Ping Pong

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Who said a table’s just for eating at? Ping pong, also known as table tennis, is a popular game played in tournaments across the world. Not just a standard feature of youth clubs, this fun sport can help you to keep fit and burn calories – as well as helping you to hone your coordination. Time to grab a bat and test those reflexes...

How does it work?

Ping pong can be played by two or four players. During a game, players use bats to hit a hollow ball across a table divided by a net. The ball must only bounce once on each side of the net during the game, and must stay inside the lines marked on the table (think of it as a mini tennis court). A player loses a point if the ball fails to cross the net, bounces more than once before being returned or falls outside the markings. The winner is the first to score 11 points.

Professional ping pong players develop extremely quick reactions, making ping pong an exciting and fast-paced sport to watch. You may find you are a little bit slower than the pros to start with but don’t worry – we reckon you’ll soon get the hang of it.

Is it for me?

Ping pong is great for those who like fast-paced action and a chance to show off skill. Although you may think of table tennis as a gentle sport, it can become quite intense – so may not be suitable for pregnant women or the injured, depending on the level of competition.

Good to know

Table tennis has been an Olympic sport since 1988.

The international ping pong rules specify that the game must be played with a ball that weighs 2.7g and measures 40mm in diameter. Who knew that table tennis was so precise?

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“New balls please!” It’s the sound of the summer. But there’s more to tennis than the two weeks of excitement fuelled by strawberries and cream at Wimbledon. Taking a leaf out of the tennis pro’s lawn can help you to stay fit and agile all year round. It’s one of the best sports for stamina, body conditioning, flexibility, functional strength and honing your reactions with those high-speed serves.