Larry Hodges' Blog and Tip of the Week will normally go up on Mondays by 1:00 PM USA Eastern time. Larry is a member of the U.S. Table Tennis Hall of Fame, a USATT Certified National Coach, a professional coach at the Maryland Table Tennis Center (USA), and author of  eight books and over 1900 articles on table tennis. Here is his bio. (Larry was awarded the USATT Lifetime Achievement Award in July, 2018.)
NOTE - Larry is on the USATT Coaching Committee, but the views he shares in his blog are his own, and do not necessarily represent the views of USA Table Tennis.

Make sure to order your copy of Larry's best-selling book, Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers!
Finally, a tactics book on this most tactical of sports!!!
Also out - Table Tennis TipsMore Table Tennis Tips, and Still More Table Tennis Tips, which cover, in logical progression, his Tips of the Week from 2011-2013, 2014-2016, and 2017-2020, with 150 Tips in each!

Or, for a combination of Tales of our sport and Technique articles, try Table Tennis Tales & Techniques
If you are in the mood for inspirational fiction, The Spirit of Pong is also out - a fantasy story about an American who goes to China to learn the secrets of table tennis, trains with the spirits of past champions, and faces betrayal and great peril as he battles for glory but faces utter defeat. Read the First Two Chapters for free!

February 22, 2011

Why Players Use Too Much Shoulder on Forehands

I was watching players at the club this weekend, and noticed a number of them use too much shoulder on their forehand strokes, both drives and loops. The problem with this is when you use a lot of shoulder, you aren't using your full body rotation. The key is to rotate the shoulders, not stroke with them. Otherwise, you lose power (which also leads to a loss of control), plus you'll probably eventually hurt your shoulder.

Older players often do this because of muscle stiffness, and so don't rotate the shoulders back. If you don't rotate the shoulders back, you can't rotate them forward. And so their stroke becomes mostly arm.

Beginning juniors, especially when very young, are natural mimics and so often copy what they see others do, whether it's good or bad. But even if they copy good strokes, and learn to backswing properly, sometimes they stop their shoulder rotation early on the forward swing, and so end up using too much arm at the end, and losing the power from the body rotation. It's important to rotate forward through the stroke, and not stop early and end up with just the arm swinging forward at the end.

A good way to overcome this is to imagine a rod going through your head when you do a forehand. Rotate in a circle around that rod, and make sure to do so completely through the ball.

That growing realization that you better try something different

I played a match this weekend with one of our up-and-coming junior girls. For two games, we battled it out, my steadiness versus her vicious hitting. On her serve, I'd either topspin the serve back and start countering, or push it, she'd loop, I'd block, and we'd be countering. On my serve, I'd mix in side-stop serves which she attacked, or backspin serves, which she'd push, I'd loop, and she'd jab-block or hit so aggressively I stopped using them. In most rallies, within two-three shots I'd be back fishing, then lobbing, and she wasn't missing.

She won the first two games. It finally dawned on me that no matter how steady I was, I simply wasn't going to out-counterhit her. Since counter-hitting wasn't going to work, I decided I had only one option, and went all-out physical and switched to all-out forehand looping. (I actually had another option, chopping - I can win that way, and might have gone that way in a tournament - but I wanted to win with topspin. I was determined!) It was physically exhausting (I'm 51 in a week), but once I made the decision to unhesitatingly go for the loop, the loops became stronger and steadier, and in particular deeper (thereby making them harder to attack), and I won three straight. The down side - now I dread playing her again, because it's so incredibly exhausting!

Moral of the story: sometimes you have to make a major strategy change. If you do, commit to it utterly. This doesn't mean doing only one thing. It means having complete confidence in whatever you decide to do tactically, and look to do it every chance.

Congratulations Western Open Champion Timothy Wang!

Note that you can pull up the draws and complete results for any event - take a tour!

Complete Results


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February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day!

With people off work today, I'm off to coach this morning, something I rarely do - nearly all of my coaching is afternoons and nights.

Clinic in Lancaster, PA

Barney J. Reed will run a three-hour clinic just before the Manor Open, in Lancaster, PA, on Friday, March 4, 6-9 PM. $55/player, maximum ten players. For info, contact Assistant Coach Rich Burnside, 717-968-2713.

The 2011 U.S. Open Entry Form... up!

