How to Play Bocce Ball: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know

The time has come to learn how to play bocce ball. If you don’t believe me, take a look at just how popular this sport is across the globe and decide for yourself.

Harvil 100mm Bocce Ball SetImage from Amazon

After my recent trip to the Amalfi Coast, I can guarantee that this is the game you should add to your summer barbecue. From one town to the next, I watched groups of Italian grandfathers, uncles, and old friends. They were lazing the days away under the shade of olive trees engaged in games of bocce ball.

You may not have played bocce, but I assure you that your ancestors probably did!

Historians have found evidence that Egyptians were teaching their neighbors how to play bocce ball as early as 5200 B.C. Since then, the game has swept across the globe, mostly thanks to Italian immigrants.

Bocce ball is arguably the world’s oldest sport. It has the third-largest number of participants in the world (after golf and soccer). It’s played across the continents, by people of all ages and in all social classes.Bocce has seen relatively little change over the millennia. Though we no longer toss polished stones or coconuts like our ancestors, the rules and gameplay are essentially the same.With your own set of bocce balls, you can play just about anywhere you find an empty space. So, dust off your bowler hat, make yourself a refreshing Aperol spritz, and settle in to learn how to play bocce ball once and for all!

A Brief History of

Bocce Ball and Its Rise to Global Popularity

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Many bocce enthusiasts agree that the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans invented the earliest forms of the game.

The word “bocce” is a plural form of the Italian word “boccia” (meaning “ball”). “Boccia” stems from the vulgar Latin word “bottica.”

The Italians also refer to the game as Volo, from the verb “volare,” which means to fly. This second name alludes to the manner of throwing one’s ball through the air in an attempt of striking away your opponent’s ball.

Bocce has been called many other names — lawn bowling, nine pins, skittles, and petanque, to name a few. The French, meanwhile, use the name “Boule Lyonnaise.”

Though it may have many different names, the game is played across the globe in almost the same way as it was millennia ago. It’s not very common to find something in contemporary culture that reflects its origins from thousands of years ago, but this game holds true.

Before you learn how to play bocce ball, let’s take a look at the history of the sport and pay respect to our ancestors who invented the game so long ago.

From Egyptian Tombs to the Roman Empire

English scientist, Sir Francis Petrial, discovered a painting in an Egyptian tomb from around 5200 B.C. In this painting, two boys are playing an early form of bocce ball, proof that bocce is arguably the oldest sport in the world.

Others believe that the sport goes back as far as 9000 B.C., largely due to some stone balls uncovered in Turkey. However, no one has proven that these balls were used to play bocce.

What we do know is that through the centuries, bocce spread out of Egypt and across Asia Minor. Around 600 B.C., Greeks were learning how to play bocce ball. And they eventually passed the game to the Romans.

Initially, bocce ball was prohibited to people of lesser nobility. The upper class believed that playing the game diverted the working class’ attention from more important tasks, such as training for battle and manufacturing supplies.

However, despite many attempts to ban the sport, bocce eventually became a popular public game. Everyone was learning how to play bocce ball, and it was accessible to those from all walks of life.

We have the Greek colonists to thank for bringing bocce with them into the new world. As they spread their empire, they taught the inhabitants of modern-day Italy how to play bocce ball.

To the Olympics and Beyond

Some say that the Roman soldiers were the first to play bocce with contemporary rules during the Punic Wars in 246 B.C. They played the game as a pleasant distraction from the stresses of war and to help keep themselves entertained.

As Italians learned how to play bocce ball, and its popularity spread, bocce was threatened once again with prohibition. Legend has it that people were playing bocce in the streets so much that they were hitting the knees of passing noblemen!

While this problem shed an unfortunate light upon the lower classes, it also brought widespread attention to the sport among Italian noblemen who decided it was their turn to learn how to play bocce ball. Soon enough, bocce became a favorite pastime across the entire socio-economic spectrum.

Giuseppe Garibaldi was a famous Italian general, politician, and nationalist who played a significant role in Italian history. But while he unified and nationalized Italy, he also popularized bocce ball as it’s known today.

Despite the early fervor, bocce has frequently lost and gained popularity throughout the ages. But it experienced an intense resurgence at the end of the 19th century.

The first bocce club emerged in 1850 in Lyon, France. In 1896, bocce appeared as an Olympic event in Athens, Greece. Then, in the Paris Olympics of 1900, bocce was featured as an exhibition sport.

Bocce has been a part of international competitions ever since.

Who Was the Best Bocce Player Ever?

Umberto Granaglia (who passed rather recently in 2008) is indisputably considered the best bocce player ever. Born in Italy, he was named “Player of the 20th Century” by the Confederation Mondiale des Sport de Boules in 2005.

Players recognize Granaglia’s visage throughout the bocce world. To many fans, he embodies the perfect bocce player.

Umberto GranagliaImage by Antonio Busso from Flickr

After Granaglia learned how to play bocce ball, he had a 23-year-long career in which he won more championships than any other player. During his life, he won 13 World, 12 European, and 46 Italian Championships. He holds the record number of wins for all three tournaments.There are many great bocce champions, past and present. However, none of these players are quite as accomplished or famous as Granaglia.

How the Game Has Changed (and remained the same)

After thousands of years as a sport, it’s no surprise that bocce ball has changed quite a bit. But, on the other hand, there are a surprising number of ways in which it is exactly the same.

From ball construction to competitive spirit, modern bocce is both similar to and very, very different from its earlier versions:

Evolution of the Bocce Ball

Early bocce ball technology was crude.

In the time of Roman soldiers, players would use anything that resembled a ball, including rocks, bound rags, and fruit. Early participants were also known to use coconuts brought back from Africa. Later on, they switched to hard olive wood to carve out balls.

In the middle of the 19th century, players used custom wooden balls fortified with a few blacksmith nails. Unfortunately, these balls were defective and quick to become deformed, especially when used on rocky terrain.

Eventually, factory-made nails became available. The balls were covered in iron nails with round and flat heads and became much more durable. You could tell the different makers apart from one another because they started to use different metals (such as steel, brass, and copper) to create different designs and patterns.

In 1923, metal technology took off. Players were able to have balls made out of bronze. Makers were also able to create slight variations in weight, diameter, and pattern to fit the hand size of the player and their throwing style.

Modern bocce balls are about the size of a grapefruit. They are heavy, solid, and made of wood or epoxy. For most players, having the right set of balls is just as important as knowing how to play bocce ball.

Growth of Bocce Tournaments

In the past century or so, bocce has also become a popular tournament sport. Competitions regularly take place around the world, some offering significant cash awards to winners.

Today, the Federation International de Boules (FIB) regulates bocce play at the international level, dictating all official rules and instructing people on how to play bocce ball.

The FIB was established on April 14, 1946. Immediately after, the FIB held the first World Bocce Championship in 1947.

Today, this sport is most popular in the Mediterranean. The most skilled and highest concentration of players come from France, Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia. More than 30 nations participate in the World Bocce Championship, which occurs every other year.

Tournaments include traditional events like Singles and Doubles. They have also added newer events to the competitions, such as the Progressive Throw and Relay. These specialized events focus on the more athletic aspects of bocce rather than the original game itself.

The two biggest tournaments in the world are the Pentecote Tournament Bellecour in Lyon, France, and the Gara Alassio in Italy. Both tournaments take place over two days and welcome over 4,000 participants each year.

The Strange Legend of Kissing Fanny

Fanny_Le_RituelImage from Wikimedia

If you’re going to learn how to play bocce ball, then you also need to learn how to lose gracefully. This means you need to learn the story of Fanny.

When you’ve lost your match, and someone tells you to kiss Fanny, you shouldn’t turn red in the face or make a terrible faux pas. Though this ritual is a bit cheeky (pardon the pun), it’s not as crass as it may sound.

You see, Fanny is the patron saint of bocce ball. If you lose a game of bocce without scoring a single point, you are “être fanny” (being fanny).

Kissing Fanny, or experiencing such a dramatic loss, is the ultimate humiliation for players everywhere. And this is true in more ways than one since such a bad loss makes it seem like you don’t know how to play bocce ball at all!

So What’s Her Story?

As the story goes, just after World War I, there was a waitress named Fanny working at the Café de Grand-Temps. When someone had lost a game without scoring a point, she would take pity on them and allow them to kiss her on the cheek.

