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Many people hold the wrong notion that table tennis originated in China, because the Chinese name

ping pong is also used for the sport and because the Chinese dominate the game nowadays. However, ping pong was actually started by the upper class Victorian gentlemen in the 1880s in England, as an after dinner indoor relaxation, mimicking outdoor tennis. They used day-to-day objects, like using a line of books as the net, a knot of strings or a rounded top of a Champagne bottle cork as the ball and a cigar box lid as the racket. The name ping pong was derived from the sound when the sport was played. That name was trademarked by an English table tennis equipment manufacturer, J. Jaques & Son Ltd. in 1901. The name, ping pong, was used when the sport was played with the expensive Jaques equipment, while other manufacturers called their equipment as table tennis equipment. Later, Jaques sold the rights of ping pong to Parker Brothers in the United States. However, nowadays, ping pong is used as a generic name for table tennis. In 1901, an English table tennis enthusiast, James Gibb, visited the United States and discovered celluloid balls, finding them ideal for the game. In 1903, E.C. Goode fixed a sheet of stippled or pimpled rubber sheet to the wooden blade and the modern racket was born. In 1902, an unofficial world championship was held. In 1921, the Table Tennis Association was founded in England. The International Table Tennis Federation was formed in 1926 and the first official world table tennis championship was held in London in 1927. Table tennis was introduced as an Olympic Sport at the 1988 Olympics. In the 1940s, sports goods manufacturers, S.W. Hancock Ltd., introduced rackets that had a rubber sheet along with an underlying sponge layer. This facilitated play with greater spin and speed. In 1949, Johnny Leach won the World Championships using a Hancock racket. Later, the use of speed glue enhanced the speed and spin even further. This resulted in matches that were played at tremendous pace. When the television viewers started growing more and more in numbers, a demand for slowing down the game started to emerge. With the purpose of achieving this, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) introduced several measures at the end of 2000, to slow down the game. The 21-point format was reduced to an 11-point format to make the sport more exciting and enjoyable. The ball size was increased from 38 mm diameter to 40 mm diameter, so that the air resistance on the ball increased, slowing down the pace of the game. The ITTF also banned the players from hiding the ball while serving, so that the advantage for the server would be reduced and longer rallies could be made possible. Now, there is a demand to increase the size of the ball to a 44 mm diameter, so that the game could be slowed down further. This is because modern day players had increased the thickness of the fast sponge layer on their rackets, making the sport a very fast paced one and difficult to follow on television.

Sources: http://www.tabletennismaster.com/page/history-of-ping-pong. 14 May 2013

RULES Equipment The Table The playing surface, should be rectangular, 2.74m long and 1.525m wide, and shall lie in a horizontal plane 76cm above the floor .The playing surface should not include the vertical sides of the tabletop. The playing surface should yield a uniform bounce of about 23cm when a standard ball is dropped on to it from a height of 30cm. The playing surface shall be uniformly dark colored and matt, but with a white side line, 2cm wide, along each 2.74m edge and a white end line, 2cm wide, along each 1.525m edge. The playing surface shall be divided into 2 equal courts by a vertical net running parallel with the end lines, and shall be continuous over the whole area of each court. For doubles, each court shall be divided into 2 equal half-courts by a white center line, 3mm wide, running parallel with the side lines; the center line shall be regarded as part of each right half-court. The Net Assembly The net shall be suspended by a cord attached at each end to an upright post 15.25cm high, the outside limits of the post being 15.25cm outside the side line. The top of the net, along its whole length, shall be 15.25cm above the playing surface. The Ball The ball shall be spherical, with a diameter of 40mm.and weigh 2.7g. The ball shall be made of celluloid or similar plastics material and shall be white or orange, and matt. The Racket The racket may be of any size, shape or weight but the blade (wooden face) shall be flat and rigid. The covering material (rubber sheets) shall extend up to but not beyond the limits of the blade, except that the part nearest the handle and gripped by the fingers may be left uncovered or covered with any material. The surface of the covering material on a side of the blade, or of a side of the blade if it is left uncovered, shall be matt, bright red on one side and black on the other. Slight deviations from

