10 Social Benefits of Playing Ping Pong

#1 Ping pong is free (all you need is a flat surface, bats, a ball and some friends) and is inclusive to a wider cross-section of the community than many other sports.

#2 It can be played by upwards of 20 people at once (during games such as round-the-table). These mass participatory games have the potential to bring otherwise unconnected people together, and provide the catalyst for more self-organising games to take place.

#3 Social Ping Pong increases activity and social interaction in the spaces and venues it is played. It has already conquered bars, clubs and parks in cities right across the world. Where next?

#4 Rules can be adapted to suit the situation, space or people playing. The variety and inclusivity of social ping pong helps to dispel some of the widely held negative perceptions of the game. Ping Pong’s connections with art, music and design have helped to establish more relevant identities.

#5 The game offers an alternative to boredom, appealing to 14 – 24 year olds who often feel marginalised from many community projects. Playing ping pong gets people out of their houses, away from games consoles and tv screens – out into parks, recreational or social spaces.

#6 Playing can be as relaxing, collaborative or competitive as you want it to be. From two people, up to twenty or even more…

#7 Ping Pong has many identities. The game has the ability to reinvent itself in tune with local social and cultural shifts. It is like a chameleon according to Roger Bennett – soaking up and reflecting it’s surroundings, and therefore remaining more relevant and current now than its global cousin Table Tennis.

#8 Laughter triggered when playing the game helps to break through social barriers that exist within neighbourhoods.

#9 The game leads to chance encounters that help to reveal shared aspirations and interests. These are fundamental to establishing the new networks that underpin friendships and sustainable urban communities.

#10 Informal and spontaneous opportunities to socialise, play and have fun. All for free.

Photo credit: pingout.net

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