It's in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, June 30 - July 4. Note that this year it's five days long, Thur-Mon, unlike recent years when it's been four days, Wed-Sat. There's also been some rescheduling of events, so check it over carefully. I'll be there, but other than some hardbat events (I normally use sponge), I'll just be coaching and probably attending some meetings.

Playing the Wide Forehand

I played a practice match with cadet star Nathan Hsu (rated 2208, but recently as high as 2278. He's a two-winged looper who can seemingly loop anything, often off the bounce. When he's in position, standing in his backhand corner ready to attack from either wing, he can be a terror. I finally figured out that the only way I could battle with him was to get him out of position. (It's not easy playing lightning-fast juniors when you're a week away from 51 and still trying to play a mostly forehand attack game!) So I returned nearly every serve out to his wide forehand. If I did so aggressively, he'd almost always loop crosscourt, and then I could have him on the run. Even when my receive was predictable, it mostly worked. The match went into the fifth game. Starting at 5-5, I pretty much returned every single serve to the wide forehand. Did it work? Alas, I had many match points (two of them I should have won, grumble grumble), but he won 20-18 in the fifth! But we had some nice rallies.


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February 18, 2011

Adham Sharara interview

Here's an interview with ITTF President Adham Sharara, done in Shanghai this month (6:39). It covers the various rule changes in the sport and whether they were aimed at China or for the betterment of the sport, Olympic representation, various top players, and other issues.

Why do so few players mix in fast, deep serves?

It always amazes me how so many players spend years playing and practicing their games, often developing advanced serves, and yet so many of them never learn to vary in fast, deep serves. When your opponent isn't a threat to serve fast & deep, then you know the serve is either going to be short, or slow and deep, so you have plenty of time to loop it. When you add in the threat of a fast & deep serve, then you can't assume you have all that time to loop the deep serve.

You should learn all the variations:

  • Placement: Wide backhand, wide forehand, middle (elbow).
  • Spin: Topspin, sidespin breaking right, sidespin breaking left, no-spin. (You'll note there's no backspin here - a truly fast serve with backspin will fly off the table. But see note below about no-spin serve, which sometimes has a light backspin.)

Let me elaborate a little on the topspin and no-spin serves. If you basically meet the ball straight on, is that a topspin or no-spin serve? After bouncing twice on the table, it has a light topspin, so I call this . . . light topspin. You can, of course, contact with a more brushing motion and create more topspin.

To serve a true no-spin, you need to put a light backspin on the ball to compensate for the two bounces on the table. Some even put enough backspin on the ball so there's still a little backspin when it reaches the opponent. This makes the ball float more, but is deader than a no-spin ball, and can force more errors.

While all of these serves have their place, the two that I find most valuable are fast no-spin at the middle (which players put in the net over and over, or return weakly), and fast anything down the line to a righty's forehand (which catches forehand-favoring players over and over). Fast serves to a lefty's forehand are also effective, but because of the angle you have, a lefty generally covers that angle.

Now comes the really tough question: Why do they call it "fast & deep"? If it's fast, it's going to go deep!!! (Yes, there are short serves that come at you quick, but they are not really "fast" serves or they wouldn't go short.)


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February 17, 2011

The Professional Table Tennis Coaches Handbook

Interested in being a table tennis coach? Or just want to read about the subject?  Check out the Professional Table Tennis Coaches Handbook. I wrote this for USA Table Tennis a few years ago, and have periodically updated it since. It covers most aspects of coaching, including some key aspects that are rarely covered elsewhere, such as how much money you can make at coaching (quite a bit, surprisingly). I look at it as both an educational and recruitment tool.

I've made the argument for years that USATT should focus on recruiting and training coaches to be professional coaches and to set up and run junior programs. It's always boggled my mind that the most common response to this by many of those who run our sport is "There aren't enough students for all these coaches." Well, jeez! The whole point is that coaches need to learn to recruit new players, not focus on those who are already playing! It's not a zero sum game; it's a constantly expanding base of players, IF we focus on constantly expanding the base of players.

