County Antrim Table Tennis League


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Table Tennis History

Table tennis has its origins 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, the top of a Champagne cork or knot of string the ball, and cigar box lids the bats.

The popularity of this pastime led games manufacturers to sell the equipment commercially. Early bats were often parchment stretched on a frame and the sound generated in play gave the game its first nick names of "Whiff-Whaff" and "Ping-Pong". The name Ping-Pong was in wide use before English manufacturer J. Jaques & Son Ltd registered it as copyright in 1901. The name ping pong then came to be used for the game played by the rather expensive Jaques equipment with other manufacturers calling theirs table tennis. A similar situation came to exist in the United States where Jaques sold the rights to the Ping-Pong name to Parker Bros.

The next major innovation was that by James Gibb, an English enthusiast, who discovered novelty celluloid balls on a trip to the US in 1901 and found them ideal for the game.

This was followed by E.C. Goode who, in 1903, invented the modern version of the bat by fixing a sheet of pimpled, or stippled, rubber to the wooden blade.

Around 1901 table tennis tournaments were being organised, books written and an unofficial world championship was held in 1902.

It was not until 1921 that a Table Tennis Association was founded in England, and the International Table Tennis Federation followed in 1926. London hosted the first official world championship in 1927.