Is Table Tennis A Real Sport Or Just A Game?

Is table tennis a sport or just a good workout for people who want to do some exercises? Some people claim that table tennis is not a sport, and some argue that ping pong is just a game to play during recreation time. Well, what do you think? If table tennis isn’t a real sport, then how can it make it into the Olympics?

What Are The Debating Points On This?

It appears that among the most significant issues discussed continuously by most people is that ping pong is a very complex and challenging game for those unfamiliar with the game rules to recognize the players’ skill and value.

Nonetheless, we can see that the game of ping pong has received more and more attention lately, and many people are starting to appreciate the players’ skill.

table tennis sport
table tennis sport or game

Professional table tennis players train to improve their skill every day for extended periods. They do move and sweat a lot as any other sports do. 

However, this may be not true as table tennis players do have to run very often to return the shots hit by the opponent and plays the ball that can come from anywhere. As spectators, many enjoy watching the match; even professional players play it very fast, and most of the games have a short rally.

The Game is Dominated By China Players

Chinese players generally monopolize today table tennis, and some people have a bias when defining whether ping pong is a sport or not. Admittedly, the top 10 world players are mainly from China, and it can be challenging for players from other countries to strive to compete.

Some stand by their opinion of not recognising ping pong as a sport, but they nevertheless recognize China players’ value and strength. It is appalling for all the predicaments that being raised all these times.

To make the game of ping pong to be a recognized sport worldwide, it is best to promote the game with appropriate websites and educate folks about the complexities of ping pong. It is not only to get more people to know the game but also to have them play the game using suitable rackets and rubbers.

If someone is keen to play ping pong but doesn’t know anything about the relevant equipment like the table, blade, rubber, net, and ball, then they may only play a while and give up. Then, they will conclude that table tennis shouldn’t be called a sport at all since it is not cool to play at all.

Thus, it is crucial to have a website like this to educate people to know all the equipment types and the required skills to play the game right. They will enjoy playing and will master the skill in no time.

Overall, we can compile the feedback into a summary list for those who think ping pong is a sport and those who think it is not.


  • It is a sport because it has all the sport rules and is recognized by the ITTF.
  • It is incorporated into the Olympics game.
  • It plays competitively.
  • Players are sweating as other sports do. Whole bodies are being exercised.
  • Regular training and practices are required to play the professional way.


  • Table Tennis should consider as a hobby since it is more for recreation play only.
  • It is a game only suitable to play in the room or basement of a house.
  • No teamwork exists.
  • Everything is miniature, no matter space, table, bats, and balls.
  • No need for a lot of athleticism since the player doesn’t have much movement.
  • No strategy involved.

How I Turn From Love to Hate Table Tennis

I’ve read many posts on the internet from various people who love or hate table tennis. Also, I have come through many comments and reasons stated by people why they love or hate table tennis. I would also like to share how I changed from loving it to rejecting it.

During my childhood, when I was in primary school, I had serious insomnia because of the tremendous pressure of facing the school examination. At that time, the ticket to enter college was very rare, and everyone needed to compete with thousands of other students to squeeze through the super narrow gate entrance of the University.

My Psychology Mentor

At that time, I found an excellent “psychology mentor” – Deng Yaping. Whenever I could not fall asleep, I would hold a tight fist and tell myself. Deng Yaping can become a world champion, even though she had been expelled from the Henan team and national team a few times, but she never gave up and finally became a world champion in table tennis.

Deng Yaping
Deng Yaping

Such an inspirational story always comforts me, and every time I think of this, I quickly fall asleep. This “psychology teacher” actually accompanied me through University and even my early work after finishing my studies at the University. Whenever I was in trouble or had any doubt in myself, I would cheer myself: “even Deng Yaping can make it; sure I can make it too!”

For this reason, I have always liked to watch table tennis matches that involve Chinese table tennis players.

I have seen a lot of world champion emerge. From Jiang Jialiang, Chen Longcan, Ma Wenge, even Xu Zengcai, all these players have accompanied me through many difficult times that I have had. At that time, it was soul-stirring for me for every game. I cheered for their victory or cried for their defeat.

The trend of Immigration of China Players

After, the migrating trend began. The affair of Wei Qing Guang changing his nationality made me extremely angry! While Chen Jin also migrated to Taiwan and represent the Chinese Taipei to fight again, China players make me want to cry. Not to mention many more that migrated to other countries throughout the trend of migration during that time.