One day, the local mayor lost a game and went to the café for his prize. No one is sure what prompted Fanny to do what she did next, though maybe she was upset with the mayor for some other reason.

She lifted her skirt and offered him the other cheek!

Legend has it, the mayor didn’t even hesitate. Thus began the tradition that requires a player (or entire team) that loses a game without scoring a single point to “kiss Fanny.”

These days it’s common for bocce clubs to have a picture or sculpture of Fanny bearing her derriere, providing something to kiss who suffers this humiliation.

What You Need to

Know About How to Play Bocce Ball

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It’s quite simple to learn how to play bocce ball. At its most basic, bocce ball involves two single players pitted against one another.

Bocce, however, is really a team sport and is best with two teams squaring off. Each team can have two, three, or four players, depending on the game.

Whichever way you choose to play this ancient game, here’s what you need to know:

Invest in the Right Equipment

A standard bocce set contains eight colored balls — four balls each to a color, typically green and red — and one smaller ball, called the jack or “pallino.” You can also find sets that have four different colors, allowing more players to join in a Singles game.

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Different skill levels require different sizes of bocce balls. Beginners and kids tend to use smaller balls, but professionals use the larger ones. Regulation-sized bocce balls have a standard diameter of 107 millimeters (4.2 inches) and a standard weight of 920 grams (less than 2 pounds).

You should also keep a measuring tape on hand to accurately assess who’s bocce are closer to the pallino. And if you’re playing bocce at a barbecue with friends, it may be useful to invest in a scoreboard to minimize any potential disputes.

Learn the Basics

Each game begins with a simple coin toss. The winning team picks a player to pitch the pallino from a line at one end of the court. The pallino must land past the middle line but no further than the 4-foot line.

If the pallino lands out of the designated area, the other team will then throw the pallino into the playing field.

Next, the same player throws or rolls a bocce ball, hoping to land it as close as possible to the pallino. Ideally, you want that first ball to stop right in front of the pallino.

Then, the opposing team rolls a bocce ball, also aiming as close to the pallino as possible. Skilled players will even knock the other person’s bocce out of the way or hit the pallino itself (moving it away from their opponent’s bocce).

The team whose bocce ball is farthest away from the jack now gets to bowl its remaining three bocce balls in succession, each time trying to get as close to the jack as possible. Once they have finished, the other team also gets to bowl their remaining three balls.After both teams have bowled all their balls, the round comes to an end. The team with the ball closest to the pallino earn points, the other team does not.

Toss, Lob, Throw, or Bowl

Knowing how to play bocce ball boils down to knowing how to throw or bowl your bocce. However, there is no one right way to do it.

Every bocce fanatic will tell you several different ways, but with a few simple techniques, you can maximize your chances of landing a great shot.

It’s best to throw a bocce ball underhand. Doing so allows the thrower the best blend of control and power. Most players grip the bocce ball with the palm underneath and the fingertips resting on the front of the ball.

Alternatively, you can grasp the bocce from above, with the palm gripping the top of the ball and the wrist flicking forward at the point of release.

Though you can “bowl” your ball, it’s better to throw the ball at least partially through the air before letting it roll the rest of the way. Players often find success with either high and soft lobs or low and strong throws. Try the different methods and see what works best.

Remember that balls will roll differently on different types of terrain.

When aiming, don’t aim directly for the pallino. Instead, aim in front of the point where you hope the bocce ball will come to a rest.

For low-angled throws, aim further in front of the target point to account for momentum upon landing. Higher arcs tend to stop dead upon landing, so you can aim closer to your target.

Where to Play Bocce

Once you’ve learned how to play bocce ball, you can play just about anywhere you find a stretch of level ground. Pavement, grass, gravel, hard-packed dirt, sand, and cement will all work. Wherever your chosen court, the surface should be level.

If you have a lawn, you can mow a strip short to create a bocce court.

For a friendly game or players just learning how to play bocce ball, the dimensions of the playing field do not need to be exact. For more serious games, you should try to get as close to a regulation-sized court as possible.

Measure Up

A bocce court, or “campo,” is 23-by-2.4 meters, or about 75 feet long and 8 feet wide. There must be a level surface of sand or clay enclosed with boarded ends that are 45 centimeters (about 18 inches) high and sides that are 30 centimeters (or 12 inches) high.

The court is divided into areas with five evenly spaced lines. You can mark these lines by drawing them in the sand or dirt, stretching strings across the court, or placing objects at the court’s edge.

Dressing the Part

The best part of bocce is how you can modify the game to your level of competition. This game is well-suited for amateurs and professionals alike.

Just like you can play the game anywhere you find a level surface area, you can wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable.

If you play at a country club or bocce club, they may require you to wear the proper attire. Most places also require their patrons to cover their shoulders, meaning no tank tops.

No matter where you play, it’s best to wear low, soft-heeled shoes. Bocce games can keep you on your feet for a long time. Therefore, you want to be sure to wear shoes that give you plenty of support.

High heels are a big no-no, as they can tear up or puncture the court.

Scoring Points and Taking Home the Trophy

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Once you’ve learned how to play bocce, the basic rules are simple to remember. The object of the game is to roll your bocce balls closer to the pallino than your opponent.

As you’ve probably guessed, the ultimate goal is to earn as many points as possible. Here’s how players earn those points and keep score:

Keeping Score

The game consists of several frames. Frames are played alternately from one end of the court to the other. Scoring takes place at the end of each frame, and only the team with ball(s) closest to the pallino earns points.

A team earns one point for each ball that is closer to the pallino than the closest ball of the opposing team. If a ball touches the pallino, it’s said to be “kissing the jack.” A ball kissing the jack is worth two points.

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If the two balls closest to the pallino belong to opposing teams and are exactly the same distance from the jack, neither team scores a point. Instead, the pallino returns to the team which delivered it for a re-toss.

Only balls which are proveably closer to the jack than any opponent’s balls may award points. This is why it’s good to have a measuring device to help you ensure accuracy.

Additional frames continue until one team reaches a set point total.

How to Win Bocce

More than even knowing how to play bocce ball in the first place, you probably want to know how to win bocce ball. Well, when it comes to this game, the best offense really is a good defense.

It will take some time, but to become a good player, you have to learn when to aim for the pallino and when to aim for other balls on the court. It might behoove you to knock an opponent’s ball out of play or knock one of your own balls that are already in play closer to the pallino.

Most importantly, keep in mind that winning a frame is far more critical than scoring additional points. You don’t score any points if the opposing team has the closest bocce to the pallino. So, defending your position may be wiser than trying to get an extra point or two.

Traditionally, frames continue until one team reaches a score of 12. Players may also choose other ending scores. It’s also common to use 11, 13, 15, or 16 points instead. In the end, it just depends on how long you want your game to last.

Get Your Bocce On!

Now you agree that it’s about time you learn how to play bocce, don’t you? After all, it’s a historical game that is once again sweeping the globe by storm!

Now that it’s growing in popularity in the United States, it’s gaining new momentum all around. Officials have even begun discussions to reintroduce bocce to the Olympics.

Bocce’s versatility makes it the perfect family game to play in the backyard or take on vacation. Teaching your kids how to play bocce ball could lead to years of family fun and healthy competition.

Plus, it’s a game for people of all ages, gender, and athletic ability. You can play on any level surface with anyone who is willing to try. The rules can be modified according to the player’s age, ability, and competitiveness.

Not only can you play games in the local park or your backyard, but many bocce locations are also springing up at country clubs and recreational centers across the country. So, get out there and bocce!

What techniques have you used to teach your family how to play bocce ball? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!

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Introducing Your Kids to Organized Sports

Put me in, coach! Whether it’s on a field, a court, rink, or a diamond, kids sports are part of growing up.

In 75 percent of U.S. households, at least 1 child participates in an organized sport, according to a Project Play (1). 

That amounts to almost 60 percent of the country’s youth ready to play.

Though data is a little harder to come by, sports are just as popular in other countries (2). In India, it’s cricket. In other parts of Asia, it’s badminton. And everywhere, it seems, kids are playing soccer.

If you’re a parent of youngsters, you might be wondering: 

What are kids sports all about? 

Are they right for my children? 

What’s the best way to get my kids involved? 

