Table tennis is an indoor game that originated from England. And
just like other sports, table tennis was played merely as a social diversion in
the early times. It is a game that was enjoyed by upper class Victorian families
in the 19th century. Table tennis comes with a number of names, including "flim
flam", "gossamer", and "whif whaf". During that time, players merely use a
dining table, a makeshift net, and a set of cardboards to play the game. It was
only in 1901 when an official set of table tennis equipment was sold in the
market, under the trademark "Ping-Pong". To play table tennis, a ball, a net, an
official ping-pong table, and a paddle for each player are all required.
Right now, table tennis is an internationally recognized sport. The International Table Tennis Federation, or simply ITTF, governs all rules and tournaments worldwide. Table tennis can be played either in singles or doubles. It follows a rule very similar to lawn tennis. Players use small rackets called paddles, which both sides can be covered with rubber. A hollow lightweight ball made of celluloid is the one commonly used. The main objective of the game is to volley the ball from one side of the table to the other.
Game skills and strategies are required to play table tennis efficiently. The spin of the ball, its placement on the table, and the speed it travels are very essential. The different ways of holding the racket, such as the grip style, the pen-hold, and the shake-hand style may determine the player's skill level. And to be good at ping-pong, players need to master both defensive and offensive strokes. The game starts with a serve. The player needs to bounce the ball on his side of the table into his opponent's side without hitting the net.
The player gains a point if his opponent fumbles or was unable to return the ball back to him. It is important that the ball bounces once on the player's and his opponent's sides of the table. It is illegal to hit the ball before it touches the table. If the player hit the ball too hard that it goes out of bounds, then the other player gets the point. The area of the table serves as the boundaries.
Table tennis is very popular in Asia. In fact, Chinese and Koreans currently dominate the sport. They had successfully dethroned the reign of European players from France, Sweden, and Hungary. Table tennis became an official game in the Olympics in 1988.
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