November 15, 2021

Tip of the Week
Don't Give a Quick Player Too Many Short Balls.

MDTTC Open, Weekend Coaching, and Jordan, Oh My!
It was held this past weekend at the Maryland Table Tennis Center, where I coach. Here are complete results, care of Omnipong. I spent much of Saturday coaching matches, including Stanley Hsu in the semifinals and final of the Open. (I wish I could blog about the tactics used, but alas, that's secret.) Here are the rating results!

I also helped coach the Novice Junior Class on Sunday, 5:30-7:00PM. Lots and lots of multiball!!! Most of it involved on player on ball pickup, one doing multiball, and one shadow-practicing behind him. I also had them do some two-person multiball drills, so two players could do multiball at the same time.

Meanwhile, I'm preparing to coach for a week at the ITTF Hopes Camp and Tournament in Jordan, Dec. 8-14. (I fly out on Dec. 6.) The top 20 boys and 20 girls from around the world will be there. (Except for China, which doesn't seem to be participating in this.) I'll be coaching Ryan Lin, the US #1 eleven-year-old until he turned twelve a week ago. Also going are Mandy Yu (with coach Wei Qi) and Tashiya Piyadasa (coached by father Thilina). The time-consuming part is that ITTF requires all 37 coaches who are going to take a three-week online course. I did the first week's course already, finishing it yesterday. The next session goes up next Thursday, and the final one the Thursday after that (Thanksgiving). With these courses, the Jordan trip itself, the World Hardbat Championships, the North American Teams, and the US Open, this next month is going to be extremely busy. But thanks goes to USATT, USATT High Performance Director Sean O'Neill, and Director of Para Programs Jasna Rather (who obviously is involved in other activities besides Para) for their help in organizing the Jordan trip!

Joerg Bitzigeio Arbitration
I've blogged about USATT losing roughly $200,000 in the arbitration case with former High Performance Director Joerg Bitzigeio. USATT should have had a news item on this, where they not only could have been upfront with the membership, but could have given their side. Several people (including USATT board members and committee members) told me they have never heard about this and asked me where I get it from, since there has never been a USATT announcement on it. So here's a public notice from June, 2021, from the law firm of Benezra & Culver, Firm Prevails in Two Arbitration Hearings/Trials (see paragraph 4).

In August of 2020, our firm participated in an arbitration hearing for its client, Joerg Bitzigeio against his former employer, USA Table Tennis (“USATT”). Mr. Bitzigeio is the former high performance Director of USATT. During his tenure, the US Table Tennis team experienced unprecedented success. Nonetheless, a new Executive Director essentially forced him from his position and failed to pay him the $90,000 in severance due to him under his employment agreement if USATT materially reduced his job responsibilities. After the hearing/trial, the arbitrator awarded Mr. Bitzigeio $90,000 in severance and $8, 222.57 in prejudgment interest. It also ordered USATT to reimburse Mr. Bitzigeio for the $74, 931.50 in attorney fees and the $7,67.40 in costs that he incurred pursuing his claim.

If you add up the numbers, it shows that USATT was forced to pay about $174,000. But that doesn't include USATT's own legal fees, which presumably would have been similar to Joerg's - so perhaps about $75,000. So that comes to about $250,000 in all, more than my initial estimate. (Perhaps USATT's legal fees were less, but we have no way of knowing without their telling us. And note that while we would have had to pay the $90,000 fee to Joerg either way, in this case we had to pay it while simultaneously paying the salary of his successor.) Hopefully, nobody is going to get mad at me for publicizing a public matter that's already public about a public organization!

ITTF Pan American Championships
Here's the ITTF page for the event taking place now in Lima, Peru, Nov. 13-19. There have been three ITTF news items so far, all featuring USA players.

