When was the last time you played a game of ping pong?
One of the smartest things my parents did, when my brother and I were teenagers, was to buy a tennis table table for the family rec room. All the kids in the neighborhood hung out at our home, so our parents always knew where we were and what we were up to – we were all down in the basement, listening to that darned rock music and playing pong!
My own home doesn’t have quite enough space for a full-size table, so nobody here is going to gain the mad skillz to enter an ITTF competition or demo at the Olympics – but we can still enjoy a rousing match of ping pong with a slightly more compact game table.
Table tennis is an awesome family game because it appeals to boys and girls alike, all ages from kids and adults can play. Quality family time, right there. It helps with hand-eye coordination skills at the same time as it gets us all up off the couch. Healthy indoor exercise for all, with cardio benefits too. How many other indoor activities have all those advantages?
Basic Table Tennis Rules for Beginners
Plus, you get a spare table.
It’s true. We’ve been known to pull the table tennis table into use for a big buffet dinner, when an extra six feet of horizontal surface means the difference between a good spread and a traffic jam at party time. Just protect the surface with a quilted table pad (or a layer of cardboard if you’ve got a few empty boxes around) and put your fancy tablecloth on top. No one would ever know it’s not “real furniture” – until after dinner, when you whip off the tablecloth, pull out a set of rackets, and challenge your guests to an impromptu ping-pong tournament.
But let’s get practical. Who has the space to set up a ping pong table, in today’s smaller homes and apartments? Well, you might just be surprised…
Meet Joola’s Folding Ping Pong Table, Mid-Sized for Today’s Smaller Living Spaces
The midsize table tennis table from the pro team at Joola (shown here and for sale at Amazon) is the same height as a “regulation” table for our favorite indoor sport, but sized down to fit into the smaller homes and apartments we tend to live in today. It comes in at two-thirds the size of a regulation table, which is a pretty good compromise.
Best yet, the Joola midsize table is light enough to move around easily without straining something vital – and it folds away when not in use, similar to how a card table has legs that fold flat and totally unlike the big old one-piece table we used to play on as kids.
Two tables, actually…
Joola gives us two tables in one, with this portable mid-size model. If you look closely, you’ll see it’s actually made in two pieces, each 3 feet by 3 feet and it has folding legs, so it packs up to no larger than a folded up card table and you can stash it away in a large closet, under a bed or behind a sofa when it’s not needed, then pulled out and set up quickly when you’re in the mood for a game.
The two square pieces (36″ x 36″) are each equipped with their own sturdy folding legs, and then you bolt the two pieces together in the middle (where the net goes on) to get the full 72-inch length. That means, you can set up the two halves separately as each has its own legs.
So, you can re-purpose your ping-pong table as two separate square tables, if that works better for your dinner party. Or your family board games night. Or your jigsaw puzzles. Or your crafts… Well, you get the idea.
Not only that, if you can’t find a partner to play with, you can open up just one half and put it up against a wall, to practice your ping-pong volley in a solo game.
Yes, the net is included with the Joola table. You’ll just need to pick up a set of table tennis balls and rackets (or “paddles” if you prefer that term), and you’re all set to play. And maybe some extra balls? Believe me, you can never have too many of those on hand – especially when there’s a teenaged boy around with a smashing serve to show off.
Did I mention…?
Getting us a ping-pong table years ago was one of my parents’ smartest moves, in terms of keeping tabs on teens and getting us out of the couch-potato mode, into some healthy indoor recreation.
Now, I’m not going to give away my age by telling you how long our family’s table tennis table has been in service now, but let’s just say it’s held up really well – and it’s a fair bet the next generation of kids will be enjoying it in their turn, too.
Photo credits: Sport:Tischtennismannschaft [CC-BY-SA-3.0-DE] and Amazon.com.