Table Tennis History

Table tennis history: where to begin, well it all started in the 1800s, it had many names back then Whiff-Whaff, Gossima and Ping Pong, no one called it table tennis until the 1900s. In it’s earliest form it was played with common objects from around the house, a line of books for the net, a knot of string or a rounded Champagne cork for the ball, and cigar box lids for the rackets.

The first table tennis sets came around in about 1898 and the early sets were very different to the ones we use today. The rackets had parchment stretched over them like a small drum. That’s why a lot of people called it ping pong as everyone had a slightly different racket and so it would make a higher or lower sound.

Table tennis history: The game became popular.
As the game spread in popularity, there were more manufactures trying to get a piece of the pie, some calling it ping pong, some calling it table tennis. There were also different versions of the rules at this time, so it must have been hard for the players to adapt to them as they probably would have had there specialty, I suppose it’s a bit like the tennis players now having to play on different surfaces.

There was a big step forward in the game when James Gibb an Englishman discovered celluloid balls when he was in the US, it was 1901, he found these celluloid balls to be perfect for the game. Then E.C. Goode invented the modern racket. In the early 1900s there was a ban on the game in Russia as they believed that playing the game had adverse effect on your eyesight. I’ve actually found my eyes to go a bit funny when playing on certain colored tables. But I think that’s just me as my eyes aren’t all that good.

Table tennis history: Around the world.
As the game became more popular around the rest of the world the Asian countries started to be known as the leaders, the European players dominated for the first 25 years but after the 1950s the Japanese and Chinese took over. There is so much to say about the history of table tennis, but I hope you’ve got a little idea of it now. Here are some good links to read more about the history of table tennis.

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