Interesting Table Tennis For Kids 2024 (Fun Facts)
Table tennis has been around for several decades, but there’s a good chance that you might not know much about it. It’s an Olympic sport with a fast playing speed, and it’s seen many athletes win multiple accolades.
In this article, we’re going to look more closely at some interesting facts about table tennis, how it came to be, and what variants the game has.
Let’s get right into it!
History of Table Tennis
Table tennis actually originated a few centuries ago in Victorian England! The members of the higher classes played table tennis after dinner, and it was considered to be an after-dinner parlor game.
Some researchers believe that British soldiers learned about the game when Britain colonized India, and took their learnings back to England with them.
10 Interesting Facts About Table Tennis
1. The earliest games of table tennis used books.
Back before game involved nets and rackets, British soldiers played table tennis with books and golf balls! They would set their tables up with a row of books standing in the middle of it to serve as the net, and use a single book as a racket. Since table tennis balls hadn’t been manufactured yet, they used golf balls.
2. Table tennis tables are made with very specific dimensions and requirements.
Since table tennis is an Olympic sport, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this game requires a specifically-designed table. Every table must be made from a material that offers the ball a uniform bounce of 23cm.
The ball must be able to bounce at a height of 23cm when it is dropped from a height of 30cm. Every table tennis table must also be a dark color with a matte surface.
3. Table tennis became an Olympic sport in 1988.
It took several decades for table tennis to become a part of the Olympics, and it was finally introduced in 1988. After the International Table Tennis Federation was created, it tried to get this sport introduced in the Olympics, but its efforts were constantly rejected. The ITTF made several attempts, but it was only successful in 1988.
4. Table tennis is the most popular sport played with rackets.
If you’re a tennis fan, look away! It might surprise you to know that table tennis is the more popular sport that is played with rackets across the world. Around 10 million people compete in table tennis tournaments worldwide, and International Table Tennis Federation has more than 220 associations from various countries attached to it.
You can also read our article on Interesting Aerobics Facts for Kids.
5. There are two styles of gripping a table tennis racket.
The two styles of gripping a table tennis racket are called shakehand and penhold. The penhold grip is named after the way a person would hold a pen, and is popular among players from East Asian countries. The shakehand grip is named after the way a person’s hand looks when handshaking. Some people refer to it as the Western hold; this gripping style is popular among players from Western countries.
6. The strokes in table tennis are categorized by offensive and defensive strategies.
Some of the offensive strokes are: hit, counter-hit, loop, smash, and flip. On the other hand, the defensive strokes are called: lob, block, push, and chop. Each type of stroke controls the ball in a different way and affects the players ability to hit the ball.
7. Table tennis is popular in East Asian countries and Europe.
Though table tennis is played in most countries, research shows that it is incredibly popular in Europe and East Asian countries like China, Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea. Apart from the Olympic games, other important competitions include the Table Tennis World Cup, the ITTF World Tour, and the World Table Tennis Championships.
8. China has some of the world’s best table tennis players.
Table tennis is one of the sports that China excels in! It is one of the most popular sports in the country and it is a sport that has won China several medals and accolades over the years.
9. Table tennis balls used to be only white.
The balls used to be white, but nowadays, they are manufactured in both orange and white. The reason that orange table tennis balls exist today is because when games were broadcasted on television, viewers at home often couldn’t see the white balls because of the lighting. However, today, orange balls make viewing tennis at home much easier.
10. Table tennis improves your reflexes.
If you’re interested in improving your reflexes, then we recommend learning how to play table tennis. It helps you improve your hand-eye coordination and concentration as well.
In this article, we took you through a list of interesting facts about table tennis. This game is one of the most popular sports in the world and it has a long and interesting history. We encourage you to learn more about table tennis after reading this article!