5-Minute Crafts
5-Minute Crafts

How to Tell Ping-Pong and Table Tennis Apart

Table tennis and ping-pong are names that often describe the same game where 2 or 4 players hit a lightweight ball using solid rackets. The game takes place on a table divided by a net. Ping-pong is considered to be an informal name, and some features of ping-pong are different from those of table tennis.

5-Minute Crafts is going to tell you what table tennis and ping-pong are and how they’re different.

How table tennis and ping-pong appeared

Table tennis first appeared in England sometime around the 1880s. At the time, lawn tennis was extremely popular but people couldn’t play it in winter, so they came up with a way to play it indoors. As the popularity of the game grew, companies started making and selling table tennis equipment. Each company named their gear differently, like Table Tennis, Whiff Waff, and Pim-Pam.

Ping-Pong is the name of John Jacques & Son table tennis equipment. As a result of a big marketing campaign, people started using it to refer to the actual game, and in 1902, the “Ping-Pong Association” was formed.

After its initial success, the interest in table tennis died down a bit, so the Ping-Pong Association stopped existing. But some people still played it, so by the 1920s, the game spread around the entire world. In 1926, the Ping-Pong Association was reborn under the name The International Table Tennis Federation. The name was changed because the manufacturer of John Jacques & Son registered the Ping-Pong trademark and the sports organization didn’t want any legal problems with copyright infringement.

The first official World Championship took place in 1926. Even though Ping-Pong was a trademark, it was still used to name this sport. It wasn’t until 2011 that the first Ping-Pong World Championship took place that was officially different from table tennis.

Table tennis features

It’s generally accepted that the name “table tennis” is used when talking about higher-level professional games, while “ping-pong” is used for more casual social games, usually between friends. Even though the games are basically the same, there are some differences in the equipment and rules. Here’s what’s special about table tennis:

  • There are custom rackets. The base of the racket for table tennis is made of 1-7 layers of wood. According to the ITTF rules, the racket should be at least 85% natural wood. The surface is usually covered with rubber. Players can choose materials based on their personal style.
  • The speed and ball spin matters. In table tennis, the speed and spin of the ball are typically very high.
  • There is a score count. Table tennis is usually played until one of the players has 11 points, and a standard game is up to 5 wins.
  • It has worldwide recognition. Table tennis is an Olympic sport.

Ping-pong features

Ping-pong is different from table tennis:

  • It uses standardized rackets. In ping-pong, all players use the same rackets. The surface is covered with 5 layers of sandpaper, not rubber. Sandpaper doesn’t let the ball travel at very high speeds or have big velocity.
  • It has a specific speed and spin. In ping-pong, the speed is lower than in table tennis. And the spin is also lower.
  • It has its own score count. Ping-pong is usually played until 15 points, and a standard match consists of 3 wins.
  • It’s not as recognized. There are ping-pong championships too, but it’s not an Olympic sport.
Preview photo credit Depositphotos.com, Depositphotos.com
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