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What is Table Tennis?
Players must allow a ball played towards them only one bounce on their side of the table and must return it so that it bounces on the opponent's side. It demands lightening fast reactions! The sport is played for fund and competitively across the world. There are opportunities to play in clubs, sports venues and youth centres across the country.
The basics of the game have not changed in essence over the years although the ITTF have always tried to ensure the game remains a contest of human skills rather than reliant on new technological developments.
The National Governing Body is Table Tennis England.
One of the main benefits of playing table tennis is that it is non-contact. It is also one of the few competitive sports that requires players to move at speed without straining the muscles or joints through stretching or using heavy equipment. For people returning from injury or the elderly, table tennis tennis can be the perfect sport to sustain fitness levels. The action of having to hit a fast-moving ball with a bat several times a second means table tennis also improves reflexes, eye-to-hand coordination, mental alertness and speed of movement.
Table tennis is a cheap and accessible sport played. Table tennis equipment, such as bats and ping-pong balls, can be relatively inexpensive to buy, with some leisure centres and clubs also offering a rental service. Hourly rates for hiring a court often begin at approximately £5 per session, although membership deals can create a lower cost per game.
Table tennis bats and ping-pong balls
- Egyptian table tennis fanatic Ibrahim Hamato lost both arms in an accident when he was 10, but he carried on playing by improvising with his mouth.
- The first World Championships were held in London in 1926, but it did not become an Olympic sport until 1988 in Seoul.