Table Tennis

Learn about this Summer Olympic sport

April 27, 2012

China's Ma Lin competes against Germany's Timo Boll during their singles match of the Mens Team Table Tennis event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

With 40 million competitive players worldwide, table tennis is the world's largest participation sport. The game, also called Ping-Pong, Whiff-Whaff, Flim-Flam and Gossima, became an official Olympic sport in the 1988 Summer Games in Seoul, Korea.

Rules of the Game

There are men's and women's single and team events at the Olympics. Singles matches are played over the best of seven games, with one-minute breaks between games. The first player to score 11 points with a two-point margin wins each game. Team matches are played over the best of five games, consisting of four singles matches and one doubles match. All events are single-elimination tournaments.

Table tennis is a fast-paced game. Players can hit the ball at speeds of more than 93 miles per hour. Players also outwit their opponents with strategic shots called the Kill, the Hit and the Chop.

Click here to read about taekwondo at the Olympic Games.

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