Table Tennis: History, Basic Techniques and Equipment

Table tennis among the people of Indonesia is a very popular sport, and is often contested from independence events to the Olympics.

The game of table tennis is played in a fairly easy way, does not require a very large place, and you can even play indoors. Even so, the game requires special equipment that you must have when you want to play table tennis.

The equipment consists of a tennis table, a bat or a bet, and a tennis ball. In Indonesia, and various other countries, this sport is commonly known as ping pong. Well, for that, let’s see a full discussion of the meaning of table tennis, its history, playing techniques, and the equipment used.

A. Definition of Table Tennis

Table tennis is a sport that is played by two players singly or two pairs of players in doubles by dealing with opponents using a small ball, a bet made of wood covered with rubber, and a tennis court in the form of a table.

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The parent organizations in the sport of table tennis or ping pong are ITTF or the International Table Tennis Federation for the world level, and PTMSI or the All Indonesia Table Tennis Association for the national level.

B. History of Table Tennis

The game of table tennis has been known by the British public since the 19th century. At that time, table tennis was known as ping pong, whiff whaff or gossima. One of the names used for the whole country is ping pong. There is even a company from England, namely J. Jacques and Son, Ltd., making it a trademark in 1901.

Since then, ping pong is only used if the game uses equipment from Jacques, while other companies give it its name, namely table tennis. In those days, table tennis became a game among the upper classes, and was often played indoors after dinner.

At first, the equipment used consisted of a table, a row of books that had been arranged placed in the center of the table which was used as a net, golf balls, and also two books as bats for the ball. However, in 1901, a table tennis lover named James W. Gibb managed to find a celluloid ball.

In the same year, a table tennis lover named EC Goode made a bet with a modern version, namely by installing a sheet of rubber coating with spots on a wooden board with a smoothed surface.

The United Kingdom established the Table Tennis Association or commonly known as TTA in 1921, and was followed by the establishment of a table tennis organization called the International Table Tennis Federation or ITTF in 1926, and the USA Table Tennis or USAR in 1943. This table tennis championship was first held in England, precisely in London in 1926.

In 1950, a sports equipment company based in England called SW Hancock, Ltd., introduced a new product with a rubber-coated wood material which was then combined with a sponge layer at the bottom so that it could result in the speed level, and the rotation of the ball turned high. .

In Indonesia itself, table tennis was first contested at a National Sports Week or commonly referred to as PON which was held in Solo in 1948. Meanwhile, at the world level, this sport was officially competed at the Olympics held in Seoul, South Korea. year 1988.

C. Basic Table Tennis Techniques

So that you can play table tennis well, and also correctly, then you need to understand the basic techniques of the table tennis game first. Here are some basic table tennis techniques that you can practice.

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1. Bet Holding Techniques

In the technique of holding a bet, there are three techniques in it, including the following:

a. Shakehand Grip

Shakehand grip is a technique of holding a bet like you are shaking hands. This technique is widely used by professional table tennis athletes, and is also a technique that is quite popular in European countries. The shakehand grip technique allows you to use both sides of the bat to hit a ball.

b. Penhold Grip

This second technique is a technique of holding a bet like you are holding a pen or penhold grip. This technique is also known as the Asian grip. With this technique you can also hit the ball with one side of the bet.

c. Seemiller Grip

This third technique has another name, namely American grip, and is widely used by professional players. This bat is held in the same way as the shakehand grip, except that the top bat is rotated from 20 to 90 degrees toward the body, and the index finger is pressed along the side of the bat.

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2. Body Position

In table tennis, there are two body positions, including:

a. Stance Technique (Standby)

Stance technique is a technique that positions the feet, hands, and limbs when attacking an opponent or defending against an opponent’s attack. This technique has two kinds of styles, namely:

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  • Square Stance, is a positioning technique where the position of the body is directed towards the table, and is generally used when receiving a service ball or a position that is ready to return when it is attacked by an opponent. The technique is the movement of one foot stepping forward, backward, right, and also left or diagonally.
  • Side Stance, is a technique that is done with the body sideways to the left or right so that your shoulder position is closer to the net when you want to attack your opponent. For left-handed players, you can position your left shoulder to be close to the net.

b. Footwork Techniques

The number of steps in table tennis is divided into one step, two steps, three steps, and even more than three steps. The direction of movement of the feet can be towards the right side, front, left side, back or diagonally.

The position of the feet needs to be balanced with the distance between the position of the ball coming to the player’s position. If the distance is close enough, use a 1-step movement or stand in a fixed position. If the distance is far enough, use a 2-step movement.

Footwork technique that is often used is the two-step method, especially for players who are typical of attacking opponents. Here are the steps:

  • Knees slightly bent, body weight is divided equally on both feet, then stacked on the toes.
  • If you are going to step to the left, then the left foot is shifted to the left, and the weight is also charged towards the left foot. Do the same technique, if you want to do it twice.
  • The right foot follows the left foot. If you want to do a forehand, then the right foot is pulled backwards until it is the same as the starting position for the stroke.
  • After making a stroke, pay attention to the ball, and then return to the starting position.
  • If you want to move to the left, then push with your right foot.
  • If you don’t stay in the ready position, move backwards, but if your opponent hits the ball then don’t move.
  • If you want to try a forehand shot, then pull your right foot back so that your body is right in the starting position of the technique
  • When making an attack, look at the direction of the ball first, then return to the starting position.
  • When hitting the ball, do not give gestures, and still pay attention to the opponent’s position.

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