August 21, 2023

Tips of the Week

My Current Table Tennis Activities
I actually split my time these days about 50-50 between table tennis and writing (and selling!) science fiction. On the table tennis side, here are my current activities – including my new endeavor, table tennis cartooning, where I might need a collaborator. (See last bullet point.)

  • The weekly Blog and Tip. And every three years, the Tips become a book! (The advantage of getting the book version is they are organized in logical progression, you can make notes in the margins, and you’ll help me afford dinner!)
  • Working on my new book, Table Tennis Doubles for Champions. Because of travel and some science fiction writing, I haven’t worked on it in a few weeks, but plan to focus on it in September, and have it out in time for the US Open in December. It’ll be my 21st book and 12th on table tennis. (Here are all my books.)
  • Coaching at MDTTC. I mostly just coach on weekends these days, after many years doing it full-time. During the summer you’d think I’d be at my busiest, since the kids are out of school and we have camps every week, but MDTTC has so many full-time coaches that need the work that I’m not needed in the camps that much anymore, and so have only been there for a few sessions. However, the Fall season starts next weekend, and then I’ll be coaching many hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Maintaining my table tennis collections.
  • A new endeavor – table tennis cartooning. Recently I brainstormed and outlined 20 new ideas for table tennis cartoons. Alas, while I can come up with ideas and very rough drafts, I don’t have the drawing skills. Here’s an example of a table tennis cartoon I had published once – good idea, but the artistic skills are pretty weak! Next weekend I may ask around and see if there are any budding cartoonists/artists in our junior program. We have something like 70 kids, and if any of them are interested, I may collaborate with them. I think I can get them published in one of the major table tennis pages, who might trade equipment for them – but I don’t need the equipment, so that would go to any collaborator. (I also came up with a bunch of non-TT cartoon ideas, similar to The Far Side – but again, I don’t have the artistic skills to draw them effectively.) I’ve done a lot of online cartoons, a lot of them political, where I simply use online images. I had a number of cartoons published in college in the University of Maryland newspaper, but for those, I collaborated with an artist – the editor hooked us up together. If I don’t find any locals to work with, and you have the cartooning skills and are interested, email me.

Classic Table Tennis Nationals - Austin
My articles on the Classic Table Tennis Nationals (Hardbat and Sandpaper) in Austin, TX, Aug. 11-12, are all up on the Butterfly News page. They are linked below. The tournament was run by Steve Claflin. (See the start of the Sandpaper article below where I point out and thank those who helped out.) The big CLASH happened twice, with AJ Carney winning Hardbat Singles over Jimmy Butler, then Jimmy winning Sandpaper Singles over AJ. I was going to play the senior event as the second seed but had to default with a knee injury from the night before in a practice match with Bryce Milford.

Afterwards, I spent two and a half days sightseeing in Austin – the Lyndon B. Johnson Museum & Library; the Bullock Texas State History Museum; a tour of the Texas State Capitol; the Buford Tower Memorial; a water cruise to see the famous Austin Bats (100,000 bats taking off at the same time); the Austin Zoo; Austin Aquarium; Museum of the Weird; and the Ice Cream Museum. As usual, I came home with many souvenir magnets – my refrigerator is jammed.

And now . . . the articles!

$36,000 Mexico Open Ping Pong World Series - Mexico City
Here’s the info page for the event in Mexico City, Jan. 4-6, 2024. You can now enter via Omnipong – page down to Mexico. It’s basically the World Championships Hardbat, Sandpaper, and Wood. The Early Bird Special is until Sept. 1, with final deadline Nov. 1. I’ll be there doing coverage as well as playing in Hardbat Seniors.

Major League Table Tennis
Here’s the latest from Major League Table Tennis!

ITTF Pan American Master Championships
Here’s the info page. They will be held Nov. 16-21, 2023, in Davie, FL, with events for players from Over 30 to Over 75. You can enter via Omnipong – page down to Florida.

MDTTC August Open
Here are the results of the MDTTC Open held this past weekend at my club. I’ll add a link here to the ratings when they are processed.

Why Table Tennis is My Favorite Sport
Here’s the blog post by Ryan Lin. He’s 13, rated 2277, and the 2022 US Under 13 Boys’ Singles Champion. (I’ve had the privilege of working with him from when he started out in my beginning junior class at MDTTC, and in the last few years at a number of overseas camps and tournaments.) He wrote, “At this point, I have sacrificed 5 almost 6 years of time for table tennis, and recently, my friend asked me, ‘If you’re so athletic, why did you choose ping pong out of all the sports?’ That made me think, ‘Why do I like table tennis better than other sports?’” (Here are all his posts.) 

Third Time's a Charm
Here’s the article by Angela Guan at NCTTA, about her experiences at the World University Games.

New from USATT

News from All Over
Since I haven't blogged since Aug. 7 due to traveling, rather than try to list every interesting article, here are links to some of the main news and coaching pages that have been active in that time, and you can pick and choose.

Ping-Pong Whisperer
When you search for this in Amazon under Clothing, over ten shirt designs come up! Take your pick.

Solar Opposites – Ping-Pong Episode
On Aug. 14, for the season 4 premier, the animated show Solar Opposites ran an episode called “The Ping Pong Table.” Here’s a picture! Alas, it’s on Hulu, which I don’t have. You can apparently buy the episode “Vudu, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV.” However, when I checked Amazon Prime, it only had season one. Here’s the description: “At their new jobs, Korvo and Terry lobby their boss to get the office a ping pong table.”

Table Tennis in LA Times Crossword
SPOILER ALERT!!! This was from the Aug. 11, 2023 crossword, which also runs in the Washington Post (which I still have delivered) and a number of other newspapers. The clue for 20 across was, "Table-tennis implement that lacks a partner?" The answer was, “Bachelor Paddle”! Here are the Answers. (I do the LA Times Crossword from the Post every day at lunch, and yes, I solved the Aug. 11 puzzle.)

A Ping-Pong Poem
Here’s the video (36 sec) from Aerobic Table Tennis!

Saturday Evening Post Table Tennis Cartoons
Here are seven of them from the 1950s!

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