And most importantly, will they be safe and pressure-free?

Everyone’s situation is a little bit different. But, before you decide on your kids’ sports, if any, consider the benefits.

Benefits of Kids Sports

Kids have an abundance of energy. They are moving from the time they wake up almost to the time they go to bed.

At the same time, parents want to see that energy diverted toward learning about the way the world works.

Activities such as organized kids’ sports can help.

Let’s take a quick look at how the world of athletics will shape your child’s health and happiness and teach lessons that last a lifetime.

Get them to the field on time. You won’t regret it.

Strong Heart

The screen generation faces many temptations to stay in place from video games, movies, texting with friends, and other distractions. The lack of activity can create health problems down the road.

But get them involved in sports, and you’ll be activating their muscles — and not just the ones in their arms and legs. The heart is a muscle, too!

Sports means moving your body, and moving your body leads to improvements in cardiovascular fitness (3). In the near-term, playing a sport will help them grow by strengthening their little hearts.

And the benefits accumulate. Learn to stay active, and you’re increasing your chances of staving off heart disease, high blood pressure, and other ailments.

In part, that’s true because activity during kids sports pays dividends in terms of weight loss. 

Getting your heart pumping means you’re burning calories — something you cannot do while sitting still on your Xbox or PlayStation.

The fact is, the benefits go beyond the heart. Staying active during sports keeps your lungs in shape and helps by building a solid skeleton with the strongest of bones.

The physical payback from kids’ sports is enormous. But that’s not all.

Strong Mind

Kids sports also teach crucial life skills and provide support for emotional development (4).

Playing on a team requires learning not only to get along with others but also how to collaborate positively. Remember, there’s no “I” in team.

a coach and his youth soccer team

In many children, sports also bring out confidence, self-discipline, and leadership skills (5). Not everyone will go on to be captain. But getting through a game or a season successfully goes a long way toward a resilient attitude.

Perhaps you’re worried about putting too much pressure on your little ones. That’s certainly a consideration.

Make sure that the activity you choose is supported by good organization, excellent coaching, and a positive environment.

However, don’t be afraid to see them fall. Great growth comes from experiencing high-pressure situations and failing.

At some point in their lives, every child will go through the experience of a job interview. If you know how to harness the butterflies in your stomach from sports, it will go better for you.

The softer benefits don’t just go to the kids. Being part of the experience can have positives for the entire family (6). Being together, even if it’s just cheering together for your little one, makes for a happy household.

Best Kids Sports to Join

Which sport should you pursue for your child? It’s a good question — and not one anyone can answer for every family.

Every child is different, as is every family’s circumstance. And all sports have their pluses and minuses. Only you will know what’s best in your case.

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To help, though, the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program created the Healthy Sports Index (7). It’s an online tool that looks at the pros and cons of 10 popular sports for the target population.

You can adjust various factors in the tool to account for what’s most important to you. The factors to consider are physical activity, psychosocial benefits, and safety.

The tool allows you to click and read more about each sport. The tracker provides information on the types of physical agility needed to succeed in each and recommended alternatives.

We picked out three from the list to discuss more in depth. Since we’re focusing on children between the first and fifth grades, we thought it’s probably too soon for organized cross country or track and field.

Baseball

Baseball is America’s pastime for a reason. It’s a rite of summer, drawing millions of kids outside to swing bats, run bases, and field ground balls.

The Health Sports Index ranks baseball tenth out of 10 sports, though mainly because playing the game requires lots of downtime between plays. When there’s activity, it’s intense; however, many times, players are waiting for something to happen (probably two-thirds of the time, HSI says).

Still, the HSI likes that baseball requires balance, reactionary capabilities, hand-eye coordination, and many basic movement skills. The sport is considered the fifth safest on the list of 10 sports.

The analog for girls is softball. That sport ranks ninth best out of 10 for girls but very high for psychosocial development.

In either case, boys or girls, get started in the sport by finding a T-ball league. You can probably find one through your local town recreation association or even a church league.

Setting aside the data-oriented approach, what are some of the intangible reasons for choosing baseball?

Well, for one, the teams are big — nine to each side. Anyone can participate and succeed — you don’t need to be the biggest, strongest, or fastest kid on the block.

It’s also hard to resist a sport that such an essential part of American history (8).

Soccer 

Parents have always considered soccer (or futbol depending on your nationality and country) to be one of the best kids sports.

And the Healthy Sports Index agrees. 

The survey ranks soccer the fourth-best sport for boys and the fifth-best for girls out of 10. (9)

little league soccer teams facing off.

Soccer is a sport that requires vigorous exercise about 50% of the time during a game. It rewards footwork, stamina, leg strength, and teamwork, the HSI survey suggests.

A downside: 

The injury rates in soccer for girls are the highest of the 10 suggested sports, and seventh out of tenth for boys (10).

Yet consider also the intangibles of soccer when deciding on which are the best kids sports for your family (11).

It’s a game enjoyed around the world that can be played almost anywhere and requires minimal equipment. If you have two goals, a ball, and the right shoes, you’re good to go.

Soccer also enables broad participation. 

A full game takes 22 players!

Lacrosse

We wanted to include a game that probably doesn’t get enough recognition as one of the best for physical and emotional development.

Lacrosse is also one of the nation’s oldest games, which adds a historical component to the experience. The Healthy Sports Index ranks lacrosse ninth for boys and eighth for girls, out of the 10 kids sports it reviewed.

Youth lacrosse players on the field squaring off.

You should know upfront that lacrosse involves more contact than you might think. 

HSI ranks lacrosse as the ninth safest sport for boys and eighth safest for girls out of the 10 kids sports on the list.

But it also requires maximum activity from participants… 

Players are vigorously active about 40% of the time.

Lacrosse is a fast-moving game that calls for hand-eye coordination, endurance, balance, speed, flexibility, and agility, according to the HSI social scientists.

One of the significant intangibles of lacrosse is that it develops the full athlete (12). To be successful in lacrosse, you must build speed, strength, and coordination, while calling on various skills utilized more prominently in other sports.

And teamwork is paramount, which is, in our view, one of the best reasons to involve your children in kids sports (13).

Here’s the Pitch

Parents have other choices in addition to soccer, baseball/softball, and lacrosse. Running, swimming, wrestling, basketball, tennis, all have attributes to help your little one gain confidence and grow.

Should you take the leap with them or not? That’s a question you’ll have to work through as a family, based on what you know about your child’s physical and emotional maturity.

A youth baseball coaching team a young player proper form.

Tools like the Health Sports Index can help but aren’t a replacement for real experience and understanding of the world around us.

If you’re leaning towards getting in, your best bet is to check with your kids’ school, town’s recreation league, church leagues, or even consult physical education teachers at your local school. They’ll point you in the right direction.

And don’t be afraid to get involved yourself. Our youth need caring parents with perspective to realize the benefits of organized kids sports.

One final word: Our list focuses on warm-weather sports. To learn more about kids activities in the winter, read our guide (14) to cold-weather kids sports.

What sports do your kids play and why? Let us know in the comments below.

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Best Ping Pong Table Reviews

There are all kinds of game tables that you can have in your home. One of the best options, though, is to go with the best ping pong table.

Ping pong tables are fun and cause you to get active. Sure, playing ping pong may not burn as many calories as a full-blown tennis game, but it does work your arms and get you moving.

If you think a ping pong table could be a good addition to your home, then take the time to learn about the best tables available. Read reviews and do your research so that you end up with the best table for your home and your wants.

Consider Your Goals and Your Playing Level

two pairs playing table tennis

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First things first, when choosing the best table for your home, you need to think about your playing level and what your “ping pong goals” are in the future.

If you just want to play ping pong with your family and friends and have fun, then a basic table at an affordable price is all you need. If you’re more serious about table tennis and maybe even want to get into competitive table tennis (yes, that’s a real thing), you’ll probably want a more professional table.

Typically, the more professional a ping pong table is, the more it is going to cost, so also consider your budget as you choose which table is right for you

Ask for Table Dimensions so You Can Plan Accordingly

table tennis paddle and ball on the corner of a ping pong table

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In addition to thinking about the quality and the price of your ping pong table, you should also consider the size of the table.

Obviously, you need a table that you can accommodate size-wise, also bearing in mind that you’ll want plenty of room to move around the table as well since table tennis can get quite active.

