Why Is It Called Ping Pong

Why Is It Called Ping Pong

Last modified: September 26, 2023

Table Tennis or Ping Pong: What’s in a Name?

Table tennis, commonly known as ping pong, is a popular sport played by millions of people around the world. But have you ever wondered why it is called ping pong? In this article, we will explore the origins of the name and uncover the history behind this fast-paced and exciting game.

1. The Sound of the Game

One theory regarding the origin of the name ping pong is simply based on the sounds made during gameplay. The distinctive sound of the ball hitting the table and the paddles creates a repetitive “ping” and “pong” sound. This rhythmic noise is reminiscent of a ball bouncing back and forth, hence the name ping pong.

2. British Influence

Another explanation for the term ping pong can be traced back to its British roots. In the late 1800s, a fun and competitive game resembling modern-day table tennis was played in England. It was common for players to refer to the sport as “ping pong” due to the distinctive sound of the ball striking the table. The name gained popularity and soon became widely used.

3. Legal Battle

In the early 1900s, the term ping pong became the subject of a legal dispute. The game gained immense popularity and attracted the attention of various manufacturers who began producing table tennis equipment. The rights to the name “ping pong” were trademarked, resulting in a battle between different companies claiming ownership.

Eventually, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) stepped in to establish a standardized name for the sport. In 1926, they officially designated it as table tennis, which is now widely used internationally. However, ping pong remains a popular colloquial term used by players and enthusiasts all over the world.


Whether we call it table tennis or ping pong, there is no denying the excitement and thrill that this sport brings. The origins of the name may have different explanations, including the rhythmic sound of the game, British influence, and a legal battle over trademark rights. Whatever the reason, ping pong has become an integral part of our vocabulary and continues to captivate players and spectators alike.

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