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Games Sports

You are in: Jersey > Island Games > Games Sports > Whiff Whaff and Gossima

Table Tennis Action

Table Tennis Action

Whiff Whaff and Gossima

Previous names for the relatively young sport of Table Tennis.

Table tennis is a relatively young sport, younger than the lawn tennis of the 19th century, and not much older than basketball which was invented in 1891.

The earliest known form of the sport was called indoor tennis. It was played in the early 1800’s by British army officers in India and South Africa, using lids from cigar boxes as paddles and rounded corks from wine bottles as balls, with a row of books set up across the middle of the table to form the net.

Other versions gradually developed in England during the 1890’s, known variously as “whiff whaff” and “gossima.”

Englishman James Gibb, visited the United States in 1900. On his return he began playing indoor tennis with friends, using some hollow celluloid balls he had brought back with him. The name “ping pong,” came out of this, representing the sounds of the ball hitting the paddle and then the table.

The first world championship tournament was held in London in 1927 and from then until the Second World War, Hungary dominated the sport. Central European dominance continued for a time after this, but Asian players then took over the sport beginning in 1953. The Asians developed the “penholder” grip which allows the player to strike the ball with the same face of the paddle on any stroke, and is now used by many top international players.

Games format

Once again, the Island Games has a full house of competition in this sport. Mens and ladies singles and doubles, mixed doubles and a team event. The team event sees the islands divided into two groups, with various play-offs to decide medals and final placings. The individual events are all on a knock-out basis.

The table tennis will take place at the College of Rhodes' indoor hall.

last updated: 25/06/2009 at 13:39
created: 04/07/2005

You are in: Jersey > Island Games > Games Sports > Whiff Whaff and Gossima

Island Games 2009 in Aland
Jersey 24 37 19
Guernsey 21 12 27
Sark 0 2 0
Alderney 0 0 0
Faroe 34 23 24
Full medal table >

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