Ice Bucket Challenge - My Video
I was challenged to do the ice bucket challenge by Nathan Hsu, who will rue the day. For those of you living under a ping-pong ball or lost in a forest of long pips, this is a charity for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), better known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Find out more at the ALS Association home page.
I put together a skit for my ice water dousing. Dumping a bucket of ice water on my head wasn't enough for me. Special thanks to Leon Bi and Darwin Ma for their help.
I have challenged three others: Todd Sweeris, Jim Butler, and Dan Seemiller Sr. They have 24 hours to complete their assignment of either dumping a bucket of ice water on their heads or donating $100 to ALS!
While we're on the subject, here are a few others that have come up since yesterday (when I posted others) in the table tennis world:
- Ma Long (world #2, former world #1)
- Doru Gheorghe, USATT Interim CEO, Chief Operating Officer, and USA Women's Coach
- John Hsu (part-time MDTTC coach and older brother of Nathan)
- More JOOLA Staff
USATT's July Meeting
Here are the minutes to the meeting, which went up yesterday. A few items I found interesting:
In D-Magazine, it says, "About $10,000 in advertisements were sold in the Spring Issue, which resulted in a $4,000 shortfall to projections." In my blog on February 11, 2014 on the cancellation of the print magazine and going digital, I wrote, "But they'll lose money on advertising and membership." I also wrote, "I'm told they are budgeting advertising to stay the same, which of course won't happen." Of course it was going to drop - anyone in the industry knows you get more ad revenue from print than online. But for some reason USATT budgeted something that they should have known wouldn't happen. Roughly multiply this time six, and at the end of the year they are going to have a roughly $24,000 shortfall. Or maybe, just to spite me, they'll focus on advertising and get ad revenue back up!
This isn't me retroactively criticizing; I wrote this as soon as they cancelled the print version and went all-digital. It was an easy prediction. I still believe they messed up badly here, and should have kept the print magazine, added the online version (which is easy to produce once you have the print version), and simply increase ad rates because of the added online exposure. This would have substantially increased revenue without cancelling the print magazine that was such a valuable tool to clubs for promoting our sport, as well as for the roughly 1/3 of our membership who get nothing from USATT except the magazine. The loss in ad revenue is verified, but we may never know how many members we lost (or will lose) when they discover they no longer get the magazine.
But even before the drop in advertising they were only getting $14,000 in ad revenue. That's almost exactly what I'd brought it up to when I resigned as editor at the end of 2006 (though I did two more issues in 2007). Adjusted for inflation, I was bringing in about $16,500/issue. (When I first took over in my first tenure as editor, ad revenue was running at $2300/issue. I brought that up to $5500/issue. When I took over for my second tenure, ad revenue had dropped a little - forget the exact amount - but over the next eight years I brought it up to $14,000.)
One thing I'm confused about. In these minutes, it says that the Spring issue received about $10,000 in advertisements, about $4000 short of projections. But in the May 19 minutes, it says, "The digital magazine generated $9000 in ad revenue for the Spring 2014 issue, constituting a $6,000 shortfall to budgeted revenue." So one says there was $10,000 in revenue, the other $9000; one says a $6000 shortfall, the other $5000. It can't be both. (I blogged about this on July 15. But there is a discrepancy in their numbers.)
There are two items of direct interest to coaches, so I'll paste them both here. Coaches, take notice! (Here's the link to the SafeSport info page - you have to click on the attachments at the end to do the background checks.)
K. USATT's SafeSport Program - Background Checks, RailStation Rollout
USATT is fully committed to implementing the SafeSport program as mandated by the U.S. Olympic Committee ("USOC"). Our SafeSport program now appears on USATT's website, with 50 coaches completing background checks. It is reasonable to give coaches notice of an August 1st deadline to complete their background checks. Mr. Scudner suggested that USATT provide a "SafeSport" informational packet to its clubs which includes a notice that their coaches must complete background checks. Mr. Gheorghe will send an email to coaches containing an easily accessible website link to the SafeSport program.
