Bay Area

March 6, 2014

Top Ten New Table Tennis Rules I'd Like to See

Some serious, some not so serious. You judge which.

  1. No-Hidden Serve Rule Adjustment. When serving, players should be required to serve so that the ball is visible to both umpires, or where the umpires would sit if there were umpires. When there are no umpires, it would be assumed the umpires would be sitting five feet out on each side, lined up with the net. The point of the rule isn't to make sure the umpires can see the ball. The point is that if a server hides the ball from an opponent but it isn't obvious he is doing so, it'll be obvious he's hiding it from at least one of the umpires. No more hidden serve problems.
  2. Execution of Servers Who Hide Contact. For now on, on the first instance of a player hiding his serve, his opponent shall have the opportunity to slap him in the face. On the second instance, the player shall have splinters shoved under his fingernails. On the third instance, the player shall be dragged outside and executed by firing squad.
  3. More Single Elimination Events. Most tournaments feature a few round robin events, perhaps one every 200 points. In my mind, when I play an event and lose a match, I should be out of the event, but with RR events you keep on going. Why not have twice as many rating events, perhaps every 100 points, but make them single elimination? Fewer matches per event on average, but more events. (I remember playing a tournament in 1977 when I was rated 1480, and I was in Under 1500, 1600, 1700, 1800, 1900, 2000, and 2100 - all in one day! I was in the final of the three lowest events, winning U1600.)
  4. 38mm Ball, 21-point Games. I confess, I miss the way it was played the first 25 years I played. I especially miss 21-point games. I'm not a hardliner on this, but I am nostalgic.
  5. Soccer-colored Balls. We're a game of spin, but you can barely see the spin. Spectators who aren't experts have no clue what's going on. Plus many people say we need longer rallies - well, make it easier to see the spin and there'll be fewer misses off serves. Plus think how fun it would be to play with these balls! We'd gets lot of kids playing. Only downside - it's almost psychedelic playing with them. (I have a supply of these balls which I bring out when I teach spin on serves and pushes.)
  6. Additional One-Minute Timeout. Right now players get a single one-minute timeout where they usually consult with a coach. But that's not fair to coaching authors. Why not a second one-minute timeout where players can consult with a table tennis tactics book?
  7. 50% Rule. All members of USATT shall donate 50% of their salaries to USATT, where it will either be used to develop the sport in this country or it will be squandered in some highly unimaginative way.
  8. The Late No-Learn Rule. When a player shows up late for a class, the coach shall mark down what the player missed and pass this on to all other coaches in the world, with the understanding that no coach shall ever teach that player what he missed for coming in late, and that player will always have a hole in his game because of this. Additionally, all future opponents of this player shall be informed of the hole in this player's game before they play so they may play into it. Additionally, the late player shall get ten lashes.
  9. Athleticism Rule. Before a player can achieve a 2000+ rating in this Olympic sport, he must first pass the Presidential Challenge Fitness Test. (Just kidding, people - there's at least one online forum devoted mostly to combination rackets - mostly long pips and other off-surfaces - that takes these types of things a bit too seriously.)
  10. Scream Rule. Players may only scream at the top of their lungs ten times in a match. On the eleventh such scream they shall be defaulted, their rackets broken, and their tongues pulled out.

Wang Liqin: Ma Lin was a Headache

Here's the article - and no, he's not insulting him, he's talking about what it was like playing him.

Why B2B Marketers Need a Ping-Pong Plan

Here's the article, which includes a nice cats-playing-TT picture.

Drilling with a Robot

Here's a video (29 sec) showing one of the zillions of possible drills with a robot. Most of the major table tennis dealers now sell these advanced robots, but they are more expensive than the less expensive ones, which primarily hit either to one spot or randomly all over the table.

Bay Areas Trying Out for USA National Team

Here's a video (75 sec) that features the players from the SF bay area that are trying out for team at the Trials at Texas Wesleyan University, Fri-Sun, March 7-9.

A Little School Table Tennis

Here's a video (54 sec) of Adam Bobrow hitting with kids at a school. At 34 sec in he can't resist throwing in a high, sidespinning-backspinning lob.

Playing Table Tennis on Drugs!

Here's a hilarious new video (102 sec) where Australians take on Americans in "the most epic table tennis duel in history!!" (It gets really good about 17 seconds in.)

