Pan American Games

Table tennis

Table tennis

Table tennis

Table tennis is a racquet sport played with a small ball and rackets. This game is contested in both singles and doubles, and it is practiced on a rectangular table divided by a net. The objective of the game is that the opponent cannot return the ball after one bounce on his or her side of the table.

Some details

Table tennis is contested in both singles and team events with the matches being determined by the best-of-five sets. The game is played on a table measuring 9 ft. (2.74 m) in length by 5 ft. (1.52 m) in width, with each half of the table divided by a net measuring 6 in. (15.25 cm) in height.

History

In 1891, James Gibb used a wooden table divided by a net held by small poles and played at 21 points using rubber balls. Shortly after, Gibb himself found small balls of celluloid in the United States that were very successful. In 1901, the first tournaments were held in England and the English Ping Pong Association was established (although it was rebranded as the English Table Tennis Association in 1927). In 1922, this new sport was already known in Sweden, France, Wales, and Central Europe. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recognized table tennis as an Olympic sport in 1977, but its official debut did not take place until Seoul 1988.

Terminology

Blade: The flat part of the racquet used for hitting the ball.
Chop: A shot aimed downward that causes the ball to backspin.
Drop shot: A return shot that falls just over the opponent’s side of the net.
Loop: An attacking shot that places a topspin on the ball.
Penhold: A popular method of gripping the racquet that resembles holding a pen.
 

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