Classic Hardbat World Championship in Houston
Here's the info page - it's this Sunday! I'm playing in it, along with Jim Butler, AJ Carney, and many others - here's the player listing. I'm coaching until 4PM on the Saturday before, then driving straight to the airport for a 7PM flight (arriving at 9:45PM), play on Sunday at 8:30 AM, fly back Monday morning. (So next week's blog will likely be on Tuesday.) Great thanks to Steve Claflin (former junior star) for setting this up. Here's an article on a Malta star flying in for it: Mario Genovese Ready for the Classic Hardbat World Championship in Texas.

USATT to Conduct Elections for Elite Athlete Seats on the Board of Directors
Here's the USATT news item. "Pursuant to Newly Adopted Bylaws, Eligible Elite Athletes Will Choose Four Representatives to Serve on the USATT Board of Directors in Two Separate Elections – Eligible Elite Athletes Are Encouraged to Submit Their Request to Run in Elite Athlete Elections Starting Today." As of now, I know of four players running in the first election for two spots: Lily Zhang, Nikhil Kumar, Tahl Leibovitz, and Jennifer Johnson.

ITTF Emergency Executive Committee Meeting Called [About Worlds in Houston]
Here's the ITTF news item. The main discussion will be related to the remaining entry and visa issues for the Worlds in Houston. But it also has this seemingly cryptic statement: "As USA Table Tennis issued a legal letter to the ITTF insisting that the Annual General Meeting must be held in the United States in accordance with the ITTF Constitution, this therefore also obliges them to perform their duties. The ITTF now must look at measures in the highly likely case that these duties will not all be met."

The Hardest Step in Table Tennis - the Step Around
Here's the video (1:26) from Timo Boll.

New from Samson Dubina

Ball Placement
Here's the video (58 sec) from Brian Pace.

Forehand & Backhand Counterlooping
Here's the video (46 sec) from Angel Luis.

Continuous Forehand Loop Development
Here's the video (1:58) from Jinxin Wang.

Opening Attack & Footwork
Here's the video (60 sec) from Wang Hui.

Backhand & Forehand Attack with Footwork
Here's the video (65 sec) from Patryk Zyworonek

The Key to Consistency
Here's the video (4:42) from Coach Jon.

Seth Pech vs. Andrew Cao 2021 Edgeball Open
Here's the video (10:58) from Seth, who gives point-by-point analysis.

Felix Lebrun vs Chuang Chih-Yuan Analysis of the Points
Here's the video (1:54) from the Performance Biomechanics Academy Table Tennis.

How to Hit Backhand with Long Pimples Against Backspin
Here's the video (6:49) from Ti Long.

New from PingSunday/EmRatThich

15th Si and Patty Wasserman Junior/Open Tournament Results and Photos
Here's the links page.

Coach Lin: "Get Better with Me"
Here's the video site I recently discovered.

Portland Ping-Pong Club Needs Better Lighting
Here's the fundraiser! Junior star Kevin Nguyen is leading the charge to raise $4000 for the better lighting.

Table Tennis Player Killed In Chicago
Here's the article/obit and video (2:35) on Shaoxiong 'Dennis' Zheng.

FISU World University Games Announcement
Here's the USATT news item. "With the US Open being just a little over a month away, many athletes will be preparing for one of the biggest events at the Open; the University Games Trials."

New from Steve Hopkins

Timo Boll: Fan Zhendong is the Favorite, But Other Chinese Look Vulnerable
Here's the article from Edges and Nets.

Here's their news pagevideo page ("World Table Tennis") and home page.

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

$120,000 YouTuber Ping Pong Competition!
Here's the video (2hr 54min)! Adam Bobrow does some commentating.

Zazzle Table Tennis Shirts
Take your pick!

TT Trump Shows Different Grips
Here's the video (7:57) from Larry "Trump" Bavly!

No Look Shots from Level 1 to 100
Here's the video (3:45) from Pongfinity!

Adam vs. Toa 2.0
Here's the video (15:36) from Adam Bobrow! You should see the kid bouncing the ball on the handle of his racket while riding a scooter.

Send us your own coaching news!