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Table tennis is a dynamic and exciting sport that combines skill, speed and strategy. Popular all over the world, the sport is played at both amateur and professional levels, attracting millions of players and fans. If you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place: here we’ll tell you all about table tennis, including its rules, history, leading Brazilian athletes and much more.

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History of table tennis

Table tennis began as a hobby in England, where it was played in halls and living rooms. Using household items such as improvised rackets and books as nets, players tried to simulate traditional table tennis.

This home game then began to be called “ping-pong”, due to the sound of the ball hitting the paddle and the table;

The name was popularized by the company J. Jaques and Son, which began selling game kits in the late 1890s and patented the term.

As early as 1901, the Ping-Pong Association was founded and the first formal rules were established, including the use of a 15.25 cm high net and a celluloid ball.

Rackets evolved from improvised to specialized equipment, with rubber being introduced in the 1920s, increasing the speed and effect of the strokes.

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Six years later, in 1926, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) was created to unify the rules of the game and organize international competitions;

In the same year, the first world table tennis championship was held in London, marking the beginning of a series of competitions that popularized the sport globally.

In short, by learning all about table tennis you’ll discover that the game has ancient roots, but its modern form began to take shape at the end of the 19th century in England;

Table tennis rules: a practical guide

Table tennis is a game that demands precision and agility from its athletes and, while on the one hand it is the scene of fierce competitions, on the other it can be a form of family fun. This is one of the reasons why the sport has become so popular;

However, there are general rules, which you need to know in a guide to all things table tennis;

Let’s start with the basics: the game of table tennis consists of a series of quick ball exchanges between two players, one on each side of the table, where the athletes must use their rackets to hit the ball from one side to the other.

Each set is played until one of the players scores 11 points, at least two points apart.

In addition, a match is usually played in best of 5 or 7 sets, and the player who wins the most sets wins the match.

The serve must be made with the ball above the table and must touch its half before passing to the opponent. The player must perform the service alternately.

Specific rules for scoring points

  • Erro de Serviço: se o serviço (saque) do adversário for inválido, o ponto é seu.
  • Bola fora: se quando o adversário rebater a bola, ela tocar fora dos limites da mesa, sem bater primeiro na mesa, você marca um ponto. 
  • Falta na Rebatida: caso o adversário não consiga devolver a bola dentro dos limites da mesa ou cometer uma falta, você marca um ponto.

Equipment and structure

In order to master everything about table tennis, it’s important to remember that the equipment must also follow certain rules. For example, the table tennis paddle must meet certain specifications, such as  one smooth surface and another with rubber. The material can vary, but it must meet ITTF standards.

The ball must be made of celluloid or plastic, have a diameter of 40 mm and weigh 2.7 grams;

Of course, these rules only apply to championships. You can have all the fun you want at home;

Finally, the table should be 2.74 metres long, 1.525 metres wide and 76 cm high;

This entire area is divided by a 15.25 cm high net.

In addition to the rules, it’s important to know the basic principles and strokes to understand table tennis:

  • Drive;Topspin;Backspin and others;
  • Topspin;
  • backspin e outros. 
  • To learn more about each of them, we suggest you watch the video below and see two athletes practicing. Don’t be alarmed by the speed with which they hit the ball and, believe us, one day you’ll get there!

    Main characteristics of table tennis

    Table tennis is known for its unique characteristics that make it a fascinating sport:

    • V
    • Precisão e Técnica: A habilidade de controlar a bola com precisão é fundamental.
    • Concentração: Manter a concentração constante é vital para superar os desafios do jogo.

    Also read: Table tennis glossary: topspin, loop, backhand and more

    All about table tennis: meet the top Brazilian athletes

    Brazil has made a name for itself on the world table tennis stage with talented athletes who have taken the country’s name to the highest podiums. Read on and meet some of the top names.

    Hugo Hoyama

    Hugo Hoyama is undoubtedly one of the biggest names in Brazilian table tennis, having competed in six consecutive Olympics (1992-2012).

    Among his greatest achievements are 24 Pan American titles and several Brazilian championships.

    Hugo Calderano

    The name Hugo seems to bring luck to table tennis athletes, doesn’t it? lol

    Hugo Calderano is currently Brazil’s big name in the sport and one of the great medal hopes for the Olympic Games.

    In 2024, Calderano won the WTT Contender and is already one of Brazil’s best current Olympic athletes.

    The athlete has also accumulated other awards and records, such as:

    • Atual número 8 do ranking mundial da ITTF
    • Primeiro brasileiro a alcançar o top 10 do ranking mundial
    • Tricampeão latino-americano.
    • Atual tricampeão pan-americano
    • Cinco medalhas nos Jogos Pan-Americanos
    • Campeão do WTT Contender Durban em 2023
    • Campeão do WTT Star Cup em 2023
    • Campeão do WTT Cup Finals em 2023

    Also read: How to bet on table tennis at Betano: Complete Guide

    We hope that this guide with  everything about table tennis has shown you that table tennis is more than just a game, but a sport that combines technique, speed and strategy, providing excitement and unique challenges. 

    Whether you’re a curious beginner or an experienced athlete, or even a spectator of exciting games, table tennis offers an incredible opportunity to have fun and develop dozens of skills;

    With a rich history and exceptional athletes, the future of table tennis in Brazil and around the world is brighter than ever, so follow the competitions and cheer on our athletes!

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