May 25, 2016

Rarely Used Hand Signals for Illegal Hidden Serves
Here's the video (5:38), which came out in February. But there's something surreal to me about having signals for hiding the ball (with the arm, the shoulder, and the head), when these are almost never called, no matter how blatantly the player hides the serve.

As I've blogged many times, we have a culture of cheating in our sport, where essentially every major title is won with illegal hidden serves that are done right out in the open, where everyone can see it, and the umpires will not call it. Yes, it's tough to see if a serve is hidden, but that's clearly covered in the serving rules – "If either the umpire or the assistant umpire is not sure about the legality of a service he or she may, on the first occasion in a match, interrupt play and warn the server; but any subsequent service by that player or his or her doubles partner which is not clearly legal shall be considered incorrect."

And in case that's not enough, there's also 2.6.6: "It is the responsibility of the player to serve so that the umpire or the assistant umpire can be satisfied that he or she complies with the requirements of the Laws, and either may decide that a service is incorrect."

There is a zero percent chance that an umpire can be "sure" about the legality of a serve where the player blatantly hides contact with his arm, shoulder, or head (as is done over and over), and of course it's the responsibility of the player to make sure the umpire is sure of this. And yet they almost never call it – meaning we have to teach our players (including up-and-coming kids) that they must cheat if they want to compete. It's sickening, and yet there seems no way to get the people in charge to act on this. I know; I've tried and tried. Most are still in denial, just as those in charge were in denial during the steroids era.

Interview with USATT CEO Gordon Kaye
They seem to have done this in several parts. I linked to question #1 on April 28. They have since published question #2 and #4, but strangely I can find no question #3. Here are the three available; #4 is perhaps the most important and most interesting. (The interviews were taken at the ICC TTC.)

  • Question 1 (1:59): How did you get started with Table Tennis?
  • Question 2 (1:34: How did you become passionate about table tennis?
  • Question 4 (1:44): Why do you believe table tennis is growing as a serious sport in the U.S.?

2016 World Veterans Championships
Here's the home page. They are going on right now in Alicante/Elche, Spain, May 23-29. Here's where you can find results

Zhang Jike to Defend Olympic Games Men's Singles Title
Here's the ITTF article.

Anne Cribbs Honored by Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame
Here's the USATT article. Anne is on the USATT Board of Directors.

DHS ITTF Top 10 Shots - 2016 ITTF Polish Open
Here's the video (5:06).

Nittaku ITTF Monthly Pongcast - April 2016
Here's the video (13:12).

Jan-Ove Waldner Gets Mobbed in China
Here's the video (70 sec).

Adam Bobrow: Visiting the Youth in Penang TT Club
Here's the video (3:36).

Taiwan Shiuder Elementary School Team Recruit Promo
Here's the video (2:17).

Giant Ping-Pong Paddles

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