Table Tennis aka Ping Pong – Did you know that ….

'Victorian ping pong

One of our P3 students is an avid ping pong enthusiast, taking lessons every week to improve his game. We were designing the in-class writing assignment for his class this evening and decided to incorporate elements from his favourite sport.

Did you know that ping pong originated in England and used to be played with improvised equipment?

Table tennis has its origins in England as an after dinner amusement for upper class Victorians in the 1880s. Mimicking the game of tennis in an indoor environment, everyday objects were originally enlisted to act as the equipment. A line of books would be the net, a rounded top of a Champagne cork or knot of string as the ball, and a cigar box lid as the paddle.

If you read the rest of the history of ping pong contained in the Wikipedia article linked above, you’ll learn where the precursor to today’s plastic ping pong ball (which replaced bits of champagne cork) was discovered and … which nation banned the sport in the early 20th century because its leaders believed that engaging in ping pong damaged the players’ eyesight.