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Table Top Tennis - Bringing Table Top Tennis Home.

tournament game size ball

Table top tennis seems to have gotten its start as an entertainment for bored nobles. They would set up a stack of books on a table and bat a golf ball back and forth. As the game developed a net, a lighter weight ball and paddles with handles, it sometimes became known as ping-pong. This may be because of the sound the ball makes as it hits the table. In its more formal, tournament style, it became an Olympic event in 1988. Now anyone can have a table and play along.

For the serious player, tournament tables need a lot of space. Regulation size is nine feet long, five feet wide and thirty inches tall. The table top is covered in masonite from three quarters of an inch to an inch think. The masonite is coated to reduce friction and allow the light ball to move at speeds as high as sixty miles per hour. In order to gain the most reaction time against such a small and fast-moving object, the players must stand several feet behind the tables. It is recommended then that tournament rooms be at least twenty five feet long.

If one prefers to play tournament style table top tennis outdoors, one must be careful of the table material. Wooden legs may expand or contract as they grow hot or cold. An aluminum top is more resistant to rain and wind than masonite, which can warp. Aluminum also has a different friction resistance than masonite. The coating must be replenished or at least protected to keep it tournament ready. Otherwise, the spin and speed of the ball will change and the player will not be ready to compete on a standard surface.

Not every player wishes to be so competitive. Novice players may have a difficult time keeping up with the spin of the ball off the paddle or the table top. Instead of playing on a permanent tournament table, these players may enjoy themselves just as much using a more portable game. Folding tables may expand to tournament size, but their surfaces tend to be thinner and less friction resistant. Some have full sized legs, while others are designed to set upon an existing pedestal.

Full sized but collapsible tables come in various materials, all of which are light weight and easy to maneuver. Most come with stainless steel or plastic wheels for easy rolling from one side of the room to another. Their nets are clamped on for the duration of the game then pop right off. The table can be folded without fear of damaging the net and be put away until the next opportunity to play.

Convertible tables are designed to work with existing pedestals. Some have short legs that balance on the top of a standard six foot table. Others have a felt or foam bottoms to allow them to lay upon a pool table. Seldom do these games have a tournament size playing field, but they do fit nicely in a dining room or on a patio. Their size is so small, they fit comfortably in a closet or garage.

Some people find that storing a full sized table top tennis game is still too difficult. For them, the game companies have developed a folding playing field that resembles any other game board when closed. Unfolded they are covered with the same friction resistant materials as the tournament games. Protective foam coats the bottom and they slide onto any normal table. They are also packaged with portable nets, balls and paddles to give the temporary court a professional feel.

A mother’s favorite table top tennis game is made of soft foam. No matter how hard young children slap at these balls, they will bounce off any surrounding furniture. The paddles are designed to give if used as accidental weapons. The net and playing filed are proportionally reduced to match the size of the toddler playing requiring less play room.

With the popularity of the sport growing since its introduction as a sport at the Summer Olympics, game companies have tried to keep up with the demand. Table top tennis sets are available for every size home, and every level of player.

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