According to my understanding, and I’m sure others will agree, table tennis as a sport is not as popular as it could be and should be.
Table Tennis Around The World
Table tennis is a popular sport in many countries across the world. Ping pong on the other hand, though identical to tennis has less popularity. In Asia, ping pong is a popular sport and people love the sport. It cannot be compared to other sports like soccer or basketball.
Not a Famous Sport in North American Countries
In North American countries, people rarely engage in playing ping pong. There are a few pro athletes. Despite the large population, very few people engage in ping pong as a recreational sport.
Table tennis is not considered a serious game. Being played in the basement makes it look like a joke. It is considered a game to pass time.
Despite the difference in equipment, rules, strategies, and shots, many people do not see any difference. They do not know about special rubber, massive spin, blistering speeds, and special attacks, let alone the lengthy games and demanding rallies.
Whenever I show my friends in Canada, the equipment catalogs I have. They act surprised. I tell them how much I play, they say “Why?” I tell them about how good of a sport it is, they say “How?”. They do not realize it is a real sport. The reason they don’t see much of the game is that it is not given enough coverage.
The only table tennis on TV in Canada is the Killerspin events on Sportsnet. I believe that it has been taken off. And even so, these events are fun and full of non-exciting matches and pointless rallies where many times I see the man step 15 feet back from the table and step over the barrier.
The XBOX 360 table tennis game is the best, in my opinion. It has opened people’s eyes, and even though the game is not as realistic in some ways, it shows that table tennis is a real game. It is a tough game if a person wants to master it. It includes real specifics of table tennis.
The Underestimating of the sport
When you and I think about table tennis, we think fast-paced, spin, speed, and agility. When a non-table tennis player thinks about it he thinks paddle, ball, table, and lame. Why do people underestimate table tennis as a sport?
If someone was told the rules of baseball and basketball, they would not think it was a “waste of time” or “lame game”. Table tennis follows the traditional rule of beating your opponent. Simply put the ball past your opponent. Basketball is full of confusing rules and pointless goals, yet it is very popular and well known around the world.
I would like to understand at what moment, tennis became a pointless game. Especially here in Canada. It is seen as a simple “wimpy” sport.
Ping Pong uses the same rules as table tennis. Hit the ball with your racket, put it past the opponent or make the opponent miss the table or into the net. In ping pong, you could hit the ball and you could be the “best”. I have overheard people say, “I’m the best ping pong player in the world” or more seriously “I beat my friends at ping pong, I’m great” or “I won the tournament at my school”.
I can guarantee you, the school tournament and friends had no idea how to play.
I reiterate my thoughts posted in my original “Table Tennis Around The World” about table tennis. The ITTF needs to spread the word and get national events televised for the world to watch in awe.