"Speed and good hand-eye coordination..."
Table Tennis, also known as 'ping pong’, was included in the first official Paralympic Games in 1960 and is now played as an elite sport in over 104 countries worldwide.
Speed and good hand-eye coordination and are needed for Table Tennis, a sport open to all athletes with an impairment or learning disability.
Wheelchair user's are classified from one to five, with one being the most severely impaired and five the least.
Classes six to 10 are for non-wheelchair user's, with six for the more severely impaired and 10 the least. Class 11 is for athletes with a learning disability.
Every game consists of five sets, the first player to win three sets wins the match. The Paralympic programme comprises individual competitions for men and women, open wheelchair and open ambulant competitions, and class-by-class team events which are made up of four singles and one doubles match.
The rules differ very little from the non-disabled game, except that in wheelchair Table Tennis the service must exit from the end of the table, not from the side. Also, those with an amputation or hand impairment do not need to throw the ball up when serving.
Additional information and useful links
History of Table Tennis
History of Table Tennis
The exact origin of table tennis - originally known as ping-pong because of the sound of the ball striking the bat - is unknown, but the sport was a popular after dinner pastime for the upper classes in Britain during the second half of the nineteenth century.
As the sport’s popularity grew, equipment began to be manufactured commercially and by 1920 the sport had been officially re-named table tennis because ping-pong had become the registered trade mark of the English Manunfacturer J. Jaques & Son Ltd.
Although table tennis didn’t become an Olympic sport until the Seoul Games in 1988 it has been on the Paralympic program since the first Games in 1960. Although originally only open to wheelchair athletes, standing and cerebral palsy categories were later included into the program.
National Governing Body
British Table Tennis Association
The British Table Tennis Association for People with Disabilities (BTTAD) is the national governing body for disability Table Tennis in Great Britain. It works in coordination with the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA), the governing body of Table Tennis in England, to administer, market and develop the sport.