The chapter listing tells you much about the content:

Table of Contents

  1. The Profession of Coaching
  2. How Much Income Can You Make As a Table Tennis Coach?
  3. What Credentials Do You Need to Be a Table Tennis Coach?
  4. Getting a Facility, Tables and Other Equipment
  5. Start With a Plan
  6. Recruiting Students
  7. Setting Up and Teaching a Class
  8. Setting Up and Running a Junior Training Program
  9. Private Coaching
  10. Keeping Players Interested
  11. Drills Library
  12. Sample Flyers
  13. Helpful Links & Resources

The Takeover Tour Commercial

This commercial features Nigel Sylvester (professional BMX rider - a type of cyclist) and Stevie Williams (professional skateboarder) competing in a variety of sports, including five seconds of "enhanced" table tennis (starting at 0:24 - yeah, the ball's put in by computer). From the commercial, I couldn't at first figure out what they were advertising, but from the description below, it seems they are promoting "The Takeover Tour," which brings together "top talent in skate and BMX for a cross-discipline, traveling event that has yet to be seen in the sport." So where does table tennis fit in this?


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February 16, 2011

Teaching table tennis to a tennis player

I've always found it interesting, even fascinating, to coach table tennis to a tennis player. I've had many tennis players as students over the years. I also play tennis at a 4.0 level (that's like 1800 in table tennis), but with an extremely lopsided forehand-oriented game. But that's true of most table tennis players - the first time we play tennis, we have nice forehands, but find the backhand somewhat awkward.

Yesterday I coached a 6'5" former 5.5 (that's like 2100-2200) tennis player. He'd never had lessons before, and had only been a "basement" player. He very quickly picked up the forehand, and after five minutes, was pounding forehands. He also quickly picked up on the backhand, but did so in a very backhand stance (like tennis), and basically played an aggressive blocking backhand from a bit off the table. Near the end of the session we did a drill where I looped my forehand rather aggressively to his backhand, and though it was the first time he'd ever done this, he was able to block them back very consistently, though he took the ball a couple steps off the table rather than off the bounce, as you are "supposed" to do when blocking. But the blocks were surprisingly effective, as he kept them rather low. (It did leave him open on the wide forehand, and I don't think he has a counterloop yet!)

Because of his tennis skills, he quickly picked up just about every aspect, could even loop backspin after a few tries. He had great difficulty in reading my serves, but without any coaching, quickly figured out how to push my backspin serve back, i.e. did a tennis "slice." He also learned to serve with backspin pretty quickly, though he wasn't able to get a good sidespin. A few times when I went to his forehand, he did a highly professional-looking running forehand.

In general, tennis players do have trouble learning table tennis backhands, though sometimes they can pick up the backhand loop pretty well. They have good forehands and can rally and move well, can clobber anything that's high, and handle backspin (slice to them) rather well.

Penhold, anyone?

Someone asked on the forum about Japanese penhold play, in particular inside-out looping and reverse penhold backhands. I posted these on the forum - they aren't exactly Japanese penhold, but they are some good penhold play! Even shakehanders should watch these, since you have to play (and beat!) penholders.

  • Here's a video that shows a number of inside-out penhold loops, including ones at .12, .35 (two in a row), .43 (several in that rally), 1:02, and so on.
  • Here's a videothat shows reverse penhold backhand in slow motion.
  • Here's a video that shows both reverse penhold backhands and loops against block.
  • Here's a video that shows reverse penhold backhands and loops, against both backspin and blocks.

Interesting thought on penhold play. At the beginning/intermediate level, penholders are usually weak on the backhand, and often the best strategy is to play to their backhands. At some point at the intermediate/advanced level, they often develop better backhands (whether it be conventional jab-blocks or reverse penhold), as well as nice forehands from the backhand side. At that point, the best strategy at is often to play the (usually stronger) forehand, and then come back to the backhand (which both takes out the forehand and makes them move or reach to hit the backhand). The difficulty here, of course, is that you have to be able to handle that first forehand. If you watch many of the top players in the U.S. against David Zhuang (6-time U.S. Champion), and you'll constantly see them go to his forehand side first, then come back to his backhand. (For example, Cheng Yinghua routinely serves long to David's forehand, over and over.) At what level (rating-wise, in U.S. ratings) do you think it becomes better to usually go to the forehand first against a penholder?


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February 15, 2011

How many hits in a minute?

Can you do 173? If a 12-year-old from Japan can, why can't you? You really should watch this video - great counter-hitting, and a real example of concentration. (There's a short commercial at the start - sorry.)

I'm toying with trying this, but going backhand-to-backhand right off the bounce, perhaps with one of our local juniors, who have natural machinegun-like backhands. If you want to see how many you can do, here's a key hint: don't think as you hit, don't try to control the shots, just blank out the mind, just watch the ball, and let the strokes happen. After about 20 seconds, you'll start sweating--mentally, if not physically. After 40 seconds, your eyes will glaze over.