Instead of guessing about whether or not a particular table will work for you, always measure exactly how much room space you have for your ping pong table.

Then, keep these measurements with you as you shop. Ask for dimensions of specific tables, and use those figures to determine how well a particular table will fit into your home.

Remember, it’s a lot better to be safe than sorry when it comes to sizing your ping pong table

Look for a Tabletop that is Thick and Strong

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One of the easiest ways to determine the quality of your ping pong table and to ensure that you get a good table is to pay careful attention to the thickness of the tabletop.

With ping pong tables, tabletop thickness is one of the simplest but most effective measures of quality.

The very best, most well-made ping pong tables can have tabletop thicknesses of 25mm but as long as your table isn’t thinner than 12mm, it’s not completely flimsy.

Just remember that thickness does matter when ensuring you get a high quality ping pong table.

Think About Portability and Whether it Matters to You

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Something else you will want to consider as you shop for a ping pong table is how important portability of the table is to you.

If you plan to leave the table set up in a specific area of your home for as long as you have it, portability probably won’t be that big of a deal for you.

If, on the other hand, you’d like to move the table from one room to the next or you’d like to be able to take it with you when you go visit friends, an easily portable model is probably a better option.

There are fold up options, as well as more lightweight options out there, so you definitely can find something portable. Just remember that, if you’re not careful, portable can often translate to “flimsy” or “low quality,” so make sure, if you need a portable table, that it is also still a good, quality table.

Does the Brand Name Matter When It Comes to the Best Ping Pong Table?

portable ping pong table

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One final thing that people often want to know when choosing a ping pong table is whether or not the brand name of the table matters.

The short answer to that question is no, not really. Good, quality tables can be made and are made from all kinds of manufacturers of varying popularity.

With that said, though, there are some brands that have developed a name for quality. These include brands such as Butterfly, Joola, Donic, and Stiga.

Your table doesn’t necessarily have to be made by one of those brands to be a great table, but you can’t go wrong with those tables either.

Obviously, you have a lot to think about, but, with some thinking and some effort, you can sort it all out and find the best table to meet your needs.

Featured Image Source: Unsplash.com

Best Multi Game Table Review

Just about everyone in the world loves playing table games. Whether it’s pool, air hockey, or anything in between, everyone has a favorite game they love to play with their friends. Have you ever considered a multi game table?

No matter what your favorite game is, you can bring the fun and excitement of it to your home. Imagine being able to play football without all the quarters and without standing in a crowded arcade.

If that sounds appealing to you, then consider a multi game table. You can easily find the best multi game table by reading reviews online, shopping around, and just generally knowing a little bit about what to look for.

Decide What Games You Want to Have

Obviously, when it comes to buying a multi game table, the most important thing you have to think about and decide is what type of games you want in your multi game table.

close-up photo of figure player in Foosball Table

Every table is different. Some just feature two games, typically pool and air hockey though other varieties are available. Others have tons of games. Even including ones you don’t find that often like ping pong, shuffleboard, and more.

Obviously, you will want to first decide what type of games are a “must have” for your table and then choose accordingly.

Remember the Importance of Quality Construction

In addition to choosing the types of games you want your multi game table to have, do not overlook the importance of good, quality construction.

After all, no matter what games you are playing, you want your table to last you for many years to come. Plus, some games, such as air hockey, can be physically demanding on a table. So it needs to be able to stand up to a lot of wear and tear.

Make sure that the legs of the table are strong and sturdy. And assure that they are firmly attached to the top of the table. Also look for tables made of quality materials. The better the table is made, the longer it will last you and your family. So choose wisely, even if it means spending a little extra money.

Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Easy Assembly with a Multi Game Table

When you buy a multi game table, you are going to be excited. In fact, if you’re like most people, you’ll want to rip open the box and get the table set up as soon as you get home.

close-up photo of the side of the foosball

Unfortunately, though, most tables require assembly first. They don’t just come out of the box ready to go.

If you are someone who is handy with tools and who doesn’t mind putting the table together carefully, then getting a table that leaves all the construction up to you is fine.

On the other hand, if you don’t feel comfortable with this big job, look for a table that comes pre-assembled, that requires minimal assembly, or that features the option to have someone come out and put the table together for you and get it all set up in your home.

Keep Space Considerations in Mind with Your Multi Game Table

Above, we mentioned getting your multi game table set up in your home, and that- how the table fits in your home- is actually a major consideration.

photo of game room with billiard table, foosball and air hockey table

Often, people who buy these tables are surprised at how much space they take up. They’ll create a space in a playroom or other area, only to find that they need even more room for their table.

Being surprised by space or, even worse, unable to accommodate a table you’ve purchased is never a good thing. So, always carefully measure the room you have or the room you’re willing to “give up” to your multi game table.

Then, before you buy anything, make sure you get the dimensions for the table. This will help give you an accurate sizing idea so that you don’t end up being unpleasantly surprised after you get the table home.

Go for a Reasonably Lightweight Multi Game Table

As mentioned earlier, you definitely want a table that is strong, sturdy, and can stand up to just about anything. That includes the wear and tear you’re likely to put on it.

two ping pong paddles and ping pong ball on top of table tennis

With that said, though, you also don’t want a table that is too big, bulky, or heavy.

You’re going to have to move this table around at some point. Plus, it’s also going to be pushing into your floors with all its weight. And too much weight for too long of a time could cause damage or buckling of your floors.

As such, be careful to buy a table that, while durable, also doesn’t weight so much you’ll never be able to lift it.

With so much to think about, it’s time to start planning and researching now. The sooner you get done, the sooner you can buy and start enjoying your multi game table.

Golf Hacks And Tricks To Better Your Game

Golf can be a misleading game if you’re a newbie, or if you’re watching from the outside. Contrary to popular belief, golf is quite a hard game simple as it looks. From technique to rhythm to timing, everything needs to be a science and an art. That is why, without a few hacks and tricks up your sleeves, it can become a frustrating game. And that’s why we’re here – to give you a hand at improving your game. Here are 8 super simple hacks and tricks to help you better your game.

1. Improve Your Mental Game

photo showing Newton's Cradle

Golf is more a mental game than it is a physical one. The game always starts in the mind, is played more in the mind, and is won in the mind. If you are to improve your game and lower your score, you have to improve your mental game. From club selection to the final putt, the game of golf is all about making the right decisions and calculations.

This is why you should never allow your emotions to cloud your game.

The best way to up your mental game is to focus on the moment. Forget the topped driver that got you into your current mess and choose instead to focus on hitting the best shot you can to get you back in the game. Live and play in the moment.

2. Avoid Mistaken Identity

an about to be broken glass containing water and already broken plates

One common mistake that happens on the green is that of hitting the wrong ball. And that mistake is enough to give you nightmares for weeks. Besides, a two-stroke set back is often times very difficult to recover from. So what’s the solution? Mark your golf ball with a personal logo – a unique mark that can is visible no matter where the ball falls. If you’re not artistic, simply get a golf ball stencil and do away with mistaken identity.

3. Create a Pre-Shot Routine

a golfer hitting the golf ball into the hole

Routine may be monotonous and boring, but there is something about having a routine that can help you improve your golf game. Routine helps calm the nerves. No matter how tense the game may be, a simple routine will help you calm yourself down, thereby helping you hit the perfect (well, maybe not perfect, but good enough) shot.

4. Rain Gloves Are Not Just for a Rainy Day

a person wearing gloves and coat while holding an umbrella

Nothing disturbs a game like wet gloves. Whether it’s because of the rain, sweat, or a water hazard, water will ruin your grip – resulting in terrible shots. Rain gloves will help you avoid poor shots. The wetter they become, the more grip they have.

5. Warm Up Don’t Heat Up

a man playing golf on a green lawn

A good warm-up will always improve your stroke. Hit the green early and practice 10 -15 strokes. Make sure to take your time, don’t rush it. This is enough to build up a good rhythm without straining your muscles, or worse getting fatigued. Many golfers make the mistake of overdoing the warm-up routine and end up paying dearly in the heat of the game.

6. Tee Off – Safely

a golf ball on a lawn

More often than not, a game if golf is lost on the tee. This is why you need to work on winning your game straight from the tee – by developing a safety shot. A safety shot is a shot you know you can play in any situation and drive the ball a considerable distance while you’re at it. Take the time to practice a shot you can rely on, not only to kick off the game but to get you out of troubled waters if need be.

