Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


World's Best Table Tennis Match
January 25, 2014 4:41 PM   Subscribe

"Probably the funniest table tennis match in history" (SLYT)
posted by turbid dahlia (52 comments total) 56 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mad skills
posted by zakur at 5:03 PM on January 25


I was temped to post before watching this that there's no such thing as a funny ping pong game. I'm glad I didn't because that is one funny ping pong game!
posted by raider at 5:10 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]


I loved the two-ball bit. The officials were pretty good-natured about it, too.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:14 PM on January 25


In the spirit of ping pong humor.
posted by quazichimp at 5:14 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Cool! But, it's not 'ping pong', it's 'table tennis'. That's fightin' talk in some places.
posted by dg at 5:15 PM on January 25 [4 favorites]


When played by Coach and Julie Taylor it is ping pong and it makes me want to cry.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:21 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Any body know what this event it? Is it like a charity game or exhibition game like a Globe Trotters type thing? These guys are amazing.
posted by MrBobaFett at 5:24 PM on January 25


Nonsense, this is the best table tennis match.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 5:30 PM on January 25 [12 favorites]


This is what the Olympics should be like.
posted by oulipian at 5:32 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Cool! But, it's not 'ping pong', it's 'table tennis'. That's fightin' talk in some places.

As I understand it, such defensiveness is etymologically dubious. The OED has an attestation for "ping pong" in a metaphorical sense dated to 1901, from the Times. This suggests it was in common usage as a name for the game before it was trademarked.

So I reckon people should probably call it what they like? Although "ping pong" is fun to say and doesn't sound like it's trying to compensate for a sense of inferiority.
posted by howfar at 5:32 PM on January 25 [5 favorites]


I was temped to post before watching this that there's no such thing as a funny ping pong game.

Good, because I would have to counter with Ping Pong, the movie (previously; parte 1 and parte 2 with Portuguese (?) hard subs), and then you would spend the next while looking for the Japanese movie because you know you have to experience this fantastic film.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:33 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]


Considering the backstops in the video have "The Ping-Pong Stadium" written on them, I'll say both are acceptable to me and them.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 5:36 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


This is awesome and, also, Ping Pong the movie is amazing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:37 PM on January 25


And here's another video of Chuang Chih-Yuan vs Jean-Michel Saive, at the 2014 Tai Ben Invitational. I'm pretty sure it's a different match. And here's a longer video from that same invitational.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:40 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


Any body know what this event it? Is it like a charity game or exhibition game like a Globe Trotters type thing? These guys are amazing.

I don't think it was an exhibition game. If you look at the score at the end, Saive had already lost 3 straight sets (and hence the match). That last set was just for fun, I guess.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:46 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Laughing very hard at his moans, this guy is hilarious.
posted by vulnus at 5:49 PM on January 25


Today the sport is split in two. the serious players exclusively call their sport table tennis, with many taking offense at the title ping pong, concerned that the onomatopoeic frivolity of the latter is detrimental to the image of the sport.

Meanwhile, recreational players tend to use either ping pong or table tennis happily, worrying less and concentrating their energies instead on having some fun. The looser, more accessible nature of the social game has lead to subtle variations played by different groups to suit local conditions and trends, whilst the official rules of table tennis can only be changed by the ITTF’s biennial general vote among 186+ members. (source)
So, while there's nothing wrong with calling the game whatever you like in a general sense (and my comment was intended with some tongue in cheek), the players in the video are definitely playing table tennis, not ping pong. As an ex table tennis player, I may be overly sensitive about this ;-)
posted by dg at 5:50 PM on January 25


Yup, MeFi can bean-plate anything.
posted by oddman at 6:05 PM on January 25 [5 favorites]


I basically liked the bit where they had fun and the crowd enjoyed it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:08 PM on January 25 [15 favorites]


The real question is, did you see the guy in the gorilla suit who walked through behind the game?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:08 PM on January 25 [13 favorites]


That was about the most amazingly ridiculous thing I've seen all week. What a bunch of goofballs.
posted by valkyryn at 6:12 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


That was fabulous.
posted by planetesimal at 6:13 PM on January 25


Cool! But, it's not 'ping pong', it's 'table tennis'.

I was really hoping you were going for a "C'est magnifique, mais c'est pas le ping-pong" thing here.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:13 PM on January 25 [6 favorites]


this guy is hilarious.

They're both into it. I was worried that Saive was being a jerk until Chuang ran around and gave him mock CPR when he mock collapsed.

It wouldn't be nearly as funny if they weren't so skilled. At times they were pulling off a routine I'd only seen in Bugs Bunny cartoons: A SMASH and a lob...A SMASH and a lob...A SMASH and a lob...
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:23 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Whatever happened to Pong?
posted by Mr. Yuck at 6:32 PM on January 25


This is almost as ridiculous as the pocketless pool tournament of 2008: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SvYeqLg4dQU
posted by mulligan at 6:33 PM on January 25 [5 favorites]


I don't think it was an exhibition game. If you look at the score at the end, Saive had already lost 3 straight sets (and hence the match). That last set was just for fun, I guess.

