When the game began as an improvised after-dinner amusement in England in the 1880s, it was known first as 'table tennis', then as 'whiff-whaff ', 'ping-pong' or 'gossima'. The name 'ping-pong' was trademarked by John Jacques and Son in 1900.
The man most usually credited with inventing the modern game was James Gibb, who introduced the celluloid ball to ping-pong in 1900. The other main innovator was EC Goode, who introduced the modern racket with a pimpled surface. The first official organisation was created in 1921, with the founding of the Table Tennis Association in England. Five years later, the International Table Tennis Federation came into existence. In 1988, the game was included in the Olympics.
A ball, when dropped from 30cm, should, by international rules, bounce to a height of 23cm. It should weigh 2.7gm and have a diameter of 40mm. The table is 9ft by 5ft, and 30in high.
In 1929, the world table tennis championship was won by lawn tennis champion Fred Perry.
From 1930-1950, table tennis was banned in the USSR as it was considered bad for the eyesight.