Para table tennis athletes are grouped into eleven sport classes according to their impairment. Athletes with physical impairment or cerebral palsy compete in sport classes 1-10. Athletes in class 1 have the most severe impairments and in class 10, least severe impairments. Athletes in the sport classes 1-5 compete in a wheelchair, whilst athletes in sport classes 6-10 compete standing. Athletes with an intellectual impairment compete in sport class 11.
It gained popularity in British upper social classes after 1880: using a row of books as a net, books as rackets, and a golf ball. It was not until 1901 that celluloid balls were created and, in the 1950s, rackets were made from rubber sheet combined with a sponge layer. Para table tennis has been part of the Paralympic Games sports program since their first edition in 1960 and of Parapan American Games since Mexico City 1999.