Arrested at a Table Tennis Camp?

Here's an article about a fugitive who was caught because of his table tennis addiction. They picked him up when he went to a table tennis camp in Delhi! Inspired by this, the Maryland Table Tennis Center (my club) will now operate as a sting for the police, attracting table tennis criminals from all over the world. (Note to the criminal table tennis underground: I'm just kidding, feel free to come to our camps. We will teach you to kill. Maybe even loop kill.)

So . . . how bad did you play?

[This is from an article I wrote a while back.]
"How’d you play?"
"How bad?"
"So bad that--"

  • The umpire started coaching me.
  • The crowd rose to its feet when I returned a serve.
  • My opponent bought me an instructional book.
  • I saved $5 on a haircut from all those balls whizzing by.
  • My coach hid in the bathroom.
  • It had to be my equipment.
  • The computer that does the ratings had to be reprogrammed for negative numbers.
  • Butterfly offered me a long-term contract to use Stiga products.
  • George H.W. Bush named me one of his thousand points of darkness.
    (You have to be a certain age to get this one, from twenty years ago.)
  • My kid sister beat me.
  • My kid sister offered to spot me points.
  • My kid sister spotted me points and beat me.
  • My kid sister's best friend, who's never played, spotted me points and beat me.
  • My kid sister's best friend's little brother's pet turtle beat me.
  • Every time I play, all the dogs in the neighborhood howl until I stop.
  • Rodney Dangerfield asked me to be his sidekick.
  • Wayne Gretzy outscored me, and he was playing hockey.
  • I distinctly heard the ball laughing at me.
  • I remember every point I scored. It was an edge ball.


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February 14, 2011

Ma Long and MDTTC Juniors

Let's start with the big news. Many of you know of China's Ma Long, currently world #4 but #1 in the world for nine months last year? Well, Ma Long was at the Maryland Table Tennis Center last night, as a guest of Cheng Yinghua. I played a challenge match - and beat him, 3-0! We're not talking hardbat or sandpaper - we played with regular rackets.

Okay, it was Ma Long's 9-year-old namesake, a student of Cheng's. But it was fun to beat him!

I also played two matches this past week with 8-year-old Crystal Wang, another MDTTC player. She's rated 1833, and is #2 in the U.S. in Girls' Under 10. Now, for the record, I've played 35 years, and I've never, Never, NEVER lost even a game to an 8-year-old, not even when I was a beginner. Well, in the first match, she went absolutely crazy with her shots, and before I could wake up, I'd lost the first game and was down 9-10 in the second in this best of five. Anything with topspin she killed, forehand and backhand. When I looped, she smashed. When I pushed, she'd spin loop from either wing, and follow with a smash unless I did something drastic. Somehow, she was returning my best serves with ease, sometimes backhand smacking them in. She even hit my lobs pretty well, and I felt guilty about lobbing, so I stayed away from that. Anyway, I managed to serve and loop a winner to get to deuce, then caught her completely off guard the next two points by chopping. I then all-out looped the next two games to win somewhat easily. In the second match, I was ready - I wasn't going to get caught like that again, and I had my "A" game ready. I won the first two games easily. Then a strange thing happened - she began smashing everything again! Down 4-8 that game, I decided enough was enough - and switched to chopping. I use fast inverted on both sides, but chop almost as well as my regular topspin game. I tied it at 9-all, and then pulled off two big serve & follows. Seriously, sometimes she misses too much, but when she gets on a roll, she's scary. Let's see where she is in a couple years. Unfortunately, I'm about to turn 51, and every year she (and other juniors) get better, and I get . . . stiffer.

With another of our other juniors, I came up with three table tennis quotes while we played. He was a captive audience who couldn't leave; you are not. You have advance warning.

  • "In my first match, I'm never warmed up, and in my second match, I'm too tired, but in between I'm really good."
  • "My loop has been called the most powerful loop in the world. I don't care what anyone says, I'm going to keep calling it that."
  • "Nobody can get my shots back, not until they start hitting."

Hints for those who play against up-and-coming kids.

They are usually weak against heavy backspin, have trouble with hard, angled shots, and varying spin (on serves or rallies) drives them nuts. Lob when necessary, but don't overdo it. And whatever you do, don't take them on backhand to backhand!!!

