Tennis Without the Lawn

by Mario D Churchill - Date: 2007-01-21 - Word Count: 561 Share This!

Table tennis, also known as Ping Pong is a sport that can be played indoors and outdoors as long as the designated table divided by a net is present and outdoor conditions are ideal to play. But generally, table tennis is an indoor sport. The basics of the game involve two or four players hitting a ball back and forth to each with the use of paddles. If you have seen a professional table tennis match you'll be awed by the quick reflexes the players have.

Sometimes you can't even follow the ball's movement due to the fast plays. Expert players can even hit the ball in such a way that it creates a spin to the ball which makes the bounce hard to predict. But these professional athletes have such quick reflexes that they have quick reaction time allowing them to confidently hit and return the ball to the opponent.

As you probably have seen in sporting events as well as in the movies, table tennis is a big hit in East Asia particularly in China where a lot of great players come from. In China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, table tennis called Ping Pang Qiu while in Japan it is called Takkyu and in Korea the sport is referred to as Tak-ku.

To give you an idea how quick reaction should be, during plays involving Olympiads, the ball speed has been measured to reach a speed of 112.5 kilometers per hour or 69.9 miles per hour. This speed is pretty hard to follow especially on a small table of only 274 cm 152.5 cm 76 cm high. Speaking of the table, the table is more often painted green or dark blue.

Some tables are black though. There's a net in the middle which rises up to about 15.25 cm or 6 inches. Even though the table is rather small, table tennis requires a lot of room for players to move and catch the fast balls freely. In competitions, you'll see players moving as far away as 3 meters from the edge of the table.

This prompted the International Table Tennis Federation to designate an area of 14m long by 7m wide and 5m high for international table tennis competitions. Anything less could affect the player's performance and might hinder their ability to play well.

Players used paddles to hit the balls. The paddles measure around 10 inches long and generally has a layer of rubber and sponge covering the paddle's striking area. Recent studies and scientific research has been looking for the best materials that can be used on the striking surface to maximize the amount of spin and speed of the ball.

Just like other sports like baseball and golf, technology now plays a major role in optimizing the capabilities of players allowing them to perform in ways that seem impossible.

The table tennis ball is a small ball made of celluloid. Measuring 40mm in diameter, the ball is hollow and quality is determined by the bounce, roundness and consistency.

Originally the object of the game was to see who will be able to obtain a score of 21 first. But in 2001, the governing body of international table tennis set the 11 point scoring rule.

The race to 11 has been adopted ever since in international competitions. But the 21 point scoring system is still played by most individuals in the recreational to even small competition levels.

Related Tags: table tennis, ping pong, table tennis dvd

Mario Churchill is a freelance author and has written over 200 articles on various subjects. For more information on table tennis, also called ping pong, checkout his recommended websites.

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