Difference between ping pong & table tennis

In a general sense, ping pong and table tennis are very much similar kinds of two sports. But in a broader sense, these two sports are different in some ways from each other. In this article, I will show you how ping pong and table tennis are different from each other by discussing the differences between them.

Well, ping pong is not an original sport. The name was mainly used as a substitute name for table tennis. Due to trademark issues, table tennis was named ping pong. But still the original sport is table tennis. So in this sense, you can easily say that ping pong is never an original or different sport from table tennis. Still, there are some facts that don't make ping pong an original sport, but it does make it a bit different from table tennis.

Ping pong Vs. Table tennis

Ping pong Vs. Table tennis

Ping pong Vs. Table tennis


Ping pong

Table tennis





No rules

Have some rules


Typically 21



One type

Various types




Balls used

3.7 in diameter

3.4 in diameter

Where the difference is: Table tennis is a sport that is played using hard paddles to hit the ball, which is made of plastic or celluloid. The game is played on a table and it's an original sport. But ping pong is only a trademarked name of table tennis. At once, this sport was not considered as a different sport from table tennis. However now this is not anymore the same sport like table tennis. Because there are a few differences that made these two sports different, now let's discuss those differences.

Competitiveness: If you ask me which one of these two sports is more competitive? I will simply answer table tennis. Why not ping pong? Well there are reasons for choosing table tennis more competitive than ping pong. There are championships, tournaments, league matches played for table tennis all over the world.

The most important fact that makes this sport more competitive is that it is included in the Olympic Games, whereas ping pong is still not became a part of the Olympic Games. Although ping pong has its own competitions and championships, it has not been recognized as competitive as table tennis. Many people around the world still believe that ping pong is recreational sport of table tennis and it is played for amusement than seriousness.

Services: There are no hard and fast rules for servicing in ping pong. But table tennis has some rules and that's why this game starts more formally than ping pong. For serving the ball, a player has to throw the ball at least six inches upward. He has to open his hand and throw it from the palm area. 

Then after the ball comes down the player hits the ball with the paddle from behind the baseline. As I said there are no hard and fast rules for serving the ball in ping pong, the player serves the ball directly from the hand or sometimes let it to bounce for once and then hit it with the sandpaper bat.

Points: Another important fact that distinguishes the difference between table tennis and ping pong is the game's points. Table tennis is typically played for 11 points and each player has two serves opportunity at a time. To win the game one player need to score these 11 points with an advantage of 2 points.

Meanwhile in ping pong some matches are played for 11 points following the rules of table tennis, but majority ping pong matches are played for 21 points with each player having five serves alternately.  There’s the difference between table tennis and ping pong.

Paddles: Various types of paddles are used in table tennis for serving and hitting the ball. The structure, the design, the blade and the surfaces of the paddles are different from one another. This creates the variety in this one of the fundamental equipment of table tennis.

However ping pong has no variation in this regard. All the ping pong players use the same kind of paddles, which are made of sandpaper. These paddles are typically lighter than the paddles used in table tennis. Variety in paddles makes these two games different from each other.

Spin and hit: This difference has been created because of the difference between the paddles used in table tennis and ping pong table. Players in table tennis just not simply hit the ball towards the opponent. As their paddles are much harder than the ping pong paddles, they used to spin the ball before making the shot. The pace of their shots is also much speedy.

The sandpaper used in ping pong games is lighter than the paddles used in table tennis. This sandpaper bats doesn’t offer any sort of spin to the player. So the ping pong players simply rely on just hitting the ball swiftly without any spin. The pace of shots hitting is also a bit slow here. 

Balls: The difference between the balls used in table tennis and ping pong is not so much. Same type of ball is used in both of these sports. But the diameter of ping pong ball is a bit larger than the table tennis ball. The diameter of ping pong balls are 3.7 mm and table tennis balls are 3.4 mm.

So these are the facts that made ping pong and table tennis two different games. Hopefully, you guys have no more further confusion.

Ping pong Vs. Table tennis

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