January 12, 2018

EmRatThich Table Tennis World Ranking System
Here’s the article and ranking list. This is not something he threw together – he goes over in detail the way his system works, which analyzes “43,735 table tennis matches played in 2017 (in official ITTF events) nearly 100 table tennis international tournaments during 2017.”

There have been many complaints about the new ITTF system, which rewards participation as well as level of play, leading to results that often don’t always correspond to actual playing levels. For example, it has Ma Long at #7 in the world, when he’s obviously #1 or #2. Here are the ITTF rankings. If you page down to “Official Documents,” there is info on how they are done. 

When doing such ranking systems, there is always the conflict between trying to set up the most accurate system, versus setting up a system that rewards and thereby increases participation. This is a classic case. USATT has the same problem - many players avoid playing to "protect" their rating. Using a system that rewards participation would likely increase participation, at the cost of accuracy. 

So let’s compare the two rankings, and you can judge for yourself.

EmRatThich System – Top 20 Men

  1. Fan Zhendong (CHN)
  2. Ma Long (CHN)
  3. Dimtrij Ovtcharov (GER)
  4. Timo Boll (GER)
  5. Lin Gaoyuan (CHN)
  6. Xu Xin (CHN)
  7. Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN)
  8. Jun Mizutani (JPN)
  9. Yan An (CHN)
  10. Fang Bo (CHN)
  11. Koki Niwa (JPN)
  12. Marcos Freitas (POR)
  13. Kenta Matsudaira (JPN)
  14. Lee Sangsu (KOR)
  15. Simon Gauzy (FRA)
  16. Vladimir Samsonov (BLR)
  17. Wong Chun Ting (HKG)
  18. Quadri Aruna (NGR)
  19. Ruwen Filus (GER)
  20. Hugo Calderano (BRA)

ITTF System – Top 20 Men

  1. Dimtrij Ovtcharov (GER)
  2. Fan Zhendong (CHN)
  3. Timo Boll (GER)
  4. Lin Gaoyuan (CHN)
  5. Xu Xin (CHN)
  6. Koki Niwa (JPN)
  7. Ma Long (CHN)
  8. Wong Chun Ting (HKG)
  9. Simon Gauzy (FRA)
  10. Kenta Matsudaira (JPN)
  11. Tomokazu Harimoto (JPN)
  12. Marcos Freitas (POR)
  13. Jun Mizutani (JPN)
  14. Lee Sangsu (KOR)
  15. Chuang Chih-Yuang (TPE)
  16. Omar Assar (EGY)
  17. Hugo Calderano (BRA)
  18. Ruwen Filus (GER)
  19. Yuva Oshima (JPN)
  20. Quadri Aruna (NGR)

Table Tennis with a Robot
Here’s the video (3:08) as they play with a robot that can rally live, not just shoot balls out at you. I’m wondering when these things will be on the market? However, they obviously can’t yet compete with a top player. From what I see, I don’t think it can react to aggressive shots to the corners, or to spins. However, I think they are missing the real future for this robot – put on a sheet of long pips, no sponge, and turn it into a pushblocker!!!

Throughout history people have made predictions about the future of such technology wonders that have proven false, so it’s risky making predictions here. However, I’m fairly certain that for the foreseeable future, these robots won’t challenge the top players. Perhaps many years from now.

US National Team - Year in Review 2017
Here’s the video (2:10). Live out the year with our National Team!

Dream Come True for Kanak Jha, Rankings Breakthrough for USA Star
Here’s the ITTF article.

30 Day Challenge to Improve Your Weakest Stroke
Here’s the article from Tom Lodziak.

Table Tennis Tidbits #16
Here’s ’16 Asian Olympic Trials:  Zhu “Helps” Ching Lose, by Robert Ho

Qualities Coaches Look For in Their Students
Here’s the chart. (Here’s the non-Facebook version.)

A Little Side to Side Footwork
Here’s the video (31 sec) with Lily Zhang, 4-time and current U.S. Women’s Singles Champion. Are you awake now?

Ma Long Serve Technique - Begin of the Attack
Here’s the video (7:18).

USATT Insider
Here’s the latest issue, which came out Wednesday.

Reliving the Memories of Riva del Garda, Truls Moregard Reflects on Stunning Campaign
Here’s the ITTF article. The next great Swede?

Adult Table Tennis and Coaching in England
Here’s the article by Eli Baraty about problems with table tennis in England.

Westchester TTC December 2017 Open Singles Final
Here’s the video (15:38), Tomislav Pucar vs. Kai Zhang.

Camping Pong
Here’s the cartoon.

Trick Shot Lob
Here’s the video (14 sec) as A.J. Carney puts together three trick shots in one routine. (That’s my U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles Champion partner!)

Christmas Ping Pong Trick Shots
Here’s the video (7:17) from Pongfinity

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