Table tennis needs youth appeal. The sport is hot right now in the US, England and Germany. Ping pong social clubs are popping up all over the place and the appetite for the game that was originally called wiff waff is gathering some serious momentum. But ask teenagers what they think of ping pong and you will hear some expletives and face cringes. Why? Because the perception is that the game is only for old people. What supports this (apart from the dozens of people we spoke to during SXSW in Austin, Texas)? You only have to look at current table tennis social club franchises in New York and LA and ping pong bars/restaurants to see that the “faces” of these organizations are out of touch with youth culture. The frustrating thing for young people is that they cannot play in bars as they are under 21 years of age. Despite states like California, Florida and Texas getting approximately 300 days of sunshine every year, there are very few public table tennis tables for young people to play on. They take up a lot less space than skate parks and are the perfect social bridge to bring young people together. There need to be more ping pong tables in public spaces in towns and cities and the game needs a facelift to appeal to a younger audience.
Now Your Serve!
– Are you a teenager who plays ping pong?
– What do you and your friends think of ping pong?
– What would make it better for you?
– Where do you play ping pong?