Table tennis, also known as ping pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a table using small bats. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net. Table tennis is governed by the worldwide organization International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), founded in 1926. ITTF currently includes 226 member associations. Table tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988, with several event categories. From 1988 until 2004, these were men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles and women's doubles. Since 2008, a team event has been played instead of the doubles.
- Ball: The international rules specify that the game is played with a sphere having a mass of 2.7 grams (0.095 oz) and a diameter of 40 millimetres (1.57 in). The ball is made of celluloid plastic as of 2015, colored white or orange, with a matte finish. The choice of ball color is made according to the table color and its surroundings. Manufacturers often indicate the quality of the ball with a star rating system, usually from one to three, three being the highest grade. As this system is not standard across manufacturers, the only way a ball may be used in official competition is upon ITTF approval
- Table: The table is 2.74 m (9.0 ft) long, 1.525 m (5.0 ft) wide, and 76 cm (2.5 ft) high with any continuous material so long as the table yields a uniform bounce of about 23 cm (9.1 in) when a standard ball is dropped onto it from a height of 30 cm (11.8 in). The ITTF approves only wooden tables or their derivates. Concrete tables with a steel net or a solid concrete partition are sometimes available in outside public spaces, such as parks.
- Paddle/racket: Players are equipped with a laminated wooden racket covered with rubber on one or two sides depending on the grip of the player. The ITTF uses the term "racket", though "bat" is common in Britain, and "paddle" in the U.S. and Canada. The wooden portion of the racket, often referred to as the "blade", commonly features anywhere between one and seven plies of wood, though cork, glass fiber, carbon fiber, aluminum fiber, and Kevlar are sometimes used.
Competition: Competitive table tennis is popular in East Asia and Europe, and has been gaining attention in the United States. The most important international competitions are the World Table Tennis Championships, the Table Tennis World Cup, the Olympics and the ITTF World Tour. Continental competitions include the following:
- European Championships
- Europe Top-16
- Asian Championships
- Asian Games
There are also professional competitions at the clubs level; the respective leagues of Austria, Belgium, China (specifically, the China Table Tennis Super League), France, Germany and Russia are examples of the highest level. There are also some important international club teams competitions such as the European Champions League and its former competitor,the European Club Cup, where the top club teams from European countries compete.
International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF): ITTF is the governing body for all international table tennis associations. The role of the ITTF includes overseeing rules and regulations and seeking technological improvement for the sport of table tennis. The ITTF is responsible for the organization of numerous international competitions, including the World Table Tennis Championships that has continued since 1926. The ITTF was founded in 1926. In 2007, the governance for table tennis for persons with a disability was transferred from the International Paralympic Committee to the ITTF.
Rules: Except for the initial serve, the rules are generally as follows: players must allow a ball played toward them to bounce one time on their side of the table, and must return it so that it bounces on the opposite side at least once. A point is scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules. Play is fast and demands quick reactions. Spinning the ball alters its trajectory and limits an opponent's options, giving the hitter a great advantage.
- Player eligibility:
- For ITTF World Title events, a player is eligible to play for his association by registering with the ITTF. If the player chooses to play for a new association, he shall register with the ITTF, through the new association.
- The player shall not represent the new association before.
- The player will be eligible to play for the new association after three, five, seven years after the date of registration, if the player is under the age of 15, 18, 21 respectively
- If the player is 21 years of age or older, he will not be registered with the ITTF and not be eligible to represent a new association at World Title events.
- Service and point system: The table tennis point system was reduced from a 21 to an 11-point scoring system in 2001. A game shall be won by the player or pair first scoring 11 points unless both players or pairs score 10 points, when the game shall be won by the first player or pair subsequently gaining a lead of 2 points. This was intended to make games more fast-paced and exciting.
- Speed glue ban: In table tennis speed glue is glue that is used to re-fix the rubber surfaces to the racket or paddle. Speed glue is usually applied around 30 minutes before a match starts. The use of speed glue has been found to increase the elasticity of the racket, which adds speed and spin to the ball. In 2007, ITTF's board of directors in Zagreb decided to implement the VOC-free glue rule at Junior events, starting from 1 January 2008, as a transitional period before the full implementation of the VOC ban on 1 September 2008. As of 1 January 2009, all speed glue was to have been banned.
- Major international events
- World Championships
- World Team Championships
- Men's World Cup
- Summer Olympic Games
- World Team Cup
- Women's World Cup
- ITTF World Tour Grand Finals
- Junior events
- ITTF Global Junior Circuit
- World Junior Championships
- ITTF Global Cadet Challenge
- Summer Youth Olympic Games
- Para events
- Summer Paralympic Games
- ITTF Para Table Tennis World Championships
- Defunct ITTF events
- China vs. World Challenge
For ITTF Tournament Calender visit: www.ittf.com/tournaments
Table Tennis in India: Table tennis is a popular indoor recreation sport in India, which has caught on in states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. The Table Tennis Federation of India is the official sports body. TTFI was established in the year 1926. It is a founder member of the ITTF and has been at the forefront in the promotion of the game in India and the world. TTFI is one of the most active among all sports federations in the country. India is represented through TTFI in all the major international championships like Olympics, World, Commonwealth, Asian and all Pro tours.
For TTFI events calender visit: ttfi.org/events
Some Table Tennis Academies in India are:
- Manav Rachna Sports Academy
- Turf Sports Academy
- Ryders Sports Academy
- Bosco Sports Academy
- Jiyo Table Tennis Academy
- Horizon TT club