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5 Intriguing Facts About the Ping Pong Game


Miss B is a versatile content writer. As a student of English Literature and Language, she always dreamt of becoming a writer.



If you are just planning to start playing the fascinating game of ping pong, then there are some intriguing facts that you should know. You must possess a basic knowledge of the game. Even the equipment that is needed to play this game has a history. For instance, the bat with which the players hit the ball is known as a racquet. It is the term given by the International Federation of Table Tennis. However, different countries have different names. The racquet is called fondly a "paddle" while the Europeans call it a table tennis bat. One of the most popular names of the racquet is table tennis blade.

Ping Pong First Began in England

The true emergence of the game ping pong is still a mystery to most people in this era. According to some historians who researched the game, opined that it probably began in "Victorian England". Table tennis that was played outdoors was taking Great Britain by storm. However, the aristocrats wanted to move the game from outdoors to the indoors. Gradually, they turned it into a parlor game that was played indoors.

However, it is also believed that ping pong was invented by the officers of the British military. Besides, the early versions of the game were made by various manufacturers. Each patented and used their own trademarked the game. Therefore, the game ping pong was known by a wide range of names at that time. It was known as Whiff-Waff, Indoor Tennis, Gossima, and many others.

This Game Is Officially Trademarked by a Famous Entrepreneur

As per the International Table Tennis Federation, the first person that patented this popular parlor game was a British by the name of James Devonshire. He was the first who invented the name "table tennis". However, as per the records, the patent was abandoned by him in 1887. There are also other reports that state another Englishman named David Foster patented the earliest table tennis set in 1890.

Besides, the name Ping Pong was first commercialized in 1901 by John Jacques. He officially created and laid out some rules for the game and started to sell the equipment to the people. This resulted in their competitors launching the less popular and unsuccessful versions by the name of "Flim-Flam" and "Whiff-whaff". The name Gossima did not catch on so Jacques finally branded the game as "Ping-pong".

It Became a Global Phenomenon Especially in Asia

According to some historians, the popularity of the ping pong game steadily spread through various parts of Europe. However, the success of the game was not so long-lasting. The craze of this game gradually faded in Europe and later it resurfaced in England in the 1920s. According to the records, the International Table Tennis Association was formed in Berlin in 1926. In the very same year, World Table Tennis Championships were hosted in London for the first time.

Although it is widely believed that ping pong originated in Britain, the craze and the passion for the game eventually spread throughout the Asian subcontinent. Very soon, ping pong championships started to be held in various places. It was held in Mumbai where Asian players won consistently. In that very year, Japan won four gold medals, and after that China declared ping pong as their national game.

Ping Pong and Table Tennis Is the Same Game

The rights of the game were eventually given up by Jacques to the game distributor Hamley Brothers and the American board game company named Parker Brothers. Since they laid a claim to the name "ping pong", the others wanted to call it something else. However, the name "table tennis" stuck to most of the players and countries around the world.

But both the Ping-Pong Association and the Table Tennis Association originated in England in 1901, but later combined into one group. They dissolved in the year of 1904. Therefore, all this information points to one thing. It can be said that both "ping pong" and the "table tennis" are the same game with different names.

Ping Pong Diplomacy Was First Formulated in 1971

The game of ping pong was also used as a tool to develop diplomatic relations between two countries. According to some historians, in the early 1970s, the game of ping pong was used to mend relationships between the United States and China. It was extremely baffling for the Americans when their American world championship team was invited to participate in a series of cordial matches against the Chinese team.

The day got marked in history as the athletes were the first Americans to officially visit China since the Communist Revolution of 1949. This friendly action played a huge role in the major shift in the alliances of the two countries.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Miss N

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