How to play table tennis

Players in a table tennis match use bats to hit a small ball back and forth over a net set up across a wooden table. The ball is made of a type of plastic called celluloid (say sell-you-loyd). The bats are covered with rubber.

Matches can be between two players and are called singles matches or they can be between four players, two at each end, and are called doubles matches.

Players score points for making the other players miss the ball or make mistakes. The first player to reach 21 points wins the game.

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History of table tennis

The game was developed around 1881 by James Gibb from great Britain and was known as 'Gossima'. At first the game was played with rubber balls and wooden-framed bats covered with dry animal skins. Later celluloid balls were used. Because of the noise the ball made as it is hit back and forth on the table, the game became commonly known as 'ping-pong'

Table tennis is an Olympic sport

Table tennis became an Olympic sport in 1988. At the Olympic Games, table tennis competition includes men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles and women's doubles.

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