If you were one of the nerds that had a lot of success in the chess club at school, guess what? You would probably excel at table tennis – if you could pull yourself away from your handheld device long enough to learn how to play. That’s one of the cool things about table tennis is that although there is some work involved, you probably aren’t going to log as many miles as you would chasing a real tennis ball around an actual concrete court. So, with that in mind, here are a few of the funny things you probably don’t already know about table tennis.
1 – Playing Table Tennis For Real Is Different Than On Your Smartphone
To acknowledge your level of nerd-dom, we get that you can spend all day playing table tennis without breaking a sweat. However, just because there are several apps on your phone to do this doesn’t mean you are playing the game. Table tennis is played on a table surface. If it were not intended as such, it would have been named tablet tennis or app tennis and what kind of attractant would that be?
2 – Historically, Table Tennis Was Used For Hunting Purposes
Okay, Brainiac, how do you think the great hunters of ancient times (we’re talking pre-1970 here) used their table tennis skills to hunt for food on the open plain? If you said they threw the tables at the animals to spook them out so other hunters could fire arrows at them…you’d be wrong. You also would not have the ability to understand the mechanics of the game truly. By the way, the ping pong balls were paddled at the animals until they could not take it anymore and gave up. Or at least that’s what our Uncle Gary used, and he was a smart guy.
3 – A Very Important Phrase Came From Table Tennis
You’ve heard it many times, and likely have used it yourself. When someone is going up a crappy creek without a paddle, it is pretty much an indication that they are in some serious trouble. The common misconception is that this well-known saying came from canoeing. Actually, it originated from a sport once played that was called ‘Shoreline Table Tennis.’ It was usually played during flood season and was a rite of passage for young boys. If your camp got flooded out, wiping out your table tennis set up, you were said to be drifting up a creek without your paddle. The canoe community stole that some time ago to try to make their boring sport seem hip.
4 – Table Tennis Is Illegal In Some States
Typically in the States that are referred to as being home to Rednecks or other, shall we say, Southern-Americans, table tennis is viewed as a sport that does not belong in such macho territory. Testosterone rules this part of the world and tennis playing in any form is labeled as a ‘sissy sport’ and is punishable by one of several types of tortures related to manly activities. They fall under the categories of hunting, fishing and general lack of personal hygiene. You may be able to dodge the embarrassment if you can fake the part. In other words, start learning how to chew tobacco and swill beer…today!
5 – There Is An Underground Table Tennis League
Because playing table tennis has a stigma with it in many places around the Western World, a number of underground Table Tennis Leagues have formed. They are organized to the point where they will award franchises to cities and conduct regularly scheduled team matches. The Championship Playoffs and final game are so popular that they are broadcast on two different ‘illegal’ television networks and garner tens of thousands of dollars in advertising revenue. Donald Trump owns a few of the leagues.
6 – A Table Tennis ‘Ping Pong’ Ball Sits On The Surface Of The Moon
NASA won’t admit to this, but during the exploits of at least two lunar landings, there was more than golf played on the surface of the Moon. In fact, unconfirmed reports point to the fact that several of the astronauts who walked and played on the giant floating piece of cheese was known to be considered experts in their respective table tennis leagues. Apparently, a feud between two of them (and we will not reveal who they were) led to a grudge match just outside the thingy they used to land on the Moon. No one knows who won, but there is most definitely one ping pong ball covered in Moondust up there and at least one more flying around the gravitational field with millions of other pieces of random space junk.
7 – Table Tennis Is The Politically-Correct Term For The Game
We’ve mentioned it a couple of times already, but table tennis is not ping pong. Ping pong is not table tennis. Well, at least not in the Free World. Several decades ago it was determined by a governing body that protects all the rules and regulations related to table tennis that the name ping pong was too um, pedestrian. It lacked something. You know, the name wasn’t sexy nor was it interesting. So, the sport became known as table tennis, which, by the way, is also not very sexy or interesting. Regardless, the reputation of the sport has not really improved much at all as the name is considered an insult to professional tennis players the world over.
8 – Table Tennis Has Been Shrouded In Controversy
You may have never heard about the Olympic scandal that revolves around table tennis. The Korean team clearly beat the United States team in the final round during the Summer Games in Rio. However, a video replay of a movie called ‘The Full Monty’ shows that the player who executed that move had lifted off the floor for a split second. International rules are picky and point out that a table tennis player must have at least one foot touching the floor at all times. A Korean television network owns the only existing video evidence of this error. All other game footage mysteriously disappeared or was erased. Because the ‘winning’ team is also from Korea, the Gold Medal was not awarded and continues to be noted as an incomplete final match in the record books.
9 – You Can Get A Good Cardio Workout Playing Table Tennis
If you happen to eat a lot of fast food and smoke a lot, table tennis is going to give you a real workout. It is a sport you can start playing seated at the end of the table, but eventually, you’ll want to try to win a few games which means putting the rest of your body into it. Doctors claim that four out of five players dislike the game but play it to avoid injuries from participating in more strenuous sporting activities.
10 – Table Tennis Is Not The Official Sport In Prison
Thanks to the wizards in Hollywood, most films that are either set in prison or feature a scene or two in prison often show a playful game of table tennis either in the background or as the main event. This is not to be taken seriously as most prisons have outlawed the game due to its violent nature and that the paddles and balls can be used to inflict injury. The only reason why you see table tennis appearing in these movies is because of clever marketing and product placement. In an effort to ‘macho-up’ the reputation of the sport, the table tennis governing bodies work tirelessly to lobby filmmakers to include table tennis somewhere in a movie.
Table Tennis Is Actually A Lot Of Fun For Everyone
Okay, we went a little overboard here. Table tennis is actually a very popular and inexpensive activity that is suitable for anyone to play. Dorms, schools, and most anywhere young people congregate usually have a table somewhere for this purpose. If you are seeking a fun and active game you can play indoors that offers a bit more challenge than online poker, table tennis may be your new best friend. It is easy to learn how to play, and beginners need little skill other than some hand and eye coordination in order to pick the game up.
If you are a whiz and any online game that you play on your tablet or iPhone, table tennis is a perfect match for you. If you have been looking for a new drinking game or just a way to meet new people in your dorm or local community center, this game will help you with all of this and more. Plus, if you get really good at it, you may end up at the Olympics one day. Or at least an extra in the background of a prison scene in a movie!