Table tennis started as a parlour game in Victorian England in the 1880s. The sport was a popular after-dinner entertainment for upper-class society as an alternative to lawn table tennis, using whatever they could find as equipment. A line of books would often be the net, the rounded top of a champagne cork would be the ball and occasionally a cigar box lid would be a racket.
Table tennis has progressed enormously since it was first invented, evolving from a parlour game to a highly competitive sport. Nowadays, players use specially developed rubber-coated wooden and carbon-fibre rackets and a lightweight, hollow plastic ball. Thanks to their high-tech rackets, they can now smash the ball at over 150 kilometres per hour!