- Published on 03 February 2015
Table Tennis is a fast-paced sport that requires excellent hand and eye coordination. Special Olympics athletes demonstrate the necessary elements of power and finesse in order to play table tennis.
In addition to offering traditional singles, doubles and mixed doubles events, Special Olympics Table Tennis offers individual skills competition to allow athletes to train and compete in basic table tennis skills. The development of these key skills is necessary prior to advancing to match play. These skills include racket bounce, forehand and backhand volley and serving.
Special Olympics athletes can also participate in Unified Sports® doubles and mixed doubles events. Special Olympics Unified Sports is a program that combines Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (partners) on sports teams for training and competition. In Unified Sports Table Tennis, a team consists of one Special Olympics athlete and one partner.
As in all Special Olympics sports, athletes are grouped in competition divisions according to ability level, age and gender.
Table Tennis Facts
Since its introduction at the 1987 Special Olympics World Games, where 12 athletes competed, participation in table tennis has grown tremendously.
At the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games in North Carolina, USA, 180 Special Olympics athletes from 47 Programs competed in table tennis.
272 athletes from 60 Programs competed in table tennis at the 2003 World Summer Games in Dublin, Ireland.
Today 10371athletes from SOMENA region compete in table tennis.
Table Tennis was one of the sports at the 1st MENA Regional Games in Egypt, where 20 athletes competed from Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and Syria.
At the 3rd MENA Regional Games in Lebanon 2002, 16 athletes from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Morocco, Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Algeria competed in Table Tennis.
At the 4th MENA Regional Games in Tunisia 2004, 43 athletes from Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, Jordan, Yemen, Kuwait, Emirates, Lebanon, Tunisia, Oman, Syria and Iraq competed in Table Tennis.
Table Tennis Events
Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Wheelchair Competition
Unified Sports Doubles and Mixed Doubles
The following table tennis events provide meaningful competition for athletes with lower ability levels:
Individual Skills Competition