Table tennis is a game or sport that, at the highest levels, has to be watched to be believed. The speed, reaction times, and the what’s happening with the ball in-play is truly remarkable to behold. There are different major styles of playing that people adopt, from attacking to defensive. Especially if you watch a couple of aggressive attack-oriented table tennis players playing at a high-level, you will be astounded by the display of skill you will be witnessing.
The top players in the world come from a variety of countries, but the very best come from Sweden and China. China is a perennial powerhouse in both world championship competitions as well as the Olympic games. Other top countries include Germany, Japan, France, Belgium, and a few others.
It’s interesting that the game can be so fast paced that the official rules of the game have actually changed in the past 10 or so years. One of the significant changes is that the ping pong ball used for matches has increased in size slightly. This has slowed the game down somewhat and allows for spectators better absorb what they’re viewing. Otherwise, it had gotten to the point with both extreme skill and advances in equipment so that the ball was almost unwatchable in play.
The increased size of the ball is, obviously, more material and will have greater friction in the air that will slow it down. As well, just a slightly larger size and mass will also mean that it will not travel at as fast a speed. Besides the changes to the ball and ball speed, the pace of the game was also changed. Again for the audience’s sake, this time the change was to increase the pace and not slow it down. So, a new scoring system was adopted to allow for quicker and more exciting game flow. Historically, the game was played to 21 points and the winner of the game determined then. Now, it has been changed to 11 points.
Besides extreme skill, the constant advancement of the table tennis paddles also attributed to the game approaching the speeds that it did that led to changes. The amount of friction and rebounding energy that the paddle rubber sheets have that these players use is chiefly responsible for the speed of the ping pong ball. So, players looking to assemble the perfect paddle, have a great lineup of both paddles and rubber sheets that they can employ in their style of game.