March 1, 2018

Who Has the Best Table Tennis Name?
Upon realizing that nobody has ever investigated this extremely important question, I took it upon myself to resolve this issue. Mostly using the USATT's database (which only goes back to 1994), here are some of the more interesting table tennis names.

The Pings

  • There are 44 Pings in the database, though I think some are duplicates. One of them is 2004 USA Olympian Whitney Ping.

The Pongs

  • Beth Pong Green Berggren of Monument, CO
  • Johnny Pong of Lake Forest, CA
  • Vivien Pong of Eugene, OR
  • Chin Pong Tsui of New York, NY

Those Who Love Table Tennis - the Lovett's

  • Cullen Lovett of Sebring, FL
  • David Lovett of Fayetteville, NC
  • Reuben Lovett of Searcy, AR

The Balls

  • Ian Ball of Nashville, TN
  • David Ball of AZ
  • Ed Ball of Santa Monica, CA
  • Kevin Ball of Loveland, CO
  • Russell Ball of Swanzey, NH

The Loops

  • Craig Loop of Los Angeles, CA
  • Tom Loop of Scotch Plains, NJ

The Blocks

  • Adam Block of Tucson, AZ
  • Eli Block of Philadelphia, PA
  • Gary Block of Coventry, RI
  • Jonathan Block of PA
  • Miwa Block of Tucson, AZ
  • Robert Block of Bethesda, OH

The Fishers - alas, no lobbers in our database

  • David Fish of Oak Park, IL
  • Aaron Fish of UT
  • Albert and Anne Fish of Columbus, OH
  • David Fish of Benbrook, TX

The Best(s)

  • Aubrey Best of Orlando, FL
  • Bryan Best of State College, PA
  • Gabe Best of Santa Cruz, CA
  • Mia Best of BRB

The Smart Tacticians

  • Jeff, Yvonne, David, and Eric Smart of Columbia, MD
  • Jeff Smart of Indianapolis, IN
  • Phil Smart of Hutchinson, KS

We Got the Goods

  • Christopher Good of Aurora, CO
  • James and Stephen Good of King of Prussia, PA
  • Kevin Good of Pickerington, OH
  • Ryan Good of De Pere, Wi

True Winners

  • 119 Victors in the database
  • 13 Viktors in the database, plus 5-time World Men's Singles Champion Viktor Barna
  • 395 Nguyen's - which surprisingly is pronounced "Win."
  • 16 Goodwins in the database

The Bangs

  • Chan Bang of Laguna Woods, CA
  • Heung Soon Bang of HI
  • Bang-Yuan Chen of MS


  • Brian Pace, head coach at Triangle Table Tennis
  • Rip Goulet of the Lagunitas Table Tennis Club in Marin County, California
  • Flip Carico, VA
  • Steven Power of Rangeley, ME (plus 8 others named Powers)
  • Lefty Spoons of NJ
  • Humberto Servello of Cranford, NJ
  • Tong Tong Gong who plays ping pong, from Ellicott, MD
  • Gordie Howe of Sylvania, OH - wrong sport?
  • William Trump of Sumneytown, PA - I hope he's not on Twitter.
  • There are no Chop's, but there are 6 Chopra's.
  • Shortest Names: Li Ai (CO) and Mu Du (MD) - any others?

So who has the best table tennis name? It's a tough call. I've always liked the fact that we have an Olympian named Whitney Ping, but there are 44 Pings, so that's too common. There are also four Pongs, so also too common. (If only someone with a first name of Ping would marry someone with a last name of Pong, and take on that last name, that person would be called Ping Pong. Please, let it happen!)

I also like the fact that we have a full-time coach known for his powerful forehand named Brian Pace, and a guy with long pips who flips named Flip Carico. There's only one Rip (Goulet) and only one Power (Steven) - but 8 other Powers - and names like Lefty Spoons and Tong Tong Gong just bring a smile to your face. There are five Balls - and if Ian Ball were Iam Ball, then he'd be the winner. I'm sure I'm missing some obvious ones - feel free to comment below, or name who you think should be the winner. 

But in the end, isn't God the most powerful of all? Now there are no Gods in the database (though there are 20 Jesus's), but there's one person you can look at and honestly say (well, sort of), "He's God" - and that's me, since that's just an anagram for Hodges. (But I'm not alone - there are nine of us.)

African Cup
Here's the ITTF home page for the event in Nairobi, Kenya, March 1-3. Top seeds in Men's Singles are Omar Assar (EGY, world #16) and Quadri Aruna (NGR, world #22). Top seeds in Women's Singles are Dina Meshref (EGY, world #33) and Olufunke Oshonaike (NGR, world #120).

New From EmRatThich

Training Routines Before a Tournament
Here's the new podcast (34:59) from PingSkills.

2018 ITTF Team World Cup | Ma Long & Fan Zhendong Training
Here's the video (6:04).

Social Responsibility, the ITTF Foundation Formally Established
Here's the ITTF article.

January Pongcast: Birthday Joy for Fan Zhendong as 2018 Campaign Gets Underway
Here's the ITTF article.

Nittaku ITTF Monthly Pongcast - January 2018
Here's the video (13:03).

Futuristic Alien Pong
Here's the repeating gif image!

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Re: March 1, 2018

Hi Larry,

that was awesome to see all the players listing, you're the God of table tennis in USA for sure and won't mind to say in the world also

thanks for your blog and the knowledge you provide us


Larry Hodges's picture

Re: March 1, 2018

Glad you like the blog! I've spent many hours trying to convince the kids at my club that my last name proves I'm God. I have not been successful. 
-Larry "He's God" Hodges