November 14, 2014

USATT Election

Today's the final deadline for candidates to apply to get on the ballot. (Here's the USATT Election Notice and Process.)  I sent in the signed forms, the signatures (38 to be safe), and the one-page statement. (I'll put the statement online later on, whether I'm on the ballot or not.) So now all I can do is wait. The final ballot will be announced by next Friday (Nov. 21), with the election from Nov. 27-Dec. 27, and the winners announced Jan. 6.

As noted in my October 23 blog, I'm running on five main issues. If I'm on the ballot, I'll put together a "USATT Election" tab here, and put more information there on these and other issues. I'll devote one blog to each of these five issues for five consecutive days, plus a sixth day to go over a number of other issues. (On the seventh day I'll rest?) As I've noted, I'd like to focus on progressive issues that develop our sport. (I blogged about this on March 19, 2013 - Fairness versus Progressive Issues.)

Here are twelve other items I'd like to get done, in no particular order.

  1. Regular mailings to past members (something like 60,000) to try to bring them back. That's what other successful organizations do.
  2. Letting members get on the USATT ballot by petition with 150 signatures, and letting clubs vote on the Club Representative. (Right now it's an appointed position.) There's also been talk of having a Coach Representative - I'm all for it! We need members who will focus on developing the sport, and any coaching representative would have strong incentive to do just that, as would any real club representative.
  3. Most committees shouldn't be "advisory" - we want them to do things, not just advise.
  4. Too often committees are chaired by the first person who volunteers. We need to do searches and recruit the right candidate for each. I swear I've seen times where a committee chair was decided like Jeopardy - whoever hit the buzzer first (i.e. raised their hand) got the position.
  5. Serve rule - Ball must be visible to both umpires, or where the umpires would sit. I'm going to keep pushing for this rule. (I blogged about this on Nov. 11.)
  6. NCAA recognition. Work with NCTTA on this. Also study their league system to see what we can learn.
  7. Fix rating system. Too much to go into here. To start with we need a USATT Ratings Committee.
  8. Open and Nationals info should be available at least one year in advance. The U.S. Open Tennis Championships the next two years will be on Aug. 31-Sept. 13, 2015, and Aug. 29-Sept. 12, 2016, at Flushing Meadows, NY. Where and when will the 2015 U.S. Open and Nationals Table Tennis Championships be held? We don't know yet.
  9. Publish USA citizens ranking lists (along with "open" lists), as required by a past USATT board vote that's long since been forgotten. Too often U.S. players are buried in the rankings behind foreign players. We need both listings.
  10. Bring back print magazine if financially feasible. (Advertising for the online magazine is dramatically down from the print version.) One-third of our membership doesn't play tournaments, and that's all they really get. U.S. Tennis still has a print magazine, one of their major membership recruiting tools. I think USATT jumped the gun in canceling it. I'd like to have both the online version and the print version - and by adding the online version to the previous print version, we can bring in more advertising than before. (I had two tenures as editor of USATT Magazine, totaling twelve years, and I tripled advertising revenue both times.)
  11. I'm not interested in more rules and equipment changes, other than fixing the hidden serve rule. I'd be very hesitant on any others - I'm tired of rule changes.
  12. Change USATT Mission Statement. See USTA: "To Promote and Develop the Growth of Tennis."

Regarding that last one, here is the Mission Statement of USATT:

"The Mission of the USATT shall be to enable United States athletes to achieve sustained competitive excellence in Olympic/Paralympic, Pan American or Para Pan American Games, and other international competitions, and to promote and grow the sport of Table Tennis in the United States, while creating a lasting value for our members."

Here is the Mission Statement of the U.S. Tennis Association:

"To Promote and Develop the Growth of Tennis."

I prefer theirs - simple and direct, and something that I'd like to continually quote in USATT board meetings when pushing for programs that promote and develop the growth of table tennis in the U.S.

Here's a perfect encapsulation of why I'm running for the USATT Board, which I've linked to before - "The Ping-Pong Apartments." I'm running to fix the Ping-Pong Apartments. (I'll probably link to this again later if I'm on the ballot.) And I plan to continue to be a Man in the Arena.

Top Spin the Movie - Premier Tomorrow!

Here's the home page, and here's info on the premiere at the SVA Theatre in New York City on Saturday, Nov. 15, at 4:30 PM. "In Sara Newens and Mina T. Son’s spirited sports film, three driven teenage athletes attempt to go for Olympic gold. Their sport? The perpetually popular but underappreciated game of table tennis. Northern California’s Ariel Hsing and Lily Zhang balance friendship and professional rivalry to see who’ll come out on top, while Long Island’s Michael Landers sacrifices his senior year of high school to devote more time to training at NYC’s SPiN."

Poly Balls - Where They Are Made

A confidential source yesterday told me that, except for the Nittaku Premium 40+ balls (made by Nittaku in Japan), all of the new poly plastic seamed balls are being made in the Double Happiness factory in China, with different labels attached. This means that the Nittaku Sha 40+, JOOLA Super-P 40+, and Butterfly 40+ are all the same - sort of. Many of them play differently, however, because the manufacturing process is getting better, and so the ones produced just a few months ago aren't as good as the more recent ones. I don't know if this is true, but it could be. (Here's a document from the ITTF, The New Plastic Balls: Questions and Answers, which gives more info on the poly balls.) 