Backhand Footwork Drills

How come players do so many forehand footwork drills, but almost nobody does backhand footwork drills? Sure, most players cover less ground with the backhand, and you can actually get away with reaching for the ball more on the backhand - but you don't want to reach, and you should be able to cover more table with the backhand when necessary - such as when you've been pulled off to the forehand side. Just as players do side-to-side forehand footwork drills, you should do this with the backhand. When Eric Owens upset Cheng Yinghua to win Men's Singles at the 2001 USA Nationals, he credited to all the backhand footwork drills he'd been doing. (Eric was a big forehand looper, but against Cheng, his backhand was almost as good.)


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February 11, 2011

Practice everything, but focus on strengths and weaknesses

One thing I found important when practicing or coaching became almost a mantra for me. The mantra was, "Practice everything, but focus on strengths and weaknesses." The idea was to develop overpowering strengths that you can dominate with, while getting rid of any weaknesses.

Some players tend to focus on their weaknesses, often getting so overly critical that it's all they think about. They forget that matches are usually won by a player dominating on something. You can't do that unless you develop something to dominate with, and then develop your game around it. In particular, focus on developing both that strength and the shots that set it up, especially serve & receive.

At the other extreme are players who get into the habit of doing the same drills all the time, session after session, and so they get good at the things they are used to practicing, but never get around to fixing the problems in their games. I once saw a player with a great forehand counterloop lose a match because he couldn't block on his backhand side. Later he had to play the same player again. How did he warm up for the match? Rather than have someone loop to his backhand, he spent about fifteen minutes forehand counterlooping with someone, then went out and lost again because he again kept missing backhand loops. Then, at practice the next day, he spent half the session counterlooping again, and never got around to working on that backhand block.

How To Block Out Distractions While Playing Dirty Dozen At Spin New York

Some of you may remember Tiger Woods back when he dominated golf, and his legendary focus. Nothing seemed to distract him. When asked about this, Tiger explained that when he was a kid, his dad would sometimes stand next to him and just yell at him while he practiced so he could practice tuning out the distraction and just focus. Similarly, Dora Kurimay writes in her blog about tuning out the distractions while playing in the "Dirty Dozen" at Spin New York. Are you able to focus like this when you play tournaments? Try out the techniques she writes about.

Kevin Spacey vs. Rafael Nadal

The legendary actor versus the legendary and #1 tennis player in the world. Spacey's advanced basement shots (look at that backhand grip and stance - though he does adjust when he smashes the forehand), versus Nadal's more classic but way-too-soft and arcing drives. Who do you think is better? It takes place at the 2011 Laureus World Sports Awards Ceremony in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Feb. 7, where Nadal was named Laureus World Sportsman of the Year. Spacey (presumably the host) says, "You should be nervous because I'm about to beat you in a game that demands the physical stamina of a boxer, the agility of a gymnast, the tactical acumen of a chess player. Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to take on and challenge the glorious sportsman of the year on a game of ping-pong." Then, while they play, he suddenly yells out, "Look, it's Federer!"


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February 10, 2011

Some Penhold Fun Today

First we have the serve of China's Wang Hao's serve in slow motion. He was #1 in the world most of 2008-2009, and is currently #2. Notice the last-second sudden motion, where he can contact the ball with the racket going either way? This is no different than how a shakehander would do this serve. Also note a few back-of-the-racket serves.

Now we move back in time to China's Zhang Xielin aka Chang Shih-lin aka "The Magic Chopper" vs Hiroshi Takahashi of Japan in the 1965 World Men's Team Final in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. This is not something you see every day - a world-class penhold chopper! I've been told he devastated the Europeans, but lost to the Asians, who were more used to choppers and better able to adjust to his sometimes-sidespin chops. (Takahashi won this match, but China wins the final, 5-2.)

Have You Practiced Your Serves or Shadow-Practiced Your Strokes and Footwork Today?

If not, why not?

USATT Club Committee

I've been asked to join the USATT Club Committee, which is chaired by Attila Malek, 1979 U.S. Men's Champion, and now a full-time coach in Huntington Beach, CA. (I'm currently on the USATT Editorial Board, and chaired the USATT Club Committee in the early 1990s.) I accepted. In my email to Attila, I did voice some leeriness, writing that, "Seventeen months ago, at the USATT Strategic Meeting, there was all sorts of talk about the great things they were going to do. Seventeen months later, they are still talking about the great things they are going to do. And I expect that in seventeen months they will still be talking about the great things they will do. The problem is they never seem to get around to actually doing these great things." I really, Really, REALLY hope they can prove me wrong. Perhaps, as a member of the club committee, I can help out.

