Today's style of play vs. the 70's

Table Tennis Discussion

Last updated 9 years ago

Jacob Bell

Jacob Bell Asked 9 years ago

Sir, I have been playing ping-pong my whole life (I'm 55 now) and am a little bothered by the style of play that is popular today. Everywhere I see players standing close to the table, hitting the ball on the rise with little or no spin on the ball.Strategy is reduced to a contest to see who will be the fist to miss in a series of repetitive "mirror-image" shots. The ball hardly is ever placed to the extremes of the table, extreme spin/slice/sidespin is hardly used, players hardly play very far back behind the table anymore. Back in the 70's players would stand 5-plus feet in back of the table, and you would see alot of smash/lob action. While I respect the accuracy, quickness, and agility of today's player, it seems something has been lost. What has happened to the topspin loop perfected by the Swedes of yesteryear?

Rick Bell


Alois Rosario

Alois Rosario Answered 9 years ago

Hi Rick,

Some interesting observations.  The game is so much faster than it was and the equipment allows this to keep developing.

The old days of playing with the hard bats was a lot easier to understand and made the game simpler to watch... a little like Tennis today.

The game of the 70s was a nice game to watch but I think todays game has improved on the 70s play.

I quite like the speed of the game to watch but I also love to watch the old game of strategy with hard bats and the elegant way that they felt the ball back onto the table.

I think there is a place for both types of games.  They are almost two different games aren't they.

Todays players still do play with a lot of spin.  They are just hitting the ball so fast it is difficult to appreciate the spin they are putting on the ball.  If you tried to block one of those you would feel the amount of spin on the ball.  The topspin helps the ball to dip quickly at that speed.

Interesting to hear others opinions on the game, old and new.


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Thoughts on this question

Oliver

Oliver Posted 9 years ago

I have seen a lot of this and I think it is also because the traditional chinese style (short pimple attacking style) tactics have merged with the European ones, meaning that globally, the sport has changed


Rahul Kumar

Rahul Kumar Posted 9 years ago

Yes the playing style has changed a lot. My father was one of the best players in his college life. What I can see in him is quite different from other players today - players today focus more on speed rather than spin. My father still uses his old style of playing with EXTREME sidespin - and slow balls. Though it looks like an easy shot, when I play with him, I hardly manage to score even 5 points. It would be great to see a match between the 70s top player and today's top player.



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