7. Develop a Solid Grip

a man with a golf club hitting the golf ball into the other side of the lawn

The accuracy of your shot is dependent on two major things – your grip and your stance.

A solid grip takes time as your hand has to get used to the sweet spot of your club. To make finding the sweet spot easier, place a golf club somewhere you can easily access it from any place in the house. Whenever you pass by it, pick it up for a minute or two, practicing your grip. Before long, you will find your sweet spot, helping you to be more comfortable (and confident) with your club on the green. A solid grip will help you shave points off your scorecard.

8. When the Chips Are Down, Stack ‘Em

a golf bag full of golf club of different sizes

Chipping is one of the most overlooked and underrated techniques in the game of golf. But it is a game-changing technique once mastered – helping you break par faster than a putt. To master your chip, make sure your left arm, the shaft, and your weight are all stacked over your left leg. This gives you better control of your shot – distance and direction.

With these hacks packed in your golf bag, you’re sure to improve your game dramatically. And that means a more enjoyable time on the golf course as you take the lead.

Best Racquetball Racquets

10 Best Racquetball Racquets

The year was 1950 when a young man stood between the walls of a YMCA in Connecticut, contemplating a new concept.

With a ping pong paddle in one hand, and a few strings in another, he put the two to good use.

Attaching the string to the paddle, he invented a racquet for a new game that would later be given the name of racquetball.

Not to be mistaken as tennis, the two games are not even to be compared, as there is not even a net involved in the game.

Racquetball can be played indoors or out as long as there is a space available that is 40 feet long, 20 feet wide and 20 feet in height. Red lines are used to illustrate the serve and service areas.

Teams can be played as singles or doubles, and the game is played by hitting the ball to the front wall making it bounce onto the floor beyond the short line, thus allowing the opposing player to take a shot at the ball next. The player or team with the best score of three games wins.

Whether you are new to the game or you are a pro, playing with the proper equipment is essential. The first and most important piece of equipment you will need is a proper racquet.

To help you make the proper choice, the following is a list of some of the best racquetball racquets on the market for you to choose from:

Head CPS Demon Racquetball Racquets

1This lightweight racquet offered by HEAD is a great choice for a beginner.

Built with a Crystal Power System (CPS) and designed with a Powerzone String Pattern, this racquet will be sure to have the ball kissing the wall with every swing.

The Progrip feature offers a tacky texture for easier grip and powerful hits.

HEAD put all the important features into this beginner’s racquet without including a big price.

If you are looking to become a star player, this is one of the best racquetball racquets that you can buy!

MacGregor Scholastic Racquet

2If you are interested in learning how to play the great game of racquetball, then this racquet is a great pick for you.

From MacGregor, this superb racquet can be used for intramural programs or recreation, and it is even a great pick for learning the sport.

The 18 1/4inch long racquet is designed with a powder coated aluminum finish and a tear drop head. The multi-filament string, built-in-bumper and soft 4 inch grip will allow you to hit the wall every time.

The lightweight and easy to handle grip makes it an excellent reason to choose this racquet for both, the novice and experienced players.

Head i.165 Racquetball Racquet

3If you are looking to play in collegiate tournaments, this racquet would be the right choice for you.

This 22 inch, extra-long racquet is made of titanium and graphite. Its ComforTac grip offers a vibration dampening that gives it a light, solid feel with every hit of the ball.

The durability and performance of this racquet definitely stands above the rest making it one of the best racquetball racquets with quality, and an affordable price.

With this racquet, you will be hitting the winning ball each and every time!

Ektelon PowerRing Freak SS Racquetball Racquet

4Great for the beginner is this Power Level 1000 racquet offered by Prince/Ektelon Sports.

Made with Aerolite Alloy, this great quality racquet would fit perfect in the hands of the front court player who needs to make all the quick, well played shots.

This racquet is equipped with a F3/Power Line that will be on your side with every hit.

Deluxe Racquetball Starter Kit Set

5Great for the beginner or intermediate player, this starter kit is equipped with everything you will need to get your game going.

Complete with an Ektelon Lightening 190 ESP racquet, two Ektelon Fireball racquetballs, a pair of Python Intro 2000 eye guards and a convenient carrying bag, this set delivers high quality performance at an incredible price.

The smaller handle allows an easy grip for smaller hands and would be great for young teenagers who want the power from a racquet that they can hold with ease.

The amazing price and high quality of this set makes it a great choice to get into this sport.

Wilson Striker Racquetball Racquet

6This racquet offered by Wilson is a big hit for the casual or recreational player.

Wilson designed this lightweight racquet with a T6 heat treated mil spec aluminum alloy, and you will be pleased with the extra power you will get with extra String bed movement that is brilliantly attached to the v-matrix frame.

Show off your strength and power when you are the one plunging the ball to the wall with every swing of this racquet.

E-Force Chaos Racquetball Racquet

7This racquet will deliver excellent performance to beginners and advanced players alike.

E-Force designed this racquet with excellence by attaching 22 inch long strings, 10.5 inch cross strings, a bypass stringing system and monster string holes.

With the vibration- dampening tubes that are hidden in the handle of this racquet, you will have more comfort with a great performance in every swing.

E-Force Chaos Racquetball Racquet

8This full sized strung racquet offered by Ektelon sits in an aerolite alloy frame that gives excellent performance.

The high quality kit includes one racquet, two premium select balls, a pair of safety approved goggles, a carrying case and completes the package with an instruction book.

Although designed with the beginner in mind, this set will also fit perfectly in the hands of the more experienced, or casual players.

Head Royal Flush Racquetball Racquet

9One of the best racquetball racquets on the list is this Royal Flush racquet offered by HEAD.

This well balanced racquet comes in the standard length of 22 inches long and has a hard hitting reputation.

With the strong grip and the channeled strings, you couldn’t ask for a better racquet for the money.

Get those balls tearing holes in the wall with this high quality, powerful racquetball racquet.

ProKennex Kinetic FCB 175 Racquetball Racquet

10While playing on the front or the back of the court, you will want to be using this great racquet from Pro Kennex.

This standard, 22 inch long racquet was designed with an additional three extra lateral strings on the bottom and is complete with a 22mm cross section.

With all these great features wrapped into one racquet, you will be sure to maintain consistency with a lot of power behind each swing.

With this list of excellent choices, you will be sure to choose the right racquet that is right for your game. So get out there and start slamming the walls!

Top 10 Best Sport Watches

While a Rolex seems like a cool and classy watch, it is not suitable for sporting activities like biking, swimming, and running. You need a special kind of watch that is equipped to endure outdoor excursions – the sport watch.

There’s a variety of sport watches to choose from and they vary in style and design while incorporating various features.

If you want to optimize your sporting experience, you’ll need to consider getting a specialized watch suitable for your particular sport. To help you make a decision, here is a list of the best sport watches currently on the market.

Best Sport Watches to Buy

close-up photo of a person looking at his sports watch he's wearing

Mio Alpha

product photo of Mio Alpha Sport Watch

Apart from its LED feature, the back of this watch is incorporated with an “electro-optical cell” technology that detects your heart rate in real time and reads the capacity of blood flow. With this, you won’t need to wear an uncomfortable chest strap during your workout sessions, and can easily and efficiently assess the intensity of your training.

Although it may not be as sophisticated as other sport watches, it is Bluetooth enabled allowing you to link it to applications like Stava on your phone and get your full workout report.

Garmin Swim Watch

product photo of Garmin Swim Sport Watch

The Garmin Swim was built with swimmers in mind. With features like drill logs and time sets, it can accurately record essential swimming data like pace, pool length, and stroke count.

During swimming, swiftness in motion is important, and this watch is built to enhance just that. It is slim enough to easily cut through water and achieve the much-desired speed. It is also easy to use and read by swimmers of all levels.

Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch

Samsung Gear Sport Smartwatch (Bluetooth), Black, SM-R600NZKAXAR –...

This watch has the perfect balance between fitness-tracking features and prodigious functionality. It is tailor-made to guide you through a number of different workout sessions including swimming which is made possible with its waterproof body.

