The sport is played with a small ball and paddles, in singles or doubles matches. It takes place on a rectangular table, divided in two halves by a net. Points are scored when the opponent is unable to return the ball, after the ball first bounces on their side of the table.
In 1891, James Gibb started playing ping-pong using rubber balls, until he found balls made of celluloid. In 1901, in England, the firsts tournaments of the English Table Tennis Association took place. In 1977, it became an Olympic sport, but its debut was not until the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.