The game of ping pong or table tennis is played with help of a table. The number of players participating in the singles and doubles game are two or four respectively. After its inception in Britain, the game of ping pong became popular worldwide. In the United Kingdom, it was referred to as wiff-waff. Wiff-waff was not a standardized sport and was generally played as a recreational activity after dinner. Piles of books kept on the table served as the net. In those days, there weren't any specially-designed rackets. In fact, books were used just like rackets. The golf ball was used to play wiff-waff. In the course of time, improvements were made in the rules and equipment used for playing the game. Dimensions for the table, the bat (racket) and ball were standardized.
Details of Ping Pong Table Dimensions
The length of ping pong table is 9 feet. In terms of the metric system of measurement, length of the table should be 2.74 m; it is the standard length as specified by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). The table is divided in two halves along its length with by means of a net.
The width of ping pong table is 5 feet (1.525 m). A white line divides the table in 2 parts along the width. Sections formed by the white line are used at the time of playing a doubles game.
A ping pong table should be 30 inches high (76 cm) i.e. 2 feet 6 inches above ground surface.
Height of the net should be 6 inches (15.25 cm). The net assembly consists of supporting posts and clamps which allow to attach the net to the table. A cord is used to suspend the net from supporting posts. The net used for ping pong is made of nylon; it comes with an overhang of 6 inches (15.25 cm).
Dimensions of Ball and Bat
Diameter of the ping pong ball is 40 mm. It is hollow and made of celluloid. Earlier, the ball used to be 38 mm in diameter. If a ping pong ball is given a 3 star rating, it means the roundness and bounce are both consistent. Ideally, a ping pong ball weighs 2.7 g. The racket/bat used for playing table tennis is 10.6 cm long. Height and width of the racket should be 19.36 cm and 15.24 cm respectively. Weight of the racket should be 180 g. The racket is known by the names, 'paddle' and 'bat' in USA and Europe respectively.
Making a Ping Pong Table
A ping pong table is made from Masonite - a hardboard composed of wooden chips. The wooden chips used for manufacturing the hardboard are treated with steam so that they form long fibers; the fibers are then used for making boards. The ITTF approves only those ping pong tables that are made of wood.
- Surface of the table should be such that when the ball is dropped from 12 inches height, a bounce of 8 and 3/4 inches is attained. The ball must bounce uniformly along the entire surface of table; having a uniform bounce is important at the highest level, in international matches, where every point matters. Thickness of the table plays an important role in determining the bounce of the ball. Thickness of 1 inch ensures that the ball bounces uniformly; however, some of tables are 3/4 inches thick.
- The ping pong table has a dark surface. Colors used to paint the table surface should be either green or blue; these colors are approved by the ITTF. The white line which divides each half of the table into 2 sections should have 3 mm thickness. Lines which act as borders along the table surface should be 2 cm thick. Although white lines serve as borders for the table surface, the actual playing area extends right up to the edges and includes the 2 cm thick portion of lines.
- In the game of ping pong, dimensions of the playing area hold great importance. In this sport, the player is required to make moves like the back swing. Such kind of moves need enough space for their proper execution. Therefore, it is necessary to leave a space of at least 3 feet on the sides of the table. Similarly, a space of at least 6 feet should be left behind the table's end lines. This type of arrangement creates enough room for players to move freely and play their shots. For international games the playing area should be 14m x 7m.
Ping pong is a game in which players need to maintain high levels of concentration, must have good reflexes and possess the ability to spin the ball. Playing this game with the proper equipment and correct understanding of rules should allow you to enjoy it to the fullest.