The Samsung Gear Sport runs on the patented Tizen platform which comes with a variety of apps for improved functionality. It also features a generous display size, decent resolution, 4GB of internal storage, and a reliable 1GHz dual-core processor.

Suunto Spartan Sport

product photo of Suunto Spartan Watch

This watch has a number of exciting features including a GPS system, a water-resistant body, a long-lasting battery of up to 12 hours, and a heart rate monitor. It is automated to recognize over 80 different sports and can be linked to your smartphone via Bluetooth where you can receive essential notifications about your workout.

Certainly, one of the best sport watches for tracking purposes.

The Nokia Steel

product photo of Nokia Steel watch

This watch has a classic stainless-steel design and comes with a built-in tracker that is very reliable. It is water-resistant for depths of up to 164 feet and can be used to keep track of your sleeping pattern. All the data is visualized in an application on your smartphone.

It also affordable, effective for tracking casual fitness, and has a long-lasting battery.

Polar V800 Sport Watch

product photo of Polar V800 sports watch

With a top-of-the-line tech and Gorilla glass lens, the Polar V800 is durable and offers a wide high-resolution display that helps you view your data easily without straining – even in darkness.

It is also equipped with an altitude GPS and a rechargeable 14-hour battery. Definitely, one of the best sport watches for running and biking.

Motorola Moto 360 Sport Watch

product photo of Motorola Moto 360 sports watch

This watch is compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems. It is waterproof, equipped with a GPS system for routing, and can measure heart rates, steps, and calories.

Even with these levels of sophistication, it is one of the most affordable sport watches on the list.

Casio Classic Sport Watch

product photo of Casio Classic Sport Watch

This is a classic watch with a reliable battery life and a waterproof feature. It also has a 1/100-second digital stopwatch, an LED screen with an afterglow, an auto calendar, and a digital time and date display.

It is simple for standard sporting functions and is designed to serve you for years.

Fanmis Military Multifunction Digital LED Watch

product photo of Fanmis Military Multifunction Sport Watch

The Fanmis Military Watch features a stopwatch, alarm, and has a durable battery life. It is also shock resistant making it suitable for vigorous sporting activities, and waterproof for swimming sessions.

Choosing the Best Sports Watch    

close-up photo of a person wearing sports suit and sports watch

When getting a new sport watch, the design and features of the watch are important factors to consider. Finding the best sport watch can be a difficult task. However, this guide should help you narrow down your choices and make that process easy.

 

10 Best Table Tennis Paddle Reviews and Ways to Choose The Best One

If you are continually trying to take your table tennis game to the next level without much improvement, your paddle could be the problem. This is something that many table tennis players tend to overlook, but it could be derailing your performance big time.

Choosing the right ping pong paddle could be the key to improving your aim, spinning, and avoiding unnecessary mistakes when you play. In this article, we’ll share a list of the 10 best table tennis paddles to improve your play.

How to Choose the Best Table Tennis Paddle For You

Before we dive into our extensive selection of tennis rackets for a variety of players, let’s take into consideration the main features to look out for during your search. Everyone has a different budget, style of play, and preferences, so we want to help you choose what’s best suited for you.

Grip

The grip on your ping pong paddle is essential to your overall performance, and there are different types of grips to choose from. Some players prefer a Shakehand grip while others like the feel of a Penhold grip. So, what’s the difference between the two and how can you choose the best option for you?

The Shakehand grip resembles a position of shaking hands with someone, with the thumb facing up. However, the Penhold grip requires you to hold the ping pong paddle at an angle similar to how you would with chopsticks. The main difference between these two grips is how the thumb is positioned, which can be more comfortable for players one way or another.

If you prefer a firm grip, Penhold might be a good option for you as these paddles feature a shorter handle so you can use more force when hitting the ball. On the other hand, Shakehand grip might feel more natural for some as you mimic this action in daily life anyway.

Blade

This is another of the most important parts of a ping pong paddle, and you should take great consideration when choosing a blade for your equipment. This is usually made of wood but can sometimes contain a fraction of other materials too, such as carbon fiber. These different materials are layered together to create a finalized blade.

Although a paddle must be made of at least 85 percent wood, it’s crucial that the remaining 15 percent of materials are best suited to your budget and style of play. Wood is a natural material that means each paddle will play slightly differently as not every two pieces of wood are the same. The disadvantage of this is that the shape of the blade can slightly change over time so you’ll have to regularly practice with the same paddle. It’s also worth noting that two wooden ping pong paddles will play differently, even if only slightly.

You can certainly adjust and get used to this wood paddle as you play ping pong more often. But, if you choose a carbon fiber in addition to wood, you’ll add more predictability to the paddle. A ping pong paddle made from carbon fiber elements will provide more speed, stability, and precision each time you hit the ball.

On the other hand, you can purchase a ping pong paddle that is made from 100 percent wood to provide better spin. You can decide on the blade materials purely based on the amount of speed and power you want to add to your play.

Get the Best Table Tennis Paddle for You

 

Choosing a suitable ping pong paddle should entirely depend on your skill level – and maybe the price. It may be tempting to buy a racket for advanced players when in fact you’re an intermediate player at your best.

 While you will still enjoy playing with it, such a paddle will only hurt your performance and progress. Therefore, stick to paddles in your skill level and level up according.

Here Are Our Full Reviews of the Top 10 Best Ping Pong Paddles for 2018


 

Butterfly Balsa X5-FL Carbo 

Butterfly Balsa Carbo X5-FL

This is the best table tennis paddle for speedy plays and heavy spins. Its carbon fiber guarantees a wider sweet spot for consistency and gives you a tremendous spin and easy looping. These two carbon layers work together for a balanced effect that is committed to attacking the ball when immense speed and power.

The balsa core and carbon plies facilitate forceful play and incredible placement. As well as offering high speeds, you can also softly touch the ball to heighten your performance. The racket is incredibly light, making it easier to control the ball in tight situations. However, an extra-light paddle isn’t ideal for beginners, as it requires more control to prevent overshooting the ball and it landing on the floor.

 

Pros

  •  

    Best addle

  •  

    Carbon fiber guarantees

  •  

    Easy looping

 

Cons

  •  

    Lighter paddle which is different for controlling


 

STIGA Apex

weighs about 5 ounces

If you’re a novice player, the Stiga Apex could be the best table tennis paddle for you. It weighs about 5 ounces, courtesy of the light plywood used to make it. With such a light paddle, you can play for hours without fatigue.

Moreover, Stiga’s WRB technology guarantees you fast and precise shots with insane spins. Being an easily controllable paddle, it will help you build killer precision and admirable stroke mechanics in no time.

This Stiga paddle also features a thick sponge in the blade to help absorb any power so you can have better control over the ball. The blade is also most out of 5-ply extra light blade to make it a great purchase for children or those who are put off heavier paddles.

A huge advantage of this Stiga product is the price. Compared to competitor brands, it’s extremely well-priced to make it even more appealing for beginners. In fact, it’s probably one of the cheapest beginner ping pong paddles you’ll find online.

 

Pros

  •  

    Best paddle for novice players

  •  

    Light paddle

  •  

    Easily controllable paddle

 

Cons

  •  

    Not suitable for serious players


 

Killerspin JET600

a unique combination of lightness, power, and balance

This one is suitable for both intermediate and advanced players. The Killerspin JET600 is a unique combination of lightness, power, and balance. This is all thanks to the light premium 5-ply wood used for the racket.

This material makes the ping pong paddle extremely high-quality and ideal for anyone who’s looking for durable equipment. The combination of multiple layers of wood within the blade creates a dense base with excellent precision and increased power for everyone that uses this paddle.

The Nitrx-4z rubber facilitates exceptional grip to help you quickly deal with heavy spinners as well as make precise spun shots yourself. Its thin sponge really comes in handy when playing against hard-hitting opponents.

 

Pros

  •  

    Both for intermediate and advanced players

  •  

     Light paddle

 

Cons

  •  

    Not for beginners


 

DHS Hurricane II

slightly bigger than most paddles in the market

The DHS Hurricane is designed for serious players and those who compete in tournaments. It’s slightly bigger than most paddles on the market, allowing a more significant surface area for hard-hitting return swings. It features rubber on both sides of the paddle for ultimate comfort, especially if you have a tight grip when competing for long periods.

