November 22, 2017

Off Until Tuesday, Nov. 28
I’m off tomorrow (Thanksgiving), and then I’ll be coaching at the JOOLA North American Teams (Fri-Sun, 960 players on 238 teams), and taking a rest day on Monday, though I'll likely put the Tip of the Week up that day, since it's already written. (Here’s the USATT page where you can livestream the Friday Bundesliga match on Friday, starting 1PM – see segment below – and here’s the USATT article.) Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and see you next Tuesday!

New ITTF World Tour Standings
Here are the new World Tour Standings, using the new ITTF ranking list. This is the new ITTF ranking system that will take over on Jan. 1, 2018, from the current ITTF ranking system; here is the ITTF explanation. The biggest difference is that the new system takes participation into account, so that a player who plays many ITTF events will tend to get a higher ranking than one who does not – and often higher than a less active stronger player as well. The main advantage of this is that it gives incentive to play more ITTF events. The disadvantage is that it is less accurate overall.

I’m not particularly pleased with the first sentence in the ITTF explanation: “The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) will be implementing its newly developed World Ranking system in 2018 to present a more accurate measure and realistic situation of the playing level, and to ensure that the World Ranking better supports ITTF events.” The second part is correct, but saying it is a “more accurate measure and realistic situation of the playing level” is simply wrong, and they know it, since the system rewards players for participation as well as playing level.

I think Ma Long and Fan Zhendong should be #1 and #2 (though Ovtcharov could challenge Fan for #2), but they don’t play as many ITTF events as Ovtcharov and Boll, and so the two Germans are #1 and #3, with Ma and Fan #2 and #4. Tomokazu Harimoto, the 14-year-old whiz kid from Japan, is #16 in the old system (#18 if you put Xu Xin and Zhang Jike back in – see next paragraph), but he plays lots of ITTF events, and so in the new system is world #7. Is the new system really a “more accurate measure and realistic situation of the playing level”?

On the other hand, the old system seems a bit too quick to drop players if they haven’t competed recently, and so in the current rankings, Xu Xin (was #3) and Zhang Jike (was #6) both were dropped from the list. (They are active again and will be in the next listing.)

Table Tennis Books for Christmas
They are the perfect Christmas gift for your favorite table tennis player – whether that is someone else or yourself! My best-selling book is Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers, but other popular ones are Table Tennis Tips; More Table Tennis Tips (why not get both as a package gift?); Table Tennis Tales and Techniques; and the fantasy table tennis novel The Spirit of Pong. There's also Samson Dubina's One Hundred Days of Table Tennis. If you are more into biography, why not get Dan Seemiller's Revelations of a Ping-Pong Champion, now on sale at $17.95? If you are more into history, why not get some of Tim Boggan's History of U.S. Table Tennis volumes?

Spanish Open
Here’s the home page for the events in Almeria, Spain, Nov. 22-26.

Bundesliga Livestream - Post SV Mulhausen vs. ASV Grunwettersbach live from Washington D.C, USA
Here’s the USATT page where you can livestream it on Friday, starting 1PM. I’ll be there in person.

Call for Nominations - Annual USATT Coach of the Year Awards
Here’s the USATT info page. I linked to this last week, but this is a reminder that the deadline is Jan. 1.

Fix It or Trash It? Learn to problem-solve during matches
Here’s the article by Samson Dubina. “In every match, you will miss some shots.  When you miss a particular shot in table tennis, what do you do?  Do you adjust your particular shot or do you stop doing that particular shot?”

The Most Comprehensive Guide to Pushing Short
Here’s the video (9:56) from Tomorrow Table Tennis.

Rolling Ball Backhand Loop Drill
Here’s the video (38 sec).

Training with Omar Assar and Marcos Freitas at 2017 World Cup
Here’s the video (22:34).

You Gotta Fight For Your Right To Knock-Up
Here’s the article by Ben Larcombe.

Olympic Dreams Take Hard Work - Gao Jun
Here’s the USATT article by Richard Finn.

Xu Xin from Strength to Strength
Here’s the ITTF article.

Reversal of Fortune for the Chinese: (Fortune Kooky ??!?)
Here’s the article by Steve Hopkins.

DTTA’s 9th MENSUAL Tourney
Here’s the article, results, and pictures from this tournament in Denver.

Thoughts on Table Tennis
Here are a lot of articles from 2014-2016 from Thoughts on Table Tennis, which I’d never heard of until yesterday.

People are Awesome - Ping Pong Skills and Trick Shots
Here’s the video (1:39)!

Table Tennis Art
Here’s the picture.

Sport Can Give New Life
Here’s the picture of a kid “hatching” from a ping-pong ball!

Alien Pong Cartoon
Here’s the cartoon!

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