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 teamusa.org/usa-table-tennis, where they can view further details on approved equipment and dealers.