Ping Pong vs Table Tennis Noticeable Differences

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Most of the people out there think that ping pong and table tennis are two names of the same sport. I, too was one of them till 2011 when the question arose in my mind and I researched the internet and read a huge number of articles telling the similarities and differences between both.

I assure you that after reading this article you will surely know the differences and similarities between both the sports.

A brief outlook of the history of table tennis

Ping Pong Vs Table Tennis

The history of table tennis goes back to the 1880s. It was the time when there was the Victorian Era in England. This was the time when the elites would like to play tennis played in the lawn (outdoors) but they couldn’t play the game in winters or when the weather was cold. Therefore, they came up with an indoor tennis version that was named table tennis.

With time, the game became a little famous among the people due to which several sports companies started making table tennis tables and its equipment. The game was called different names by these countries. A few of the names along with table tennis were Ping Pong, Wiff Waff, Pim Pam, and a couple of other names.

The name Ping Pong was used by English company J. Jaques & Son Ltd. They trademarked the name and hence were used by them only. Since it was trademarked by them therefore, other companies had to come up with new names. Out of all the names like Pim Pam, Wiff Waff, etc. Ping Pong and Table Tennis were used mostly.

Parker Brothers in the USA, bought the trademark rights of Ping pong and so other companies were forbidden from using the word Ping Pong. In the present age, Ping Pong is still used instead of Table tennis in the USA.

Table tennis and Ping Pong were both considered the same until the introduction of the Ping Pong World Championship in 2011. With this, both became two separate sports.

What is the difference between Table Tennis vs Ping Pong?

To understand the difference between both, Let’s take a look at a few differences.

1. Rules

The rules of Ping pong are a little flexible whereas, the rules for table tennis aren’t flexible at all. In table tennis, there are 7 sets where each set has 11 points. A person wins a game when he wins 4 out of 7 sets. Whereas in Ping Pong, each set has 15 points where total sets are the best of 3. In finals or semi-finals, the score is out of the best of 5.

2. Equipment

ping pong equipment

In Ping Pong, the paddles used by the players are 5 ply sandpaper ones. They are standard for all players. Due to these paddles, the players are unable to spin the ball and hence, the game is quite slow. Both sides of the paddles don’t have rubbers and so they are cheaper than table tennis paddles.

Whereas in Table tennis, several types of paddles are used e.g., Pips in, Pips out. The players can customize their blades according to their style which allows them to play a faster game with a nice spin as well.

The playing style in table tennis can be offensive or defensive whereas, in ping pong, both playing styles can be intermixed.

3. Competitions

table tennis competitions

Since both games have different rules and equipment, therefore, there are different competitions of both the games. For Ping Pong, there is a World Championship of Ping Pong which is organized in England every year whereas ITTF organizes a World Table Tennis Championship each year for table tennis.

Furthermore, table tennis is played in the Olympics whereas Ping Pong isn’t a part of it.

4. Trademarked Game

Ping pong is a trademarked game whereas table tennis isn’t trademarked.


Taking into account all the above-mentioned differences, it is proved that both sports are different. Many of us will still call the game ping pong while playing with friends and family even though we will be playing table tennis. If you are playing the game at a professional level then calling the sport by its actual name is necessary for you but if you are playing it for fun then calling table tennis ping pong is fine. es a flat surface with no seams and dips. They can be set in a way that one half is vertical and the other half is horizontal. This will allow you to play a game with yourself when no one is around.

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Hey there! I am Hammad. My love affair with ping pong started when my dad bought the pingpong table for the family and coaxed me into playing. With time, I started loving the sport and sometimes played for the whole day. I also took part in a lot of local competitions in Texas. I decided to share my years of experience with my fellow ping pong players through my writing. I keep researching new information or products related to the game to keep myself and my readers updated. I hope my writing will help to make your ping pong experience much more enjoyable.

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