Olympics since the 80’s. The event has several categories from singles for men or women and to doubles. So whether it would be as a simple recreational sport or competitive training for that matter indeed the size and dimension of the table is highly important. So brace yourself on the versatility and uniqueness of the different kinds of the table for Ping Pong.
The Full-size Table Tennis
Table length is at 27.4 centimeters or 9 feet in length and width of 152.5cm or 5feet. The specifications say it is 76 centimeters or 2 feet in height from the floor. The height of the net is at 15.25 centimeters or 6 feet or 1.83 long with an overhang of 15.25cm in height. The table may be built with any material may it be wood or other sturdy material. It must be a continuous surface to ensure that the table yields a uniform balance bounce of about 77% of the height, that is 23 centimeters or 9.1 inches.
Competitive/Olympic or World Championships:
The sports gained popularity and was embraced in the International Competition. The standards and regulations were set by the organizing body and indicated table specifications as well as for the other equipment used in the sport. The table length should be at 14 meters in length and width of 7 meters (46 feet x 23 feet). The material should be made to make sure there will be a continuous surface to play in compliance with the requirements set by International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
Tournaments on a National Level
On this category, the table length is at 12 meters and a width of 6 meters (40 feet x 20 feet). It should have a playing surface that is uniformly dark colored and matte, divided into two halves by a net at 15.25 cm (6.0 in) in height.
Local League or Local Tournament/ Representative Matches
For age level competition in a certain community, the standard table length is at 9 meters with a width of 5 meters (30 feet x 16 feet inches).
Practice play or Coaching
For a junior league or some long-term practice, the table measures up a length of 8.5 meters and a width of 4 meters or (28 feet x 13 feet).
As I have mentioned earlier, Ping Pong or Table Tennis is such a versatile sport that you can play either outdoor or indoor. The play area also requires a sufficient space for all players to move about during the game. The room may at least be 16 feet in length and 10 feet in width. With this in mind, you need to consider first the type of matches you would be having.
The sport is under the careful watch of the worldwide organization known as the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Wooden tables or their derivatives are approved and since I have mentioned the sport can be played either indoor or outdoor the variety of materials for the table can be seen in public spaces, such as parks to be as concrete tables with a steel net or a solid concrete partition. So whether you would choose the purpose over the style and specifications, the key to this sport is to enjoy and have fun!