Table Tennis

                                                                  TABLE TENNIS

The History of Table Tennis

Like many other sports, table tennis began as a mild social diversion. Descending, along with lawn tennis and badminton, from the ancient medieval game of tennis. It was popular in England in the second half of the nineteenth century under its present name and various trade names such as Gossima and Whiff-Whaff. After the name Ping-Pong (an imitation of the sound made by the ball striking the table and the vellum bats that were used) was introduced by J. Jaques & Son, the game became a fashionable craze. There are many contemporary references to it and illustrations of it being played, usually in domestic surroundings.

    By the early years of this century, Ping-Pong had already acquired some of its present day complexities, though it was still seen by many as an after -dinner amusement rather than a sport. An account published in 1903 found it necessary to warn against wearing a dress suit and stiff shirt-or, for ladies, a white satin gown-but went on to give detailed technical advice about pimpled rubber, the penholder grip and tactics.

    The game was popular in Central Europe in 1905-10, and even before this is a modified version had been introduced to Japan , where it later spread to China and Korea.

    After a period when it had dropped out of favor in Europe, the game was revived in England and Wales in the early twenties. by that time 'Ping-Pong' had been registered as a trademark, so the earlier name of table tennis was re-introduced. National associations were formed and standardization of the rules began, both in Europe and the Far East.

    Then, over the next sixty years, table tennis developed into a major worldwide sport, played by perhaps thirty million competitive players and by uncountable millions who play less seriously. However, the game itself has not changed in essence since its earliest days, though it is faster, more subtle and more demanding than it was even only twenty years ago. a constant concern of the ITTF has always been to insure that table tennis remains a contest of human skills and that technological developments which add a new factor to the game do not give too great an advantage to the players who have the first opportunity of making use of them. Thus, equipment specifications are carefully laid down, and rigorously enforced.

   Other changes-a lowering of the net, a rule to avoid protracted games between defensive players, and rules preventing excessive advantage being gained by the server-were introduced in the thirties and further minor changes are made from time to time. Changes to the rules of the sport can only be made only at the ITTF's Biennial General Meeting, and are never made without the agreement of a substantial majority of the hundred or so member Associations represented at the BGM, all of whom have an equal vote.

    Modern table tennis at national and international level is a rigorous as any sport in its demands for the highest degree of physical fitness and mental concentration, attained only by arduous training to develop natural skill. Fred Perry, World Men's Singles Table Tennis Champion in 1928-29, later achieved even greater fame at Wimbledon; perhaps it would not be quite true to say that he moved to the larger court when his play became too slow for the table, but it is certainly true that no sport requires faster reactions and more delicate muscular co-ordination than table tennis.

Table Tennis Info


Table Size:

 Height:    30 Inches
Length:     9 Feet ( 108 inches)
Width :     5 feet ( 60 inches) 


1. Ball Size:

     The new rule calls for a ball with a 40 millimeter diameter. The previous specification called for a 38 millimeter diameter ball. Tournaments sanctioned by the International Table Tennis Federation and it’s national governing bodies around the world, have adopted the 40 millimeter ball specification beginning in the year 2000. It remains to be seen however, how quickly recreational-type tournaments will adopt the new size and how soon the public will be buying the 40 millimeter ball through sporting goods stores and various other retailers.

2. Ball Material:

Celluloid or similar plastic material may be used to make table tennis balls.

3. Ball Weight: 

2.7gm is the weight specified by the official rules.

  • THE RACKET (frequently called the paddle or bat)

Size and Weight:

    The racket may be of any size, shape or weight. The rules are liberal on this because a larger size or heavier weight would be a disadvantage, because of the speed needed to compete in the modern game of table tennis.

  • THE BLADE(the wood portion of the racket only) 


     At least 85% of the blade's thickness must be of natural wood. An adhesive layer within the wood may be reinforced with with fibrous material such as carbon fiber or glass fiber, but cannot constitute more than 7.5 % of the total blade thickness. A carbon fiber (graphite) blade will be made of wood laminations with one or two carbon fiber laminations. The carbon fiber will add stability and provide a larger sweet spot that provides an overall greater solid feel. 

  • THE RUBBER( the rupper and sponge portion of the racket only) 


     A racket may be covered with a rubber top sheet that is attached to a sponge under layer. This rubber and sponge combination provides the playing surface of the racket. How the rubber sheet and sponge is combined determines what type of rubber sheet it is.

  • Serving for 21-Point Game Matches:

Who serves? 
     Each player gets 5 consecutive serves. When a game becomes tied at 20 points, each player serves only once, as the serve then alternates between the two players or teams. If the score becomes tied at 20 points, the first player or team to take a lead of two points wins the game.

  •  Serving for 11-Point Game Matches:
Who serves?
     Each player gets 2 consecutive serves. When a game becomes tied at 10 points, each player serves only once, as the serve then alternates between the two players or teams. If the score becomes tied at 10 points, the first player or team to take a lead of two point wins the game.
  • A legal return:

        A legal return is made by a player striking the ball over or around the net and then onto the other side of the table.

  • 21-Point Game Matches:

         We suggest that you could either play traditional 21-point games as was the rule for many years, or the new 11-point games which the International Table Tennis Federation has adopted as its new rule as of September 2001.Recreational players may want to play 21-point games, because it will be easier to keep track of the number of games won by each player, because there are less games per match then with the 11-point games, and keeping track of who should serve is usually easier.


Who serves?
    Each player gets 5 consecutive serves.When a game is tied at 20 points each, the serve changes from 5 consecutive serves per player, to alternating after each serve between players or teams. If the score becomes tied at 20 points each, the first player or team to take a lead of two points wins the game.

  • Number of games in a 21-point match:

        Matches utilizing 21- point games consist of either the best 2 out of 3 games, or the best 3 out of 5 games. Clubs generally play matches consisting of the best 2 out of 3 games. Sanctioned tournaments can utilize both 2 out of 3 games or 3 out of 5 games. The 3 out of 5 games are generally played for the more important events and only for the final rounds of some events.

  • 11 Point Games Matches:


Who serves?
    The Serve alternates between the two players or teams with each serving 1 time. If the score becomes tied at 10 all, then each player serves one time before the other player or team gets their turn to serve.If the score becomes tied at 10 each, the first player or team to take a two point lead wins the game.

  • Number of games in an 11-point game match:

         The 11-point game rule specifies any odd number of games. It remains to be seen what number of games will be used at clubs and for tournaments.It seems that 4 out of 7 games or 5 out of 9 games per match may become common place.