Based in California, Ed Lichtig has worked in financial product marketing for 25 years. Through his firm, GSL Advisory, he offers financial planners access to a range of solutions, including annuities and loss insurance. In his spare time, Edwin Lichtig enjoys playing tennis, golf, and table tennis.

In the 2012 Summer Olympics, the United States fielded a number of players in the table tennis division. At the most basic level, table tennis, or ping-pong, involves hitting a ball back and forth across a net stretched across a table. The USA Table Tennis organization provides some guidance regarding appropriate equipment. The following are some of the group’s recommendations.

1. Playing area and table dimensions: Players should set up a table measuring 5 feet by 9 feet in a space that allows at least 5 feet around the edges.

2. Rackets: Players can choose from five major surface types, including hard rubber, long pips, antispin, inverted, and pips-out. The popular inverted style features a sponge layer with a rubber layer with inward-pointing pips, which assists the ball’s circular spin.

Players new to the game may want to visit the USA Table Tennis website at, where they can view further details on approved equipment and dealers.