It looks like it's actually clips from throughout the match. When they start Saive only down 1 set to 0, though he's about to lose the current set too.
posted by kmz at 6:34 PM on January 25


This is like the Harlem Globetrotters of ping pong. Love it when they got multiball at the 11 minute mark.
posted by Catblack at 6:36 PM on January 25 [3 favorites]


Cool! But, it's not 'ping pong', it's 'table tennis'. That's fightin' talk in some places.


We call it gnip gnop. Pronounced ginip ginop.
posted by notreally at 6:43 PM on January 25 [9 favorites]


This is super-hilarious. I also like how the announcers are genuinely laughing like children.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:05 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Now *that* is how you make a mockery of a sport. IMO the funniest bit was when Saive "cheated" by adding to his score.

Thanks for posting this, it turned my shitty mood around.
posted by Devils Slide at 7:17 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


At first I was like, "Meh." And then I was like, "Heh heh." And then it got really funny.
posted by Chuffy at 7:21 PM on January 25


Now that is master class in sportsmanship. bravo.
posted by davejay at 7:38 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


I liked it when they turned the table around and Saive played with the official between him and the table, ducked under by her chair.

Really, that was quite fun, I really enjoyed it. Thanks for posting!
posted by onlyconnect at 7:55 PM on January 25 [1 favorite]


I call it pable pennis.
posted by hydrophonic at 8:03 PM on January 25


These two guys might consider taking this on the road.

Cool! But, it's not 'ping pong', it's 'table tennis'. That's fightin' talk in some places.

Just wondering in what sense is "ping pong" fighting talk? If you feed "table tennis" in Google translate from English to Chinese, you get ... ping pong. Or Pīngpāng qiú, to be exact, but basically ping pong are just the Chinese words for the sport.
posted by Bokmakierie at 8:24 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


That got the girlfriend in here, wondering what my maniacal laughter was about. As someone who grew up playing ping pong and can't really remember a time that I didn't have a table somewhere close to me, this made me very happy after a really loooong day. Best of the Web's Best Table Tennis Match indeed.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:25 PM on January 25


I used to play table tennis somewhat seriously as a teenager, and what I was told was that "ping pong" was an early form of the game in which every shot was like a serve in today's game, meaning that you always had to hit your own side of the table first. Therefor table tennis was different from ping pong and basically nobody actually plays ping pong anymore.

But maybe this was just the story we were all telling ourselves because we didn't want it to be called ping pong.

This was a fantastic video, either way. I used to play the game in a defensive style similar to what Saive does here (letting the opponent smash a lot, waiting for mistakes), so it was especially fun watching someone do that with such incredible skill. And how fun to see two brilliant athletes truly PLAY.
posted by edlundart at 8:32 PM on January 25


The ping pong game was great. The pocketless pool game had me giggling hysterically.
posted by sharpener at 9:06 PM on January 25


I found that both hilarious and stressful to watch! If I wasn't already in bed, I'd need to take a lie down. I don't even know why we have other sports.
posted by amanda at 9:12 PM on January 25


Agent Coulson got pointedly whimsical game, yo.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:19 PM on January 25 [2 favorites]


Cool! But, it's not 'ping pong', it's 'table tennis'. That's fightin' talk in some places.

We call it gnip gnop. Pronounced ginip ginop.
posted by notreally at 6:43 PM on January 25 [6 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


Heh.

Up here, in the Frozen North™, we call it KaNIP KaNOP. This is in the same spirit as referring to Golf as Wakfuq!
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:26 PM on January 25


Bokmakierie, "table tennis" is also called 桌球 (table ball [game]) in Chinese.
posted by Alnedra at 1:43 AM on January 26


Cool! But, it's not 'ping pong', it's 'table tennis'.

Nonsense. It's wiff-waff.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:53 AM on January 26


When I first saw that this was 16 minutes long, I figured I'd watch the first couple of minutes and move on. Nope, I was riveted and watched the whole thing. I especially loved the tiny Mona Lisa smile on the female judge. Happiness all across the board. I wish this happened more in sports, because these guys were so obviously having great, great fun.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 4:52 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


Gnip Gnop was a great game. I played it often.
posted by Roger Dodger at 5:40 AM on January 26


Agent Coulson got pointedly whimsical game, yo.

Don't be ridiculous. That wasn't Agent Coulson. That was a young Billy Bragg.
posted by yoink at 7:23 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


I love in a condo and there are a couple of tables in the common area of my building. When my friends come over and we decide to play, it includes many of the elements found in this clip, only with several players simultaneously and two tables pushed together. It is quite a bit of fun.
posted by dry white toast at 7:53 AM on January 26


The word "probably" doesn't belong here.

The multiball round was amazing. You get the impression that these guys (when they're cooperating) could basically make a sandwich with one hand while the other hand went on playing.
posted by ShutterBun at 8:18 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


Hilarious. I watched the full 16 minutes. Which are 2 things I never thought I'd say about ping pong table tennis.
posted by widdershins at 10:09 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


Power! Power! Power!

Cheater!


I figured I'd watch the first couple of minutes and move on.

Captivated! Who knew ting tong, pable pennis that game could be so invigorating?
posted by BlueHorse at 11:41 AM on January 26 [1 favorite]


I love the reluctantly amused judge trying her hardest to maintain a poker face. She is my favorite.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:04 AM on January 27


« Older Dennis Hlynsky is a professor of film and animatio...  |  Kung Fury is an upcoming actio... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments