Where did Ping Pong originate? History of Ping Pong (Table Tennis)

Where did Ping Pong Originate?

Table tennis is a sport created and formed 140 years ago, around the end of the 19th century. At that time, it was attracted by many players and gradually became a popular sport throughout Europe. Since then, there have been many changes, previously it was played mainly in families of the upper classes, now it is played by many people in many different countries around the world. In this article, we will learn about the history of ping-pong table tennis sport and some notable historical milestones of change.

Where did ping pong originate?

Ping pong (table tennis) is a sport that was first invented in Victorian England in the 1880s. It was invented and developed from the game of outdoor tennis to be played indoors in winter or rainy seasons when the weather is too cold to play outside.

Read more: Unexpected Physical and Mental Benefits Of Playing Table Tennis

Who Invented Table Tennis?

To understand clearly the question “Who invented table tennis”, we must understand the process as follows. In the 1880s, wealthy Victorian families were the first to play the sport but they were not the ones to invent and register the trademark.

So the inventor of the sport of table tennis is:

David Foster is the inventor of table tennis in 1890.

He was born in 1848 in Hull. He is a Wesleyan businessman.

His family knew a friend who was in the grocery store business and brought him to Selby in 1880. David Foster lived in Abbey for almost 40 years.

He was living in a house in central Selby’s Micklegate neighborhood in 1890. Parlor Table Games received his “tennis design” on his desk.

This isn’t table tennis as we know it today. There were no nets at the table’s edge and the racquets weren’t even miniature tennis rackets. It is likely that the ball contains hard rubber.

Foster was not the only person who attempted to invent table-tennis. However, Foster was the one who came up with the earliest.

When was Ping-Pong invented?

In the 1880s England was a lot of Victorian Britons, for the wealthy aristocratic families.

But it was not until 1890 that table-tennis was patented by David Foster in England (No. 11037).

1890 David Foster

A British man who was attracted to the appeal of tennis. He took the sport as a game and patent it in England on July 15, 1890 (No.11037). Parlor table games. This invention also includes tabletop versions for Lawn Tennis, Cricket, or Football.

It took more than a century for this game to develop into the modern version of table tennis as it is now

The original equipment of the sport of table-tennis

This sport was developed 140 years ago. The devices from when they were first invented look very different from today. The manufacturing technology as well as the materials for the devices are not as good as they are now.

Original ping-pong table

Originally the sport of table tennis was played on a pool table or an indoor dining table. Players will spread the net on the table and sometimes even spread the net on both sides to catch the ball without falling. Many other places like India or England create their own style of a table by using books instead of nets, paddles by using many books combined, and balls by using golf balls instead.

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Original ping-pong paddle/racket

Racquets are used in many different ways: style, shape, and size.

The racquet is made of wood and stretched with a fabric covering the surface of the wooden frame. With this style, when the ping pong ball is touched, there will be different sounds.

It wasn’t until the 1900s that EC Goode developed a ping-pong racket with a design that closely resembles today. He was the first person to improve the racket using a rubber sheet instead of the fabric covering the wood surface. But it was not until later that the sponge stick to the wood layer and the rubber layer was improved.

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Original ping pong balls

In the early years, table tennis was not standardized, so people often used two types: By cork or rubber.

This of course is not going to be as ideal as the ball now. The bounce of the rubber ball is too heavy and difficult for players to judge.

In 1901, when James W. Gibb visited the United States, he discovered that Celluloid balls were very suitable for ping pong sport.

The ball made from Celluloid was about 38mm in diameter, and it quickly became popular and then the new standard for table-tennis until the 2000s.

By 2000 the size of the ball was increased to 40mm.

In 2014 ping-pong balls from Celluloid material were switched to plastic materials.

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Where was Table Tennis First Played in?

After the success of the first tournaments at Queen’s Hall, in 1902, London hosted the first international table tennis competition.

The sport attracted a lot of interest from fans and grew rapidly. The British Table Tennis Federation was thus established.

Five years later, the first European Championships were held in 1907.

The first European Championship took place in 2005, just five years after its creation.

After that, the sport of table tennis continued to be popular and known by many people. In 1920, it had reached its peak and was thriving.

These are the key milestones:

In 1921: Establishment of the table-tennis club in England

In 1926: Foundation of the International Federation

Also in 1926 on London: Organized world championships between different countries in London

And in 1927: Establishment of the table tennis club in French

In 1929: The first French player in Budapest

From Where is the Name Ping-Pong?

Where did Ping Pong originate

The sound of a ball in Far East 1884 inspired ping pong.

