Butterfly Online

November 25, 2014

USATT Election

Below is Part 2 of my series of blogs about my plans if elected to the USATT Board. Here is my Election Page, and here's the USATT Election Notice. Here's my blogging schedule:

  1. Monday, November 24: Create a Nationwide System of Regional Team Leagues
  2. Tuesday, November 25: Create State Associations
  3. Wednesday, November 26: Create a USATT Coaching Academy to Recruit and Train Professional Coaches
  4. Monday, December 1: Turn U.S. Open and Nationals into Premier Events
  5. Tuesday December 2: Create a Professional Players Association, and Professionalize the Sport
  6. Wednesday, December 3: Other Issues (Balloting opens on this day, and continues until Dec. 27.)

Create State Associations
=>The Goal: Dramatically increase membership by organizing on the local level.
The country is too big to have everything run by one centralized group. We should model this on tennis or the regional table tennis associations all over Europe.

Some states already have state associations, and if so, that's great - we don't have to do anything other than offer support. (Some very large states may have two or more associations, such as California.) But most don't, and most current ones aren't very active - we need to work with those ones to organize at a higher level. We need truly active state associations that can truly run table tennis in their state or region. I was involved in tennis leagues and saw how effectively a volunteer-run state association can operate. (This doesn't mean it's all volunteer - there are also full-timers involved. We need to find the right mix.)

So how do we go about doing this? We start by recruiting USA state directors all over the U.S. to set up state associations. At the start they would be appointed, but once an association is successful and can run on its own, there can be elections. Each association would need Coaching, League, Tournament, and Club Directors. (In smaller states, they might be combined, at least at first.) USATT would supply the basic prototype bylaws for these state associations, which they could then modify where needed. (I already wrote these prototype bylaws during a previous aborted attempt by USATT to establish regional associations - they are sitting on my computer. I'd like to run them by others at some point before finalizing them.)

Who would organize this? I'm quite willing to let the USATT staff do this, but if they are too busy, and nobody truly qualified wants to do it, I'm quite willing to take it on. Some will accuse me of trying to be in charge of too much, but someone has to do this, and I've got the energy and the vision to do this. But I'm quite willing to let someone else take charge if we can find the right person. I want to make this happen, and so someone has to make it happen.

What should a State Association be responsible for? They would:

  • Generally oversee table tennis activities in their state or region
  • Oversee the regional team league among clubs in their state or region (see yesterday's blog)
  • Arrange tournaments (open and closed)
  • Help to bring in coaches for their clubs
  • Help to organize junior training programs
  • Organize training centers in their state. Every state should have these. (I'll blog about this tomorrow.)
  • Find people to open clubs in the cities in their state that don't have clubs, starting with the more populated ones

I envision a time where, like many countries in Europe, players would join state associations rather than the national governing body (USATT) - but in joining that state association would automatically become a USATT member. USATT would get a percentage of the membership dues (as they do overseas), and in return would offer the league, league ratings, tournament ratings, and numerous other types of support (such as manuals and expertise in running various programs). Not all of these state associations will be successful, at least at the start. But if a few are, then that's a state that can take off and lead the country.

Washington Post Interview and Other Work

On Sunday I was interviewed at my club (MDTTC) by the Washington Post for an upcoming feature on Table Tennis and Health. Also interviewed was Navin Kumar, a student of mine who has both Parkinson's and a mechanical heart. We discussed the various health benefits of table tennis, and the sport in general.

It's been a busy few days. I'm actively campaigning in the USATT election, as well as doing my usual coaching and promotional work. Yesterday I finalized the USATT Hall of Fame Program booklet for the Hall of Fame Banquet at this year's Nationals. (This is the sixth year in a row I've done that.) I finalized the Amazon version of Tim Boggan's History of U.S. Table Tennis, Vol. 15. (There were some technical issues that had to be worked out.) I began work on the MDTTC December Newsletter. I spent a bunch of time discussing (in person and via email) with Michael and Stefano a planned "Capital Area Table Tennis LEague" ("CATTLE"!). I also spent time studying the LA Table Tennis League Rules (and their How to Participate and other pages), which could be a model both for "CATTLE" and perhaps for the regional team leagues I proposed in yesterday's blog. We may already have our prototype in place! We just need to turn it into something that can be packaged for other states and regions.