Its surface is also dimpled to enhance the spin of your serves and returns. As a result, it’s aimed towards players with more power and control. Additionally, this paddle has a long handle to help defend against quick placements. Getting used to a long handle requires patience, practice, and control, so don’t jump straight to this piece of equipment without any prior experience.

 

Pros

  •  

    Excellent power and control

  •  

    Dimpled surface

  •  

    Long handle paddle

 

Cons

  •  

    Bigger paddle


 

STIGA Pure Color Advance Racket

more of an offensive paddle

As the name suggests, this is a paddle for advanced players. It’s more of an offensive paddle designed to bring the best out of a skilled player. This advanced racket has a hard rubber that might be low-grade compared to the rest of the brand’s selection, but this material helps to create excellent spins.

The thin layer of sponge also helps you spin the ball more efficiently. The sponge is also helpful when responding to volleys, although it might take some adjustment to get used to this material if you’ve been used to a hard handle.

Its ACS technology and concave handle facilitate easy control of the racket, enabling you to make powerful shots with so much ease. This handle provides a comfortable grip as if you’re shaking hands and feels balanced once in your hands. It’s also lightweight which is great if you intend on playing ping pong often and for longer sessions.

 

Pros

  •  

    For advanced players

  •  

    Made of hard rubber for excellent durability

  •  

    Concave handle

 

Cons

  •  

    Not ideal for beginners


 

Killerspin JET800

Killerspin JET800 best table tennis paddle

This is the ideal choice for professional players and a more advanced model of the JET600. It gives nothing short of a tournament-level performance which makes this ping pong paddle a great choice for advanced players.

It comes as a 7-ply blade covered in layers of carbon fiber for compelling returns and resilience. Combined, these materials offer enhanced accuracy and create an extra pop of aggression when required in the game. You’ll also love how this blade looks as the design is elegant and natural for a professional appearance.

The Killerspin JET800 is incredibly light for a wooden paddle and features a special rubber layer for a strong spin. A true offensive masterpiece! The handle is designed to offer an exceptional grip that is ideal for heavy spins when serving the ball. Bring out your competitive side with this piece of equipment.

 

Pros

  •  

    For professional players

  •  

    Covered in carbon fiber layers

  •  

    Light wooden paddle

 

Cons

  •  

    Not ideal for beginners


 

STIGA Supreme

STIGA Supreme best table tennis paddle

Another great paddle choice for newbies is the STIGA supreme. This racket is designed to bring the best out of defending players. It also boasts impressive control and a light weight of about 5 ounces. This reduced weight mIGHT take some getting used to, but once you’re confident with this piece of equipment, you’ll never want to switch to another ping pong handle.

The paddle is comprised of 6 layers of premium wood, sponge, and rubber. And while it doesn’t necessarily have the best rubber in the market, it is still efficient for good spins. The combination of these three materials helps to offer good control and make the paddle idea for chopping and back spinning the ball for a competitive game.

However, the STIGA Supreme does not respond very well to incoming spins, nor is it as fast as other advanced paddles on this list. Nevertheless, it is a good option for beginners who don’t want to spend so much on equipment.

 

Pros

  •  

    Boasts impressive control

  •  

    Great for beginners

  •  

    Good spins

 

Cons

  •  

    Doesn’t have the most high-quality rubber


 

Killerspin Kido 7P Premium

Killerspin Kido best table tennis paddle

The Killerspin Kido is the best table tennis paddle for professional players. It offers the toughest spins and strongest returns you can get on the market today. Its tough spins are courtesy of the ITTF approved Fortissimo rubber used to make the paddle, and the wooden blade enhances the power of your shots.

There’s something about the design of this paddle that makes it stand out from the rest of the equipment on this list. It’s sophisticated, professional, and a product that will definitely earn you some compliments.

The Killerspin Kido also delivers when it comes to easy control and speed. This piece of equipment is designed to offer a great balance of speed and control for players with a competitive nature.

 

Pros

  •  

    For professional players

  •  

    Delivers great control and speed

  •  

    Wooden blade

 

Cons

  •  

    Not ideal for beginners


 

Palio Expert 2

Palio Expert best table tennis paddle

This is the ideal paddle choice for beginners. It generates a strong spin, thanks to the premium Chinese rubber used to make the blade. However, it’s not a fast racket that will send the ball flying and give you little control.

It also offers a well-balanced mix of control, speed, and power, making it the perfect paddle for beginners who want to take their game to the next level. We’re impressed by the handle that feels comfortable to hold throughout an entire game with no discomfort. Palio really went above and beyond with high-quality wood on the handle to ensure the player has maximum control over the spin, angle, and speed.

 

Pros

  •  

    Ideal for advanced beginners

  •  

    Chinese rubber blade

  •  

    Well-balanced control, speed, and power

 

Cons

  •  

    Spins can sometimes be too strong


 

Killerspin JET200

Killerspin JET200 best table tennis paddle

The Killerspin JET200 is perfect for intermediate players. It features a 5-ply wooden blade and high-quality rubber for a substantial spin. This piece of equipment offers an equal-weight distribution and expert quality construction to provide all ping pong players with the focus they need for precise shots.

Compared to other brands in its category, this paddle slightly lags when it comes to speed and power. However, it makes up for this inadequacy by having better control, making it the perfect choice for players seeking to work on ball control. This speed reduction isn’t necessarily a bad factor as you can precisely hit the ball with this paddle.

 

Pros

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    Perfect for intermediate players

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    Features 5-ply wooden blade

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    High-quality rubber

 

Cons

  •  

    Speed and power slightly lags

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you hold a table tennis paddle?

There’s a lot of ways to grip the handle of the pallet blade. The Penhold grip, which used to be the most popular, has you holding the paddle like a pencil (as the name suggests).

Then there’s the Shakehand grip, which makes it so that your index finger is over the rubber of the pallet. This particular grip offers a lot of power for forehand and backhand shots and is frequently seen being used by European and American professionals.

Are there multiple tennis paddle handle types?

The handle of a ping pong paddle is the part you grip with your hand. There are roughly about 4 types of paddle handles.

There’s the Penhold handle, which has been designed to be used by those who make use of the, well, Penhold grip. Probably the most popular handle type in most of Asia. The downside to using this handle is that it’s difficult to attempt a backhand move.

Flared handles are self-explanatory. They’re primarily favored by new players and most likely the most common handle type throughout the world, being featured on most average paddles. Flared handles don’t favor players that make use of many different grips, but they’re not meant to.

Next are straight handles, which are perfect for more experienced players. If you frequently change your grip, then this type of handle is exactly what you’re looking for, as its simplicity makes it superb for versatile playstyles. They’re not very common, though, so you might struggle finding some.

Anatomical handles are quite unique. Their primary design intent is to be comfortable and to allow your hand to mold onto it during play. They’re even harder to find than straight handles but a pleasure to use.

Which Is Your Favorite Ping Pong Paddle?

Once you’ve selected the best ping pong paddle for your play, it’s time to get practicing the sport. Practice is the key to improving your skills but also to get used to your new piece of equipment.

Make sure that you properly look after your ping pong paddle by wiping the surface with warm water using a soft cloth. Store in the original packaging and keep away from hot or cold surfaces to maintain the quality.

Which of the above ping pong paddles caught your eye? Share your thoughts or any other recommendations in the comments.


5 Best BBCOR Bats

Best BBCOR Bats

There are many factors that go into designing a great baseball bat. Size is important, price is important, weight is important, even material is important. These can come down to player preference in many cases, but knowing what you want and what has the performance you need is important. And then there’s another thing that is important. You need to know whether a bat holds the BBCOR designation before you buy it.

BBCOR stands for “Bat Ball Coefficient of Restitution” and is the standard when measuring baseball bats. It measures something called a trampoline effect and has various measurements involved in testing. This ensures that all bats are going to give the same performance, whether wooden or otherwise. As such, having a BBCOR bat is important for anyone in high school or college baseball teams, among others. Bats with this designation will have a stamp that proclaims it right on the bat. Make sure you always look for that when buying a new bat.

Because BBCOR is so popular and required in many instances, there is a huge amount bats out there with the stamp. Finding one that fits you and your needs can be daunting. That’s why we’re here, though. We researched dozens of BBCOR bats, so you don’t have to. We’ve found the best and brightest of the equipment. We’ll break down the warranties, feel of the bat, design, special features, and more. Details that affect usage will be mentioned in order to give you a good basis for comparison. So let’s get the ball rolling!

