The Effect of Different Spins in Table Tennis

Abraham Valentino, the founder and chief executive officer of, conducted undergraduate studies at Florida International University. While attending the school, Abraham Valentino won D Category U.S. Open table tennis tournaments on three occasions.

During the 1950s, table tennis adopted rackets, or paddles, that featured rubber material, replacing the older wooden models. The introduction of rubber allowed ping-pong players to impart spin onto their shots similar to tennis and other racket sports. Top spin, side spin, and back spin are the primary types of spin a player can utilize during a modern ping-pong match.

A ball that has been affected by top spin revolves in a forward direction faster than a tradition shot. These extra revolutions create increased downward pressure that allows the ball to stay low after it bounces off the table, while simultaneously jumping forward with greater speed than a shot with no spin.

Back spin works essentially in the opposite way. With less downward pressure, the ball will bounce higher after landing and will not travel as far forward. Finally, a ball hit with side spin will travel either right or left through the air.