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The table tennis equipment you have never seen before

Table tennis is also called ping-pong and whiff-whaff. It is known as Chinese national ball, but it actually originated in Victorian England. At that time, as an after dinner parlor game, table tennis equipment was very simple. A row of books that stood up in the middle of the table were used as a net. Two other books became a pair of table tennis rackets, and a golf ball was used in place of the table tennis balls that we use today.

As time goes by, table tennis equipment is constantly changing and innovating. These are the pieces of table tennis equipment you usually see today.



However, the pieces of equipment I will show you are totally something you have never seen before. Most of them have a long history. Recently, they were placed on display in the Chinese Table Tennis Museum. Now please fasten your safety belts as we step into the time machine and go back to the 18th century.


Racket

Most modern rackets are made of wood, sometimes including carbon fiber, aluminum fiber or Kevlar. People can use different rubber surfaces on each side of the racket, which can provide them different levels of speed or spin. Here is an important tip: the rubber on one side of the racket must be red, while the other side must be black, a coloration which is required by international rules. Are you curious what the racket looks like without mandatory rules?





Ball

The ball that you play with today is 2.7 grams and has a diameter of 40 millimeters. The material is polymer, which replaced celluloid in 2015. The color of the common ball is either white or orange. Nonetheless, the ball people played with in the 18th century is totally different from the ball that we see today.




Table

The table that people use now is 274 cm long, 152.5 cm wide, and 76 cm high. A 15.25 cm net divides the table into two parts. Most of the tables are made of wood. Let’s see what it was like over a hundred years ago.



These tables are just for fun.





Here is an interesting piece of table tennis equipment, do you know what it is? Please give a guess.



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