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Ping Pong

Premiere Date: September 9, 2013

'Ping Pong' in Context

Did You Know?



Table tennis is the world's most popular racquet sport. (Killerspin Table Tennis)

The earliest games of ping pong were played in England in the 1880s. The game was an adaptation of lawn tennis and was played on dining room tables in parlors. (A Comprehensive History of Table Tennis, The ITFF Museum)

The American game and toy manufacturer Parker Brothers acquired the American rights to the name “ping pong.” (A Comprehensive History of Table Tennis, The ITFF Museum)

In England in the early 1890s, alternative names for table tennis included parlour tennis, flim-flam and whiff whaff. (Tim Harris, Sport: Almost Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, Random House, 2009)

Ping pong was originally played with a cork ball, but the ball bounced so badly that eventually a celluloid ball came to be used in its place. (Tim Harris, Sport: Almost Everything You Ever Wanted to Know, Random House, 2009)

20 million Americans play recreational table tennis each year (Dreier, Frederick. "The Fight to Save Ping Pong." The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2013)

Ping Pong was banned in the Soviet Union from 1930 to 1950 because the sport was believed to be harmful to the eyes. (TimeOut Table Tennis Guide – London 2012 Olympic Games)

The world’s top table tennis players can hit the ball at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour. (Grimsby Telegraph)

The first Olympics to feature table tennis as an official sport were the 1988 summer games in Seoul, South Korea. (Grimsby Telegraph)



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