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The Tale of Table Tennis

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Hey, Sports Fans!

A popular enough sport that most summer camps across the country offer it in a rec. room or maybe in a gym, Ping Pong—also known as Table Tennis—is, rather obviously, the lawn game Tennis adapted for playing indoors on tabletop. Tennis, which was invented in 1873 France, only took about a decade to make its indoor transformation in Britain.  

The term Ping Pong is typically the one you’ll hear used by amateurs while formally trained players refer to the sport as Table Tennis. But the two names refer to the exact same game. The name ‘Ping-Pong’ was coined by the English firm J. Jaques and Son at the end of the 1800s and later became trademarked by the Parker Brothers board game company which popularized the name.

The game caught on quick in England. By 1901 tournaments were being held, bringing in more than 300 participants. It was a Japanese college professor who encountered Table Tennis during his visit and introduced the game to his students. Soon after, a British salesman named Edward Shires introduced the game throughout his travels to Vienna and Budapest. Table Tennis was suddenly gaining popularity the world over!

In roughly two decades, The Ping-Pong Association was formed and was quickly renamed as the more official-sounding Table Tennis Association. Interest in the game steadily grew for the next 30 years or so until around 1950 when it exploded with the invention of the sponge.

Also called ‘sandwich rubber’, the Japanese used this new material for their paddles which proved a much higher capacity for command over how you hit the ball. Putting spin on the ball was hardly a part of the game until this new material made it that much more possible.   

Whether you call it Ping Pong or Table Tennis, enjoy playing wherever a table is available. You can even play when you’re out camping with our awesome Backpack Ping Pong Set! Intended for play on a picnic table, check out our backpack set we offer by clicking here. And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


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