February 15, 2018

USATT Teleconference
We had a USA Table Tennis Board of Directors teleconference on Monday night, 7:00-8:31PM. Attending were all nine board members (including me), plus the CEO, the COO, the HPD, and the S&LC. (Give up on this alphabet soup? The first three are listed on the USATT Staff Page, the third is the Secretary and Legal Counsel, Dennis Taylor.) I'm guessing that I spoke less in this meeting than any past meeting, probably by several magnitudes. However, before the meeting I did do a number of edits to the minutes of the December 2017 meeting - once an editor, always an editor.

First on the agenda was the approval of the minutes of the December two-day board meeting in Las Vegas during the U.S. Open, and the January teleconference minutes. After some discussion, they were both approved - I made the motions. They are now both online for your reading pleasure in the USATT Minutes and Actions page.

Then came reports on SafeSport. We have lost almost 1/3 of our clubs due to this - from 263 to the current 183, though we expect a number of others to soon become SafeSport compliant - we'll almost for sure get back over 200. I blogged about this on February 2 when we were down to only 138 clubs (see second segment). The good news is the USOC sent us a note saying they were happy with our SafeSport compliance. They had given us some recommendations, which USATT had implemented. They wrote, "The review found that the recommendations were implemented and are considered closed. USATT was prompt to implement the recommendations in the SafeSport audit." Now if we can just get most of those 82 non-compliant clubs! (And yes, it's a big hassle that I wasn't happy about either.)

Next up was discussion of the currently empty chair of the Ethics and Grievance Committee. A USATT news item went up yesterday on this. Next came an update on the World Veterans Championships, coming up June 18-24 - currently there are 3702 entries (deadline March 15 or 5000 entries), but there are hundreds of "provisional" ones, who we expect to enter but haven't officially sent them in yet - enough to safely say we'll at least break 4000. Then came updates on sponsorship and fund-raising, the Para Procedures update, the High Performance update, and the 2019 World Tour and 2020 World Championships update. Then came a closed session to discuss some disciplinary matters. (I can't believe Trump cheats at table tennis - he hides his serve, boosts, and when you're not looking, steals your wallet to give to the rich.)

We finished with a discussion about our next in-person update, and apparently there isn't a single date between now and July where the board is free. I'm guilty of not being free six weekends: running the MDTTC Open on Apr. 14-15; coaching at and running the tournament at the Hopes Camp and Tournament in Maryland Apr. 27-29; a panelist at the Balticon Science Fiction Convention May 25-27 (my other "life"); running the Maryland State Championships June 2-3 and my annual science fiction writing workshop vacation in Manchester, NH, July 20-28 (covers two weekends). We will likely try to have the board meeting either just after the World Veterans Championships (June 18-24) or just before the U.S. Nationals a week later (July 1-7). I plan on staying the entire three weeks, taking a one-week reading/writing vacation in between.

And then we adjourned!

Excellent Health Advice for all Ping Pong Players
Here's the article from Table Tennis Spot.

North and South Korea - They Joined Forces But It Didn't Last
Here's the video (3:01) from the BBC. "This is the story of North and South Korea's ping pong stars, who joined forces and became firm friends - but it didn't last."

Super Quick Style of Long Pips Penholder Kid
Here's the video (3:05). I think he's using medium long pips. Watch it once to see how this kid plays. Watch it a second time to see the expressions on his poor opponent, who probably has never faced anything like this!

He Zhi Wen (Juanito) - Master of Short Pips
Here's the video (3:05). This style used to be common, now it's almost extinct. It'd be great to get more diversity like this back into our sport.

Two Paddles Baby Pong
Here's the picture! (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

Long Table Pong?
Here's the video (59 sec) as they play with three tables, placed end to end. I can't wait for them to go for that short ball!

This Is the Coolest Ping-Pong Table!
Here's the video (49 sec).

Solo Pong!
Here's the video (28 sec). Why not try this out at your club?

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