Ping Pong vs Table Tennis: What’s The Differences?

Many players send questions about how the differences between Ping pong vs table tennis. Do you think these games are the same or different?

Indeed there are a lot of differences between these two kinds. In fact, Ping pong and Table tennis had a history of the same sport. However, they developed and became different sports nowadays.

We will show you the differences via this post. Let’s discover it now.

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The History of The Two Games

There must be a reason why many players said that ping pong and table tennis are exactly the same sport. We can look into their history. Learn more about their origins by reading the historical background of the table tennis article here.

Before they were separated into two sports, table tennis, as well as Ping Pong, were initially one game in the beginning.

Table tennis

Ping pong was the trademarked name and it was used for table tennis too. The first time table tennis was invented was in the late 1880s, in Victorian England. The main reason for its invention was that the players could not play the popular sport of lawn tennis during winter. So they invented a way to play their preferred game indoors, which led to the game of table tennis.

In 1901, in England “ping pong” was registered by John Jacques as a trading name. After that, Parker Brothers bought the rights.

When the tennis game become more popular, corporations began producing table tennis equipment. Each brand named its equipment in different ways. There were numerous names, including Table Tennis, Ping Pong, and Whiff Waff. Pim-Pam and many more.

Ping pong

History of ping pong

“ Parker Brothers Ping-Pong game ” was licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Jaques & Son Ltd registered the trademarked name Ping Pong, so the name was used to identify the products manufactured by J. Jaques & Son Ltd. Other brands were required to use another name and Ping Pong as well as table tennis became the top name for the identical game.

Within the US, Parker Brothers bought the rights to the trademark. They also stopped other companies from using the word Ping-Pong. However, Ping Pong is still an informal term used to refer to the game of table tennis players in the US.

Before 2011, “ping pong” and “table tennis” names refer the same game. Many recreational players used both the name “ping-pong” and table tennis in the basement. Some amateur players use “ping pong” as their hobby.

It wasn’t until 2011, with the appearance of the Ping Pong World Championship, that they changed into two different sports. The World Championship of Ping pong then was organized yearly in England.

What are the differences?


ping pong vs table tennis

After we’ve examined the background, let’s examine the main distinctions are:

Aspect Ping pong Table tennis
Trademark Yes No
Spin amount Little High
Speed Slow High
Service type Litte Many
Paddle types Same Different
Points per game 15 11
Olympics sport No Yes
World championship Yes

Every year


Every 2 years

Rules Flexible Not flexible

We can come into some detailed aspects:

The Rules

In general, if you are the audience, you can see it looks quite similar. In fact, there are distinctions in a few rules we’ll analyze.

The points aren’t counted in the same way in a match. Meanwhile, it is the regulations for table tennis that require players to score the highest number of points up to 11 points over seven games, in the rules of ping-pong the players play up to 15 points best of 3 games. With ping pong, In the semi-finals and final, the game is the best of five sets instead. Moreover, there’s a double-point ball that gives the player serve two points if they win and one point to the receiver.

The Equipment

The paddles you use for Ping pong and table tennis are different.

In Ping-Pong, all players use the same kind of paddle, which is five-ply sandy paper. Using sandpaper paddles makes the speed of ping pong is slower. They create a low spin rate and stop players from producing much power, and slow down the game consequently

Another aspect of the rackets used in ping pong is that they do not include any rubber on both surfaces. Instead, you’ll find two laminated layers. Sandpaper rackets are more affordable than traditional tennis rackets.

However, Table tennis players can customize paddles. There are numerous kinds of rubbers as well as blades to pick from. This means that every player can choose the best combination to create an appropriate racket for their preferences. In table tennis, it’s necessary to have powers, spin, and control. To choose the right paddles, you can move to our review about top-ranked paddles

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Because of the different equipment and rules, there are different competitions for each game. The table tennis game is an Olympic sport, while ping-pong isn’t. There’s a global tournament for both.

Each has its own governing body, meanwhile, Ping Pong is managed by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), Ping Pong is governed by The World Championships of Ping Pong

Which is the correct answer?

Although there are differences between ping pong and table tennis sports, People can generally reach an agreement about these two sports.

If you’re planning to play a game of amateur level with your friends in your garage or play for fun, it’s likely that you’ll use the term, Ping Pong.


We hope that this post will help you identify the differences between ping pong vs table tennis. They are technically different, but many people consider them to be identical, particularly those in the US where the term Ping Pong is used widely in place of the official name Table tennis.

In case you want to know more about Table Tennis, about the basic rules of table tennis or equipment used such as shoes, paddles or tables, you can search more on our page.