Brief History Of Table Tennis

Table Tennis started back in the 1880’s when the popular game makers of the time tried to each create an indoor version of lawn tennis. Their initial focus, however, was on a card or board version of the game, and it wasn’t until 1890 when Englishman David Foster introduced and trademarked the first action version of tennis on a table. He is widely recognized and accepted as the inventor of Table Tennis. Some of the earlier names included:

  • Ping Pong
  • Gossima
  • Whiff-Waff
  • Indoor Tennis
  • Parlour Tennis
  • Pom-Pom
  • Netto

Ping Pong was trademarked by the English sports Company J. Jaques & Son, who became the market leader of the game in the 1920’s. As Ping Pong grew rapidly in popularity, J. Jaques & Son became very strict in protecting their trademark and tried to force anyone playing the game to use only their proprietary products and name. The international community of players ,however,didn’t want one company to have so much power over the sport so in 1926 the Intentional Table Tennis Federation was established and the official name of the sport became Table Tennis.

The Basics of a Table Tennis Match

The object of Table Tennis is to be the first player to reach 11 points, although you must win by 2 points so if the game is tied at 10 you keep playing.

Points are awarded when a player fails to properly return a ball that has bounced on their side of the table.

Matches always have an odd number of games, typically 3, 5 or 7.

Players switch serving every 2 times.

Key Dates & Timeline

Helpful Links

Table Tennis Rules – Click here to download a copy of the ITTF’s 2016 handbook

Table Tennis Instructional videos -