April 28, 2017

USATT Coaching Committee
I spent all of last night, and into the wee hours, working on USATT coaching committee issues. Some are rather mundane, such as getting the online committee listings updated. Others are more complicated, such as grandfathering several top-level coaches into our coaching certification system, and setting up two coaching seminars at the Nationals – probably one on serving, and another on becoming a professional coach. I already have a coach and top player in mind for the serving seminar (I’d assist), and would run the “professional” seminar myself. The plan is that certified coaches, and perhaps tournament volunteers, would be allowed in free, while others would pay, with the coach running the seminar getting half or more of that money. (I wouldn’t take anything – conflict of interest.)

The serving seminar would be for both players who want to learn advanced serves, and for coaches who want to teach it. One possibility is splitting it into two parts, one for players, and one for coaches. I might take the lead in the one for coaches. The Nationals starts on Monday morning. The seminars might take place on Sun, Mon, Tue, and/or Wed night. Thursday night is the Hall of Fame Banquet, and Friday night is the Men’s and Women’s Singles Finals.

The new coaching committee is currently made up of me (chair), Rajul Sheth, Han Xiao, and Timothy Wang. (Note that all have great experience with full-time clubs – that’s intentional. They also are regular attendees of the Nationals and Open, so we can meet twice a year at those tournaments.) One more will likely be joining the group soon. Long-time chair Richard McAfee has been very helpful as a “special advisor.” New High Performance Director Jorg Bitzigeio is the USATT staff liaison, and would be involved in coaching committee issues. My first item of business with him will be to apologize that I will never remember how to pronounce his last name, so he’ll always be just Jorg (“George”) to me.

Double-Hit Rules Question
Here’s one I came up with recently. Rule states, “Unless the rally is a let, a player shall score a point . . . if an opponent deliberately strikes the ball twice in succession.” The reason for this is that it’s usually impossible to tell if the ball does a double-hit or not when it hits your playing hand – and remember that your hand below the wrist is considered part of the racket. (That never made sense to me, but it’s the rule – 2.05.07: “A player strikes the ball if he or she touches it in play with his or her racket, held in the hand, or with his or her racket hand below the wrist.”) So while it's legal to accidentally double-hit a ball (usually as it hits part of your hand and racket, or two parts of your hand), you can't do this deliberatly, such as hitting it once into the air high and near the net, and then smashing it. 

Now suppose your opponent hits the ball rather short, and you reach in and smack it rather hard. Suppose the ball hits the net or the net post and bounces back very fast, and before you can react, it hits your racket again, and then goes over on the other side for a winner. Whose point is it? Well, the double-hit wasn't deliberate, so it should be your point, right? But I’m guessing that if you did this, your opponent might see it differently! (Any referees/umpires out there want to chime in on this?)

Ask the Coach
More questions answered at PingSkills!

Analysis: Miu Hirano vs. Ding Ning Quarterfinal Match in Wuxi
Here’s the ITTF Article.

The Meaning of "Cho-le" in Table Tennis
Here’s the video (4:39). The mystery is solved!!!

Table Tennis to Benefit Special Scholarship Students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School
Here’s info – it features Navin Kumar, and takes place this Saturday (tomorrow) from 1-4PM at Beltway Plaza Mall in Maryland. It’s listed as a tournament, but it’s really Table Tennis Challenge, where passersby can challenge Navin. I’d stop by – it’s local – but I’ll be at the club from noon to 10PM on Saturday.

History of U.S. Table Tennis, Volume 19 (1991-1992)
Here's chapter five! Or order your own print copies at TimBogganTableTennis.com, as well as Volume 19!

Join Together at the 2017 Butterfly America’s Team Championship
Here’s info on the 4-star team tournament held May 27-28 in Rockford, IL.

ITTF Articles on the Worlds
There are a number of articles on the upcoming 2017 World Table Tennis Championships, to be held May 29 – June 5 in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Milestone in Ajmer
Here’s the ITTF article on the ITTF Level 1 course taught in India by Christian Lillieroos.

Highlights of the 2017 TMS National College CoEd Team Finals
Here’s the video (10:31).

Ma Long Mixed Martial Training
Here’s the video (52 sec). “Ma Long went to Fighting Bros Club in Beijing for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) training.”

Crazy Hand Switch Attempt of Ma Long
Here’s the video (19 sec) – note how it starts with Ma Long’s sidespin block, which he pops up this time.

Crazy No-Look Table Tennis Shot
Here’s the video (52 sec)! Notice that the guy who won the point didn’t even know it.

Crazy Spinning No-Look Table Tennis Shots
Here’s the video (43 sec). (I may have posted this one once before – it looks vaguely familiar.)

How to Play Ping-Pong Alone
Here’s the video (2:59)!

Non-Table Tennis – “Alternative Truths”
Alternative Truths,” an anthology of science fiction & fantasy stories that satirize the election of Donald Trump, just came out. It comes in print or kindle versions. Included is my humorous fantasy, “The Monkey Cage Rules,” which starts out by mocking gullible voters – the unnamed president’s first words after getting elected are, “You people are soooooo gullible.” It then skewers numerous governing philosophies as the new president attempts to find a governing process that works. Along the way you meet the Ladybug of Liberalism, Specter of Socialism, Cardinal of Conservatism, Lion of Libertarianism, Mollusk of Moderation, Coelacanth of Communism, Mastiff of Monarchy, Doberman of Dictatorship, and the Sage of Baltimore (H.L. Mencken). The anthology includes 17 stories, including one where Donald Trump gives the Gettysburg Address! (I had another story that also came out recently, “Happily and Righteously,” a satire on paranoia, in the Funny Horror anthology.)

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