Table Tennis is one sport that has the ability to bring people together, in part because it’s playable by anyone, anywhere there’s a table and net. Practically everyone has picked up a paddle and some point in their life, to trade easy going volleys in a basement, dorm room or the games room of a sports bar.
Table Tennis started it’s like in England among the upper-class in the late 1800s with tennis players miniaturizing the court and bringing the game indoors to play during the winter. The game was played by players using books as both rackets and a net. Players would volley golf balls back and forward to win points. The game quickly started to evolve with paddles changed to cigar box lids and balls being made from champagne corks. The game quickly spread in popularity throughout the country and before long overseas.
The name “ping-pong” quickly became synonymous with the game which was later trademarked in 1901 by games manufacturer J. Jaques and Son. This was sold to the Parker Brothers in 1920 who later renamed the game to “table tennis”.
The first major innovation to the game was made in 1901 by James W. Gibb, a British enthusiast of the sport. On a trip to the US, he discovered the celluloid ball which was found to be perfect for the game. The same year E.C. Goode created the modern version of the racket by fixing a sheet of pimpled rubber to a wooden blade.
The sport really took off with tournaments and matches being played professionally across the world. The International Table Tennis Federation or ITTF was established in 1926 with the first official World Championships being held in London later that year. The game was dominated by European players until the 1950s when Asia emerged with champions regularly winning tournaments from China and Japan. Over time, further improvements were made to the rackets providing greater spin and speed for the game and in 1988, table tennis was finally introduced as an Olympic sport.
It’s also interesting to note that ping-pong has played a part in international peace making. In 1971 American diplomats tried to ease rising economic tensions with China by sending players to participate in the world table tennis championships, giving rise to the term ‘ping-pong diplomacy’.
Today, table tennis is the most popular indoor sport in the world. The game is highly organized as a competitive, especially in Europe and Asia, particularly in China and Japan. It’s a serious sport with serious players who require seriously fast reflexes in order to return serves that can cross the table in 0.11 seconds. There is an enormous about of skill and technique involved in the game, and video analysis has become a huge part of reviewing performance, perfecting technique and developing strategy.
Video Analysis software is widely used by table tennis players to help them gain a competitive advantage, however up until recently this has been a time consuming, manual process to gain any real data and insights. SIVA, Sprongo’s new intelligent video analysis software revolutionizes the process by injecting artificial intelligence and machine learning into the software.
SIVA works to automatically identify and map out a skeleton of the subject. Identifying movements in limbs and joints and mapping out lines and angles accordingly. In moments, you are provided an array of useful data and insights that can be used to perfect your table tennis technique, a process that would have previously taken hours to achieve. The software also provides all the standard video analysis tools like slow motion, side-by-side comparison and team sharing.
SIVA truly is a game changer for table tennis players. Try SIVA out for yourself by heading to www.sprongo.com and signing up for a Pro account today.