Difference between Ping Pong and Table Tennis

It is a widespread misconception that table tennis and ping pong are similar games. But the fact is, they are different games.

The article below will help you to understand the similarities and differences between ping pong and table tennis.

The History of These Two Games

Ping pong and table tennis were different names for similar things before they became two other sports.

The Table Tennis Game was invented in the 1880s for the first time in the Victorian Era of England. The main reason behind its origination was that most people could not play the famous lawn tennis in winter’s colder season. So they decided to play it indoors, which gave rise to this table tennis game.Difference between Ping Pong and Table Tennis

As it became trendy, many companies started making table tennis equipment. Back then, every brand used to set their game’s name differently. Dozens of characters were there of that sport such as Pong, Whiff Waft, Table Tennis, etc.

An English company named J. Jacques & Son Ltd used the “Ping Pong” for the first time. It was precisely referred to the sets manufactured by them. On the same analogy, other brands went for a different name, and therefore table tennis and Ping Pong became the dominant names for the identical game.

Parker Brothers living in the US bought the liberty to this trademark. They refused other companies to use the term “Ping-Pong,” but that couldn’t mark any difference, and still, it is the casual and easy-going way to refer to table tennis in the US.

The Main Differences

The terms table tennis and ping pong were both used in that sport’s primary days and were changeable reasonably.

Further, many table tennis players do not like their game to be called a term ping pong. They think that this word’s onomatopoeic nature gives a wrong impression, making it sounds childlike and awkward.

Nevertheless, the community ping pong has embraced the less conventional and formal name. Concentrating not on the competition but the fun and social side of the game, they started to play a pure and straightforward version of the game, free from some of the more complex and complicated rules and regulations of table tennis.
Some significant differences are;


The ball is thrown from an open hand in table tennis more than 6 inches in an upward direction and afterward hit from behind the table’s baseline. However, in ping pong games, they might be hit erect out of hand or come after a bounce on the ping pong table.


In current table tennis, games almost go up to eleven points, with each player having two serves at a time. Though the conventional 21 point format is mostly used in many ping pong games, each player almost having five serves in alter.

Types of equipment

Table tennis and ping pong have separate rules for the game, and also, the equipment used in the game is not similar.

In the ping pong game, players utilize a 5-ply sandpaper paddle. The ping pong game is played comparatively slower than table tennis due to these paddles. The minimal-provided spin prevents the player from initiating as much potential and power, causing slowing down the game.

While playing table tennis, usually, the players can considerably focus on the customization of their paddles. Different blades, as well as rubber, are there to choose from. Consequently, every player can pick up any combination for setting up a racket just according to his comforts and style.


We hope that this article helped in explaining the differences between Ping pong and Table Tennis. Although they are different officially, most people consider them the same sport in reality, chiefly in the US, where Ping Pong is used widely instead of Table Tennis, which is its official name.

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