game came into being in the late nineteenth
century when it was played largely by children
or formed an after-dinner entertainment known in
its nearly days as ‘ping-pong’.
vanished for the first 22 years of this century,
but reappeared as table tennis, and the first
European Championships were held in 1926. Table
tennis was added to the Olympic Games in 1988.
table is 1.52 metres wide and 2.7 metres long
with a net 0.16 metres high. The table itself is
0.76 metres off the ground and is usually of a
dark green colour with a white line running
around the edge.
major tournaments the minimum arena space for
table and players is almost 12 metres long by 6
the few games where white clothes are banned,
because they would make it harder for players to
se the small white celluloid ball. Contestants
wear coloured shorts and shirts. The bat can be
any size of shape, but is usually fairly small
with a simple rubber surface to help make the
game, which is played by men and women, includes
events for singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.
RULES AND REGULATIONS
can be one game, the best of three of the best
of five. Each player has five services in turn
and the winner is the first to reach 21 points.
Should the score reach 20-20 one service is
taken alternately. The game is won by the first
player to lead by two points. A serve must
bounce each side of the net, but a return shot
must clear the net before
RECORDS SET IN THE GAME
1955 Table Tennis championships in London, the
American player Mrs. Neuberger received a lot of
attention. It wasn’t just her brilliant
orange shorts, split down the side and tied with
a ribbon which had all eyes on her, her unique
platinum ring of 25 diamonds in the shape of
crossed table tennis bats dazzled the
spectators. She commented, ‘I just like
1975, in a match at the Eden Park cricket
ground, Calcutta, torrential rain unexpectedly
poured through the roof of the pavilion,
delaying the start of a table tennis match. It
was found that not only had thieves stolen the
lead from the roof, they’d also taken the
lavatories and plumbing! Once the rain had
stopped, the water had been mopped up, and the
opening ceremony was about to begin that it was
found that the band was missing. The thieves had
stolen their tickets and they had been refused
admission to the ground!
‘slow’ table tennis player Eberhard
Scholar surpassingly reached the finals of the
World Table tennis championships in Munich in
1969. His advantage was out of the ordinary. The
weather had been so cold that the balls had
frozen solid and wouldn’t bounce, while
the tables absorbed the damp, making play
unusually slow. The organizers resorted to
desperate measures to even out the advantage
– by using hairdryers!
Bergmann, the English player, was something of a
perfectionist. He once examined 72 balls before
he could find one he thought suitable.