A great indoor sport that has been popular for over a hundred years is table tennis. It’s also known as ping pong, but that is more of a commercial name that was trademarked and used by a couple of manufacturers of the game. I say an indoor game or sport not that it can’t be played outside. In fact, many families may not have the room for a ping pong table inside a home and may place it in the back yard. The reason why you may not want to do this is because the ball used in the game is extremely light and even the slightest wind will affect it’s flight. This may not be a concern for the casual player and may even make it more exciting and interesting. The more serious player, however, will want to play the game as it is played at the highest levels and that means inside and not with wind and other environmental considerations.
Just like with many sports, table tennis is played at very casual levels with players of very little skill all the way up to hard core participants that actually compete at the Olympic and world championship levels. Table Tennis became an Olympic sport in 1988 and has had world championship competitions for over 100 years around the world.
The casual game of ping pong belies the complexity, skill, and speed involved in top play. This comes from extraordinary displays of skills possessed by high level players and also the equipment that is utilized. The main components of the player’s most relevant individualized equipment, the racquet, are the actual racquet/paddle (or “blade”) and the surfaces on either side of the paddle (or “rubbers”). The actual wood (and other materials used) is one major factor in the characteristics of the overall racquet. Different types of wood or combinations of wood with other materials (like metal shavings, carbon fiber sheets, etc.) will influence if the racquet is slower and more defensive oriented or faster and more aggressive for attacking.
Then, you have the rubber sheets that go on either side of the paddle. The most popular type of surface here is one that is sticky or tacky. This surface characteristic is leveraged by the player to introduce extreme amounts of spin to fit their individual style of play and various types of strokes. Because so much spin can be introduced, very powerful effects, arcs of the ball, and difficult situations can be introduced for their opponent. Whether one enjoys a casual game or likes to compete, a table tennis table is required to play and we recommend this guide for reviews on ping pong tables.