I still remember once Werner Schlager vs Kong Linghui in World Championships competition. I even bought a few cans of beer and watched them together with my buddies at University. It was just like celebrating some festival holiday that I still can remember how thrilled we were.

However, I bet we won’t be the only ones thrilled by Chinese table tennis players; I believe many out there also cheer the China team as we do.

However, my faith in table tennis started getting shaken after that.

Too Many Matches on TV

I do not understand why CCTV needs to show so many table tennis matches on their TV program every day. Some commentators acted like table tennis experts by telling us the profound technical and tactical play and awful psychological thing.

The commentators like to show off self-appreciation-speaking by expressing a lot of tournament names, and venues of competitions range from U21, U17, Open, Grand Prix, World Cup, World Championships, National Games, the Olympics blah blah blah. All these make me sick.

The Pace of the Game is Too Fast

I started getting frustrated when I saw a lot of matches that play at a very fast pace. According to the international measurement, it can take about one second for the ping pong ball to shift from one player to the opponent when he hit with his paddle. With such a short time for every hit, to keep an eye by focusing on each hit can be a burden for spectators’ eyes.

And most of the time, the table tennis ball just being played back and forth for 2 to 3 times and ended there. For casual spectators who watch the game on the TV channel, they may not even get into the game yet, but the play already ends from point to point.

While for offensive players, the rallies typically end in a short time. As almost all players emphasise third-ball attack where the player who serves the ball does a tricky serve to let the opponent have some difficulty to receive the ball, and when the opponent hits back, the player will make a killing on the shot. After watching so many matches playing like that, I started to feel bored and turn the TV to another sports channel.

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Warren Davies

7 thoughts on “Is Table Tennis A Real Sport Or Just A Game?”

  1. Here in Poland, there are many table tennis players, both professionals and amateurs. But to tell you the truth I don’t think it’s really popular sport.

    The soccer is #1 here of course. The main reason is that, nobody (I mean TV channels) wants to show it O.o

    Looking at Eurosport it’s even less popular than some scottish bowls.

    “For the ITTF, publicity of there events and sport should be there #1 task and they should take a stab at making table tennis more public around the world.”

  2. Jennifer Dalton

    If table tennis is to be popular worldwide then several changes to the sport’s image needs to be made.

    First of all the fashion is atrocious, T-shirts with gawdy geometric designs is not the way to be going about playing. Some classier polos and shorts would do much to bring the image up, as would any rule pertaining to tucking the shirts in. Furthermore I must say that of all the womens’ side of sports table tennis must rank the lowest in this department. Makeup and “bling” isn’t appropriate but at least they should be making themselves presentable (ie hair and actual skirts). That way we wouldn’t have comments about the women looking like men.

    Onto another tangent, the sponsorships regarding the biggest events should be sold to various recognisable multi-national conglomerates. This would serve the purpose of creating a recognisable brand to follow and to legitimise the sport.

    The current camera angle simply does no justice to the real speed and capabilities of the professionals, an oblique angle closer to the table and across from the players would showcase the talents that the professionals have.

  3. Pingpong addict

    In the Philippines table tennis is not popular at all. Even getting some top national players to play in a mall free of charge for the public to see wouldn’t draw any crowd. It’s precisely because they don’t know what is happening in the game. Like why can’t a player recieve a serve, why are there so few rallies as compared to badminton. It is really so boring to watch a game with so few rallies.

  4. you say that tabletennis doesnt involve strategies but it involves alot. it also take a lot of energy and athleticism to play competitively.

  5. TT player with at least SOME experience

    “– It is a game only suitable to play in the room or basement of a house.”
    I don’t see how this is a bad thing. You don’t need to go out and find a “court” to play unlike most other sports do. I see this as a pro instead.

    “– No teamwork is exists.”
    You can always play doubles

    “– Everything is miniature no matter the space, table, bats and balls.”
    Its part of the sport. Since everything is smaller, you need more speed and precision.

    “– No need a lot of athleticism since the player is not having much movement.”
    oh. my. god. Have you actually seen professional athletes play? Did you even bother to go on youtube and watch at least a single video? Whats stopping you from becoming the number 1 champion in Table tennis? I mean you don’t need athleticism to play right?

    “– No strategy involved.”
    No. Totally wrong. Just no. This is just so wrong im not even gonna bother

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