The sport

Charleston Table Tennis Club

Old paddles

You may have called it Ping Pong all your life and you were right. It was invented in Great Britain around 1880 and took it’s current form in 1900 with the advent of celluloid balls which were imported from the United States by Englishman James Gibb.

The sound the balls made when they bounced inspired the name of Ping Pong. This name was patented in the United States, so Europeans called the sport table tennis which is the name it goes by all over the world.

Table Tennis Set Up

Table Tennis Set Up

Additonally, Table Tennis has many other interesting facts. For instance, did you know that USA Table Tennis (formed in 1933) has 7,000 ranked tournament players and 300 sanctioned clubs nationwide? Or that, Table tennis became an Olympic sport in Seoul in 1988. Next to soccer it is the most popular sport in the world. The ball travels as fast as 150 mph and more! In 1996, 18,200,000 Americans played table tennis. In October 2000 the ball size increased from 38mm to 40mm. Both sizes are currently in use.