June 7, 2017

$4500 Maryland State Championships and Other Tournaments
They are this weekend! I’m running them at MDTTC, with 24 events. Deadline to enter is 7PM on Thursday - though it looks like some events may fill up before that. Mossa Barandao is assisting – he and his team from PongMobile may take over running our tournaments this fall. That way I can focus more on coaching and writing. (Note - while you must be a resident of Maryland to enter Men's and Women's Singles, Open Doubles, or any of the age events, the rating events are open to all.) 

I’ve run over 180 USATT tournaments, going back to the early 1980s. These include the 4-star 1998 Eastern Open (411 entries!), and lots of tournaments at MDTTC since 1992. I also ran dozens of tournaments at the Northern Virginia TTC in the 1980s, and a number of others. (Back in the 1980s I ran them all on paper – no computers, so you had to do each draw by hand. Scary!!!)

In the early 1990s I was assistant tournament director at two U.S. Opens, with Donna Sakai the director. Or was I? Just a few weeks before the first one they named someone from the sponsor – I think it was Dow Corning – as the “honorary” tournament director, and Donna’s title was switched to Operations Director, and me to Assistant Operations Director. (They did the same the following year.) But for months I was Assistant Director for the U.S. Open, and that’s what I’m sticking with!

The 1998 Eastern Open was downright scary to run. I was the director, with Richard Lee tournament president. We were expecting 200 or so entries, and got 411! (We did lots and Lots and LOTS of promotions.) I had to do all the scheduling, and it was very difficult. We ended up setting up tables in racquetball courts in the facility. Things got held up and it fell behind on Saturday afternoon. Heroic efforts by those assisting, including Dennis Taylor and Steve Gibson, kept things going. However, I decided afterwards that running big tournaments simply wasn’t fun, and didn’t run any more 4-star tournaments. The complexity of larger tournaments with more players and more events goes up something like to the square of the increases.

At the upcoming USA Nationals, I won’t be involved in running the tournament – North American Table Tennis does that, with Richard Lee, John Miller, and staff – but I’m involved in the new USATT University, which will have eight seminars there. I’m teaching two of them – one on Intermediate and Advanced Serving, and one on Setting Up and Running a Junior Program. I’ll also assist Stefan Feth in his Advanced Receive seminar, and will likely attend most of the others. Hope to see you all there!

The Best Ping-Pong Serve: Serve Up a Killer Ping-Pong Game
Here’s the article by Greg Letts. Here are many more table tennis articles from ThoughtCo.

Dozens of Table Tennis Interviews, Coaching Articles, and Videos
Here’s the Interview Page from MH Table Tennis! Of course, as linked to previously, he also has his Coaching Page and Video Page, with dozens of items in both.  

Ask the Coach
Questions Answered at PingSkills.

New World Rankings
Here they are after the Worlds, and here are the ITTF articles on the new Men’s Rankings, and on the new Women’s Rankings. (Note that Japanese whiz kid Tomokazu Harimoto, age 13, went from #69 to #39 – though the article at the time I’m reading it mistakenly has him at #59.) Ma Long is world #1 for the 58th time, and the 28th month in a row. Ding Ning is world #1 for the 44th time, and the ninth month in a row.

Oddball: World Championship Weigh-in
Here’s the ITTF article. “The numbers have been crunched and the results are in. Which team heads the weigh-in heading in to the Liebherr 2017 World Table Tennis Championships?”

Timo Boll’s Great Sportsmanship at the 2017 Worlds
Here’s the article by Shashin Shodhan.

What Impact Has Table Tennis Had on Your Life?
Here’s the essay by Nicole Ebreo of Princess Anne High School. (Here’s the non-Facebook version.) “It [ping pong] taught me one very important lesson. It taught me the importance of resilience.”

Think-Move-Achieve Conference for Physical and Health Educators
Here’s the table tennis schedule this Thursday, run by the American Youth Table Tennis Organization, with Ben Nisbet and Sydney Christophe – all three sessions are filled!!!

Wong Chun Ting and Han Ying Head Ultimate Table Tennis Line-up
Here’s the ITTF article on this new professional league in India. Wong (HKG) is world #7 in Men’s, Han world #9 in Women’s.

Harrie and the Epic Table Tennis Journey
Here’s the article from Expert Table Tennis, featuring the progress of player Harrie Austin-Jones.

2017 World Championships: Life of a Player
Here’s the video (2:52).

Xu Xin’s Unreal Comeback against Lin Gaoyuan
Here’s the video (4:22), with the winner advancing to the quarterfinal of Men’s Singles at the Worlds. Lin led 10-5 match point in the seventh. Both are Chinese National Team Members, with Xu #3 in the world, Lin #29.

Footwork in Table Tennis
Here’s the video (31 sec) – “Do you still think that leg work doesn't serve in the table tennis?” That’s Fan Zhendong!

PongUniverse Point of the Week
Here’s the video (48 sec) of this point between England's Alan Cooke and Portugal's Joao Manteiro at the 2005 European Championships.

Ping Pong Trick Shots: Much Better than Dude Perfect
Here’s the hilarious video (4:13)!

Send us your own coaching news!