The history of ping pong dates back to 150 years ago when the sport was introduced by a group of British gents. Over the years, the sport has undergone numerous developments and changes that have aimed at making it fascinating and exceptionally thrilling to play. Despite the sport being common and a top preference for most people, there are very many facts about the sport that is unknown to most people. Here are some of the facts about ping pong that you probably did not know:
While there are some disputes about the true origins of ping pong, the sport is believed to have begun in England over one and a half centuries ago. The sport was started as an off-shoot of lawn tennis – a sport whose popularity has spread all over England but could only be played outdoors. Ping pong was introduced as an indoor version of lawn tennis. The popularity of the sport later spread all over the world and is now played in every corner of the globe.
Numerous researchers and studies have proved beyond that ping pong have great positive effects on the brain. People who love playing the sports benefit from enhanced strategic planning, increased concentration, and improved alertness. The sport mostly involves skill and creativity to play as opposed to strength and might.
Ping pong is probably the most played sport in tournaments all over the world. With over 10 million people playing the sport in tournaments across the globe, the number of people who play the game for fun and excitement is estimated at over 20 million. This is because the sport is extensively played in learning institutions, military bases, and even at workplaces.
The body that governs ping pong – ITTF was formed in 1926 by representatives of Table Tennis Associations in Austria, England, Hungary, and Germany. These countries became the first members of International Table Tennis Federation and the first constitution governing the body was agreed upon in December 1926.
To participate in sanctioned ping pong tournaments and events, players are required to use only authorized racket rubbers on their rackets. There are over 1,500 authorized rubber varieties that players can choose from. These rubbers differ in terms of texture as there are some that are soft while others are pimpled. Players choose their preferred rubbers for different spins and touch on the ball.
Unknown to most players, the secret to playing ping pong effectively and reliably lies in speed. Pro players often hit the ball at speeds exceeding 100 mph. New players often play at a much slower pace than this but in tournaments and competitions, the speeds are overwhelmingly high.
In China, ping pong is a national sport and is the most widely played sport in the country. Chinese players dominate world ping pong tournaments and have won most global ping pong titles. For instance, the players take pride in winning 98 out of 119 World Ping Pong Championships from 1981 to date.
A full ping pong game lasts for averagely 30 minutes. This time limit was put in place after Sydney Olympics of 2000. In addition to this, in the same year, the total points played for the game were reduced to 11 from 21.
In 1993, Lisa Lomas and Jackie Bellinger hit the ping pong ball for a total of 173 times back and forth which set a new record. No players have been able to break this record ever since. This record was set in only one minute of full play time.
In 1971, during a time that no US delegation had visited China since 1949, China invited US ping-pong players for a series of friendly tournaments and matches in China. This event opened the restoration of US-China diplomacy relations in the following year and throughout the 70s. This was the first time that a sport had brought peace and good relations between warring countries. This event was later known as ping-pong diplomacy.
There are also other lesser-known facts and truths about ping pong. Generally, the sport is very beneficial in that it not only enhances mental nourishment but also helps in burning fat in the body. Typically, the sport can be used for keeping fit without having to undertake rigorous physical workouts and exercises.