continuity of surface or uniformity of color due to accidental damage or wear may be allowed provided that they do not significantly change the characteristics of the surface. Serving The server shall project the ball near vertically upwards, without imparting spin, so that it rises at least 16cm and then falls without touching anything before being struck. The ball shall not be hidden from the receiver by any part of the body or clothing of the server or his doubles partner and as soon as the ball has been projected, the servers free arm shall be removed from the space between the servers body and the net. If the umpire is doubtful of the legality of a service he may, on the first occasion in a match, declare a let (see below) and warn the server. Any subsequent service of doubtful legality of that player or his doubles partner will result in a point to the receiver. Whenever there is a clear failure to comply with the requirements for a good service, no warning shall be given and the receiver shall score a point. Let Point To Let a point is to disregard it. A point is let if: 1-the ball touches the net during an otherwise good serve without interruption by either player. 2-Play is disturbed by circumstances beyond the players control. 3-Tthe service is delivered when the receiving player or pair is not ready, provided that neither the receiver nor his partner attempts to strike the ball. Scoring Points When serving, the ball should bounce once on the servers side of the table and once on your opponents side of the table. (In doubles play, the ball shall touch successively the right half court of server and receiver.) When returning however, the ball should only bounce once on your opponents side of the table. The first player who fails to keep the ball in play, as specified, loses the point. There are other ways to score points: If your opponent's free hand touches the playing surface; if your opponent, or anything your opponent wears or carries, touches the net assembly; if your opponent strikes the ball twice successively, you win a point.

Course of Play After a combined two points have been scored, the receiving player or pair shall become the serving player or pair and so on until the end of the game, unless both players or pairs score 10 points ,when the sequences of serving and receiving shall be the same but each player shall serve for only 1 point in turn. The right to choose the initial order of serving shall be decided by luck and the winner may choose to serve or to receive first. The chooser can also decide whether he wants to start at a particular end of the table, but then gives up the right to decide the service order. In either case, service order and table ends are switched at the beginning of each new game in a match ( a match shall consist of the best of any odd number of games).Also, in the last possible game of a match the players switch ends when the higher score stands at five points. A game shall be won by the player or pair first scoring 11 points unless both players or pairs score 10 points, at which point the game shall be won by the first player or pair subsequently gaining a lead of 2 points. These Rules were taken from a broader set of regulations set out by the International Table Tennis Federation, and were slightly modified for easier readability.

Sources: http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall04/baksh/rules.html. 14 May 2013

Players

The Aggressive Looper: Certainly the most popular of all the styles, especially among men, these players areextremely fast and use top spin loops (shots that pull the ball upward and forward, causing it to bounce high into the air when it makes contact with the opponent's racket - the looper can then easily smash or "kill" the ball).The best way to play an aggressive looper is to be aggressive yourself, keeping your racket face down (so the ball doesn't pop upward from the top spin). Try to be the first one to start the attck on each play. The Chopper: This is a dying breedin the table tennis world. Modern choppers, also called defenders, also have to know how and when to attack the ball well.Since this style requires a lot of control, the it is not as fast as an aggressive style. The player'sfootwork is extremely important as thy move around the court more than any other style, retreiving all the loops that aggressive players deliver. Choppers use either long or short "pimpled" rubbers (these have small cylindrical extensions on their surface). These rubbers reverse the spin put on the ball by the opponent so that loopers, for example, would get returns with an under-spinning ball (which is a lot more difficult to return). However this can be used against the chopper because if underspin is served to a pimpled rubber, the return will have either top spin, or no spin at all, making it extremely easy to kill, since the chopper's plays are not as fast as an aggressive player's.When playing a chopper the key is to be patient and careful when choosing your attacks. These players are certainly the trickiest of the lot.

The Pen-holder: This is the traditional style of play in China, and contributes to the variations in stylethat are largely responsible for the country's success in the sport. These players use an entirely different grip, where the racket is held between the thumb and forefinger, as with a pen. There are blades specially built for penholders where the handle is raised about an inch on one side. Pen-holders come in all styles, but are most commonly aggressive

loopers. When playing a pen-holder, pressure their backhand, as the grip is not well suited for play on that side.

Blockers: This is a recent distinction. Blockers are also defenders, but unlike choppers, they do not play with a pimpled rubber. Instead of chopping the ball they hold their racket in a some-what upright position, pulling it slightly downward to deliver a little backspin. These players usually have very good rhytm. The callenge is to break them out of it by tempting them to intiate an attack (with which they are not as strong). The Counter Driver: These players can be thought of as diluted aggressive loopers. They prefer playing aball with light spin. However they are able to spread themselves out more and cover greater ground. They are also very fast and have good rhythm, so the challenge is to vary your stroke, mixing in some short pushes with heavy underspin. This will help to break their rhythm.

Sources: http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/fall04/baksh/players.html. 14 May 2013