40 Fun Facts about Ping Pong

Ping Pong has been around for decades! It’s a fun game that brings tennis to a tabletop, indoors or out. Let’s look at some awesome facts about Ping Pong!

  1. It can be played at any age! Whether you’re three or 100, you can have fun bouncing a ball with a paddle.
  2. It began in 1880 in England.
  3. It was originally lawn tennis before being brought inside for everyone to enjoy.
  4. There were many early variations of the game under different names.
  5. It was called Whiff-Waff, Gossima, and Ping Pong!
  6. Some versions included cards and dice!
  7. The first game as we know it today was played in 1890.
  8. The name Ping Pong was trademarked in 1920.
  9. Once Ping Pong was trademarked, the term Table Tennis was born to avoid legal repercussions.
  10. Table Tennis is the official name of the sport at the professional level.
  11. The International Table Tennis Federation was created in 1926.
  12. Original members of the ITTF were England, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Wales, Sweden, and Czechoslovakia.
  13. The rules instituted by the ITTF remain the same nearly a century later.
  14. The ITTF has over 226 countries as members now.
  15. In 1971, diplomacy between the US and China started with a Ping Pong tournament.
  16. China hadn’t spoken to another country for six years but invited Canada, Colombia, England, and the USA to play on Chinese soil.
  17. China remains the best at the game.
  18. Table Tennis is the national sport of China.
  19. World Championships have been in play since 1981.
  20. China has taken home first place 120 out of 143 times.
  21. The rubber on the paddles comes in 1,600 different varieties.
  22. The rubber can either be smooth or pebbled.
  23. Original Ping Pong balls were made of cellulose.
  24. New balls are made from plastic.
  25. Regulation balls are required to be made from plastic as of 2014.
  26. Ping Pong is considered the most popular indoor sport worldwide.
  27. Tables range in price from under $40 to over $3k.
  28. Ping Pong can be played solo, in teams of two, or groups of four.
  29. There are over ten million people who play yearly in tournaments.
  30. The very first Ping Pong paddle was fashioned out of a cigar box.
  31. The first ball was fashioned out of a champagne cork.
  32. The first net was fashioned out of a stack of books.
  33. The longest time it took for someone to score a point during a tournament was over two hours.
  34. The most famous player is Janove Walder.
  35. The sport was banned for twenty years in the Soviet Union due to concerns about eye health.
  36. All regulation balls are either orange or white.
  37. Professionals can hit the ball at speeds of up to 100 mph.
  38. A coin toss determines who starts the game.
  39. Fancy footwork is necessary to succeed at a professional level.
  40. Balls are not empty. They contain pressurized gas.