12 Best Ping Pong Balls To Buy Online In 2021

24 Best Ping Pong Balls To Buy Online

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24 Best Ping Pong Balls To Buy Online

24 Best Ping Pong Balls To Buy Online

Where Did Ping Pong Balls Begin?

The truth is, it was probably 1870 by British military officers while stationed in India. Upper-class-men close to heat-stroke determined to find a sitting (low energy consumption) game of hitting a golf ball over books with a book.

It’s rumored that these officers brought this pastime back with them to Victorian-era England where it quickly became a popular after-dinner parlor game. At this point in the game’s history it was going by the name of “wiff waff”, which is so adorably British you couldn’t even make it up.

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As far as origin stories go, Ping Pong Balls are about as humble as you get. But fortunately these posh British folks pursuit of entertainment evolved into the accessible, exciting, and super popular game we all know and love today.

Ping Pong Balls Go World Wide

It took a while for the corporations to get involved, but, given the game’s increasing popularity, it was inevitable. The term “ping pong” had already been widely used by the time Jaques and Son of London trademarked it and manufactured the first set of specialized Ping Pong Balls in 1901.

History of Ping Pong Balls (House Tennis Balls)

Ping Pong is the trademarked name for a sport like tennis accept on a table. As that name implies, the game derives from lawn tennis, which was a popular sport for the aristocracy in England and derives, in turn, from French handball, also known as jeu de paume, in the 12th-13th century. Unlike that game, which is played outdoors, ping pong is played indoors and was considered a parlor game.

What is a Ping Pong ball?

The inside table involves a ping pong ball, which is hit across it’s flat surface divided in half by a low net. Instead of the long-handled rackets of outdoor tennis, ping pong uses a short-handled paddle to smack the ball to your competitor rather quickly but only after bouncing the ball on their side of the net.

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By this time the game was being played by a much wider segment of British society, despite the rather high cost of Jaques and Son’s product. No longer only a game for the elite, tournament ping ping balls became regular occurrences, with some even attracting up to 300 participants.

Who First Invented the Ping Pong ball?

The earliest version of the game was mentioned in Parlour Table Games by David Foster in 1890 England. The publication included versions of popular outdoor games like lawn tennis, cricket, and football [known as soccer in America]. That version called for strung rackets, a wooden fence around a table, large side nets and a small rubber ball covered in cloth. Unlike his rules for cricket or table football, his rules for ping pong are very limited. A copy of those rules can be found at Cambridge University.

But several people tried to adapt tennis to a tabletop game.

Other manufacturers stepped in, as can be expected. Since the name ping pong ball was off limits in branding their products, the more generic term “house tennis” came to be used to describe the sport.

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Across the Atlantic, legendary American game manufacturers, Parker Brothers, bought the rights to use the term “ping pong” in their home country and did what they could to popularize it.

Researcher Alan Duke discovered a patent for a different tabletop adaptation of lawn tennis by Ralph Slazenger dated 1883. However, no evidence exists that the game was actually ever released or produced.

The name “Ping-Pong” was created in the late 19th century by the British game company J. Jaques and Son. Later it was trademarked by the game company Parker Brothers in the U.S.

Confusingly, John Jaques claimed in a 1901 interview in The Echo that James Devonshire invented tennis played on a table in 1885. A patent for such a game was submitted but later marked as abandoned. No evidence of the game being produced actually exists.

24 Best Ping Pong Balls To Buy Online

The game’s international appeal broadened even further when a Japanese professor visiting England brought the game back home with him. English salesman Edward Shires did his bit to get the rest of Europe involved and introduced the Ping Pong Ball game to the grateful citizens of Austria and Hungary.

Early History and Evolution of Ping Pong Balls

By 1901 tournaments were being played with as many as 300 contestants. In 1903, The Ping-Pong Association was formed in England and later changed to The United States Ping Pong Association. By 1922 rules standardized, though they vary slightly in each association.

Also, in 1902 a Japanese university professor visiting England was introduced to ping pong balls and loved them. He brought the game to Japan when he returned home. At the same time, British salesman Edward Shires brought it to Budapest and Vienna. The combination of both events planted the seeds for later international popularity. It especially took over Asia with notably high levels of interest in China and Japan.

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During the 1900s, experimentation happened with different types of Ping Pong balls. Rubber Ping Pong balls bounced too much. Cork Ping Pong balls didn’t bounce enough. Eventually, a celluloid Ping Pong ball was created to provide the perfect bounce.

