International Table Tennis – Worldwide Appeal For the Tabletop Sport

Table tennis is a game enjoyed by many around the world. The concept originated in Europe as a social activity for members of upper class society. It spread quickly as the European elite casually exposed others to this exciting after-dinner activity during their travels to locations around the globe. Sweden, Hungary, tennis class Singapore France, and the United States were early hotspots for the game and all remain active on the table tennis world stage.

British army officers also had a role in advancing the sport. They are responsible for acquainting the residents of Japan, China, Korea, India, and South Africa with the tabletop sport. While on tours of duty in these countries, the officers would gather and hold matches for entertainment. Residents who witnessed the officers playing would often recreate the game on their own using any available materials. It is truly a game that anyone can learn and anyone can teach. The basic concept is simple to understand and can be learned through demonstration without the need for verbal instruction. Language is not a barrier and neither is physical disability. Disabled athletes around the world represent their countries in the Paralympics Games. This game is most definitely an inclusive and rewarding sport.

Table tennis is the national sport of China. It is also one of the more dominant sports in Singapore and Vietnam. Citizens from these countries view top players in this sport’s arena with the same reverence that spectators in the USA display for superstar athletes on football, baseball, and basketball teams. China has a table tennis training center that rivals the most advanced training facility of any sport, anywhere in the world. The time, effort, and resources dedicated to the sport by this country are evident when viewing the official rankings as recorded by the International Table Tennis Federation. Chinese players have won more World Championship titles than players from any other country. They continue to dominate competitions without exception. More than 57 countries were represented at the 2008 Olympic Games. Of the twelve medals awarded at the Games, smoke-island China earned eight.

The International Table Tennis Federation is dedicated to introducing the game to countries around the world. The ITTF has representatives hosting clinics and training programs in countries such as Barbados, Jamaica, and Belize to name a few. The sport is grabbing hold and continues to advance at a rapid pace. Children and adults alike are turning out in increasing numbers to become a part of the table tennis community.



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