Table TennisCategory: Sport
A Fantastic New Idea. A Complete Change of the Style and Speed of Table Tennis. Gossima, Whiff Whaff, Ping Pong. The Rubber Linings Couldn’t Be More than Two Millimetres Thick. Pen Holder Grip, Not the “Shake-Hands” Technique
One good day Mr. E. Goode of Putney, South London, went to the chemist’s to buy some aspirins. In the shop, he almost forgot about his tablets as he stood looking at the pimpled rubber mat on the counter. It had given him a fantastic new idea.
He paid for his aspirins and the rubber mat. Then he rushed home, cut the rubber mat to the right shape and size and stuck it to his plain wooden table tennis bat. The thin layer of rubber helped him put a very fast spin on the ball. When he became the English champion, everyone started copying him, putting rubber layers on their bats, and soon Mr. Goode’s clever idea completely changed the style and speed of table tennis.
Table tennis was first invented in England in about 1880. At first the game had several strange names: Gossima, Whiff Whaff and Ping Pong. It wasn’t until 1926 that the International Table Tennis Association was formed with international championships and rules. One of the rules was that the rubber linings of the bat (Mr. Goode’s invention) couldn’t be more than two millimetres thick on each side.
Although the game was invented in England British players don’t have much chance in international championships.
It’s the Chinese with their fantastic speed and power who win almost every title. They often use a pen holder grip, not the “shake- hands” technique popular in Europe and the States. Their style is athletic and they often play standing several metres away from the table. Table tennis looks more like gymnastics when the Chinese start playing, with the ball flying over the net at speeds of over 150 kilometres per hour.
But don’t forget that it’s thanks to an Englishman that tennis is the fast and skilful game it is today. It’s the pimpled rubber lining that allows players to get a good spin on the ball. Mr. Goode’s headache eighty years ago was a turning point in the history of the game!