How Is Table Tennis Different from Other Racquet Sports? Comparing Them All

In this article you will find info about how is table tennis different from other racquet sports - from basic rules to equipment prices
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Last updatedLast updated: November 01, 2022
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Ever wondered why all racquet games are so similar to each other? You’ll find a racquet, a ball, and almost similar team formats – singles, doubles, teams, and so on. More importantly, these games all need incredibly quick reactions. A player also needs accurate timing and proper body positioning to spin the ball the right way.

The best thing about table tennis and other racquet sports is that they allow you to achieve superior body fitness as you engage many body parts at once. So, how is table tennis different from other racquet sports? Let’s discuss the basics of the sport and compare it to other similar sports to see what makes it unique.

Table Tennis Overview

Table tennis, also known as ping pong, is a highly popular sport with millions of followers worldwide. Like all other sports, you first need to learn a few things about the game before playing it. For the uninitiated, here’s what table tennis is all about.

Difficulty

Table Tennis DifficultyAccording to ESPN's list of the 100 toughest sports in the world Trusted Source ESPN.com: Page 2 - Sport Skills Difficulty Rankings We sized them up. We measured them, top to bottom. We’ve done our own Tale of the Tape, and we’ve come to a surprising conclusion. www.espn.com , table tennis sits at number 47. I couldn’t agree more because looking at the complex spins and frighteningly fast shots that players take, it’s only safe to assume that a beginner has a lot to learn if they want to get really good at this sport.

I know a lot of people think that table tennis is easy to learn and play, but that is just a perception. When you see professional players doing their thing perfectly, it has taken them many years of constant practice to be where they are currently.

Remember, being able to hit the ball is much different than playing competitive ping pong at the international level. From my experience, it might take you between 5 and 10 years to perfect your game. For others it may take even the entire lifetime!

So, anyone can make a stroke. However, ball placement, spin, and speed makes the strokes a bit difficult.

You’ll need to practice a lot to learn basic stroke techniques such as counter hit, push, smash, flick, block, lob, topspin, and chop. Oh, and there are tough strokes: backhand, forehand, sidespin-topspin, and short push
.

Equipment

Considering that table tennis is an indoor table sport with two or four players, there isn’t a lot of equipment needed. As I have mentioned a moment ago, what matters is how you coordinate your strokes at an incredibly high speed.

The equipment needed for this sport include a 2.7 grams, 40 mm diameter table tennis ball, a paddle, a 9 feet long table tennis table placed 30 inches above the ground, table tennis shirts and shorts, table tennis shoes, and a face towel considering that table tennis is an intense sport. You may also need a table tennis robot, such as the IPONG Trainer Motion, for practicing with, especially when you don’t have a partner.

On that note, did you know that choosing the best paddles is a key to success in table tennis? Now you know.

Playfield

A table tennis table is a wooden playfield designed specifically for table tennis. It measures 9 feet by 5 feet, and it is usually raised 2.5′ above the ground. For international tournaments, the table must be 14 meters by 7 meters, while for national tournaments, it’s 12 meters by 6 meters. If you want to set up one at home, you won’t go wrong with 8.5 meters by 4 meters.

The playfield is divided into two equal courts, so divide your length by two to find the center and place the net there.

Table Tennis Vs Badminton

Table Tennis Vs BadmintonTable tennis and badminton are two completely different games. Although both of them are played with a racquet, badminton has a shuttlecock instead of a ball. Other differences include:

Equipment

Table tennis has a table court as a playfield, whereas badminton has a net supported by two raised posts. In other words, badminton offers a larger playfield than table tennis.

Rules

Another thing that sets table tennis apart from badminton is the rules. Badminton prohibits bounces, while table tennis allows a single bounce before striking. All other rules are similar.

Table Tennis Vs Squash

Table tennis and squash differ in a lot of things. They have different courts, racquets, balls, and rules.

Equipment

Table Tennis Vs SquashThe playfield is the main difference between these two sports. The table tennis court is open and players volley the ball over the net. Another thing, the table is usually wooden.

On the other hand, a squash court is enclosed and smaller than a table tennis court, and it is typically wooden or rubber in nature.

When it comes to the racquets, a squash racquet is smaller than a table tennis racquet, of course to make it easier to hit the ball in a small space. A squash ball is rubber and hollow inside, while a table tennis ball is celluloid and hollow inside, too.

Note: Whether you’re playing squash or table tennis, choosing the best paddle such as the Killerspin JET 400 Smash N2 will certainly give you a competitive edge over your opponent.

Rules

Although the rules of both games are pretty much similar, each game has its unique rules that set it apart from the other.

In table tennis, players contest in three games to produce a winner, whereas in squash, players play three or five games to produce a winner. In squash, a player must score 11 points to win, while in table tennis, you need just four points to win.

How these games are played is yet another major difference. In table tennis, players volley a ball over a net, while in squash, players serve a rubber ball into walls.

Table Tennis Vs Big Tennis

Table Tennis Vs Big TennisIf you are keen enough, you realize that the main difference between table tennis and tennis (big tennis) is in the name, wow! That aside, there are a few other things that differentiate these two sports.

Equipment

A tennis racquet is typically 68 centimeters long, while a table tennis racquet is 15 centimeters long. Another difference in equipment is, a tennis ball weighs around 56 grams and has a diameter of 6.5 centimeters, while a table tennis ball weighs 2.7 grams and has a diameter of 40 mm.

Rules

In terms of rules, the major difference between these two games is that volleys are allowed in tennis but not in table tennis.

The speed needed in table tennis is higher than the one needed in big tennis. Look at it this way, a tennis pitch is larger than a table tennis pitch, so you need to travel a lot to get the ball. As such, a lot of time is wasted, but you still need quick reflexes if you want to win the game.

In table tennis, the court is small and you get the ball quickly unlike in tennis. For this sport, you need really excellent reflexes or you may end up losing all the games. Simply put, you need to make a wise decision within a considerably shorter time.

Final Thoughts

Now that we have answered the question, how is table tennis different from other racquet sports, which one among those we have mentioned would you like to try out? To me, racquet games are fun to play, and I wouldn’t hesitate to try out all of them, because each sport is a new challenge. Plus, there are numerous health benefits you can get from playing racquet games. According to Pubmed Trusted Source Benefits of Regular Table Tennis Practice in Body Composition and Physical Fitness Compared to Physically Active Children Aged 10-11 Years - PubMed The aim of this study was to identify the differences in body composition and physical fitness between children who played table tennis regularly during a two-year period compared to physically active children who were not engaged in a regular activity. pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov , people who regularly play table tennis have superior body fitness and strong bones.

One thing you’ll realize about these sports is that they have almost similar rules and equipment. There’s a chance most racquet games are a slight variation of each other. There’s also the constant factor that is speed. To keep up with speed while playing on such short courts, you need to practice a lot. After all, success in any sport depends on three things: passion, dedication, and discipline.

Armed with this information, now is the best time to try out table tennis. Get a ping pong table, a paddle, and of course, the best ping pong balls.

References

1.
ESPN.com: Page 2 - Sport Skills Difficulty Rankings
We sized them up. We measured them, top to bottom. We’ve done our own Tale of the Tape, and we’ve come to a surprising conclusion.
2.
Benefits of Regular Table Tennis Practice in Body Composition and Physical Fitness Compared to Physically Active Children Aged 10-11 Years - PubMed
The aim of this study was to identify the differences in body composition and physical fitness between children who played table tennis regularly during a two-year period compared to physically active children who were not engaged in a regular activity.
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