By 1922 the game was being played all over England and the first official club was founded – appropriately named the “All England Club”. Corporate sponsorship was the next big step and tabloid rag The Daily Mirror stepped up to the plate, organizing a nationwide tournament involving a staggering 40,000 participants.

The First Ping Pong Championship

In 1922, the All England Club was created in England with many celebrities and members of the upper class playing there. The Daily Mirror organized a nationwide tournament for 40,000 contestants. In 1926, The International Ping Pong Federation (ITTF) was founded in Berlin. The first world championship was played in 1927 and won by Hungarian Dr. Jacobi.

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Between 1926 and 1931, Mara Mednyanszky from Hungary won the World Championships five times in a row. During her career, she won 18 gold medals. In the 1950s, Angelica Rozeanu-Adelstein from Romania won the world championship six times in a row. Since then, Asian women have dominated the female singles title.

With this amount of popularity, governance was the next big step for ping pong, and in 1927 Ivor Montague, the son of Lord Ewatthling, founded the English Ping Pong Association. Montague was widely regarded as the most influential figure in converting the game into a fully fledged sport.

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In the same year the first world championship tournament was held and won by a Hungarian doctor going by the name Jacobi. His victory was a slap in the face for the sport’s founding nation and one which they only briefly recovered from in 1929 when Fred Perry lifted the trophy. Despite his victory, the Hungarians would dominate the international scene for another decade, mostly due to the exceptional skills of the legendary Victor Barna.

Incidentally, China, the country that would come to dominate much of the modern era, only took to table tennis in the 1930s. The game was especially popular in the communist army during the country’s civil war – something that was even mentioned in Edgar Snow’s famous account of the conflict in his book “Red Star Over China”.

Changes to Ping Pong Paddles

In the 1950s, a sandwich or sponge rubber was created and placed on ping pong paddles. While the concept of “spin” already existed in the game, a more defensive style of play was far more common. The new style of paddles gave expert players more control over the ball. The International Tabletop Tennis Federation stepped in quickly to regulate the thickness of the rubber used in paddles to standardize its effects and prevent an unfair advantage.

24 Best Ping Pong Balls To Buy Online

At the same time, Russian communist authorities did what they could to suppress the popularity of the sport. At the time, Stalin’s regime did what they could to promote team sports – something more aligned with an ideology that frowned upon individualism.

Ping Pong Balls Create World-wide Appeal

In 1957, the World Championship switched to a two-year cycle. In 1959, Rong Guotuan became the first Chinese Ping Pong champion as well as the first Chinese world champion in any international sport. Table tennis was included in the first Paralympic Games in Rome. Ironically, ping pong didn’t officially become an Olympic sport until 1988 during the games in Seoul, South Korea. The first All-Africa Championships were held in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1962.

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Regardless, the sport continued to develop international appeal and is now enjoyed by an estimated 850 million people worldwide, making it the seventh most-popular sport on earth.

Ping pong’s legitimacy as a global sport was given a massive boost 1988 when it was first played at an Olympic level. The game’s accessibility as a spectator sport was evidenced by the fact that the men’s gold-medal match in Seoul attracted a television viewership of an astonishing 2 billion people.

Historical Names For Ping Pong

Despite the fact that the two most popular names for this game are Ping Pong and Table Tennis, the game also goes by the names:

Indoor tennis, Parlour tennis and Royal Game.

Annals of the Ping Pong Rules

Little is known about how the rules of the game developed into what they are now. What is worth mentioning is that a major overhaul of both rules and regulations happened in the early 21st century. The ITTF, not wanting to compromise table tennis’ continued growth in popularity among new players and television viewers, made several changes to make it more accessible.

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We’ve already discussed how the change in Ping Pong ball size contributed to making the game more watchable. At the same time, the ITTF also mandated that players need to serve the ping pong ball from an open palm and tossing it into the air before striking it. This was intended to reduce the enormous advantage afforded to the server.

Serving rounds were also reduced from five serves to two and the number of points per 24 Best Ping Pong Balls To Buy Online game were reduced from 21 to 11. The latter change was adopted specifically to make matches faster and increase tension and excitement for the viewer.

New World Championship Ping Pong Ball Rules

After the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia, the official size of the new Ping Pong balls in table tennis was increased to 40mm. The change made to the games easier to follow (see the ball) on television broadcasts. The game score was switched from 21 to 11 in 2001 for the World Championships in Osaka, Japan. At those games China won for the third time, taking home all seven gold medals.

During the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Ping Pong was ranked the 5th most popular sport for television viewing. These Ping Pong balls were also part of the first Youth Olympic Games in 2010.