Difference between Table Tennis vs. Ping Pong

Table Tennis Versus Ping Pong

What is the difference between table tennis vs. ping pong? Are they the same or different? Are there any different rules between these two names? These are the common questions that many new players asked me. Let’s me compare between ping pong and table tennis right now.

Why is table tennis called ping pong?

Ping-pong is a trademarked name for the game also known as table tennis. In 1901, John Jacques registered “Ping-Pong” as a trade name in England, then the rights were sold to Parker Brothers. Ping Pong is also called as “whiff-whaff” in England. Such a funny name 🙂

Before 2011, “Ping Pong” or “Table Tennis” is the same sport. Some recreational players tend to use “ping-pong” or “table tennis in the basement”. Amateur players consider “ping pong” as a hobby. But serious players call it as table tennis exclusively and consider it as a sport. In general, Ping Pong relates to garage players, while Table Tennis is used by players that formally train in the sport.

Difference between Ping Pong vs. Table Tennis?

After 2011, Ping Pong is another sport. Nowadays, Ping Pong and table tennis are not the same. There is the World Championship of Ping Pong, organized every year in England. There is also the World Table Tennis Championship organized by ITTF. The Ping Pong event is held in London England (Alexandra’s Palace) hosted by Match Room (Barry Hearn’s) enterprise.

Ping Pong World Championship Event hosted in England
Ping Pong World Championship Event hosted in England
  • Equipment: Table tennis can use various type of equipment: pips-in, pips-out rubber, and no limit type of table tennis blade. However, Ping Pong use only one type of equipment: blue sandpaper bats. So in Ping Pong, every player uses the same equipment.
  • Rule: Table tennis plays best of 11 points, in 7 games. While ping pong plays 15 points best of 3 (except the semi-finals and the final which is best of five sets), with a sudden death point at 14 all and a double point ball played once on the serve. There is a special “double-point ball” that can be used once per match when serving, and it gives 2 points to the serving player if won, and 1 point to the receiving player. It is white instead of orange to mark this occasion.
  • Scoring: Score ends at 11 points with a difference of at least 2 points for Table Tennis. Score ends at 15. A final score of 15-14 is a winning score.
  • Playing style: Ping Pong use sandpaper which provides medium to slow speed and medium spin. Table tennis has a faster pace and higher amount of spin. Table tennis has offensive and defensive playing style. Ping Pong can mix both playing-styles in a game.

Ping Pong and Table Tennis are different

So Ping pong is no longer the informal American title of the game of table tennis. They are the two different sports nowadays.

  • Main difference: In Table Tennis, each person has their own customized paddle. In Ping Pong, the standard paddle used by all: sandpaper.
Sandpaper paddle used in Ping Pong
Sandpaper paddle used in Ping Pong

Who is the World Champion of Ping Pong?

From 2011 to 2014, the World Champion of Ping Pong is Maxim Shmyrev (RUS). The next two years (2015 to 2016), the champion is Andrew Baggaley (ENG). In 2017, the Chinese players started to interest to “Ping Pong”. The latest Ping Pong Champion is a Chinese “Yan Weihao”. He is only 20-year-old and comes from Nanking.


Table Tennis vs Ping Pong Player, Who Win?

Let’s watch the funny match between the Table Tennis Champion (Zhang Jike, Liu Guoliang) versus the Ping Pong Champion (Yan Weihao). They are using the hardbat (or sandpaper racket). Who will win?

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