Most Americans can’t begin to understand how popular ping pong is in China. On China television there is an equivalent to our ESPN, which is called CCTV5. This was by far my favorite Chinese television station, because I love sports, and I don’t speak much Chinese. I can watch a sporting event on CCTV5 and not need to understand what the announcer is saying. A higher percentage of their programming than I expected was dedicated to ping pong. Did you know that China and Malaysia are big rivals in ping pong?

When I was teaching at a university in China, I was surprised to see ping pong tables outside. I didn’t understand how the game could be played outside because the wind would have such a negative impact on the game, but I was surprised to see how many played on the outdoors tables.


The ping pong tables above would be considered good ones, because they have an actual net. There is another option that may not meet specifications, but endures the weather well. Check out the pictures below and you can see how resourceful the students can be!


That’s right, bricks can be used as a net for a ping pong table!   I never would have thought of that if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. Oh, and it wasn’t just this one table, there were several of them on campus!


So, like I was saying earlier, I don’t think we Americans understand the depth of the passion for ping pong in China. I have seen ping pong tables in offices buildings in the open area by the elevators or in large hallways also! Long live ping pong!