Sharks

February 6, 2013

Feb. 4 USATT Board Minutes and Tournament Sanction Changes

Late last night the minutes of the Feb. 4, 2013 board meeting went up. Part of it was the election of Mike Babuin as the new chairman of the USATT Board of Directors, and the Advisory Committee Chair Appointments (see segment below). However, the bigger news is the new sanctioning standards for USATT tournaments, from zero to 5-star. Here are the new rules. When I get a chance I'll go over them and give my own thoughts. I'll be glad to hear your own - feel free to comment.

Mike Babuin New Chairman of the USATT Board of Directors

The USATT Board chose Mike as the new Chair. I've had many discussions with Mike, and I think they've made a good choice. Here's the article, and here's the actual board minutes, both of which also discuss advisory committee chairs. Here is the list of all newly appointed or re-appointed USATT Advisory Committees chairs.

High Performance Committee   -   Carl Danner
Nominating and Governance Committee   -   Bob Fox
Ethics and Grievance Committee   -   Jim Coombe
Compensation Committee   -   Mike Babuin
Audit Committee   -   Peter Scudner
Athletes Advisory Council   –   Han Xiao
Officials and Rules Advisory Committee   -   Roman Tinyszin
Seniors Advisory Committee   -   Gregg Robertshaw
Tournaments Advisory Committee   -   Larry Rose
Editorial Advisory Committee   -   Jim McQueen
Clubs Advisory Committee   -   Attila Malek
Hardbat Advisory Committee   -   Alberto Prieto
Juniors Advisory Committee   -   Dennis Davis
Coaching Advisory Committee   -   Federico Bassetti
Marketing and Fund Raising Advisory Committee   -   Jim Kahler

Book Blatherings

  • Tim Boggan's History of U.S. Table Tennis, Volume 13. It's pretty comprehensive, covering the year 1984. We got started on it late Tuesday morning. On Day One, we completed the front and back covers, the inside front cover, and the first 40 pages (through the first two chapters). Tim's on a photo binge - I've already put in 85 photos! At this rate every member of USA Table Tennis, circa 1984, will be in it. I'm doing the page layouts and much of the photo work. The majority of the photos come from Mal Anderson, who scanned all his photos, saving us a huge amount of time.  We'll be working on this for the next 10-14 days. It will be on sale in a few weeks, along with the previous twelve already on sale, at TimBogganTableTennis.com.
  • Homestretch on Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers. Yesterday I received the review copy. All looked well. I did make a few changes that I'd already planned, replacing two photos with two new ones, and tweaking a few pages. I've submitted the final version. If all goes well, print copies will be on sale this Friday. It's absolutely amazing how the printing industry has changed - they'll get the final version on Wednesday, and have copies on sale two days later!
  • TableTennisBooks.com? I recently bought the rights to the page, along with LarryHodgesBooks.com. I plan on selling my books on the latter, but am toying with someday becoming a table tennis book dealer on the former. After all, there's nothing we like to do better at a table tennis club than to curl up under a table and read table tennis books!
  • Want more books? Here's a list of all 213 books I have on table tennis. I just added Table Tennis Tactics for Thinkers.

Ma Long vs. Zhang Jike

Here's video (4:40) of their match at the 2013 Chinese Team Trials.

Pool-Pong

This is what happens when you combine pool and ping-pong (39 sec).

Underwater Table Tennis

With a shark!!! But of course sharks can play table tennis. Sometimes they even infest the table.

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August 15, 2012

Try a New Style

Why not experiment with a new style? Add some variety to your game? You could do something really crazy, like a shakehander playing penhold or Seemiller style, or try out some weird rubber. But why not try out a style you could actually use in your game? You'll have fun as well as adding a new dimension (i.e. tactical tool) to your game.

I suggest chopping. It's a nice weapon to have both as a variation and when you are out of position, especially on the backhand. Some players really have trouble with sudden chops, and it's a crime not to have this skill against these players. Plus, next time you are out of position against a ball wide to your backhand, just chop it back. Just as importantly, you'll quickly see the game from a chopper's point of view, and become a lot stronger playing choppers as a result. (Your biggest shock will probably be how weak a chopper can be on receive - yet many attackers assume choppers can just chop any serve back, and so don't take advantage of this.)

Though most choppers use long pips on the backhand, that's mostly to chop back loops. If you are only going to chop as an occasional variation or when you are out of position, any surface will do, including super charged-up inverted. That's what I have on my backhand, and I regularly throw in chops.

Table Tennis Foot Dream

Last night I had one of those weird table tennis dreams. (Warning - this is sort of gory.) I was battling with "the enemy" (not sure who my opponent was, it was never clear) at ping-pong on a table in a street. Bullets and bombs were exploding everywhere as soldiers ran about shooting at each other. And then my left foot got shot off! I grabbed it from the ground and tried jamming it back on, and it sort of stuck, but kept falling off as we played. I finally just held the foot in my non-playing hand while hopping about, still playing, as an ambulance arrived. I handed them the foot and asked them to sew it back on, but only after I finished the match. I woke up about then, and had to check my foot to make sure it was still there. (Obligatory bad joke: I had not been defeeted.)

Maryland Table Tennis Center in Washington Post

It's on the front page of the sports section this morning. Here's the article, and here's the video (3:26). Featured are Nathan Hsu, Derek Nie, Amy Lu, and I'm quoted quite a bit. A few corrections: the article has me founding MDTTC, when Cheng Yinghua, Jack Huang, and I did it together. It also has me saying there are 11 full-time centers in the country, but there are now about 50. (I may have said there are about 10 that could be considered really strong. And I never was able to get USATT interested in promoting these training centers, alas.) Also, I think the $100,000 investment mentioned was by several owners, not just one.

Pictures from the Southern Open and Junior Olympics

Here are some pictures taken at these two tournaments, mostly featuring MDTTC players.

Olympian Diana Gee to Run Clinic in Cary

If you are around Cary, NC on Sept. 1, you might want to join Olympian Diana Gee ('88 and '92) for a pair of one-hour clinics. Here's the info page.

Can Ping-Pong in the Office Increase Productivity?

Yes, according to this article in the Enviable Workplace. "With a game like ping pong you can get up, play for 20 mins, break a lil sweat, get your brain racing and come back to work refreshed." Here's another segment:

Dr. Daniel Amen, a renowned member of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, specifically points out that table tennis:

  • Increases concentration and alertness
  • Stimulates brain function
  • Develops tactical thinking skills
  • Develops hand / eye coordination
  • Provides aerobic exercise
  • Provides social and recreational interaction

Chinese Blitz at the Olympic Games

Here's a video from PingSkills (7:01) where they discuss Chinese dominance at the Olympics.

The Duchess of Cambridge Playing Table Tennis

Yes, that's "Smashing Kate" rallying with kids at a sports project. She's pretty good - can keep the ball in play.

Ping-Pong with Sharks

At first you only see the sharks swimming around. It's not until the camera pulls back in this video (1:18) that you realize that they are playing ping-pong on this shark infested table!

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