Over several centuries, table tennis has evolved tremendously in both equipments and in official rule guidelines. As of today, table tennis has become one of the most popular sporting games in various countries.
During the latter part of 19th century (around 1880), British soldiers played a game called Royal Tennis to pass their idle time. At that time, the equipment used to play this game was pretty basic; they used cigarette lids as the paddles and corks or wrapped devices as the ball. Because of the excitement and fun associated with this game, it became exceptionally popular among the soldiers.
During the Victorian Era, table tennis was limited among the upper-class society; however, at that time, table tennis was better known as “Wiff-Waff”. A large table was used as the table. The aim of this game was to pass the ball (either a golf ball or any rounded object) to the other end over a net put up on the surface. This game became popular within a very short period and as a result of that, a series of new equipment was introduced and people started buying table tennis tables from TR Sports. An official looking paddle (made out of a frame and parchment paper) and celluloid ball were among theses playing equipment. It was during this time that J. Jaques & Sons deemed this game “Ping-Pong”. By 1901, the name Ping-Pong was bought by Parker Brothers and they began to introduce a range of revolutionised set of equipment and made the game so popular in the US.
It was E.C. Goode (an Englishman) who redesigned the paddle in order to make the ball spin during the push. He used a thin piece of wood to manufacture the paddle and it was covered with a pebbled rubber. This model was popular in many countries until 1952.
Parallel to the exceptional popularity of the game, two organisations emerged in 1903; Ping Pong Association (in the US) and The Table Tennis Associate (in England). Considering the necessity of regulating a set of standard rules, representatives from many countries gathered in Berlin and formed ITTF (the International Table Tennis Federation) in 1926. As a result of this international effort, they were able to hold the first official World Championship in 1927. Since then, ITTF has actively involved in bringing various resolutions to the game including the change of the surface, the height of the net and stand to arise the paddle rules.
At the beginning, Hungarian players dominated the competitions held by the ITTF and they held the Women’s Singles championship from 1926-1931 and Men’s Singles Championship from 1930-1935. That’s until more people started getting into the sport and started buying their own table tennis tables and then eventually we saw new players move up and take the championships. Thanks to companies like TR Sports who have helped greatly in expanding this sport and various other sports by providing affordable and quality sporting equipment.
As of today, various countries take part in this exciting game. Despite the changes occurred over the years, table tennis has become one of the most popular, exciting and dynamic games. Although it was just a simple act of passing idle time at the beginning, table tennis is now transformed into a highly competitive professional game. Besides the popularity, table tennis is associated with a large number of health benefits as per the health experts.