Table Tennis

Table Tennis

WTGF Sports

General Sport Description

Table Tennis is a skill and technical ball game in which two or four players stand at each end of a large, rectanular table and hit a small lightweight plastic ball back and forth. There is a low net in the middle that splits the table into two halves, and players are required to hit over (or around) the net using small rackets (also known as a bat or paddle).


The object of the game is for each player to hit the ball in such a way that his or her opponent is unable to return the ball legally.


The first player or pair to reach 11 points wins the game.  You score a point by making a shot your opponent fails to return, or when your opponent’s return does not hit your side of the table.  If both sides reach 10 points, the winner is the first to gain a lead of two points.


Whoever wins the most of an odd number of games is the overall match winner.


The root of table tennis (also known as ping-pong) was the older game of tennis, which was (then) played outside on grass or a hard clay surface.  But in the 1870s, tennis players wanted to create an indoor version.


The first ancestor of today’s table tennis game was played in England during the Victorian period, which we identify with the name of Queen Victoria.  During her reign, it was a favorite pastime of the upper-middle class of England to transform the dining table into a playground after dinner, with a row of books placed in the middle of the table as a net. Initially, the bat was an empty cigar box, later a parchment paper stretched on a frame, and a ball was a champagne stopper or rubber ball. It was called “Whif Whaf” or “flim flam” at the time, and it can be assumed that these strange names may have come from the sound of the ball used on the table, but the later name ping-pong was also derived from the sound of the ball bouncing back and forth.   In 1890, the Englishman David Foster filed a patent for a table tennis game, so he is then considered the inventor of table tennis.


Celluloid balls were introduced in the 1900s. This resulted in immediate success in this sport. The popular name “Ping-Pong” was used in 1901, patented by an English manufacturer.  “Ping-Pong” is a state registered trademark in the US even to this day. The name “Ping-Pong” is used elsewhere in the world, but it’s a very popular name in the U.S. because it’s almost ingrained in people’s minds.


In the early 1900s, ping-pong lost some of its popularity, and then revived in the 1920s as “table tennis” and became popular, especially in Europe. In 1926, at an inaugural meeting in Berlin, Austria, England, Germany, and Hungary founded the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) and established the rules. In 1926.


The first World Table Tennis Championships were held in London.  It was added to the program of the Olympics in 1988.

History in World Transplant Games

Table tennis appeared in the World Transplant Games in the 1980s.  It has proven to be extremely popular.  Table tennis entries in recent World Games have been among the largest of all of the sports.  Both singles, doubles, and mixed doubles are played.

Why participate in this sport

Table tennis is a social sport that activates both your body and mind while helping you maintain health and fitness. With table tennis, you do a lot to offset the side effects of transplant medications, and there is no heavy physical strain on your body with few injuries.  It improves your eye coordination and balance, develops your muscles and stamina, and sharpens your brain. Plus, it’s great fun and can be played at all ages.



“Table tennis is the most complicated sport in my life. It’s about coordination, movement, balance, power, speed, explosiveness, and reaction. It helps me get better both in my body and mental health. Competing at the Games reminds me of my story. I was broken during and after the hospital procedure, but I was strong again at my first Games, 3 years after my transplant. I feel I am back on track again. My aim for the next World Games is the gold medal in singles because that is the only one I have not yet won.”

Attila Tóth, Hungary

Participating at a World Transplant Games 


For a full overview of the Format and Sports Rules for competing at a World Transplant Games – click here

Getting Started

To start table tennis, try find a partner to play with and then visit a table tennis club where you can hire a table for the suitable period of time.  You can usually rent the paddles and balls from the club and also often find players who are willing to teach the fundamentals and play with you.  Alternatively, you can contact your National Transplant Association for their help on where to find organized table tennis instruction.


If you find this sport interesting, you can obtain a high-quality and affordable table tennis blade, sport clothes and preferably indoor shoes in the nearest sport shop.  Table tennis is such a game that after you reached a certain level you will want to start increasing your game level.

Training Concepts

WTG Malaga 2017

WTG Newcastle 2019

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