Easton 2014 S500 BB14S500 BBCOR Baseball Bat (-3) Mizuno MZE243 Bamboo Elite Wood Baseball Bat – Navy/Red – BBCOR Certified Marucci Cat 6 BBCOR Baseball Bat Louisville Slugger 2016 Omaha 516 Bbcor (-3) Baseball Bat Rawlings Adult 2016 Velo Balanced Bbcor -3 Baseball Bat
7050 aircraft alloy composition Bamboo and glass fiber composition One-piece alloy composition 7U1 alloy composition 5150 alloy composition
31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
Balanced swing weight Slight end load swing weight Balanced swing weight Balanced swing weight Balanced swing weight
One year warranty 120 day warranty One year warranty 30 day performance promise & one year warranty One year warranty
Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price
  • Easton 2014 S500 BB14S500 BBCOR Baseball Bat (-3)
  • 7050 aircraft alloy composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Balanced swing weight
  • One year warranty
  • Price: $
  • Mizuno MZE243 Bamboo Elite Wood Baseball Bat – Navy/Red – BBCOR Certified
  • Bamboo and glass fiber composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Slight end load swing weight
  • 120 day warranty
  • Price: $
  • Marucci Cat 6 BBCOR Baseball Bat
  • One-piece alloy composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Balanced swing weight
  • One year warranty
  • Price: $$
  • Louisville Slugger 2016 Omaha 516 Bbcor (-3) Baseball Bat
  • 7U1 alloy composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Balanced swing weight
  • 30 day performance promise & one year warranty
  • Price: $$
  • Rawlings Adult 2016 Velo Balanced Bbcor -3 Baseball Bat
  • 5150 alloy composition
  • 31″, 32″, 33″, 34″ sizes available
  • Balanced swing weight
  • One year warranty
  • Price: $$$

Easton S500 3 BBCOR Adult Baseball Bat

41vN1MRCsFL._SL250_Easton is a brand that is well-known and represented on nearly all baseball fields across the nation. The S500-3 is one of the best BBCOR bats out there, while not being overly flashy or showy. It simply gets the job done. Those who want an impressive look to their bat may not be impressed but if you just want to smash balls all day long, check out this Easton. It has all the trimmings that are needed without all the fat, which is something that many really love.

Like all BBCOR bats out there, the drop weight for the S500-3 is a -3. It has a standard barrel diameter of 2 5/8”, as well. The Easton 5500-3 comes in various sizes including 31”, 32”, 33”, and 34”. These are pretty standard but it’s always nice to know you have options.  It is constructed of 7050 aircraft alloy, something that gives a great swing speed and makes it stand out against the pack. As far as the handle goes, it is thin and tapered with an all sports grip that people love. It seems to be a good fit for nearly everyone who has used it.

This bat has an understated design that is mostly blacks and greys, but uses yellow for highlights. It’s classy and not very overwhelming if that’s something you enjoy in your choice of bat. It’s a solid bat for the first time player or someone who has experience but not as much cash. You aren’t going to have complaints, either way.

Pros:

  • Constructed of 7050 aircraft alloy for quick swing
  • All sports grip to keep it steady
  • Balanced swing weight
  • Cheapest bat on the list
  • One-year warranty

Cons:

  • Older style bat, might turn some off

Mizuno Bamboo Elite MZE243

2This bat is billed as “the ultimate training bat” and it’s not hard to see why. Made by Mizuno, a company with years of experience engineering bamboo bats. This bat in particular is a combination of bamboo and glass fiber, which makes it super durable and able to stand up to anything. It also offers a sanded handle to give a better grip than a typical bamboo bat would. These things make it a bit new and different, which some really enjoy and some don’t.

The drop weight is the standard -3 of a BBCOR certified bat. It comes in a 31”, 32”, 33” and 34”. It comes with a standard diameter for a BBCOR and is approved for collegiate play. This is definitely the right option for someone looking for a BBCOR but wanting to hold onto some wood. It’s a really nice design and stands up to the competitors around it. It has the needed facets and bumps them up a notch with the wooden style.

The colors on this one are red for the handle and blue for the rest of the bat. It’s pretty subtle and unassuming to me, not flashy at all, just a typical look for a bat. But it doesn’t need to look like a flashy bat. The bamboo and glass fiber makes it interesting from the get-go. For those who like something a bit more unique than the typical, this bat is going to make you joyous. Check it out and see what I mean. You’ll love it, if you’re like me.

Pros:

  • 120-day warranty and one-time replacement
  • Unique bamboo and glass fiber composition
  • Sanded handle for better grip
  • Decent price

Cons:

  • May require batting tape for grip rather than pine tar
  • Marks up pretty easily

Marucci Cat 6

21xCHLcJD8L._SL250_The Marucci Cat 6 is a great bat with some astounding features. It has a 2 5/8” barrel which is extended for a bigger sweet spot and maximum performance. It has a typical drop weight of -3. This bat is similar to the ones above in that it comes in sizes from 31” up to 34”. It is made of an alloy and is one piece to give a feel that reminds you of the good old days. It’s known for being both durable and having amazing performance ability. Another perk in this one is that it incorporates a patented anti-vibration knob to eliminate sting. It also has optimized thickness of the barrel-end wall to give up some fast and furious swings.

The look of the bat is extremely understated. It’s white with a gray handle and the name of the company and style is emblazoned on it in red. Other than that, no big graphics or anything of that nature. The bat is what it is and doesn’t need extra help from graphics. That said, it does look nice. I think if you prefer something a bit minimalistic, this bat could take you there. The colors look nice together and everything comes together as it should. Definitely a fan of this one for that.

Pros:

  • Patented anti-vibration technology
  • One-piece alloy construction
  • Extended barrel profile
  • 12-month manufacturer’s warranty

Cons:

  • White finish gets dirty easily
  • Higher price

Louisville Slugger Omaha 516

31EXvbrmWCL._SL250_I’m sure nobody is surprised to see an offering from Louisville Slugger on the list as it is one of the most well-known bat makers there is. It comes with a -3 drop weight and has a 2 5/8” barrel, as do the rest of the 5 best BBCOR bats. In addition to this, the bat has a tapered handle and features Lizards Skins grip which gives more softness than the typical bat you might be. Also of note is the 7U1 Alloy which makes it the lightest of Omaha’s bats, ever. It has a huge sweet spot and thinner walls due to the flex band inside the barrel.

This bat is very graphically influenced with everything from black and white to red and yellow making an appearance. It is flashy and would be great for someone who enjoys that sort of equipment. It’s going to stand out and stand out well. That can be great for some but maybe not all. In either case, you’re never going to lose it with all that color going on! I can see these being popular in some crowds and for good reason, even if it’s not my personal taste.

Pros:

  • Lightest Omaha BBCOR to date
  • Flex band technology
  • 12-month warranty
  • Lizard Skins grip
  • Large sweet spot

Cons:

  • Price is a bit higher than others

Rawlings Velo

5121onTcnWL._SL1001_Last on the list is from Rawlings and it packs a hefty amount of features that make it special. This bat comes in the typical bat lengths from 31” up to 34”. It has a -3 length to weight ratio, as expected. It also has a standard barrel diameter of 2 5/8”. The Velo is one of the best BBCOR bats out there and offers an alloy handle that gives a grounded feel at the plate This bat is known for being balanced and that partially comes from the composite end cap used in the design of the bat. It also features precision optimized performance than gives more flex in the barrel and expands the size of the sweet stop. This leads to a bat that will not let you down when you’re out there swinging.

The Velo is mainly silver and blue but there is a bit of yellow in spots. It’s a nice looking but not overly flashy bat. Anyone who likes blue is bound to like it as the largest surface area is a navy blue color. There’s nothing really special about the looks, otherwise. It’s another of those bats that puts its features where they should be, in the actual bat performance. In this case, the look isn’t bad and won’t dissuade people from buying this particular bat.

Pros:

  • Huge sweet spot
  • Weight is well distributed
  • Very lightweight feel
  • Maximum strength and ping
  • 12-month warranty

Cons:

  • This is the most expensive bat on our list

There you have it, The 5 Best BBCOR Bats on the market. You are now informed to make an educated purchasing decision.