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July 17, 2012

MDTTC Camp, Week Five, Day One

Here's a quick rundown of the day's activities. There were 35 players in the camp. Coaches are myself, Cheng Yinghua, Jack Huang, and visiting Coach Liu (not sure of his full name) from New York. Wang Qing Liang (2641), Chen Bo Wen (2431) and Raghu Nadmichettu (2389) are practice partners. Players include Allen Wang (15, 2370), Nathan Hsu (16, 2349, 2011 Junior Olympic Under 16 Boy's Singles Champion); John Hsu (18, 2226 but usually higher, 2011 Junior Olympic Under 18 Boys' Singles Champion); Barbara Wei (2199, former U.S. Junior Team member), Derek Nie (11, 2170, U.S. Open 11 & Under Boys Champion), the Alguetti brothers (Adar 12, Gal 11, Sharron 11, rated 2081, 2089, and 2098), Lilly Lin (15, 1885); Amy Lu (11, 1838, U.S. #3 Under 12 girl), and many more.  (Regulars Tong Tong Gong, Crystal Wang, and Roy & Princess Ke are in China training.)

  1. Paperwork: making sure everyone's registered and paid, signing people up for lunch delivery (we have Chinese food delivered for $6/person, players order from a menu), etc.
  2. At about 10AM: stretching
  3. Introduce coaches, explain how the camp runs, go over rules, etc.
  4. Short lectures and demos on grip, ready stance, and the forehand.
  5. Divide players in four groups for about an hour and ten minutes of multiball training with the coaches.
  6. Pick up balls, then break.
  7. Take on clipboard challenges during break. (I played three players, with ratings of about 2000, 2080, and 2090, and won all three.)
  8. After break we divided players into two groups. New players (about 15) came with me for my service lecture and service practice. The rest did drills and then doubles with the other coaches.
  9. We finished the morning session with 30 minutes of Brazilian Teams, where we divide players into teams of 3-5. One player from each team plays a point, and the winner stays on the table, the loser goes to the end of his team's line. New person always serves. Game is to 41.
  10. At 1:00 PM, lunch. (I had chicken fried rice.)
  11. At 1:30 PM I took six kids to 7-11. (We had to jam in my car - two in front passenger seat, four in the back.)
  12. About 2:00 PM I went home, let my dog out, checked email, etc., then returned to club.
  13. We started up again at 3:00 PM with stretching.
  14. I took five beginners to two tables in the back while the rest of the players did regular drills on the other tables. We did an hour of multiball training, with the players alternating between me, ball pickup, and using the robot.
  15. Break.
  16. After break we did a few multiball drills, and then played games. We did around the world; bottle hitting (if they hit it, I had to drink it, and I assured them the red stuff in the Gatorade bottle was from my pet rhinoceros's nosebleed); cup pyramid destruction (we make pyramids of cups and knock them down, including a competition to see who can knock down the most in ten shots); and finished at with Brazilian Teams. Camp ended at 6:00 PM.

ITTF Level 2 Coaching Seminar

The first ITTF Level 2 Coaching Seminar will be held at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Oct. 30 - Nov. 6. I expect to participate. Here's the info page. To be eligible, you must fulfill the following:

  • Current USATT Members
  • Currently certified as a USATT Coach
  • Currently listed on the ITTF Coaches Registry as a Level 1 Coach
  • Must have attended the ITTF Level 1 Course before November 1st of 2011 (1 year between courses)

Cast Your Vote for Ariel Hsing USOC June Female Athlete of the Month!

She's up against 15 others in this USOC vote.

Returning a Heavy Backspin Serve

Pingskills brings you this new video on the Returning a Heavy Backspin Serve (2:54).

The U.S. Open Sandpaper Final

Here's Ty Hoff and Adoni Maropis in the Sandpaper final (23:21). Lots of long rallies, with a mix of attack and defense. Check out the point at 15-18 in game one (at 8:54)! And yes, Adoni Maropis, in real life, is the guy (okay, the actor playing Abu Fayed in season six) who nuked Valencia, CA (and tried to nuke others) in the TV series "24." He was also in Troy, Hidalgo, and many other movies.

Samson Dubina on My Valley Sports TV

Here's a news video that features table tennis and Samson Dubina (1:44).

Another Full-time Club in the Bay Area

Here's the article about the upcoming Rossmoor Table Tennis Club.

Ma Long's Under the Net Return

Here it is, in regular and slow motion (0.38).

Practice Safe Pong

So says Steve Colbert in this picture of beer pong. Here's the video (4:19). Colbert introduces a new game called 'Who gave me herpes?"

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