Ping Pong vs. Table Tennis: What Are the Differences?

This article will help you understand the history behind these sports and reveal if they are actually that different!
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Last updatedLast updated: November 15, 2022
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Often, table tennis and ping pong are thought to be the same sport. If you think they are the same sport, you’re not the only one. There are several people out there who still don’t know the differences between these two sports. Well, they are not entirely wrong. In fact, table tennis and ping pong used to be the same sport up until 2011. However, the misconception has been cleared, and today, we know they’re two different sports. And yes, with some similarities.

Hence, in this article, we will consider table tennis and ping pong closely, explore the technicalities of the sports and look at the differences between the two. However, to better understand the differences between table tennis and ping pong, we need to go way down the history of the sport Trusted Source The History Of Table Tennis. Facts About The Game That Some Call Ping Pong. Ping-Pong is a trademark name for table tennis and associated equipment. The name “Ping-Pong” was invented by the English firm J. Jaques and Son at the end of the 1800s and later trademarked in the United States by Parker Brothers, the board game company. www.athleticscholarships.net and see how it all began.

History Of the Two Games

History Of the Two Games

Like we said earlier, table tennis and ping pong used to be the same sport, more like a sport having different names. Back in the 1880s, precisely 1887, table tennis was invented. And it was not until 1890 that it became prevalent.

The main reason for its invention was because, during the winter, people couldn’t play lawn tennis. It became necessary for them to come up with an indoor game, one that’s quite similar to lawn tennis, and hence, table tennis was invented.

As the years passed, the sport started gaining popularity, more and more companies started making table tennis equipment. The first table tennis was manufactured in London in 1891 under Gossima’s name by Jaques’ games company.

After that, different brands ventured into the production of table tennis and its equipment with various names. Such as Table Tennis, Ping Pong, Whiff Waff. Pim-Pam, amongst many others. Although many brands were into the manufacture of table tennis equipment, the game was unsatisfactory and sold very poorly.

In 1900, some members of the London Club introduced celluloid to Gossima, one of the manufacturing brands, and they found it effective. The celluloid bouncing off the court sounded like “Ping and Pong.” After which, J. Jaques & Son Ltd renamed their game “Gossima” or “Ping Pong.” And later, Ping Pong was trademarked and was only used when referring to sets manufactured by them.

Although other brands had different names for their sets, Ping Pong and table tennis became the leading names for the same game. And when the game became popular in the US, Parker Brothers bought the rights to the trademark. They also prevented other companies from using the term Ping-Pong.

These two names, table tennis and ping-pong referring to the same sport was retained until 2011 when the Ping Pong World Championship was introduced. And since then, they became two sports instead of one.

What Are the Differences?

Now that we’ve looked at the history of the two sports let’s answer the big question. What are the differences between table tennis and Ping Pong? We will answer this question from different aspects.

The Rules

Mere looking at the two games, the settings, court, and all, they are very similar. While watching the two games might also look identical, the difference lies in their rules.

In table tennis, for example, the rule states Trusted Source The basic rules of Table Tennis - the aim of the game is simple The aim of the game is simple; hit the ball over the net onto your opponent’s side. A point is won by you if your opponent is unable to return the ball to your side of the table (e.g. they miss the ball, they hit the ball but it misses your side of the table, or the ball hits the net), or if they hit the ball before it bounces on their side of the table. www.keepintheloop.uk that they should play the best of 11 points over seven games. On the contrary, the rule of ping pong states they play to 15 points best of 3 with a death point at 14. But in the semi-finals and the final, it’s best of 5 sets instead.

More so, there is also the rule of the double-point ball. The rule grants serving players two extra points if won and 1 point to the receiving player.

The Equipment

The equipment used in these two sports is another major difference between them. For a start, the pin pong table, about 3.7 mm in diameter, is slightly larger than the table tennis court, which is only 3.4 mm.

In table tennis, players use different paddles. In fact, with many types of rubber and blades to choose from, players can customize their paddles extensively.

Every player has the freedom to decide on a suitable combination of rackets to fit their style. This comes in very handy for beginners.

Conversely, in ping pong, all players must use the same paddle, with 5-ply sandpaper being the standard. These paddles only offer little spin, which prevents players from generating much power. This explains why the ping pong game has a relatively slower speed than table tennis.

More so, ping pong rackets don’t have rubber on both sides. Instead, they have two laminated layers. Hence, how to hold a ping-pong paddle is a major training for ping-pongers. And more importantly, the ping pong paddles, especially for beginners, must be carefully selected. It makes a whole lot of difference.

Competitions

Ping pong and table tennis don’t participate in the same competitions, which makes another difference between the two games. Although there’s a world championship for both of them, table tennis is an Olympic sport while ping pong isn’t.

Not only do they participate in different competitions, but they also have different governing bodies. Table tennis is governed by the International Table Tennis Federation Trusted Source International Table Tennis Federation - Home of Table Tennis Welcome to the home of the International Table Tennis Federation! The latest Table Tennis news and results can be found here on the official ITTF website. www.ittf.com (ITTF) and Ping Pong by the World Championships Of Ping Pong. Trusted Source Home • World Championship of Ping Pong www.worldchampionshipofpingpong.net

Which Is Correct?

The ping pong game is not as common as table tennis. Most people don’t even know they are different. Although they call it ping pong, you’d hardly see people play ping pong at an amateur level. What they play most times is table tennis.

Conclusively, ping pong and table tennis are both fun and enjoyable sports you can enjoy in your home, especially with the elegant 6-ft Hathaway Reflex table tennis table or the Butterfly Junior Stationery Table. Both provide the best expansive playing surfaces with foldable designs to make them transportable.

We do hope you now know that ping pong and table tennis are officially two different games. And that even from the size, you can easily differentiate a ping pong table from that of a table tennis table.

References

1.
The History Of Table Tennis. Facts About The Game That Some Call Ping Pong.
Ping-Pong is a trademark name for table tennis and associated equipment. The name “Ping-Pong” was invented by the English firm J. Jaques and Son at the end of the 1800s and later trademarked in the United States by Parker Brothers, the board game company.
2.
The basic rules of Table Tennis - the aim of the game is simple
The aim of the game is simple; hit the ball over the net onto your opponent’s side. A point is won by you if your opponent is unable to return the ball to your side of the table (e.g. they miss the ball, they hit the ball but it misses your side of the table, or the ball hits the net), or if they hit the ball before it bounces on their side of the table.
3.
International Table Tennis Federation - Home of Table Tennis
Welcome to the home of the International Table Tennis Federation! The latest Table Tennis news and results can be found here on the official ITTF website.
4.
Home • World Championship of Ping Pong
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