This Ain't Your Father's Pong

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Coming from a land where snooker, badminton and kabbadi (look it up) are considered sports, I was thrilled to see that people in the video game industry have finally acknowledged the raw athletic intensity and total marketability of ping pong. Seriously! Rockstar Games is releasing a new Table Tennis game that truly looks unbelievable. Anyway, since I really am a fan of TT (most Indians scoff at the word "pong"), I've decided to include some facts on the game, culled straight from the ever-fascinating Uselessknowledge.com.

  • Table tennis was originally played with balls made from champagne corks and paddles made from cigar-box lids. It was created in the 1880s by James Gibb, a British engineer who wanted an invigorating game he could play indoors when it was raining. Named "Gossima," the game was first marketed with celluloid balls, which replaced Gibb's corks. After the equipment manufacturer renamed the game "Ping-Pong" in 1901, it became a hot seller.
  • In the 1936 Swathling Cup Match in table tennis, Alex Ehrlich of Poland and Paneth Farcas of Rumania volleyed for 2 hours and 12 minutes on the opening serve.
  • In table tennis, whoever gets 21 points first wins. At one time, that's how winning was determined in baseball"“whoever got 21 runs first won. Because it took so long to achieve, the 21-win game system was shortly shelved.
  • In 1958, Jay Foster won the national table tennis championship on the Caribbean island of Jamaica. He was 8 years old.

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July 19, 2006 - 6:06am
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