Table Tennis vs Ping Pong
Today there is hardly a person who doesn’t know something about table tennis as it is a sport played at Olympics with Chinese players traditionally dominating the sport at world level. However, table tennis has nothing to do with tennis, though both are ball games. The name of the game gives a clue about it being played on a table with players hitting plastic ball with specially designed rackets across a net that is held over the table at a height of 6 inches. In some countries and cultures, table tennis is referred to as Ping Pong. though the official name remains table tennis. Why would this game be called Ping Pong and what are the differences, if any.
It is a myth that Ping Pong is a game similar to Table Tennis with some minor variations in serve and bounce of ball on the side of the server. One just has to look up the website of International Table Tennis Federation to find that the name Table Tennis was in use even before the phrase Ping Pong was coined. How and when did ping Pong got linked with the great game of table Tennis? It was one John Jacques, who registered the name Ping Pong in England, and sold American rights of the word to Parker brothers. Parker Brothers used Ping Pong for the sets to play the game and were very protective about the name. Though the game was named table tennis to avoid any disputes with this trade name, there are many who still feel that Ping Pong is another version of the game with slightly changed rules and different bat size. There are people who say that bats in Ping pong are all wood with no plastic covering that is used by players to impart spin on the ball. Thus, if one goes by history, it is clear that Ping Pong is just a name (colloquial) for the great sport of table tennis, and is in no circumstances a different game or different version of the game.
The word Ping Pong, though not used at international level, remains associated with the game somehow, more because of usage by recreational players at home or club level. One country is an exception though, and it is China, where the game is lovingly called Ping Pong. There are even some local level Ping Pong tournaments, though even Chinese refer the game as Table Tennis when their teams participate in international level tournaments.
Difference Between Table Tennis and Ping Pong
• There are many theories proposed to prove differences between Ping Pong and Table Tennis. However, the fact remains that both Ping Pong and Table Tennis are one and the same game.
• If a difference has to be told, it lies in Ping Pong being a trademark registered in the name of Parker Brothers who sold racket sets in the name of Ping Pong.
• To avoid any confusion, it has been called Table Tennis since the turn of the century, which becomes clear when one has a look at the website of International Table Tennis Federation
• China is one country where the game is still called Ping Pong, though even Chinese accept the name Table Tennis internationally.