The original game was called “Wiff-Waff” in its early days. Later, Hamleys Regent Street saw a sports manufacturer who invented the racquet to play Wiff-Waff. They changed the name to “ping pong”. There:

  • Ping simulates the sound of the racket striking the ball.
  • Pong simulates the sound of a ball hitting a table.

After seeing the game of ping pong become popular in Europe, J. Jaques & Son Ltd, a manufacturing company in the UK, registered the trademark, trademark Ping Pong worldwide. This means that other manufacturers around the world have to print a common trademark and call it Ping Pong on every product they make in order not to be infringed on trademark piracy.

J. Jaques then sold the rights to the Ping Pong trademark to Parker Brothers from the US.

Other names for the sport of Ping-Pong:

  • Ping-Pong or Gossima
  • Whiff Waff
  • Table Tennis
  • Pim-Pam
  • Pom-Pom
  • Lots of others

Read more: How Is Table Tennis Different From Any Other Racquet Sports?

What was Ping Pong Diplomacy?

The 1971 meeting between the US and Chinese table-tennis teams was more than a sporting event. This trip is also known as ‘table tennis diplomacy,’ a positive sign for diplomatic relations between the two nations.

Some believe that ‘ping-pong diplomacy was the first time an American delegation visited China. They met in 1971 and 41 of the 160 American youths went to the sixth World Festival of Youth and Students.

This event was covered in great detail by newspapers around the globe. Many young Americans are aware that they have violated the ban on travel to China by the US government, which was placed in 1952.

This trip had a significant impact on the relationship. The two countries have diplomatic relations.

When was table tennis made an Olympic sport?

Table tennis became an Olympic sport in 1988 with the name “table tennis” (singles and mixed doubles). Although the name has changed to “ping pong”, it is still the version that most people are familiar with today.

Table Tennis Become An Olympic Sport

Read more: Olympic Rules For Ping Pong (How to play table-tennis)

Who is the Best Ping Pong Player of All Time?

In 1939, the game was dominated by players from Central Europe. In the men’s tournament, Hungary won 9 and Czechoslovakia 2 times.

And in the 1950s, ping pong was a new sport in Asia.

The Japanese and Chinese players won, respectively. Although the temperature in the women’s tournament is lower, it still draws many people’s interest. The dynasty was an invincible force.

We can find a list of 8 of the greatest table tennis players ever if we look at individuals based on their individual achievements:

Ma Long

Ma long ping pong player

Ma Long is the longest-running player in the world. He is the longest-running world No. 1 player. Ma Long won a string of 35 consecutive wins, setting a record for winning 5 ITTF Pro Tour events. He is the fifth player to win major titles, including the Olympics, World Cup, and World Championship.

Jan-Ove Waldner

Won 9th Swedish Championship against Ove Waldner, a competitor who was the same age as him. In 1992, he was awarded the Olympic Gold Medal and the silver medal in 2000. He won three gold medals at the 1996 European Championship.

Liu Guoliang

Holds at least one title from every major tournament, such as the World Cup and Olympic Games. At the age of 27, he was appointed head coach for the Chinese table tennis team.

Deng Yanping

Most Female Team Gold Medal Winner: Among the 40th, 42nd, and 43rd World Table Tennis Championships held in 1995, 1994, and 1995, Deng Yaping was the Most Female Team Gold Medal winner.

Qiao Hong

Twice Olympic Champion, with 1 silver and 1 bronze during her career.

Guo Yue

She has won four medals during her active career. These include two Olympic Gold medals as well as two bronze medals. She won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in singles and was then the Asian Cup champion and women’s world champion in table tennis that same year.

Xu Xin

He defeated Ma Long in the semi-finals of the Japan Open to win the world tour ten more times. He has also won consecutive World Tour Finals in 2012, 2013, and 2016, won the Asian Cup twice (2013) and 2016 and is currently a semi-finalist and world champion.

Wang Liqin

According to the ITTF rankings he held the #1 position in the world for 25 consecutive months from 2004 to 2006. He was a three-time world champion and won numerous medals at tournaments.

Read more: Basic Table Tennis Skills: What should you practice?


Above is some information about Table Tennis history and an answer to the question: Where did ping pong originate?. You have probably undertaken the question: Where did ping pong come from? This article should help you get a better understanding of this popular sport.

To know more about ping pong table tennis, please search in each post of our website including Ping pong rules or best equipment are suitable for this sport like Paddles, tables, shoes, etc.

Further Reading:

History of Ping Pong (Table Tennis)

Table tennis – Wikipedia