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The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is the governing body for all national table tennis associations. The first international tournament was held in January 1926 in Berlin, Austria, Germany and Sweden were charter members.

The role of the ITTF includes overseeing rules and regulations and seeking technologically improvement for the sport of table tennis. The ITTF runs numerous international competitions, including the Table Tennis World Championships that has continued since 1926.

Toward the end of 2000, the ITTF instituted several rules changes aimed at making table tennis more viable as a televised spectator sport. First, the older 38 mm balls were officially replaced by 40 mm balls. This increased the ball’s air resistance and effectively slowed down the game. By that time, players had begun increasing the thickness of the fast sponge layer on their paddles, which made the game excessively fast, and difficult to watch on television. Secondly, the ITTF changed from a 21 to an 11 point scoring system. This was intended to make games more fast-paced and exciting. The ITTF also changed the rules on service to prevent a player from hiding the ball during service, in order to increase the average length of rallies and to reduce the server’s advantage

Information from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITTF

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May 18, 2007