Table Tennis History, Skills & Equipment Needed to Play

Ping Pong is the game of Fascination and freedom. The following article traces the history of Table Tennis (Ping Pong) in brief, essential equipment needed to play, Skills, and benefits of playing Table tennis.

Related Post: Table Tennis Rules & Regulation Guide

Equipment Needed to Play the Game


As per the standard requirement, you need the following equipment to play the Ping Pong

  1. Ping Pong Paddle
  2. The hallow Ball
  3. Ping Pong Table
  4. Ping Pong Uniform Kit

1. The Paddle

Table Tennis requires paddles to play it. The paddle should be of a red and black side.

2. The Hollow Ball

The ball should be of either orange or white color and of 40 mm size.

3. The Table

In ping-pong, the court is settled on a table. As per the standards of the game, it has to be 9 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 2.5 feet high. The size may vary for kids or individuals blessed with low heights.

4. The Kit

As as the kit for ping-pong is concerned, one can wear shirts, shorts, skirts (women), and shoes.

Note:  The color of the uniform has to be other than the color of the ball (white and orange).

Table Tennis Players, Matches & Team Composition

In table tennis, you can play either singles or doubles.

  1. The singles (1 vs. 1) and doubles (2 vs. 2) games are played on the miniature tennis court that is fixed firmly on a table.
  2. A game contains 11 points (the winner must reach 11 points first and lead his opponent by 2 points).
  3. While a match comprises odd numbers of games, usually 5 to 7
  4. The one who wins more than half the game is considered the winner of the match.

Skills of Table Tennis Playing

If one wishes to be a fine player of table tennis, he ought to acquire a set of skills that are quintessential for playing the game.

This game entails brisk footwork, agility, confidence, intelligence, balance, resilience, and above all, command over various unorthodox shots while responding to your opponent on a tiny court.

Let’s jump to these necessary skills:

1. A Proper Grip

The proper grip of the paddle is though simple but very helpful in the general course of the game.

A firm grip includes the use of one’s hand, more specifically one’s fingers and thumb.

Fingers, thumb, or collective hand guarantees a solid grip which is the basic requirement for playing ping-pong.

Remember! Holding the paddle properly gives you an edge over your opponent.

2. A Proper Stance

Adapting a comfortable stance will help you maintain your balance as well as shots. Therefore, you may adjust your legs opposing the direction of the game. Your feet must also be opened slightly wider than your shoulder.

Your stance has to be square to the table, having your right leg forward and left leg behind, maintaining arms in front of you and standing near the table, putting the weight of your body on your toes, feet, and ultimately on the ball.

Remember: Don’t put the weight of your body on your heels solely.

3. The Brisk footwork

Skillful and handy use of one’s feet adds charm to one’s ping-pong skills. Using your feet to the best of their capabilities makes you a very, very fine contender.

Your footwork defines your alertness, agility, balance, and success.

4. Forehand Drive

The forehand drive, in table tennis, is one of the straightforward table tennis strokes. This drive is regarded as an aggressive and attacking stroke played with a small amount of topspin.

The forehand drive is applied against either long or medium-length topspin.

5. Backhand Drive

The backhand drive, in table tennis, is one of the straightforward table tennis strokes. This drive is also regarded as an aggressive and attacking stroke played with a small amount of topspin.

The backhand drive is applied against either long or medium-length topspin.

6. The Backhand Push

Backhand push is generally regarded as the simplest and straightforward drive among other ping-pong drives.

It is just a delicate push to play the ball. It’s, however, a prerequisite to learning it thoroughly by continuous practice.

7. The Serve

Initially, the ball should rest on a straight and motionless palm of the server’s hand.

Later, it should be tossed up in the air, at least 6 inches high, and hit while the ball is in the air so that the ball must, first of all, bounce on the side of the server and on the opponent’s side afterward.

The serve is declared to be quite fair, except it touches the tiny net fixed in the middle of the court.

If the service comes in physical contact with the net, it becomes a let serve. A let serve is scoreless and retainable.

8. Taking the back-swing

The second position in the backhand drive is back-swing. The back-swing adds power to your shot. Weaker the back wing, the weaker the shot.

For proper back-swing, you have to bring your paddle backward and raise it a bit upward towards your chest.

There has to be some distance between your paddle and your body so as to create an accurate bat angle to strike the ball.

Your body shouldn’t be bent, and your wrist has to be straight.  Keep your playing arm (right hand or left hand) in front of your body. Push the ball gently so that it’s may not go off the table.

8. Striking the Bat

Striking the ball seems the opposite of a back swing. Former is a bit forceful, later is delicate.  When a paddle and ball meet, a strike is generated.

While making the stroke, one should move one’s arms forward to strike the ball.

Bear in mind that you are not supposed to strike the balls in front of you.

Rather you are supposed to get your elbow as well as your forearm to move, and simultaneously, you have to make sure that there should be a slight distance between the elbow and your body.

For less spin, you have to lay a bit down on the back of the ball, and for more spin, it’s recommended to play below the ball.

Benefits of Playing Table Tennis Sport

Following are the key benefits mentioned as experienced

1. A Healthy and mental Activity

It offers the ultimate brain workout. In a jiffy, it activates our brains and makes them quiet at work.

2. Adds Sociability

It offers a conducive environment where one can make friends.

3. Improves Coordination

With incessant practice, it enhances hand and eye coordination.

4. An Excellent cardio Workout

It quickens your heart rate while playing and thus improves overall health.

5. Flexibility of Playing

The game can be played anywhere and anytime. It can be played everywhere, indoors and outdoors, and anytime since it requires a small table, a bat, and a ball.

6. The General fitness

It improves general fitness ranging from mental health, cardio health, physical strength, removal of waste substance through sweat

Brief History

Table Tennis emerged in England in the early 20th century with its trademark name, Ping-Pong.

Ping-pong name was later turned into table tennis in 1921–22 with the rejuvenation of the old Ping-Pong Association (formed in 1902).

The primitive association had dissolved by 1905.

However, the game continued to be played with the same vigor and enthusiasm in some parts of England beyond London, and approximately by the 1920s, it was being played in various countries.

Under the representations of Germany, Hungary, and England, the international governing body of table tennis ( Federation Internationale de Tennis de Table) was formed in 1926

Its founding members were England, Wales, Hungary, Sweden, Denmark, India, Austria, Germany, and Czechoslovakia. Surprisingly, by the mid of 1990s, roughly 165 national associations had joined it.

The first ever world championships were organized in 1926, in London, and henceforth until 1939, the arena of ping-pong was out-shined by central European players, as the event of the men’s team was won nine times by immensely successful Hungary and twice by another strong team Czechoslovakia.

By the 1950s Asian continent became a prolific ground for leviathan champions such as; China and Japan, and North Korea too, to some extent, became an internationally recognized force.

It was 1980 when the first World Cup was organized, which was won by Guo Yuehua of China with prize money of $12,500 for the champion.

Later on, in 1988, table tennis was included in Olympics, with both; the singles and the doubles contests for men as well as women.