October 13, 2017

Upcoming Table Tennis Events to Sign Up For
There are a lot of table tennis events coming up, and it’s time to make plans and sign up for them! We’ll start with tournaments. (I’m referring to USA events. Others should look to their own country’s table tennis association for their schedule.)

You can find upcoming tournaments at the USATT Tournament Schedule. If you are free this weekend (and haven’t missed the deadline), there are exactly ten USATT tournaments scheduled this weekend. There is one 3-star event – the Butterfly MDTTC October Open, which I’m running this weekend. (Deadline to enter is 7PM tonight.) There are also eight 2-star events, and a 1-star. Events this weekend include tournaments in Austin, TX; Erie, PA; Franklin, TN; New Albany, IN; Gaithersburg, MD; Clearwater, FL; Rosemead, CA; New Orleans, LA; Westfield, NJ; and Manville, RI.

Looking for something bigger? Like a 4-star tournament? At the USATT Tournament Schedule, click on “4 star” events, and seven events come up this fall. They include these six – and note that there’s one next weekend, and also give a great thanks to the Westchester Club in NY which runs monthly 4-star events!

You’ll note that I only listed six of the seven events. That’s because the North American Teams is technically listed as a 4-star, but reality is that it is as big as any 5-star event, with about 700 players each year. So I’m going to include that with the 5-star events. So if you are looking for something even bigger than a 4-star, here are three this fall. (The US Para Open is for Paralympic players only, and is held in conjunction with the U.S. Open which immediately follows it.)

What, you want something even BIGGER??? Okay – if you are age 39 or over (as of Dec. 31, 2017), then you will be considered 40 or over for 2018, and eligible for the 2018 World Veterans Championships, June 18-24, 2018 in Las Vegas. Here’s my feature article on it.

So that’s a lot of upcoming events to look forward to. (I’ll be at many of these!)

Oh, you are more interested in training? Then perhaps visit the USATT Certified Coaches list, and find a coach in your area. Or are you more interested in perhaps a coaching camp? There are a number of Christmas Camps (or, as some call them, Holiday Camps), all around Dec. 26-31. Many or most are primarily for kids, but adults are welcome at these camps as well, as long as you don’t mind training with kids your level. Here’s a listing of camps I know of. (I ran a note a week ago asking readers for info on camps.)

Topspin or Flat Hit?
Here’s the article from Tom Lodziak. One small quibble – a flat hit is rarely completely flat, and almost always has some topspin. I’m known for my own forehand hitting (though I also loop), but though it’s called a “flat hit,” like all good players known for this, I actually stroke up at contact for that topspin. And so the ball doesn’t go in a straight line, as the light topspin as well as gravity pull it down. The result is you can smash even a rather low ball. However, there is a lot more margin for error if you loop the ball instead, with lots of topspin, and you can get almost as much speed as well.

3 Tips to Make You More Successful as a Table Tennis Player
Here’s the article from Coach Me Table Tennis.

Learn to Play Table Tennis On Your Knees – Like a 6 Year Old!
Here’s the article from Expert Table Tennis (with links to video). While I don’t play a lot on my knees, I do demonstrate smashing high balls on my knees for younger kids to shows them they don’t have to be tall to do this. I also do this in exhibitions.

Virginia State Champions
Here are two pictures of the huge champions trophy they created at SmashTT, showing state champions starting in 2015 for Men’s, Women’s, Masters, Juniors, Cadets, Open Doubles, and Hardbat. (Click on picture to see second picture.) I think this is a great idea that more states should emulate. Maybe we’ll do this sometime in Maryland.

ITTF Confirms List of Players for ITTF World Cups
Here’s the ITTF article.

Roskilde Pleasantly Surprised with Michael Maze on Champions League Comeback
Here’s the ITTF article.

Stretching a Child’s Imagination; Design a Ball Competition Winners Announced
Here’s the ITTF article. (I previously linked to another, shorter article on this.)

Battle of the Sexes
The movie Battle of the Sexes (Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King) was great, but what was even better was their table tennis match! (Here’s the non-Facebook version.) Alas, I couldn’t find any video of this.

Friday the 13th
[Reprinted from the last Friday the 13th in January.] Yes, it's the day all Friggatriskaidekaphobias fear most. Here's Jason Vorhees wishing you a Very Happy Friday the 13th. ("I Jason. I no Loop. I smash. I Kill.") While we're at it, here's an extremely acrobatic black cat at the net (2:01). It's hilarious, and set to music. And here are two ghosts playing table tennis. And heck, here's a picture of Tim "Hulk" Boggan! (Hulk scary!)

Funniest Spam Ever Received
I got the following spam email yesterday, which reads like it was written by a seven-year-old. (Can someone give me contact info for U.S. distributor of Chop Blocks? I’d like to buy one! Also, maybe a good backhand loop?)

My name is Jim Moore and i would like to get a quotation on models and sizes of the ( Chop Blocks) you have in stock. Immediate responds is require and advise on payment method.
With Kind Regards
Jim Moore

Catch, Carry, and Drop
Here’s the video (8 sec) as Sean O’Neill demonstrates the new technique that will defeat the Chinese. You’ll need some sticky sponge!

Porcupine vs. Armadillo Pong
Here’s the picture!

Non-Table Tennis - Captain Exasperation Woman Meets President Trump
My humorous political satire story, “Captain Exasperation Woman Meets President Trump,” is now on sale at Amazon! Captain Exasperation Woman has the superpower of exasperation, but it’ll take more than that when she takes on Trump (“T-Rump”). (If you are a Trump supporter, you don’t want to read this.) It’s available now in kindle (and readable in other devices) for only 99 cents, and in print for $5.49. Story is 7000 words, 30 pages in the 8”x5” format. The cover itself is worth the cost of the print version!!! Below is the description of the story:

Can Captain Exasperation Woman Save the Planet from Complete Exasperation?
Captain Exasperation Woman, the world’s greatest superhero, has the power to exasperate anyone and anything into utter perplexity by simply telling the truth. Fences, helicopters, secret service agents, and many others will face her wrath. 

When she goes up against the mighty T-Rump known as President Trump, she will confront him with his countless lies, scams, business and moral failings, and the utter ineptitude of his presidency. But she will find her powers are useless against one who is not fettered by truth or conscience. She must bring out her full bag of tricks, from the Spirits of Presidents Past, Present, and Future, to the Devil himself.

Ultimately, she may need assistance from the Exasperation of the Galaxy itself to solve this problem!

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