Ping Pong: The Triumph

image for Ping Pong: The Triumph

Short takes

Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 11 (violence, coarse language, lacks interest for younger viewers)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ping Pong: The Triumph
  • a review of Ping Pong: The Triumph completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 7 March 2023.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to violence, coarse language and lack of interest for younger viewers.
Children aged 10-11 Parental guidance recommended due to violence, coarse language and lack of interest for younger viewers.
Children aged 12 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Ping Pong: The Triumph
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild violence and coarse language
Length: 138 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Ping Pong: The Triumph is based on the true story of the Chinese Men’s Ping Pong team who, back in the early 1990’s, were at a very low level. Dai Minjia (Chao Deng) is appointed as chief coach and promises he will turn the team around within two years to win the Swaything Cup in Gothenburg. A team of coaches form a team of players from those who are referred to as misfits. They train them hard and with military precision in the ways of European tennis table champions, however, they are unsuccessful and lose to the Swedish team.

The team is disbanded and go home in disgrace. Dai has to go in for spinal surgery, which immobilises him for some time, and he feels like a defeated General. His wife, Wang Yin (Li Sun), supports him and encourages him back into coaching. The team are reassembled and go on to play at the championships held in Tianjin in 1995. After an exciting and very close match, the Chinese team win the prized cup.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Sport; Table Tennis.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, including:

  • Dai is attacked and robbed by a man from behind. He’s knocked on the head and falls to the ground.
  • Dai grabs a camera from a photographer and pulls the film out.
  • There are some verbal, loud arguments between characters.
  • Some play fighting in the locker rooms.
  • One of the young players kicks a wall in temper.
  • A fight breaks out between two men, with one punching the other on the nose and an object gets thrown at a glass, smashing it.
  • One of the players pulls another’s arm by the shoulder, presumably to put him off his game.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The opening scene is a dark, rainy setting on the streets of Rome. People are drinking and smoking on the streets – it looks like a den of iniquity.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • A young boy is seen begging on the streets of Rome but he’s a decoy for a mugger. Dai gives him money but is attacked in the process.
  • Dai is seen having acupuncture – his back is covered in needles.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Dai gets arrested by the Italian police and pushed into a police car.
  • Dai collapses in pain from his back. He must have surgery which could leave him paralysed. His wife and son wait a long time, fearing the worst while he is being operated on.
  • One of the players is seen crying at the end because he’d been dismissed from the team and wasn’t able to participate in the winning match.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further noted.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Marlborough cigarettes.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Some girls proposition Dai as he’s walking along the streets of Rome.
  • Dai reaches out to his wife in bed, and she pushes him away twice.
  • Some flirtation between hotel staff and the Swedish team.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A man is seen in the shower, naked from the hips up.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • There is a lot of smoking throughout the movie – most characters smoke, even in bed.
  • Drinking in various places, in bars, at home, at restaurants etc.
  • One of the players with an injured arm is given an injection of a substance so he can continue playing.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Bastard
  • Damn
  • Shut up
  • Pissed off
  • Hell yeah!
  • Name calling such as:
    • Stupid
    • Monster
    • Damn weirdo
    • Idiots.

In a nutshell

Ping Pong: The Triumph is a Chinese film with subtitles about the coveted win of the men’s Ping Pong championships held in Tianjin in 1995. There is some background story to the movie, mainly centred on the coach, Dai Minjia, but its focus is on the sport of ping pong. Sports lovers, and particularly lovers of ping pong, are likely to enjoy this movie as the action scenes of the game-playing are quite spectacular to watch. However, there is some violence and coarse language and it is therefore not recommended for children under 10 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 10 to 11.

The main messages from this movie are to never give up on your dreams and that persistence pays off.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Teamwork
  • Collaboration
  • Determination
  • Motivation
  • Hard work.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • When introducing themselves, the Chinese players have to list their faults and be self-critical. This is an interesting aspect of Chinese culture which is different to Western culture. How would young people in Australia feel about that?
  • A young player has to publicly admit his mistakes and apologise for spreading lies. How hard is it to own up to mistakes like this?