Magazine article Parks & Recreation

A "Racquet" Heard 'Round the World

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

A "Racquet" Heard 'Round the World

Article excerpt

What weighs 2.5 grams and can travel at speeds over 100 mph? No, it's not the summer mosquito in your backyard.

What sport is played by more than 18 million Americans and is the most popular racquet sport worldwide? No, it's not tennis.

What activity once recorded 173 "hits" in 60 seconds? No, it's not the banner ad on your homepage.

Give up?

All the answers can be found within the game of table tennis. Yes, that's right: "ping- pong" (the name "ping-pong"[TM] is trademarked by game-maker Parker Brothers). But don't use that word around those who take the game seriously--a ball can travel at speeds over 100 mph. More than 18 million Americans play table tennis each year--with 2.9 million playing more than 25 times per year. In 1973, the Guiness Book of World Records documented the most hits in a 60-second table tennis rally --173 by Jackie Bellinger and Lisa Lomas of Great Britain.

Table tennis is a worldwide game. Sweden, China, and Korea are the world powers in table tennis today. The U.S. Men's Team is ranked 32nd in the world and the U.S. Women's Team is ranked 25th in the world.

The formal roots of the game of table tennis can be traced to 1926, when the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) was founded in Berlin, Germany. Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, India, Sweden, and Wales were the founding members, and the United States became a member of the ITTF in 1933.

USA Table Tennis, formed in 1933, is the governing body for the sport of table tennis and is a member of the ITTF. …

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