June 1, 2020

Tip of the Week
Do You Have a Quadruple Threat Receive?

Franchise-Based Professional US Table Tennis League
If you want to be a world-class player in the US, then the first thing you have to do after high school (after years of training!) is to get out of the US. It's almost impossible to reach a world-class level unless, at that stage, you spend a few years training and competing against the best in the world, and that means going overseas to play on a team. Most top US players who do this do so in the German leagues, where they both compete regularly against other top players (and gain experience against different styles), and train daily, usually two sessions per day, with the members of their team, along with extensive physical training and serve practice. Most top US players, from past champions Dan Seemiller, Eric Boggan, Sean O'Neill, and Jim Butler, to current US #1 Kanak Jha and other current US players (including Lily Zhang, Nicholas Tio, Wue Yue, and Kai Zarehbin, who were all overseas in leagues when the pandemic began), all developed extensively in European leagues. (The complication, of course, is that this is also the time that many stop training seriously and go to college. But some continue their training and go to college later, after their professional career is over.)

But wouldn't it be great if, someday, top players didn't have to do this because of a Professional US League? Yeah, easier said than done. Where do you get the money? Without money, there's no "professional," and you end up with just top recreational players while the pros go overseas.

Years ago I put together a draft of how to do this. This past weekend I updated it a little, though I still list it as "VERY ROUGH DRAFT." Here's it is:

The Creation of a Franchise-Based Professional US Table Tennis League

The basic idea is to sell franchises, perhaps $10,000 each along with an annual fee, starting in one region with perhaps eight teams. The incentive for the owners is that, who knows, these franchises might be worth millions someday! (Plus they get to be Major League Table Tennis Team Owners!) But it has to start somewhere. The proposal roughly explains how it would be set up, with a commissioner running things (almost as a dictator the first two years to get things going), and players getting paid. At the start they wouldn't make much, but the incentive for players is that those who join in and support it from the start get favored status later on, as the league grows. Owners make money based on ticket & refreshment sales, and sponsorships. Umpires also get paid.

Just imagine it - suppose it were in the Northeast and feel free to come up with names from your own region!

  • The Long Island Lobbers!
  • The Brooklyn Bashers!
  • The Baltimore Blockers!
  • The Boston Backhands
  • The Philadelphia Flippers!
  • The Pittsburgh Pushers!
  • The Rhode Island Receivers!
  • The Providence Pippers!
  • The Chesapeake Choppers!  
  • The Rochester Rackets!
  • The Staten Island Sponge!
  • The Connecticut Counterloopers!
  • The Westchester Waldner Wannabes!
  • The Maryland Ma Long Masters!

If there's anyone wants to become the next Rob Manfred (MLB), Roger Goodell (NFL), or Adam Silver (NBA), feel free to use this!


USA Table Tennis to Lift Suspension on Sanctioned Tournament Play
Here's the news item - yes, Our Long National Nightmare is Over!!! Get Ready for This!!!

USATT Happy Hour
It was held this past Friday from 7-8PM Eastern Time - here's the USATT news item on it, which was linked to from my blog last week. USATT hosted "the first in what will be a weekly series of 'Happy Hours' for USATT Members." So presumably there'll be another one this Friday! About 30 people attended, with the number peaking at 33. Here's a picture of my screen during the meeting. This one became primarily a discussion about table tennis leagues - especially professional, regional, and junior leagues. I spoke up about my ideas for a franchise-based Professional US Table Tennis League - see segment on this above.

New from USA Table Tennis
There's a LOT of new and important news items this week - read them over carefully!!! See especially . . . well . . . all of them!

USATT Board Meeting Tonight
The online meeting starts at 8PM Eastern Time on Monday, June 1, and is open to any USATT member to listen in. (You may ask the chair for permission to speak.) No agenda is listed yet. I will likely attend. Here's the USATT listing of  Agendas and Notices and of Minutes and Actions - both of these link to each other at the top. The latter is part of the drop-down menu under USATT at the USATT home page.

USATT Online Meetings
In the two segments above I've listed a number of USATT online meetings. To make things easier for you, here's a complete compilation. All meetings take place on Zoom except for the USATT board meeting, which is on Uber Conference. All meeting notices include a link that automatically takes you to the meeting. All times listed are Eastern Standard Time.


Backhand Looping with Coach Ojo
Here's the video (1:57).

MH Table Tennis: 30 Coaching Tutorials in 30 Days
Here's the video page. Matt Hetherington of MH Table Tennis is making one every day! (If you find his videos of value, here's his GoFundMe page.) Below are the recent ones (also see the playlists at the bottom of the page), along with the interview with Dan Ives from Table Tennis Daily. (The other twelve videos were linked from my blog last week.)

New from Samson Dubina

New from Steve Rowe and Aerobic Table Tennis

Kevin Table Tennis, Parts 1 and 2
Here are the new Ping Pong for Beginners videos by Kevin Nguyen of Portland, OR. He's 12 and already rated 2062. He also does trickshot videos, which you can find on his YouTube home page. He also has a table tennis home page.

The Limitations of Defensive Table Tennis
Here's the article from Coach Jon.

Kanak Jha & Bruna Takahashi | Ask A Pro Anything at home
Here's the video (48:04). US #1 Kanak is word #27; Brazil's #1 Bruna is world #47.

New from Steve Hopkins

New from ITTF
Here's their home page and news page.

ITTF High Performance & Development Webinars
A new series featuring ITTF's High-performance Department covering a whole range of topics. (The first was from three weeks ago, the most recent three days ago.) These and other YouTube videos can be at the ITTF Official Channel.

Ping Pong, Vol 1 is a Terrific, Grounded Sports Manga, for Better or Worse
Here's the review.

Table Tennis Never Seen Before
Here's the video (5:12) from PingSunday/EmRatThich. "Table tennis with a new view angle. Most of the public just seen table tennis with the ITTF camera angle. Some of the shots can be seen better with another camera. If not filmed, you won't believe it."

New from the Malong Fanmade Channel
Lots of new videos here!

Table Tennis Fishing
Here's the video (7:25)!

Insane Table Tennis Dive Shots | Who Did It BEST?
Here's the video (1:59)!

Ping-Pong Trick Shots
Here's the video (3:01)!

Next Level Trickshot
Here's the video (18 sec) - with a behind-the-head forehand!

Jedi Ping Pong Cartoon on the Death Star
Here's the video (35 sec) from Steve Worthington! It's Darth Vader vs. Luke Skywalker!

Flying Ping Pong
Here's the video (4:05) from Pongfinity!

Non-Table Tennis - "Journey to Perfection"
I just sold this short story to the anthology "Unidentified Funny Objects," the highest paying science fiction & fantasy humor market. (To give you a taste of the finances in the science fiction world, I was paid 10 cents/word, or $370 for 3700 words.) A wealthy, snooty "doctor" buys the newest car model, and with a few misunderstandings, they're off to see and meet some rather strange places and people!!! It's the 112th short science fiction and fantasy story I've sold. (Out of a total of 1968 published articles in 167 different publications - not including over 1800 blog entries - including 1736 on table tennis, and 17 books.)

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