I also wrote:

"Whether it's USATT or the Club Committee, three things must happen to get anything done: 1) Set specific goals; 2) Create plans to meet those goals; 3) Implement those plans."

"Three things I'd like to see are the 1) recruitment and training of professional coaches and junior coaches for clubs, 2) the creation of a club-based nationwide league, and 3) regional associations."

"Regarding regional associations, we started to do this in the early 1990s with state club directors for 47 states ("Club Catalyst & Creation Program"), and saw clubs increase from 226 to 301, and membership from 5500 to 7500. Then a new administration came in and cancelled those programs. A regional association would run regional leagues (part of the nationwide league), which is where we'd get large membership increases. The clubs or regional association would collect the membership fees and keep a percentage, as is done in much of Europe. (Clubs spring up as the league spreads.) This seems to fit into your plans as well."


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February 9, 2011

Table Tennis is Good for the Brain

So says Dr. Wendy Suzuki on this news segment from ABC News. Includes play at the NY Spin Club, short interviews with actress Susan Sarandon and NY cadet Alex Lipan (U.S. #6 under 12, #1 in NY), and cameos by top player Tahl Leibovitz and NY Times puzzlemaster Will Shortz. As noted in a previous blog, this keeps popping up.

Justin Bieber Playing Table Tennis

Yes . . . we have video of Justin Bieber playing table tennis, care of Table Tennis Nation!!! Now all is well and the world can continue about its business. Anyone know how to get a plain photo out of the video that I can add to the Celebrities Playing Table Tennis page, other than using a camera to take a picture of the video on my computer screen? (NOTE - Greg Masculiano took care of this for me. Thanks Greg!)

Here's the direct link on Youtube, care of Aaron Avery.

Favorite Playing Shirt

Do you have a favorite playing shirt? Like Big Nate and his lucky socks? Actually, I don't. However, I do have favorite colors. When I want to loop a lot, I wear a red shirt. When I want to hit a lot, I wear a green shirt. When I want to play all-around, I wear a blue shirt. I know this is pretty advanced stuff, but with hard work and a good selection of colored shirts, you too can execute high-level table tennis shots.

World Championships of Ping Pong, I mean International Classic of Ping Pong

The $100,000 renamed International Classic of Ping Pong (Las Vegas, Feb. 7-8, sandpaper rackets!) is over, and there are still no results on their web page. Alas. Here are the final results I've pieced together. In the final, playing for $41,000 versus $7000, Maxim Shmyrev of Russia defeated Ernesto Ebuen of the Philippines (though he actually coaches and plays in NYC), 3-1. In the playoff for 3-4, Michael Martinez of France defeated Tahl Leibovitz (listed as representing Israel, but also coaching and playing in NYC), 3-1. Here are the results that I have.

1: $41,000: Maxim Shmyrev (RUS)
2: $7000: Ernesto Ebuen
3: $6000: Michael Martinez (FRA)
4: $4000: Tahl Leibovitz
5-16: $2625: A bunch of players that include notables such as Michael Appelgren, Stefan Feth, and Kazuyuki Yokoyama

Non-Table Tennis except that it wasted over two hours of my time, and I'm a table tennis coach & player

Yesterday I went to the MVA to renew my driver's license, as required every five years. I was given the number B-60, and told to wait until it was called. It took 45 minutes, but finally it happened! I happily went to the indicated booth - only to hear them call B-61 as I approached! They said I'd taken too long, and so had put my number back to the end of the queue and called the next one. I argued, to no avail. So I had to sit down and wait another 45 minutes. I went to drink from the water fountain across the (large) room, and then I heard them call my number again. I again went to the indicated booth. As I approached, they called my number again. Right as I reached the booth, perhaps five seconds after calling B-60 the second time, they called B-61 again! They said I'd taken too long again, and again put my number at the end of the queue! Again I argued, and again it was to no avail. I had to wait another 45 minutes, this time pacing back and forth and glaring at the two operators who had done this. Finally I was called again, and this time I did not walk, I did not run, I sprinted to the booth. Once there, it took about two minutes to take the eye test, get a new picture taken, and another five minutes and my new driver's license was ready - though for the next five years anyone seeing it will wonder why I'm glaring.


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