February 14, 2017

$2700 3-star Butterfly MDTTC February Open
I'm running the tournament this weekend (Feb. 18-19) at the Maryland Table Tennis Center, in Gaithersburg, MD. I hope to see many of you there! We've expanded our tournaments from last year, going to two days and three star events, doubling the prize money, and going from seven to ten events. Here is our tournament page (with a link to Omnipong where you can enter online), and here is the entry form. The ten events are (on Saturday, with prize money in all events): Open, U2400, U2200, U2000, Over 50, and Under 15, and (on Sunday): U1800, U1500, U1200, and Under 12. The top seeds most likely are:

  • Ruichau Alex Chen 2716
  • Azeez Jamiu 2639 - from Nigeria, world #370, now playing at the Westchester Club in NY
  • Bowen Chen 2598
  • Wu Jiacheng - unrated but probably around 2550 or so. For seeding purposes, I'll have to assign him a rating.

USATT Teleconference
We had a USATT Teleconference last night at 7PM. (I had to cancel or reschedule 1.5 hours of lessons, but that's part of being on the USATT Board.)  We had 100% attendance at the meeting, with all nine board members present, which hadn't happened in years (mostly because one of the previous player reps missed most meetings).

The meeting started with a welcome and introduction to new At-Large Board Member Rajul Sheth, who was elected to the Board in January. Then came election of the new Chair of the Board, since outgoing chair Peter Scudner was term-limited out. I had considered running, and a couple of people had urged me to do so, but the position is mostly bureaucratic (running meetings, etiquette, etc.), and I don't think I'd be interested or particularly good at it. The only person running was Anne Cribbs, and so she won unanimously. We also voted and unanimously approved Dennis Taylor as USATT Secretary, which is also a volunteer position that takes the minutes for USATT meetings.

The bulk of the meeting we discussed upcoming USATT Committee appointments. Many committees will stay the same, but there will be a few changes. I'm stepping down as chair of the League Committee. I blogged about this on February 2 - see the last part. We don't currently have anyone in mind for that position. The Coaching Committee hasn't had a chair for about a year; I may be interested in that. (I chaired that committee from 1991-95, and was a member of it again 2010-2013.) Committees that will likely remain unchanged (subject to Board approval at our March meeting) include the Rules, Umpires and Referees, Clubs, Classic Table Tennis, Juniors, High Performance, Nominating and Governance, and Audit Committees. We'll be getting new chairs for the Ethics and Grievance Committee (two people have already applied), the Compensation Committee, and the Tournament Committee (Larry Rose is term limited out). 

We also brought back two past committees, the Veterans Committee and the Resource Development Committee. (I made the motion for both of these.) For many years we had a Senior Committee, but it had been vacant for the last few years, and so was dropped from the committee list. I've had several times where I needed to deal with senior issues, such as when I tried to arrange for printouts of USATT Insider to elderly members who didn't have Internet access, but there was no committee to work out the details on this. We also could use such a committee to deal with USATT issues with the 2018 World Veterans Games coming up in Las Vegas in July next year. (I initially moved for a Seniors Committee, but CEO Gordon asked if I could change it to Veterans, as the preferred name these days for all events from over 40 on up.)

My initial motion was also for a Fundraising and Marketing Committee, another committee we'd had that had become vacant and dropped. Ed Hogshead and others recommended calling it the Resource Development Committee, and I agreed. I believe Rajul might get involved with this one.

Board members are supposed to put together their recommendations for committee chairs by this Friday.

Next we discussed the USATT Board meeting schedule for this year. We agreed to have monthly teleconferences at 7PM on the second Monday each month, I think for the next six months. We'll discuss our in-person meetings at the next teleconference, on March 13.

Next we discussed SafeSport and NewCo, which I discussed in my January 26 blog, which included my criticism of some of the SafeSport requirements. There'll be USATT news items on these soon. I did manage to get some of the SafeSport requirements narrowed down to mostly those directly involved with athletes.

And now we get to the Great USATT Scandal of 2017, the one that puts Watergate, Flynngate, and the great Bowling Green Massacre Scandal to shame. The meeting was done, and we agreed to adjourn, but someone had to make the motion to adjourn or we'd be stuck there on our telephones forever. I made the motion, and a split second later, Ed Hogshead did so. I WAS FIRST!!! But scandalously, the new Chair of the Board heard Ed's motion and not mine (we were talking at the same time), and so HE will officially get credit for the move to adjourn, while I only got to second it. This is scandalously inaccurate, and someday perhaps historians will act to address this historic and YUUUUUGE wrong. So sad. I WAS FIRST!!!

Happy TT Valentine's Day
This is what you get when you Google "Table Tennis Valentines Pictures."

3 Exercises to Improve Your Consistency
Here's the coaching article from Coach Me Table Tennis.

How to Select Which Rubbers to Buy
Here's the new article and podcast (7:50) from Expert Table Tennis.

Can Dimitrij Ovtcharov record a hat trick of titles?
Here's the ITTF article.

Some Great Points from Last Year
Here's the video (2:34), with some great British commentary!

Kanak Jha at the Swiss Open

Trick Shot Challenge
Here's the video (27 sec) where players are challenged to go around the net and hit a ball on a stand. It's part of a promotion for the Indian Open.

Cartoon Kitty Cat Action Pong
Here's the picture. (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

"Bunsen is a Beast" Pong
Here's an octopus playing Bensen, the "monster" who is standing on Mikey's shoulders. It's an animated Nickelodeon show that I never knew existed until I saw this picture and researched it.

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