5-Star North American Tour Finals

Here's the USATT article. "The Grand Final will take place Feb. 7-8, 2015, at the Westchester Table Tennis Center, in Pleasantville, NY. It will feature the top 16 finishers from the 2014 Tour."

Actions of the USATT High Performance Committee

Below are their meeting minutes, by Chair Carl Danner. I've had some disagreements with them, but overall I'm quite pleased with this committee's recent work, and look forward to working with them if I'm on the board.

USATT Criteria and Procedures for Entering US Athletes in International Competitions

Here's the USATT article. I'm pleased they have taken action on this as there was a problem with this earlier this year. I like it when I see people actually taking action to solve problems rather than just letting it go.

Footwork for Defenders

Here's the video (4:12) from PingSkills.

Practicing the Banana Flip Alone

Here's the video (2:39).

Ask the Coach

Episode 34 (12:46) - Pure Backspin

  • PingSkillers Question of the Day - 0:19: Who is the best player in the World at the moment? Men's and Women's.
  • Question 1 - 1:51: How could I achieve pure heavy back spin serve with Pendulum motion and no side spin on it? So as soon as the opponent touches the ball it goes straight into net. Salman
  • Question 2 - 5:26: I've just bought a new rubber and realised that i have glue but out of sponge to apply it to my rubber. I thought that regular sponge can be used as an alternative but it will just soak the glue. Is there any other method to apply the glue. Utkarsh
  • Question 3 - 7:00: Can you please tell what and how should a defender practice? Rutvik Thakkar
  • Question 4 - 9:56: I'm a pretty advanced player but I'm looking to maximise spin when I chop but it usually either goes well up into the air or lands in the net. Any advice for this? Joshua Griffiths

Devices for Remote Meetings - for League Directors?

Here's a possible device for remote meetings. (Note that when he refers to "Larry's Nov. 24th Project," He's talking about my blog on November 24 - yesterday - where I wrote about creating a nationwide system of regional team leagues.)

As a fervent reader and supporter of Larry’s BLOG, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Jules Apatini, the creator of www.aerobicpingpong.com located here in the US. 

I am originally from Hungary, and as such - have been lifelong and serious Ping Pong/Table Tennis player, supporter, and enthusiast since childhood. In Larry’s Nov. 24th Project, I couldn’t help but see an incredible opportunity to give this Olympic Sport a huge boost in this country (the US Ping Pong Table Tennis World).

I have had a long time dream to jumpstart and promote the awareness of the benefits of Ping Pong and Table Tennis in this country, but this requires a leadership team of passionate visionaries, in order to be successful. In Hungary, and in fact all other countries outside the US, this is how Ping Pong and Table Tennis has evolved to how it is as popular as it is today. There is a need to get the right people organized and involved here in the US. I AM one of those who would and is dedicated to this success.

For all of you who are” in it to win it”, I have information on a groundbreaking and leading-edge,  new smart media video device which can be jointly purchased and used to hold online/remote meetings with those of you who will be involved with LARRY’s Project. The information for this device may be accessed through one of my sites, http://www.smartvideodevices.com, and may also be purchased through my official Amazon affiliate link provided to me by Amazon. There will be more to come in the near future about www.aerobicpingpong.com. Thank you for reading and possibly becoming a more active member of Larry’s wonderful project who may just be able to use this new technology for a variety of purposes and personal benefit.

Best Regards,

Jules Apatini

New Paddles for You!

Seriously - anyone know where I can buy these?

Ping Pong Balls are Incredibly Flammable!

Here's the video (2:09) of a mass of celluloids burning. (I linked to video comparisons of celluloid vs. polyball yesterday, but this was too spectacular not to show.)

NBA Legend John Salley and Table Tennis Legend Kim Gilbert

Here's the picture! "NBA Legend John Salley stopped by to tell me he just bought a ping pong table for his daughter, she wants to become a champion! Game on!!"

The Table Tennis Board and Dining Room Table

Here's the picture!

Liberace Table Tennis Shirt

Here it is!

That's Why We Don't Jump the Net in Table Tennis

Here's the cartoon!

Epic London Underground Ping Pong Battle

Here's the hilarious video (62 sec)!

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