Table Tennis Is an Olympic Sport – Pingpong

Table of Content

 Attention Getter: Did you know that ping pong is one of the most popular sports in the world? More people play ping pong in the United States in a year than they play baseball or soccer. (Hodges,1993).

Relevance: I’m sure most people in this room have heard of ping pong in some fashion but like myself have little knowledge of the origins of ping pong and how popular the sport is around the world. Ping pong is a great game that I believed everyone would like if they knew about the sport.

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Credibility Statement: I have been playing ping pong since I was 7 years old and I played competitively in tournament when I was younger.

Because of my love for ping pong I wanted to learn about the origins of the game and share what I know to the class.

Central Idea: Ping Pong in America has grown rapidly since it was first invented in the 1890’s and it continues to grow today.

Initial Preview: Today I am discussing the origins of Ping Pong, how ping pong has grown in the United States, and how ping pong has evolved into an Olympic game.

Transition: To begin lets see when and where ping pong started. Ping Pong was originally created in 1890’s in England.  Started as a parlor game that upper class Victorians would play after dinner. They would turn their dining tables into a small lawn tennis field and used household items like a cork for the ball and lids for racquets to have all the equipment they needed (Mcafee,2009). The game spread to America in the time of a struggling economy which turned many people to an inexpensive sport anyone can take part of. In 1920’s the Parker brothers trademarked the name Ping Pong to promote the game in America. This in turn caused the whole world to change the official name of the game to table tennis (Hodges, 1993).

Transition: As time passed and the equipment used for table tennis got better the popularity of the sport continued to grow. Ping Pong is now played recreationally by over 20 million people in America (Hodges, 1993). The sport does not require certain physical characteristics in order to succeed like football and because all ages can participate in the relatively simple game, the sport continues to grow. The United States Table Tennis Association now has over 7000 ranked tournament players and 300 official clubs where members can go play (Hodges, 1993). . Movies like Forrest Gump and Balls of Fury have also helped expose ping pong to Americans all over the country (Somaiya, 2008). Transition: As ping pong presence in America was catching up to many European and Asian countries that had been competing nationally for years it was only a matter of time till the sport became an Olympic game. In 1988 at the Seoul Olympics ping pong was first introduced as a new competitive game and grew worldwide recognition.

On April 10 1971, China invited 9 American players to come compete in a tournament. This was the first time in 24 years American had been to china and showed a great sign that the cold war was over. This in turn was a big step to putting ping pong in the Olympics because it established competition in the game across different nations(History of table tennis).  China is and has been for most of the past 50 years the top ranked table tennis team in the world according to international table tennis foundation, usually battling other Asian and European countries. With competition getting better and better across the country America is starting to close the gap between our 43 rankings and the top teams in the world. Rin, 2009).


Thanks to the Olympics broadcasting ping pong everywhere giving the sport more exposure to be seen and people growing love for the game ping pongs popularity continues to grow. Today I have informed you about the origins of where ping pong came from and I have told you how ping pong has grown in America and how continuous to grow creating competition among nations all over the world. If you find yourself bored one day go to the recreation center and join the many Americans each day learning how to play ping pong and see how fun it really is.

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Table Tennis Is an Olympic Sport – Pingpong. (2016, Oct 27). Retrieved from

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