British Colleges Sport runs Table Tennis events at our National Championships for our full member Colleges. Each region will have participants representing them in the following events:


  • Men's and Women's Singles
  • Men's and Women's Doubles 
  • Mixed Doubles

FE Colleges have the opportunity to represent their region in the National Championships run by British Colleges Sport.  Please visit: - our micro site which covers all things in relation to our Regional and National championships events.




Table Tennis 1Table Tennis, like many other sports, Table Tennis began as a mild social diversion. It was probably played with improvised equipment in England, during the last quarter of the 19th century. Though Table Tennis evolved, along with Badminton and Lawn Tennis, from the ancient game of Tennis, the game was developed after Lawn Tennis became popular in the 1880s.


The first use of the name "Table Tennis" appeared on a board and dice game in 1887 by J.H.Singer of New York. This probably accounts for the mysterious entry in the George S. Parker game catalogue of the same year: "Table Tennis: This game is laid out like a Lawn Tennis court, played and counted just the same, all the rules being observed."


The earliest evidence extant of an action game of Tennis on a table is a set
made by David Foster, patented in England in 1890: Parlour Table Games, which
included table versions of Lawn Tennis, Cricket and Football. This game featured
strung rackets, a 30mm cloth covered rubber ball, a wooden fence set up around
the perimeter of the table, and large side nets extending along both sides.


One year later famous game makers John Jaques of London released their GOSSIMA game. This game borrowed the drum style battledores from the Shuttlecock game, and used a 50mm webbed wrapped cork ball, with an amazing 30cm high net!


Neither of these action games were successful, due to the ineffective ball: the rubber ball had too wild a bounce, while the cork ball had too poor a bounce. So the concept was shelved until 1900, when the celluloid ball was introduced to the game. Jaques revived the older Gossima game but changed the name to "Gossima or Ping Pong".


The name Ping Pong was derived from the sound of the ball bouncing off the drum battledores, each of which had a slightly different sound. The higher pitched sound suggested Ping, the lower pitch, Pong. This can still be demonstrated today using the antique battledores!


The game quickly caught on with the public, marketed under many different names including Ping Pong, Gossima, Whiff Waff, Pim-Pam, Tennis de Salon and others.


Gradually the two most popular names prevailed: Ping Pong, and Table Tennis. However, these competing names caused some problems, as two associations were formed, and with different rules for the game some confusion resulted. Ping Pong was trademarked in 1900 by Hamley Brothers in England, and soon afterwards Hamleys became "jointly concerned" with Jaques. They rigorously enforced the Ping Pong trademark, requiring use of their Ping Pong equipment in tournaments and clubs. Parker Brothers, who acquired the American rights to the name Ping Pong, similarly enforced the trademark. Eventually it became clear that for the sport to move forward, the commercial ties had to be severed.