Commercial ping pong sets were on sale at the turn of the 20th century, in both Britain and the US, where the celluloid ball and the modern rubberised bat were invented.
An unofficial world championship was held in 1902. In 1921 the Table Tennis Association was founded in England, and the International Table Tennis Federation followed in 1926. London hosted the first official world championship in 1927.
In the 1950s, bats that used a rubber sheet combined with an underlying sponge layer changed the game dramatically, introducing greater spin and speed. The use of specialised speed glues increased the spin and speed even further, resulting in rule changes being introduced designed to slow the game down.
Towards the end of 2000, the International Table Tennis Federation instituted several new rules to make the game more spectator-friendly.
The traditional 38cm ball was increased in size to 40cm and the scoring system was changed from a 21 to an 11 point system, with the best of five or seven sets.
Table tennis was introduced to the Asian Games in Tokyo in 1958 and to the Olympic Games in 1988. Singles, doubles and mixed doubles will all be played at the 15th Asian Games.