V. Fede Bassetti - Coaching Presentation
Mr. Bassetti presented a coaching education program based upon the ITTF curricula (i.e., levels 1, 2, and 3) to the Board. Under his program, coaches receive certification at the end of a two year program, consisting of 40 credits of continuing education. Under his approach, schools are categorized as competitive, developmental, recreational, and business. Each school is divided into 4 levels of coaches. He seeks USATT's and ITTF's endorsement of his program and $2500 to $5000 to create each course. Coaches would maintain their teaching credentials on two year cycles, with background checks every two years. Mr. Danner recommended that he speak with professional table tennis coaches/training centers for their feedback.
The COB said that the USATT will send its questions to Mr. Bassetti via email, and the Board then will revisit this program after Mr. Gheorghe and Mr. Basetti review the certification system we now have in place--this should not occur until after the new CEO has been recruited. Additionally, all USATT coaches must complete their background checks by August 1st, or they will be removed from the list of active coaches. Tentatively, the Board may address the coaching issues at its December meeting.
Here's info on upcoming U.S. Opens and Nationals.
Y. Future Tournaments
Currently, the 2015 U.S. Nationals and U.S. Open are planned to be held in Las Vegas. Dallas submitted a bid for the U.S. Open, and a Dallas information packet was distributed to Board members.
I blogged about the National Volunteer Coordinator position before, but here it is in the minutes. I may blog more about this later. This is a great idea - why not apply? Even if you don't become the National Volunteer Coordinator there'll be plenty of volunteer positions they'll be looking to fill.
MOVED that the Board adopt the proposal to develop the position of National Volunteer Coordinator and request that the CEO proceed as soon as possible to find a volunteer to fill this position.
Movant: Han Xiao
Second: Anne Cribbs
Discussion: The USATT, with its limited resources, should create an organized volunteer organization. When the Board has tasks to be performed, expertise is needed to carry out these tasks. A National Volunteer Coordinator position should be created, reporting to the Board. The Coordinator's job will be to work with staff and volunteers, perhaps on a daily basis, to accomplish the Board's assigned tasks. Expenses for this Coordinator will be minimal at first--the Coordinator will present an annual report once a year to the Board and occasionally report progress at Board teleconference meetings.
- K. USATT's SafeSport Program - Background Checks, RailStation Rollout
Forehand Loop Technique - Correct Use of Legs and Waist
Here's the video (13:37) by Gregg Letts.
USA Youth Olympic Games Home Page
The page now has a number of quotes from Lily Zhang, Coach Lily Yip, and a slideshow at the end featuring Zhang and Krish Avvari, the other USA player.
100-Day Countdown to Change in the ITTF's Presidency
Former USATT President Sheri Pittman Cioroslan is doing an article every day during the last 100 days of Adham Sharara's ITTF presidency, counting downwards from 100. Previous ones are linked from the USATT News page, as well as in my past blogs. Ninety down, 10 to go!
Day 11: Michel Gadal Urges Worldwide Table Tennis Family to Embrace P5 Plan
People in Sports Who Are Unexpectedly Ripped
Here's Wang Liqin in the listing. But this is true of essentially every top table tennis player. "Unexpectedly"? Only to the non-table tennis person.
Beat the Best, Beat Jean-Michel Saive
Here's the ITTF article on the contest, sponsored by Stiga, where you challenge the competitive Saive to various contests.
Floor Table Tennis
Here's the article and video (1:11). "If your kids aren’t quite tall enough to see over a table tennis table yet, consider floor table tennis."
Berlin Style Ping-Pong
Here's the article and pictures of this new type of table tennis that's sweeping the world!
Clayton Kershaw Plays Table Tennis
Here's a new video (5:24) of the Dodger superstar pitcher where he talks about his table tennis and his charity table tennis event.
Jorgen Persson, Chef
Here's the picture from the Youth Olympic Games. I mean, gee whiz, the guy hasn't been World Men's Singles Champion since 1991, the last of his World Team Champion titles was in 2000, and he hasn't been world #1 since 1991-1992. He obviously needs a new line of work.
Dogs Playing Table Tennis to Music
Here's the video (15 sec)! This is hilarious. Can someone translate the Asian words that come up right at the end?
Non-Table Tennis: Baltimore Orioles
They now have a nine-game lead on the Toronto Blue Jays, 9.5 games on the Yankees. As some readers know, I often get published at Orioles Hangout, mostly with humorous stories or top ten lists. I just created this image for them that shows the state of the American League East.
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