When Was Ping Pong Invented? – A Quick Look on History

When Was Ping Pong Invented_ – A Quick Look on History

The popularity of the sport Ping Pong is largely undeniable in the recent times. Many apparently enjoy the course of the game. However, like any other game and sport, people don’t usually have any idea about how their favorite games and sports started. That is why a lot of enthusiasts today ask one thing: “when was ping pong invented?

​Now, if you will learn and understand the story behind the invention and discovery of ping pong, you’ll know for a fact that its history is very much rich and diverse.


It is essential for you to know the history of ping pong especially if you are learning to be a professional player. You have to note that understanding how and when it started will cater you more edge in learning better the sport.

Ping Pong vs Table Tennis​

By and large, a lot are still wondering how Ping Pong and Table Tennis are related to each other. In actuality, Ping Pong and Table Tennis is only one thing. The common and one of the first names of Table Tennis is Ping Pong.

ping pong vs table tennis

It is only today that Table Tennis has become the formal and legal name of Ping Pong due to the formalization of the said sport. Nevertheless, there is no difference between the two. The history of Ping Pong actually began basing on the sport Lawn Tennis.

The Discovery of Ping Pong​

​Apparently, Lawn Tennis existed long before the discovery of Ping Pong. While Lawn Tennis is being played outdoors, many find it enjoyable and fun which resulted for the early Englishmen to alter the course of the game. They tried to find ways on how to play the Lawn Tennis indoors. Hence, they found tools and equipment to play indoors which resulted to the discovery of Ping Pong.

In early 19th century, Ping Pong was discovered and called as Whiff Whaff. Using only books as the net and dining tables as the base table to play the game, everybody at that time seem to enjoy the course of each game. They usually use books or anything that can be used as a paddle or racquet to hit the ball. As for the ball, they initially used wine corks or anything that can serve as a ball.

The first Englishmen improvised the Lawn Tennis and successfully invented the Ping Pong or what we usually call now as Table Tennis.

The Discovery of Ping Pong​

Names and Copyrights of Ping Pong​

​Most of the time, the early years of Ping Pong is usually called as the “Before Table Tennis” due to the fact that it is only years after the discovery that the sport was formalized and referred to as Table Tennis.

Aside from Ping Pong, the other names of the game are Whiff Whaff, Gossamer, and Flim Flam. These names appear to be similar in some ways. It is assumed that the names are coined and derived from the sounds the game is producing - notably, the sounds made by the movement of the ball when being hit back and forth.

In 1901, J Jaques and Son Ltd – an English manufacturer registered one of the most popular names of the game. Hence, Ping Pong became a copyright. Years after, he then sold the trademark to the Parker Brothers in the United States.

Only in the 1920s that the term Ping Pong was registered as Table Tennis for formality purposes since the game has been already renowned as a sport due to its popularity around the globe.


Evolution of Ping Pong​

​An Englishman named James Gibb traveled to the United States in 1901. During his trip, he discovered the celluloid balls and started to use these balls for Ping Pong. Correspondingly, EC Goode whom was an enthusiast as well invented the modern raquet of Table Tennis in 1903.

He replaced parchment papers and cigar box with rubbers attached to wooden blades. These innovations and inventions resulted for the game to gain more players and enthusiasts. It first started its popularity in the United States and Europe.

In addition, it is believed that Ping Pong was brought to Asian countries by groups of British army in the early 20th century. During that time, players from Hungary, Sweden, and France are the known best players of the game. However, the course changed when the Japanese introduced the raquets and used foam rubber for the paddle.

All of these events resulted for the International Table Tennis Federation to be founded in 1926. A year after, the said organization spearheaded and organized the first ever World Championship for Table Tennis. After the competition, it was then the time that the Table Tennis has been renowned as an official sport.

After the 1936 international competition which was held in Prague, the official net of the game was lowered for the purpose of making the pace of the game play faster. In 1988, Ping Pong or Table Tennis was included in the Olympics.

In the 21st century, the rules and regulations of the game were set straight and organized to properly formalize the said sport. Over a period of time, the rules and regulations of the sport keeps on changing and improving to enable a more efficient and effective game play.

Evolution of Ping Pong​

Table Tennis Today​

Generally, Ping Pong and Table Tennis has become one of the most popular sports in the recent times. Although many are more comfortable and familiar to Table Tennis, there are still those who stick to calling the game and sport as Ping Pong.

It is very much important for you to learn the basic history of Ping Pong for you to clearly understand the course of the game in its entirety. Although a lot of changes has happened to Ping Pong, the basic rule and purpose of the game is still intact up until today.​

For a more inclusive look on the history of Ping Pong, you may access this video: 

Now, you may want to share this guide if you think this is very much informative and helpful. Also, your reactions, comments, and insights are very much welcome especially if you do have questions.​

girl play ping pong
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