Table Tennis is a fast paced game played between two people. It involves quick reflexes and very good hand eye coordination. You play it on a table several feet high, with small paddles made of many different materials including sandpaper, rubber, and plastic. Players try to hit a small hallow ball back and forth, and games are usually fast paced and exciting. Many casual players play leisure games for fun and simply try to hit the ball back and forth. However games between experienced players are much more technical and involve many different spins and complex strategies.
Table tennis surprisingly has very few rules and it is kept this way to keep the game of tables tennis fun. Each point begins with one player serving it and the other player trying to hit it back. You serve five straight times, then your opponent serves five times and then you again and this repeats through out the game. The ball may only bounce once on each player's side. After the serve the two people will hit it back and forth in what is called a rally. The point ends when either one person hits it off the table without having it bounce on the table at least once, or the ball bounces two or more times on one person's side. You score a point if your opponent is unable to return the ball onto your side or if the ball bounces two or more times on your opponent’s side and likewise your opponent scores a point if you are unable to successfully return the ball. Games are played to twenty one and you must win by two. This means that if two players are at twenty then the game will continue till one person gets a two point lead.
Table tennis comes from the medieval sport of tennis and was just another off shoot of the game similar to badminton and lawn tennis. In the 19th century it was popular in England and went by the names of Gossima and Whiff-Whaff. J. Jaques and Son introduced the name Ping-Pong (after the name came from the sound the ball makes) and it became a fashionable craze. At this time however table tennis was considered a game, not a sport. Beginning in 1905 table tennis also grew in popularity in Japan and spread to China and Korea. It later dropped in popularity in Europe but was revived in England and Wales in the 1920's. At this time Ping-Pong became a registered trade mark and so the name of table tennis was reinstituted. Also at this time committees began standardizing rules. Since then the popularity of the sport has grown tremendously with an estimated 30 million competitive players and millions more who play for fun.