Table tennis is one of the most popular sports in India. Apart from the professional sportspersons, the game is extensively played in schools, colleges and universities, wherein various competitions (at the inter-state and national level) are held for the same. In the country, table tennis has especially appealed the young generation of sports enthusiasts. It is similar to lawn tennis, in terms of rules and regulations. Two or four players are permitted to play table tennis at a time. In this game, a small ball is hit with a small table tennis bat over the net that divides the table into two equal portions.
Quick responsiveness is the basic skill that one requires to play table tennis. The player should have high level of physical fitness to play the game. He/she has to be shrewd in order to calculate the fast movements of the ball over the net. India boasts of having some of the outstanding players of the sport, who have displayed their talent at some of the important table tennis tournaments. Table tennis in India has come a long way since it was brought to the country by the British. Go through the following lines to get interesting information on the history of table tennis in India.
History Of Table Tennis In India
Table tennis was invented in England in the later half of the 19th century. Originally, the game was called 'ping-pong' until 1901, when it was rechristened to table tennis. The game was brought to India during the first half of the 20th century. Initially, it was an after-dinner amusement for the British officers in India. The British people dominated the game for a long time, until the establishment of the Table Tennis Federation of India, which played a pivotal role in bringing the talents of Indian table tennis players.
Table Tennis Federation of India
In India, the sports enthusiasts started playing table tennis in an organized way, right from the establishment of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) in Calcutta (the present day Kolkata) in 1937. TTFI is an active member of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), which was established in 1926. TTFI played an important role in upbringing the standard of table tennis in India. Since its establishment, it has operated actively for over a decade, to promote and improve the status of table tennis in India. A number of quality Indian table tennis players were produced by the strenuous efforts of TTFI.
India has participated in a number of important table tennis tournaments, one of the prominent being the inaugural World Championships, which the country hosted in Bombay (Mumbai) in 1952. This was a milestone in the history of table tennis in India, because the World Championships were held for the first time in Asia. Thereafter, the country delivered remarkable performances in the international events, both in the individual and team levels. Indian table tennis players were sent to the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988, to represent India. It was this year, when table tennis was included in Olympics for the first time.
Present Day Scenario
One of the notable performances by the Indian table tennis players was witnessed at the World Championships in Gothenburg, where they won the 12th position. The wonderful organization capabilities of India have given her chances to host the World Championships for three times. Apart from TTFI, oil companies and banks came forward to uplift the standard of table tennis in India, by sponsoring a number of tournaments. For instance, the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board (PSPB) organizes inter unit tournaments and recruitments of Indian table tennis players at the national level, in order to extend support to them. This has helped a lot in the improvement of table tennis in India.