How the Poly Ball Will Change the Game and What You Should Do

Here's the article by Samson Dubina, where he explains how he thinks the new ball will change the game and what you should do.

China: The New Plastic Ball is a Potential Danger

Here's the article from Tabletennista.

Tibhar Basic Exercises in Table Tennis Training

Here's the video (40:45).

Fan Zhendong - The Skills of the Champion

Here's the new video (4:31).

Ask the Coach

Episode #26 (12:35) - Make Your Training Effective

  • Question 1 - 2:52: Can we train everyday for about 3 hours? Yusra
  • Question 2 - 4:10: I couldn't play table tennis for 2-3 months. There was a tournament so i practiced hard and regained my form. But when i played my first match which was against a very weak player i don't know what happened to me and I just started playing horribly. Utkarsh
  • Question 3 - 6:12: My coach told me that i should bend my body and my knees. My eyes should be at the net level throughout the rally. How could i get used to it? Kevin A
  • Question 4 - 9:50: I have problem that when they make a topspin serve or no spin serve I don't know what to do, Is there any way to return this type of serve without flicking? Long

Episode #27 (10:19) - Flicking and Flipping

  • Question 1 - 1:49: I play in a club and I am used to playing on the club table. When I go for a match it is tough to get used to that table and none of my topspins or blocks are landing. But in the club I am able to land most of my balls. How do I overcome this. Rohan
  • Question 2 - 5:00: How to do Seo Hyowon serve with a great spin and curve on the ball? Napnap Salcedo
  • Question 3 - 6:29: Is it advisable to flick a short spiny sidespin serve; with the right height? Abdiel Maldonado
  • Question 4 - 8:18: Hi, I was just wondering what the flip shot is. I've been looking at articles and interviews with players and they've all been saying the flip is really hard to execute. Kevin

The Story of American Table Tennis Champion Jimmy Butler

Here's the new video (15:42). He's seeded fourth at the upcoming USA Nationals at age 43.

Interview with 3-Time U.S. Women's Singles Champion Ariel Hsing

Here it is!

Ai Fukuhara: From Tearful Toddler to Japan's Table Tennis Queen

Here's the article.

Dimitrij Ovtcharov and Bastian Steger Training at the Swedish Open

Here's the video (7:43) of the two Germans, ranked #6 and #19 in the world. Note the interesting little racket "flip" that Ovtcharov does between shots where it appears to be flipping the racket, but actually is just getting it back into position for the next shot. I'd like to see that in slow motion - I might search for that later.  

Ryu Sung Min Impossible Footwork Spin

Here's the video (12 sec)!

Zhang Jike Yellow-Carded for Throwing Racket

Here's the article with links to video.

Eighth Annual Ping Pong Palooza at Sapphire Gentlemens Club

Here are pictures from the event, which was held in Las Vegas to benefit the Sapphire Foundation for Prostate Cancer

Table Tennis Salt & Pepper Shakers Set

Here they are!

Kinect Sports - Table Tennis

Here's an "instructional" video (10:08) that teaches you how to play table tennis in the Kinect Sports Xbox 360.  

The Story of Ping-Pong

Here's the short but funny story! What do you think the reason was?

Best Celebration from the 2013 USA Nationals

Here's the video (55 sec), with the celebration starting at 0:43 as Pruthvi Innamuri of Fremont TTA wins Under 1200, 12-10 in the fifth.

Spider-Man Plays Table Tennis

Here's proof!

  1. Spider-Man Smacks in Forehand Against Pikachu
  2. Spider-Man Plays Doubles with "World Champion" Judah Friedlander
  3. Spider-Man's Big Backhand
  4. Spider-Man Stares at Table
  5. Spider-Man at Ping-Pong Club (15-sec video - you get webbed)
  6. Spider-Man vs. Skeletor (63-second video)
  7. Spider-Man Plays Table Tennis (54-sec video)
  8. Spider-Man plays table tennis with Spider-Man theme music. (3:58 video, Spider-Man masked man appears at 2:37, Spider-Man theme music a few seconds later.)
  9. Spider-Man Ping Pong (22:46 video in Spanish that doesn't actually appear to have any table tennis! Can anyone explain the title?)
  10. Spider-Man Playing Car Pong (1:47 video). Car Pong is from 0:31 to 0:40, and from 0:48 to 1:17 Spider-Man plays Table Pong. (Yes, that's Adam Bobrow.)
  11. Adam Bobrow as Spider-Man.  And here's another. And another (with Superboy looking on). There are plenty more! 
  12. Spider-Man Table
  13. Spider-Man's Andrew Garfield Plays Table Tennis
  14. Spider-Man Makes Web Paddle
  15. Spider-Man Paddles
  16. More Spider-Man Paddles
  17. Still More Spider-Man Paddles
  18. Spider-Paddle
  19. Spider-Balls
  20. Spider-Man vs. Batman Online Ping-Pong Game
  21. Spider Playing Table Tennis
  22. Spider-Man Ping-Pong Gun
  23. Web Slinging Ping Pong Master of Disguise (I have no idea what this one's about)
  24. Ping-Pong Playing Spider Robot


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