June 5, 2018

Tip of the Week
Footwork at Different Physical Levels.

Maryland State Championships . . . and Waldner
They were held this past weekend. My write-up (along with links to photos) is up at the USATT News site and the Butterfly News site - take your pick! The Butterfly one features a picture of the Under 4000 Doubles Finalists - and those two little 9-year-olds in the middle, Mu Du and Stanley Hsu, made it to the final, losing 15-13 in the fifth. They are rated 1789 and 1976! (Read about their exploits in the tournament article.) USATT featured the Open Doubles finalists, with Lidney Castro/Martin Jezo the winners over Jeffrey Zeng/Wang Qingliang.

Here are the ratings from the tournament, which went up yesterday.  And in case you missed it from my mini-blog yesterday, here was the Point of the Tournament (55 sec), from the Men's Singles final between Lidney Castro and Wang Qingliang, care of PongMobile - the foremost way to view ratings!

Running a tournament can be exhausting. I think I received more emails and phone calls in advance of this tournament than just about any other I've ever run - and this was the 201st USATT sanctioned tournament I've run, all but two of them two days long. That makes exactly 400 days of running tournaments. This weekend I opened the club at 7:45AM each morning (play started at 9AM), and was there until 10:30PM both nights. I was also there from 6-11PM on Friday setting up (with great help from Mossa Barandao and Wen Hsu, as well as during the tournament). But I spent a huge amount of time the week before the tournament with those emails and phone calls. (And don't get me started on the time spent before that on scheduling, selecting and ordering trophies/plaques, and the zillion little things that you have to remember to do or the whole tournament comes collapsing down like the pyramids of plastic cups the younger kids like to construct and then knock down by smacking forehands and backhands.

Sunday from 4-5:30PM I ran off to the back tables to run the Beginning Junior Class, while Mossa and Wen kept things going at the control desk. The day's feature, after a bunch of standard drills, was backhand-to-backhand - how many can you do? Grace joined the 100 backhands in a row club - and she did 100 forehands last week.

I'm not sure how people keep getting my phone number as I try to do all tournament business by email. That way there's little chance of misunderstanding, there's a record of what was said, and I don't have to jump every time someone calls - with email I can get back to them after I finish with whatever I'm working on, though I always get back quickly. I also have a problem that I have great difficulty understanding accented voices over the phone, and over half of the calls are from people with accents - and so I'm constantly having to ask them to repeat what they say, which isn't fun. (I think my hearing is getting worse these days, alas.)

This morning I was going to write about how Waldner would have done if he played at his peak now, but when I got up this morning the power was out in my house - I have no idea why. It didn't come back on until about 9AM, and since I'm running short of time, I'll hold back on the Waldner blog until tomorrow. Writing about the tournament is quicker!

Timo Boll Hand Switch at 2018 China Open!
He's done it again - here's the video (45 sec, including slo-mo replay). But that's not the most interesting thing about the rally - look at what he does two shots later to win the point! Replay it a few times.

China Open
Here's the ITTF home page for the event (results, articles, pictures, video), which was held this past weekend in Shenzhen, China. Check out the results!

Three Ways to Win a Point
Here's the article by Eli Baraty.

Tom's Table Tennis Tips
Here's the newsletter from Tom Lodziak, with links to coaching tips.

Taking the Ball Early
Here's the podcast (32:49) from Pingskills. This week they cover:

  • Joke of the Week
  • On This Week
  • Jun Mizutani turns 29
  • Tournament Wrap (China Open, Japan Open, Australian Open)
  • Tip and Drill of the Week
  • Learn a new serve and use it in a game
  • Spin Reversal
  • Advanced Backhand
  • Position for Optimal Power

Butterfly Amicus Prime Table Tennis Robot
Here's the article by Larry Thoman about the new line of robots that just came out. I normally shy away from equipment articles due to conflict of interest - I'm sponsored by Butterfly - but this is rather new. "Butterfly launched a refresh of its highly regarded Amicus line of table tennis robots at the recent World Team Table Tennis Championships in Sweden. The newly introduced models are the Start, Expert, and Prime models. All are upgraded models from the models they’re replacing—the Basic, Advance, and Professional."

World Awaits Tan and Naresh as they Succeed North American Hopes Qualification
Here's the USATT article by Matt Hetherington.

2018 TATA Trickshot Challenge
Here's the video (5:15).

History of USATT – Volume 21 – Chapter 2
Here’s chapter 2 of Tim Boggan's latest volume, which covers 1993-1994. Or you can buy it and previous (and future) volumes at www.timboggantabletennis.com. Chapter 2 covers "June-July 1994 Tournaments." Volume 21 is 438 pages with 1667 graphics, and covers all the wild things that happened in 1994-95 - and I'm mentioned a lot! Why not buy a copy - or the entire set at a discount? Tim sells them directly, so when you order them, you get it autographed - order your copy now!

Werner Schlager - Kalininkos Kreanga, Legends Tour 2018
Here's the video (9:05) from Arnaud Scheen.

Through Rolling Tube and Into Cup
Here's the video (50 sec, including slo-mo replay). I'd love to try this one, and would probably use my forehand where I can smack a ping-pong ball from nine feet better than half the time.

The 1901 Ping Pong Song
Here's the video (1:42) of this song from 1901 (!) played on the original equipment!!! It was sent to me by Steve Grant, who wrote under the video, "Ping Pong Song, by Edward Lauri, 1901, London, playing on a polyphon-like music box. My collection also includes the Edison Bell brown wax cylinder of this same song, sung by Harry Bluff, which I am attempting to play and record. I do not own the sheet music and do not yet know the lyrics. I welcome any help."

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