ball table Paddle/racket
After the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, the ITTF instituted several rule changes that were aimed at making table tennis more viable as a televised spectator sport. First, the older 38 mm (1.50 in) balls were officially replaced by 40 mm (1.57 in) balls in October 2000. This increased the ball's air resistance and effectively slowed down the game. By that time, players had begun increasing the thickness of the fast sponge layer on their paddles, which made the game excessively fast and difficult to watch on television. A few months later, the ITTF changed from a 21-point to an 11-point scoring system (and the serve rotation was reduced from five points to two), effective in September 2001. This was intended to make games more fast-paced and exciting. The ITTF also changed the rules on service to prevent a player from hiding the ball during service, in order to increase the average length of rallies and to reduce the server's advantage, effective in 2002. In order for the opponent to have time in order to realize a serve is taking place, the ball must be tossed a minimum of 16 cm in the air. The ITTF states that all events after July 2014 are played with a new poly material ball
Table tennis, also known as ping pong, is a sport in which two or four players hit a lightweight ball back and forth across a table using a small, round bat. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net. Except for the initial serve, players must allow a ball played toward them only one bounce on their side of the table and must return it so that it bounces on the opposite side. Points are scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules. Play is fast and demands quick reactions. Spinning the ball alters its trajectory and limits an opponent's options, giving the hitter a great advantage. When doing so the hitter has a better chance of scoring if the spin is successful. Table tennis is governed by the worldwide organization International Table Tennis Federation, founded in 1926. ITTF currently includes 220 member associations. The table tennis official rules are specified in the ITTF handbook. Table tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988, with several event categories. In particular, from 1988 until 2004, these were: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles and women's doubles. Since 2008, a team event has been played instead of the doubles.
The sport originated in Victorian England, where it was played among the upper-class as an after-dinner parlour game. It had several different names, including 'whiff-whaff', and it has been suggested that makeshift versions of the game were developed by British military officers in India or South Africa, who brought it back with them. A row of books was stood up along the center of the table as a net, two more books served as rackets and were used to continuously hit a golf-ball. The name "ping-pong" was in wide use before British manufacturer J. Jaques & Son Ltd trademarked it in 1901. The name "ping-pong" then came to be used for the game played by the rather expensive Jaques's equipment, with other manufacturers calling it table tennis. A similar situation arose in the United States, where Jaques sold the rights to the "ping-pong" name to Parker Brothers. Parker Brothers then enforced their trademark for the term in the 1920s making the various associations change their names to "table tennis" instead of the more common, but trademarked, term. The next major innovation was by James W. Gibb, a British enthusiast of table tennis, who discovered novelty celluloid balls on a trip to the US in 1901 and found them to be ideal for the game. This was followed by E.C. Goode who, in 1901, invented the modern version of the racket by fixing a sheet of pimpled, or stippled, rubber to the wooden blade. Table tennis was growing in popularity by 1901 to the extent that tournaments were being organized, books being written on the subject, and an unofficial world championship was held in 1902. In 1921, the Table Tennis Association was founded in Britain, and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) followed in 1926. London hosted the first official World Championships in 1926. In 1933, the United States Table Tennis Association, now called USA Table Tennis, was formed. In the 1930s, Edgar Snow commented in Red Star Over China that the Communist forces in the Chinese Civil War had a "passion for the English game of table tennis" which he found "bizarre". On the other hand, popularity of the sport waned in 1930s Soviet Union, partly because of promotion of team and military sports, and partly because of a theory that the game had adverse health effects. In the 1950s, paddles that used a rubber sheet combined with an underlying sponge layer changed the game dramatically, introducing greater spin and speed. These were introduced to Britain by sports goods manufacturer S.W. Hancock Ltd. The use of speed glue increased the spin and speed even further, resulting in changes to the equipment to "slow the game down". Table tennis was introduced as an Olympic sport at the Olympics in 1988