A social Table Tennis or ping pong craze in England is currently helping drive up participation and the sport is becoming a cool and fun activity combining well with music, culture and fashion. Compelling by nature, it has a fairground like attraction and is easy to pick up and play instantly.
A game is up to 11 points and players win points by hitting a lightweight celluloid ball over a net so that their opponents either cannot return it or are forced into an error.
Skilled players can impart spin on the 40mm ball which makes its bounce difficult to predict, or return with confidence. With speeds of up to 70 miles per hour, the sport is a fast paced and exciting game to watch and play.
Table Tennis is claimed to be the most-played racket sport, with a global spread of more than 300 million players. 215 countries are affiliated to the international Table Tennis federation making it the second largest sport in this respect. Asia currently has a stranglehold on most world and Olympic titles over recent years. The world record for the number of players involved in a single rally is 101 and has been challenged twice this year in England.
Fred Perry was a two times world Table Tennis champion in the 1920's and 1930's before taking up lawn tennis and going on to fame and fortune by winning Wimbledon.
Players are selected based on results at their respective home countries national school championships, national junior championships and ranking lists at a stated cut off time. There will also be disability qualification events. There will be 3 team and 3 individual events - boys, girls and mixed disability. Eight teams will compete from: England North East, England North West, England Midlands, England South East, England South West, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.