Is Ping Pong The Same As Table Tennis?

  • By: Tim
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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Are you looking for a new hobby or an avid table tennis enthusiast? If so, you may be wondering is ping pong the same as table tennis?

Although ping pong and table tennis are two different names for the same sport, most historians believe the original name to be ping pong with the name table tennis being used slightly later due to trademark issues (More on this later!)

While this game is now a worldwide phenomenon, it is interesting to note that ping pong/table tennis started as a Victorian parlor game in England during the 1880s. The first recorded instance of this game being played was at an after-dinner party amongst the upper class!

So now that we know a little bit more about the history of this timeless game, let’s explore ping pong the same as table tennis in a little more detail.

What’s The Story of Ping Pong

The history of ping pong is a bit murky, but it is believed that the game was first played in the late 1800s. The first version of the game was called whiff-whaff, and it was played with cigar box lids for bats or paddles, a wine cork for a ball, and the net? A stack of books! This was believed to be played by British soldiers stationed in South Africa and India.

Another version of the origination of ping pong is what we talked about above. It was a Victorian parlor game played by the wealthy as an after-dinner game.

Which one came first? We will never know for sure but what we do know about the history of ping pong is below.

Where Was Ping Pong Invented

In 1891, Englishman John Jaques III began noting the popularity of the game and started manufacturing a new game he called it ‘Gossima’, which was played with a net and a wrapped cork ball.

Ping Ping Rackets and Ball

Ping Pong Name Origin

In 1901 John Jaques changed the name of his game to Ping Pong and trademarked the name. It is believed to be an onomatopoeia name, basically, it was named after the sound it made when played.

Members from England, Germany, and Hungary led this resurgence and helped to create the Fédération Internationale de Tennis de Table otherwise known as the International Federation of Table Tennis

Since the first championships took place in London in 1926, players from central Europe dominated the game, with Hungary winning nine times and Czechoslovakia winning twice in the men’s team event.

However, it wasn’t until the 1950s that table tennis began to gain popularity worldwide.

How Long Has Ping Pong Been in The Olympics

In 1988, table tennis was added to the Olympic Games, and it is now one of the most popular sports in the world.

Is ping pong the same as table tennis

Ping Pong Vs Table Tennis Rules

Well as we discussed above when we talked about, “Is ping pong the same as table tennis?” it is the same game just with a different name so the rules are the same and with that in mind here are the rules for ping pong and the rules for table tennis.

Ping Pong Table Dimensions

So you may have asked, “How long is a ping pong table?” Or perhaps “How wide is a ping pong table?”

Well… We are going to answer those questions and more right here.

A typical ping pong table is 9′ long and 3′ wide. There are other lengths of tables both shorter and longer but if you want it to be an official International Table Tennis Federation sanctioned table it must be 9′ x 3′.

Ping Pong Table Height

The standard table tennis height is 2.5′ off of the ground.

Ping Pong Net Height

The top of the net is supposed to be 6″ above the table and the bottom of the net as close to the table as possible.

A Typical Ping Pong Match

The game is typically played on a table tennis table, which as we discussed above is 9’x5′ and 2.5′ tall. The table is divided into two halves by a net, and each player has their side of the table.

To win a point, the player must hit the ball so that it bounces on their opponent’s side of the table and then their opponent is unable to return the ball. Points can also be awarded if the player manages to hit the ball off of their opponent’s racket and into the net. The first player to reach 11 points wins the game and the game must be won by 2 points.

Is Ping Pong the same as Table Tennis

The Ping Pong Serve

In a friendly game between friends, it’s usually ok to just toss the ball up and hit it over as long as it bounces once on the serving player’s side before it makes its way over the net. But in a sanctioned tournament or match play the service rules are quite a bit more stringent.

  1. The ball must rest freely in the player’s open palm without the racket.
  2. The ball is then thrown vertically about 6″ without spin and the ball must stay behind the end line.
  3. It is then struck by the racket and must bounce on the server’s side once before it traverses over or around the net to the opposing player’s side.
  4. The ball must remain in view of the receiving player from the start of the service until the server makes contact. It cannot be hidden by the server’s clothing or any body part.
  5. The service is swapped every two successive points during regular play and every point after 11 points are scored until one player wins by leading by two points.
  6. In doubles the service must land on the opposite quadrant of the table across the net.

So, is ping pong the same as table tennis? The answer is yes! Although the game originated in different places, the rules and equipment are identical. So whether you call it ping pong or table tennis, you can rest assured that you’re playing the same great game.

Beginner Ping Pong Tips

Table Tennis is a relatively easy game to learn, but it can take a while to master. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Always try to keep the ball in play. If you miss the ball, your opponent will have an opportunity to score a point.

2. Make sure you are using the right grip. There are several different grips that you can use, but the most common is the shakehand grip.

3. Use your wrist to generate power when hitting the ball. Don’t rely on your arm alone, as this will limit your range of motion.

4. Stay calm and focus on your shots. If you start to get frustrated or angry, it will be difficult to play well.

5. Practice regularly. The more you play, the better you will become.

Final thoughts on is Ping Pong the Same as Table Tennis

So, is ping pong the same as table tennis? The short answer answer is yes! Most believe the game was originally called ping pong or whiff-whaff and then it was later called table tennis due to trademark issues in the UK and USA.

With that said the rules and game is exactly the same and the only difference in the two would be the preference of the user.

So whether you call it ping pong or table tennis, you can rest assured that you’re playing the same great game.

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