Table Tennis is a great game enjoyed worldwide, yet few people know its history. Once a parlour game open to anyone with access to a table, paddle and ball, Table Tennis is now a sport recognized worldwide. 

Table Tennis began in the 1880s when lawn tennis players adapted their game to play indoors during the colder months.

The game gained popularity relatively quickly, and tournaments started as early as 1901 with several hundred participants, eventually forming a Table Tennis Association by 1922.

Taking Their Talents to Japan

In 1902, a visiting Japanese university professor took the game back to Japan and introduced it to university students. Soon after, a British salesman introduced it to the people of Vienna and Budapest, and this information spread far and wide—table tennis was firmly on the map. In April 1927, the English Table Tennis Association was born under the chairmanship and direction of Ivor Montague, who became the architect of modern-day table tennis. At the time, the English Table Tennis Association had a membership of 19 leagues, but now has over 300 leagues, with 75,000 registered players!

The First World Championships

The first world championship was held in 1927 and won by a Hungarian. This became the start of an unprecedented run of success for the Hungarians, who continued to dominate the game throughout the thirties. Their team was led by Victor Barna, whose skill was so exceptional that he helped elevate the game to sports status. 

New bats and paddles were introduced by the Japanese in the 1950s, which had the capacity to move the ball around in a completely different way. This was ground-breaking, and many saw this development as an unfair advantage—leading to the thickness of the sponge and rubber having to be controlled. However, the nature of the game had been changed, and fast attacking speed with a new spin style was established.

Growing in Popularity

Today, Table Tennis is a well-established sport, and its popularity continues to grow yearly. It is recognized as an Olympic Games Sport and was featured for the first time in the 1988 games in Seoul. The Men’s Singles Final was televised, attracting an incredible worldwide audience of 2 billion. In China, Table Tennis is played by millions of people at work, in school and in community parks.


Interested in having fun and playing Table Tennis? King Square Sports Centre in Markham is the perfect place to play! Our facility is a great place to enjoy Table Tennis and table tennis, and you can contact us anytime for more information or to book today.

No Table Tennis Drop-in on Sunday June 9, between 1pm-6pm