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What is The Different of Ping Pong and Table Tennis?

So what’s the difference between ping pong and table tennis? Before that, we need to know a little bit about the history of this game.

History Of The Game

Ping pong was invented in England back in the 1800s as an amusement after dinner for the Victorians in the upper class. The origins of ping pong were lowly, with common everyday objects being used for its play. People often set up books across the table to act as a net, they used cigar box lids for paddles, and the ball was either a ball of string or a rounded cork from a wine bottle.

Once the popularity of the sport grew, manufacturers decided that they would capitalize on the idea. The first official ping pong bats were made of stretched pieces of parchment on a frame, and that is how the game received one of its names. The name ping pong comes from the ball’s sound when it hit the ping pong bats.

ping pong history
ping pong history

The next big breakthrough in ping pong came in 1901 when James Gibb, who was very fond of ping pong, found balls made of celluloid when he visited the United States. He discovered that the balls were perfect for ping pong. It wasn’t until two years later that the ping pong bat got an update when EC Goode attached a piece of rubber to a wooden blade.

The popularity of ping pong started growing in leaps and bounds, and in 1901 ping pong tournaments started, people wrote books on ping pong, and the first unofficial ping pong world championship was held in 1902. In the early 20th century, Russian rulers banned ping pong due to a mistaken belief that the game damaged the players’ eyesight.

The Table Tennis Association was founded in 1922 in England, and four years later, the International Table Tennis Associated followed. A year later, the first official table tennis world championship was held in London. Ping pong wasn’t introduced as an Olympic sport until 1988.

Since the invention of ping pong, there have been plenty more discoveries that have improved the game. In the 1950s, foam padding was added to the table tennis bats, giving the players a greater speed and spin on the balls. Balls were increased from 38 mm to 40 mm, which slowed down the game by increasing the ball’s air resistance.

There is also a large ball variety of table tennis, which uses a 44mm ping pong ball. This is favored by players who prefer the more leisurely game of table tennis over the fast-paced speed and spin action that the sport now has.

So, Is There Any Different Between Ping Pong and Table Tennis?

This question has been asked many times for so many years. The name table tennis cannot be separated from ping pong because they are the same. Or are they not?

The term ping pong is a registered trademark name by sports manufacturers John Jaques and Son of England. Parker brothers of the USA bought the right from Jaques to use the name only in the USA.

The name Ping Pong is an imitation of the sound made by the ball and the vellum bats used.

In September 1900, Hamley Brothers registered a table game called ping pong with trademark registration No.233177. They teamed up with John Jaques and Son to market their ping pong product which used celluloid balls.

Hamley brothers, who happen to be the Parker Brother’s distributors at that time, also registered the name ping pong with the US patent office trademark 36855.

With the introduction of the celluloid ball, the sport became very popular, and the game was a huge success.

In the early 1900s, the sport lost its popularity and later resurfaced in the early to middle of the 1920s.

Ping Pong and Table Tennis Associations

In England, two different associations sprung up: the Table Tennis Association and the monopolized Jacques Ping Pong Association.

In the USA, the same thing also happened between the Parker Brothers’ American ping pong association and US Table Tennis Association.

The parker brothers of the USA and Jacque and the sons of England were organizing tournaments in the USA and England, respectively.

These manufacturers made it mandatory to use their own ping pong and table tennis equipment in tournaments and threatened to take legal actions against anyone who uses their trademark name of ping pong without specifying the use of their equipment.

There was the need for standardization and stabilization of table tennis instead of subjecting the sport to the manufacturers’ will.

These led to the formation of both the English Table Tennis Association and the International Table Tennis Federation ITTF.

The term ping pong seized to be used in any official table tennis tournament, and the name began to fade from the scene after the formation of the ITTF in 1926.

Other national table tennis associations began to emerge around the world, and these associations also adopted the rules of ITTF.

The controversies surrounding the different name of ping pong and table tennis is trademark issues, but technically the names refer to the same sport.

More Differences About Ping Pong and Table Tennis

As I know, most Americans are calling this game ping pong. While other western countries more often call it table tennis.

When we say playing ping pong, it sounds like we gave the name randomly, and people may not look too serious into this game. Nonetheless, with the development of the game, it has now become more and more popular. There are ever-increasing of more serious players who treat this game seriously.

Because of this, more and more people are changing from calling ping pong to table tennis because they want this game to become a serious sport, and they need an official name for it.

Today the more serious players like to use table tennis while the recreational and fun players prefer to call it ping pong. Therefore, we can say that the difference between table tennis and ping pong is that table tennis is a sport for professional players while ping pong is a game played by recreational players.

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