Where Did Ping Pong Originate? – The Amazing History of Table Tennis

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Ping pong has become increasingly popular in professional and amateur tournaments.

Where did ping pong originate?

This is a question asked by many people who love this interesting sport.

In addition to the history of table tennis, we also answer some other questions such as What is the first ball of table tennis, Why do people call table tennis ping-pong, or What is table tennis other name?

Ping Pong Is One of The Most Popular Sports sportypong.com
Ping Pong Is One of The Most Popular Sports – Source: Flickr

Where Did Ping Pong Originate?

Is Ping-Pong From China? 

When seeing the name of this sport, many people think that it originates from China.

But unfortunately, the answer is no.

It was not until the 19th century that it appeared in this large country.

Originating in settlements, over time, it expanded to include urban areas.

Currently, this place also produces many of the strongest players in this playground.

What Country Did Table Tennis Originate From?

This recreational sport was invented in Victorian times in England.

Initially, it was played on outdoor turf.

Then, the British changed it to an indoor game because of winter weather.

And it’s also patented in the UK.

Like other football, the game now has a very simple and gentle way of playing.

They play with fastballs instead of large grass fields.

Gradually it became an indispensable pastime of the rich classes.

Around the 1900s, it was played more in countries outside of London.

When the number of members reached hundreds in the international table tennis federation, the first world championship was held in this city.

As mentioned above, Asian countries like China later developed it more than the countries that originated it.

The first Worldcup with the presence of this sport was also performed here.

And surprisingly, the Chinese athletes also brought home the first prize.

So, the answer to the question: What is table tennis’s other name? is England, not China, as many people mistakenly think when hearing the name ping pong.

Who Invented Table Tennis?

Who is the inventor of table tennis?

It was David Foster, a businessman in Wesleyan.

He was born in 1848 and lived in central Selby.

It can be said that he was extremely interested in this sport during the time it was played more widely.

This soccer simulation design was first submitted to Parlor Table Games.

At this time, besides Foster, many other inventors designed their style of this sport.

But only he was granted a patent.

After coming to the United States, James Gibb brought back celluloid balls that were lighter than the hard balls that had come before.

Another brother, EC Gould, also contributed to its origin.

He was the one who introduced the first tall bowls.

When Was Ping Pong Invented? 

Who registers the name ping pong?

The year 1890 was when it was officially patented when David submitted his design.

What came first ping pong or tennis?

Before that, tennis was popular in Europe.

The innovation for this sport that is played indoors gives the sport its appeal.

In addition, the first world championship was held in Hungary in 1897.

In 1907, the European Championship also appeared.

Also, there was an improvement in playing instruments in the early 1901s and 1902s.

Beginning in 1920 was the period of its peak development.

In 1921, this sport association appeared and by 1926 was the strongest international federation.

Following this success, France created its federation in 1927.

A highlight of time that cannot be ignored is the rise of Asian table tennis in the 1950s.

The domination of consecutive Japanese teams from 1954 to 1950 surprised the whole world.

In the 1970s, no one was unaware of the success of Chinese table tennis.

At the beginning of the 21st century, the appearance of Chinese or German players has aroused the passion of playing this sport for many fans.

How long has ping pong been around?

Now 132 years on, it is still considered the most practiced sport around the globe.

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Why Is It Called Ping-Pong? 

What Is The First Name Of Table Tennis? 

The original name of this game was “wiff waff”.

What Other Name Does Table Tennis Have?

In addition, some other names appeared in the late 1800s, such as Gossima Flim Flam.

Why Is Ping Pong Called Ping Pong? 

This name was created from sound inspiration while playing.

That was the sound of the ball hitting the ball in 1884 in the Far East.

In 1901, a sports producer, Hamleys Regent, officially changed its name to the current ping pong name.

Deeper understanding, the sound of hitting the racquet is called ping.

And the other “pong” refers to the sound of the ball hitting the table.

At this time, the British company John Jaques & Son also wanted to register this name exclusively for its game version.

Licensed Parker Brothers also have this request.

From 1920 it developed very strongly internationally.

This forced the game to have another official generic name, table tennis.

However, mainstream players often call it ping pong because it has more specific meanings.

The Original Equipment 

After finding the complete answer to the question, Why is table tennis now called ping pong?

We continue to explore the characteristics that make this sport attractive.

They are powerful tools to support players, indispensable in any match.

ball and ping pong paddle
The Paddle And The Ball – Source: Pixabay

What Was The First Ball Used In Table Tennis?

Rubber stoppers or cork were used a lot in the early days.

At this point, this sport is not standardized.

The bounce of the balls is also not as ideal as the current ball.

After James arrived in the United States in 1901, the first celluloid ball appeared.

This ideal ball has a diameter of 38mm.

Later, thanks to its popularity, it became a common standard in the 2000s.

The size of the ball was then larger, with a diameter of 40mm.

Until 2014, the plastic ball was born and replaced the celluloid ball like today.


Size, style, and shape are among the basic standards of rackets.

The first racquets that players played were made of wooden frames.

They will have a cloth covering the outside.

Thanks to this feature, they make different sounds when touching the ball.

EC Goode designed the first racquets that most closely resemble the current design.

In the 1900s, he changed the fabric to rubber sheets that surrounded the racket’s frame.

But the sponge and rubber only gradually improved in the following years.


The first players used the indoor dining table or the pool one to play the game.

They put nets on the table and even on both sides to prevent the ball falling out.

The British or Indians used books instead of nets and even played golf balls.

Two single table tennis players
Two single table tennis players – Source: Wikimedia

Table Tennis FAQs

1. What Is The Nature Of Table Tennis?

Simply put, this is a sport involving two or four players.
They will hit a very light ball with the racket back and forth until they reach the specified number of points.
In addition, their playing range is one on a hard surface with a net in the middle.

2. Is The Term Ping-Pong Offensive?

The answer is no.
Many people mistakenly think it comes from China, but it is not.
It’s also just a Chinese equivalent.
As mentioned above, this word was born because it simulates the sound of the ball when it collides with the racket and the table.

3. What came first ping-pong or tennis?

Although the term was unofficial and later appeared other terms such as “table tennis”, it did not disappear.
And it’s not offensive to all Chinese, but just a few of them.
So, what is the other name of ping pong?
In addition to the names mentioned at the beginning of this article, it also has other interesting names like Pim-Pam or Pom-Pom.

4. What Is Table Tennis Called In China?

Its official name in the country is Pīngpāng qiú.
This sport has been more popular than basketball, baseball, or football for a long time in China.

5. When Was Ping Pong Made An Olympic Sport? 

n 1988, it officially became a sport at the Seoul Olympics.
It is called “table tennis” and includes both individual types and mixed doubles.

6. Who Are The Best Ping Pong Players Of All Time?

The great players in early history were all European.
Until appearing in Asia, a series of famous professional players were from China and Japan.
Some names must be mentioned today, such as Wang Liqin, Xu Xin, or Guo Yue.

Table Tennis FAQs
Wang Liqin – Source: Alchetron


Hopefully, this detailed article of ours has helped you answer the question Where did ping pong originate.

All in all, it has evolved almost 150 years ago, and today it remains one of the all-time favorite sports.

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