Different sports fans brag about the luxurious lifestyle of their sports players and discuss who is more luxurious than the others. However, fans of ping pong players don’t have much to brag about. Sure, professional ping pong players get ample compensation for their playing abilities, but it is not anywhere near what other famous sports players make.
The first reason that comes to mind is that, since table tennis is a single-player game, you cannot compare its fan base to the games played by teams and fans. But this argument becomes futile when you look at the fan-based lawn tennis players who succeed in making their place among the top twenty sportspersons worldwide.
The reason can be that although table tennis has been adopted worldwide and is the most commonly played sport after Soccer, one group of people have monopolized this game, and they are the Chinese.
When you compare table tennis with basketball or boxing or even something as popular as football, all these sports have formed popular leagues throughout the world, and their fan base is spread on every continent. Table tennis, on the other hand, is just table tennis.
Then, how do the table tennis professional players make money?
The professional players who don’t reach the top might not earn as much as the more experienced ones.
Plus, if a table tennis player gets rich, they did not make that money by winning tournaments. Most of the time, players get rich because of either sponsor or by playing at their clubs or local sports bodies or even their governments when they secure a tournament cup. Still, their earning is rarely earned by playing a tournament.
In the 2018’s Hungarian Open tournament, the cost of participation for each player comprised of accreditation fees of one hundred and fifty euros plus per night accommodation charge of a hundred and forty-five euros for a minimum of six nights. This adds up to a total of a thousand and twenty euros. Imagine that!
In the R 16 singles games, the player gets eleven hundred euros to break even. It means that the winning player makes eighty euros from the tournament. We have even factored in the tax deduction of twenty percent.
We are not even taking into account the expenses made on the coach. There is accreditation expense, transportation, and accommodation expense, etc. All happen for the coach as well. These expenses can only be omitted if the coach turns out to be a family relative and also resides nearby. We all know that this is a highly unlikely scenario for the majority of the players. It is almost mandatory for them to win a tournament to break even or earn some money. This compensation seems very meager for the second most popular sport in the world.
What is the Typical Remuneration of a Professional Ping Pong Player?
So far, we have come to know that tournaments winning is not the source of income for ping pong players. Where does their money come from, and how much can a player make per month on average?
Since the competition winnings are meager. The majority of the tennis players participate in a minimum of five competitions. Every season just for making a sufficient amount of money and obviously for the tournaments cups. Given this level of playing participation, the earning per season of the average table tennis player lies between the ranges of three thousand dollars to thirty-five thousand dollars. According to their Bureau of labor statistics.
A player can make those three thousand dollars by playing and winning just one tournament, or by playing all five tournaments and winning some of them. The thirty-five thousand dollar figure is possible when the player wins most of the tournaments they play. This is a difficult feat, even for the best ping pong players.
However, world’s best ping pong players such as a Ma long did get to earn approximately forty thousand dollars or even more than that all alone via sponsorship deals and endorsements.
The three thousand to thirty-five thousand dollars range that we discussed earlier is meant. As the basic take-home money of an average ping pong player for the regular tournaments. But if you start looking at the measures tournaments such as the New York City Open, for instance, where almost all the best ping pong players in the world participate. Their minimum offer is four thousand dollars.
During 2017 the World Tour of International Table Tennis Federation had 12 high-quality events, 6 of which were regular events. The other 6 were platinum events. The minimum offer for the regular events was seventy thousand dollars. The platinum event’s minimum offer was a hundred and twenty thousand dollars.
Since 2011, these prices started to improve when the winning prize money for the European Premier tournament was set to be a hundred and fourteen thousand and four hundred dollars. That same year, the prize money to win the counter strike was seventy-seven thousand dollars. In 2019, the match fee for each player in the ITTF tournaments was two hundred dollars per match. The players who reached the finals received a bonus of seven hundred and fifty dollars.
Just making one thing clear here, ping pong players do receive salaries other than the money that they make from tournaments. However, the wages of the players vary according to their status. In the community of professional players and also varies from club to club. Whereas the players who fly solo, that is, the ones who hire private coaches. But they are not affiliated with any club don’t receive any salary per se. Traditionally the Chinese ping pong players receive a salary, and since they are everywhere in the world of table tennis, they make a lot of money.
In June of 2011, the world’s list of highest salary earners was published, and Ma Lin received the fourth rank on that list-making six hundred and forty-five thousand dollars in terms of salary. That is equal to five million Yuan from the club Shaanxi Yinhe team. Later he changed clubs and joined the Ningbo Haitian league that paid him a hundred and sixty-eight thousand dollars, translating into one point two eight million Yuan.
In June 2011, Ma Lin positioned fourth on the planet’s rundown of compensation workers with an incredible $645,000 (5 million yuan) from his club, Shaanxi Yinhe group. Despite the fact that he later moved to the Ningbo Haitian alliance for a $168,000 (1.28 million yuan) pay.
Read more: Best Table Tennis Rubber
The Richest Ping Pong Players
While table tennis is not the most lucrative of sports, here are some players that made fortunes with this career.
Ranked top of our list, Jean Michel made excellent progress as a Belgian table tennis player. His thirty-five-year-old sports career ended when he was 49. He participated in 7 summer Olympics from the year 1988 to 2012. While his net worth is unknown, it is nearly fifteen million dollars. A winning career like his deserves that level of earnings. Do you know a real fact that Jean-Michel Saive chooses his table tennis shoes very carefully because he is concern might have fallen in while playing?
At thirty-seven years of age, Timo Ball is a German left-handed player currently playing for Borussia Düsseldorf. He has been a trophy winner three times in his career, the first time in 2003, then in 2011 and the latest in 2018. His net worth is around seven million dollars. His technique is unique, and his backhand loops are viral.
He won the World Cup Championship 3 times in the year 2007, 2008, and 2010. His career has been the most successful throughout the world. In 2010, he lost his number one rank, and Ma Long took that spot. He also won the silver in the Summer Olympics Singles of 2004, 2008 and 2012. His net worth is one and a half million dollars.
This 51 years old table tennis player is famous with a net worth of eighteen million dollars. She won the Olympic Championship in China. Chen jing won the Seoul Olympics gold medal of women’s singles and a silver medal in doubles. She won a silver medal in the Atlanta Summer Olympics in 1996. It makes her the only player who got a medal for Taipei.
Having a net worth of around twenty million dollars, he is the number one for two years before retiring in 2013. He played the Chinese league using a shake hand grip and brought home a lot of winnings.
Zhang Jike is a Grand Slam winner at the 2012 Olympics, and many other winnings have an approximate net worth of ten million dollars.
Jan Ove Waldner is a 1992 Grand Slam winner and has a net worth of ten million dollars.
Ma Long won four titles at the age of seventeen in 2004. He is an Olympics Champion and a Grand Slam winner with an estimated net worth between one and five million dollars.
Fan Zhendong is the world’s number 3 most popular table tennis player. Has a unique playing style at an estimated net worth somewhere between one to five million dollars.
Mark is a Bloomberg BusinessWeek-based digital entrepreneur, blogger, and table tennis enthusiast. He is a former professional table tennis player with the career-best USATT ranking of 2689. He is also an ITTF Level 3 certified coach and conducts weekend coaching programs in and around the New York area. Mark is also a pool player by passion. He was first introduced to the game of pool at a very early age by his granddad. He had a natural knack for the game and quickly learned the ropes, and by the time he was 15, he was already participating in local leagues. He aims to make it into the APA league someday! Mark started his own blog by starting Indoor Games Zone, where he loves to share his years of experience with the audience. He covers ping pong, pool, air hockey, shuffleboard, and foosball.
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