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If you were anything like regular kids who love to play in the lanes below their apartments, you are sure to have played gully’ versions of your favorite sports. Gully cricket, anyone? (Or gully baseball, basketball, volleyball – take your pick.) A gully version of any sport roughly translates to the street version.
In the case of ping pong, flaps of cardboard boxes become the paddles, anything close to the table tennis ball becomes the ball, and the net (with an arbitrary height) is drawn on an elevated surface. These adaptations and the active imaginations of kids turn the random street game into an absorbing battle of ping pong.
Have you ever thought of playing ping pong as a street game, now that you are an adult? Don’t you miss those fun days? Worry not!
These ideas should help you bring your childhood back:
- Assemble a street ping pong kit
You should know that street ping pong is very different than the formal table tennis game. Even though the basic rules are same, you can bend a few rules such as table size and surface to accommodate your portable ping pong assembly in a street.
What do we mean by bending a few rules? Picture Bruce Lee playing ping pong with nunchucks:
So get a kit ready to help you play ping pong by your rules, get:
- plastic or regular quality paddles – so that if they are misplaced or broken, you don’t incur heavy losses.
- a bag full of table tennis balls – same goes with the balls. If it is a windy day or someone is an aggressive player, balls may get hit very far and it may be difficult to retrieve them.
- a chalk – this is to mark the net on the elevated surface, which is serving as your table.
- Get a pingpong table
As mentioned above, since you’ll be tweaking the original dimensions of an Olympic sized table tennis table, any old foldable wooden or plastic table can serve as the pingpong table. If your community is serious about playing ping pong as a street game, you can also order original dimensions TT table or build a concrete table in your park area. Make sure that the table is protected at all times from damage due to bad weather. Don’t forget to take it inside or cover it properly if it is fixed! (Although we firmly believe that a fixed table defeats the purpose of ping pong as a street game. The table and all supporting equipment should be completely portable.)
- Form a ping pong group
Speaking of community, round up a bunch of like-minded folks who would like to play ping pong to relieve the stress of a hard day at work. Decide how many minutes can each of you play, and if needed, the days on which you’ll be playing. This will create a sense of accountability amongst the ping pong players and good competition will ensure that street ping pong always remains interesting.
- Spread the word
Any community or a group is not complete, till all the houses in the vicinity know about it. Involve the kids in your group, provide them with a separate kit and table. Have them go about the neighborhood posting pamphlets of the new activity that your group is starting.
- Consider a ping pong truck
Now comes the best part. If you are having a gala time every day, why restrict it to your neighborhood. Your group can actively spread the love of ping pong by making an appearance at the walking plazas’ that are organized in most cities or at other events, where your ping pong stall will be welcome. The surprise is – your stall will be a truck that holds your makeshift ping pong setup or a van that carries your foldable table and kit to the location. Amazing idea, ain’t it?
You are now armed with love for ping pong, a novel idea to start playing ping pong as a street game, and motivation to do something good for yourself and your community. So what are you waiting for? Start with street ping pong already!