May 30, 2018

Changes I Wouldn't Mind Seeing Tested
We're so used to the way table tennis is played that many are resistant to any change. And there's a good argument for that - why would we want to change the sport we already love? But let's open our minds and consider testing a few - and the key word is test

  • Colored Ball. Our sport is all about spin, and we have a ball that makes it almost impossible to see it! We're used to it, but I've always thought this was almost insane. We want to be a spectator sport while hiding what is practically the central aspect of our sport? Being able to read the spin more easily would also lead to fewer mistakes against serves. It would also pretty much solve the hidden serve problem as you could more easily read spin from the ball. Plus, imagine how cool it would look if we chose a really nicely designed ball! They actually tried this at a major tournament a few years ago, using a multi-colored ball, but the ball itself was a cheap one. It needs to be tried out with a high-quality ball. 
  • Adjustable Table Height. The standard table is 30 inches high. A standard basketball net is ten feet high - except when it is not. We all grew up with adjustable basketball nets in elementary school where they'd lower the nets - second graders won't do so well with a ten-foot basket!!! Similarly, a 30-inch table isn't great for everyone. You can't play table tennis until you are five or six because of the height of the table, and yet I've seen tennis classes for three-year-olds! We could do the same in table tennis. I'd like to make adjustable height tables standard at clubs - every club would have them. This way we could have a much lower table for little kids. Plus the average man is something like three inches taller now than they were when table tennis was invented and standardized in the 1890s, so perhaps the standard table should now be 2-3 inches higher?
  • Anything Goes Open. Imagine a special event where you could use any surface on your racket. I can just see the final between someone with an inch of Tenergy sponge stacked on top of each other, against someone with one-inch frictionless super-thin long pips! (Not sure if pips that long would help, but let's find out!) Here's a scary thought - it would take 12 sheets of 2.1mm Tenergy to make it one inch. At $78/sheet, and covering both sides (24 sheets), that's $1872!!! (Okay, this idea isn't as serious as the previous two.) 

Maryland State Championships
I'm running them this weekend. There are 21 events in this 3-star event, with over $3500 in cash and prizes. Men's and Women's Singles, Open Doubles, and the various age events are open only to Maryland residents, but the rating events are open to anyone. (Residency means living in Maryland the previous three months, with military personnel assigned to Maryland and full-time students in Maryland immediately eligible.) Here's the Maryland State Championships Preview Video (2:05)! It was created by PongMobile, the most efficient way to explore the USATT ratings. Some of the events are filling up fast, so enter now! There are only five more spots left in both Under 1800 and Under 1500. Deadline is Thursday at 7PM. After there's a $10 late fee, but only if there's room in the draw.

Serve & Receive Tactics Seminar at MDTTC
We now have eleven players signed up for the Serve and Receive Tactics Seminar on Thursday (tomorrow), 7:00-8:30PM at MDTTC. Cost is $15 for members, $20 for others, with 100% of the money raised going to the HW Global Junior Program at MDTTC, to pay for our coaches to go to the USA Nationals to coach the 19 MDTTC junior players who are competing. Here's their funding page - we're now at $14,175 raised of the $15,500 needed. All money raised in the seminar will go toward this - I'm not taking any of it.

8 Slump-Busting Tips and Tagging of Coaching Articles
Here's the article by Samson Dubina. He's also tagged and somewhat organized them by topic. Here's his posting on it.

Articles from the Table Tennis Daily Academy
Here are three recent ones. You can also check out older ones from their archives. They also seem to have a good Video library - see their link at top.

New from EmRatThich
Here's his video page - he's posted ten new videos since yesterday - top matches, training videos, and highlights reels, etc.

What it Takes to Become an Olympic Athlete: 15 Essentials According to a Two-Time Olympian
Here's the article by Nick Catlin, two-time British Field Hockey Olympian.

US Brother Duo Deliver Final Blow to China in Canadian Junior Team Event
Here's the USATT article by Matt Hetherington. "The US brother duo of Sharon and Gal Alguetti have achieved what few international teams hope for in the sport of table tennis. Today at the Canadian Cadet and Junior Open in the final of the Junior Boys' team event, the US pair defeated China in a result that left onlookers simply in awe." Here's the ITTF article, Sharon Alguetti steadfast, steers United States to gold.

USA Athletes to Advance Development and Experience in Europe
Here's the USATT article by Matt Hetherington. "In a pivotal move to enhance the international competitiveness of US National Team players, USATT High Performance Director Joerg Bitzigeio has arranged for top national team contenders to compete in European leagues next season. Aside from Kanak Jha, who is already living in Grenzau and will move up to represent 1.FSV Mainz 05 in the 2nd Bundesliga (2nd division) next season, Nick Tio and Jennifer (Yue) Wu will also move to Europe to live, train and compete in the league."

Ping Pong Helps a Senior Bounce Back
Here's the article from the Wall Street Journal. (Alas, you have to subscribe to read it - but they have a Memorial Day Special going on, $1 for two months.) "Intense training and league play at the table-tennis club founded by actress Susan Sarandon brings a New York woman new friends and fitness."

ITTF Butterfly Canadian Junior Open: Photo, Results & Live Stream
Here's the page.

Jun Mizutani: Ask a Pro Anything
Here's the ITTF video (6:25), with Adam Bobrow.

Zhang Jike is BACK
Here's the ITTF video (1:38).

Crazy Pong
Here's the page about this new version! "Crazy pong is a variation of traditional table tennis. It was created for several purposes: to restore the taste of the game to those who practiced it one day and allow the children to discover it in an original and very playful way. Crazy Pong tables have unusual shapes (round, square, with unevenness, holes ...), the net has become mobile; we play with snowshoes of many sizes, and a large selection of balls is proposed to experience a maximum of different sensations."

VeggieTales Jerry Eggs the Ping Pong Table
Here's the video (12 sec)!

Dead Men’s Open with Illegal Rubbers
Here's the picture! (Here's the non-Facebook version.)

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