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Ping-pong, more seriously known as table tennis, is a fun and fast paced game that can give you a great workout. The rapid movements, quick footwork and incredible hand-eye coordination involved in playing table tennis will quickly make you a better athlete. Ping-pong is a sport, not a game!

Equipment for play

The basics of the game are that you use a table in place of a tennis court. A regulation table will be 9 feet long, 5 feet wide, and 30 inches high. The top of the table will be made of Masonite or another similar type of hardboard that has a smooth, low friction coating.

The ball you use is a lightweight hollow piece of plastic. The standard for international play is a 2.7 gram ball with a 40mm diameter that bounces 24-26cm when dropped from a height of 30.5cm. Why 30.5cm instead of just 30cm? Only the ping-pong officials know the answer!

The ball is batted back and forth at a rapid pace by a paddle or racket. It is a laminated wood usually made up of one to seven plies. Common woods that are used include balsa, limba and cypress. Other materials can be used such as cork, glass fiber, carbon fiber, aluminum fiber and Kevlar, though international rules state that at least 85% of the materials used must be natural wood. This wood will have rubber on both sides that serve as the functional playing surface.

How to play

The sport may look like a simple exercise in 2 or 4 people hitting balls back and forth at one another, but there is a lot going on that a first time observer will not catch up on right away.

The biggest ‘hidden’ aspect of the game is the spin that can be put on the ball. There is backspin, topspin, sidespin and corkspin. All of these skilled shots are used for various effects that come down to making the game harder for your opponent to play. With a table at home you too can soon learn to incorporate these spins into your gameplay and win matches!