August 1, 2022

Next Blog on August 29
As noted below, I'll be out of town Aug. 4-28. However, there will still be a Tip of the Week every Monday. See segment "Houston, San Antonio, Mexico."

=>UPDATE - Here are the nine articles I wrote at the Classic Hardbat World Championships, Aug. 6-7 In Missouri, TX, just outside Houston.

Tips of the Week

World Classic Hardbat Championships
They will be this weekend in Missouri City, TX, just outside Houston. Here's the player listing by event – it's pretty strong! Here's my article on the USATT News Page. (This is an update of the one published by Butterfly a month ago.) I'm only playing one event – Over 60 Hardbat – and will be there primarily doing coverage. I expect to write up a storm!

Quick note to those in the Over 60 Event – you have no chance against my absolutely unstoppable forehand. Give up now. Your only chance is if you find my weak backhand. (Shhh – keep that a secret. I don't want others in the event to know.) There's a history behind this. In sponge (which is what I primarily play and coach), I developed a forehand-dominant style, with just a consistent backhand. With sponge, I could just rebound the ball back, over and over. But I can't do that with hardbat, where you have to stroke the ball more – and so my backhand isn't so good. Good thing that, at 62, I still move like a [really old and broken down] cheetah!

There was some controversy regarding this event and USATT, which initially wouldn't put the article up on their news page. However, after twelve days, it's been resolved, and USATT is going to post the updated article on their news page tonight. I'll link to it when it goes up. (I wrote a long article on this topic for today, but since it's been resolved, I decided not to post it.)

Houston, San Antonio, Mexico - Sightseeing!
I leave this Thursday for a 24-day odyssey through Texas and Mexico, Aug. 4-28. Here's my schedule:

  • Aug. 4-7: Missouri City, Texas (just outside Houston) for the World Hardbat Championships. (See segment above.)
  • Aug. 8: Sightseeing in Houston, in particular the NASA Space Center, and possibly the Houston Zoo or the Museum of Natural Science.
  • Aug. 9-10: Sightseeing in San Antonio, in particular The Alamo and the San Antonio River Walk, and likely the Historic Market Square, San Antonio Zoo & Aquarium, and perhaps the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park & Mission Trail. (I'm told I actually visited The Alamo once – but was one or two years old at the time, and somehow can't remember it!)
  • Aug. 11-28: Guided Tour of Mexico. The tour itself is Aug. 13-27, but I'm going down a couple days early on my own. The tour focuses on historical sites, including Aztec ruins, and so on. Place we'll visit include Mexico City, Puebla, Oaxaca, San Cristobal de las Casas, Palenque, Merida, Chichen Itza, and Playa del Carmen.

2022 US Open Table Tennis Championships
Here's the USATT news item – they will be held in Ontario, CA (just outside Los Angeles, not Canada), Dec. 16-21, 2022. I will be there and so should you! It'll be the seventh time we've had a US Open in the Greater Los Angeles Area. I attended the 1994 and 1995 US Opens in Anaheim and did major writeups of the events for USA Table Tennis Magazine (I was editor) – in fact, I've been to every US Open and US Nationals from 1984 to present. My first Open was the 1976 US Open in Philadelphia. (I started playing early that year.) Alas, I missed the 1977 US Open in Hollywood.

The article says, "This will mark the first time in the 91 years of playing the US Open that USATT has hosted a major event in this Southern California inland region." This is a little bit misleading, though presumably they are referring to strictly the inland region east of LA. Below is a listing of past Opens in the LA region. Your best source for such info (including results of every US Open and Nationals in our history) is US Table Tennis Results History, created and maintained by Vince Mioduszewski.

  • 1959 US Open, Inglewood, CA, 18 miles from LA.
  • 1964 US Open, Inglewood, CA, 18 miles from LA.
  • 1977 US Open, Hollywood, CA, 7 miles from LA.
  • 1994 US Open, Anaheim, 28 miles from LA.
  • 1995 US Open, Anaheim, 28 miles from LA.
  • 2022 US Open, Ontario, CA, 35 miles from LA.

Maccabiah Games – Table Tennis

News from All Over
Since I've been away two weeks, rather than try to list every interesting article, for this blog I'll just link to some of the main news and coaching pages, and you can pick and choose.

Fan Zhendong Moments of Magic
Here's the video (9:19) from Table Tennis Central.

Tomokazu Harimoto vs Lin Gaoyuan | MS | WTT Champions European Summer Series 2022 (Final)
Here's the video (14:05).

China and Table Tennis: Inception of a Sport Juggernaut
Here's the video (12:26), from Feb. 2021. I found this video fascinating as it covers the rise of Chinese table tennis and the Cultural Revolution's negative effect on it – leading to multiple suicides. My table tennis fantasy novel The Spirit of Pong has a chapter that's sort of a flashback during the Chinese Cultural Revolution for Rong Guotuan, China's first table tennis champion, who is featured in the video.

The Kids of Austin Table Tennis Club
Here's the video (2:09) from KVUE.

Rwandan Man Chases Career in Table Tennis
Here's the article from the English News. "Didier Nzosaba, one of Rwanda's best table tennis players, is using his success to inspire more people to develop a career in the game."

Carlos Alcaraz Tries Table Tennis Amid Dominant Hamburg Campaign
Here's the article and pictures. Alcaraz is world #4 in tennis at age 19.

Commonwealth Games 2022: Tin-Tin Ho on Tackling an Eating Disorder and Sporting Stress
Here's the article from the BBC.

Little Tokyo Table Tennis Unites the Young, the Old, the Fashionistas
Here's the article from KCRW.

Clayton Kershaw To Host Annual Ping Pong 4 Purpose
Here's the article from Sports Illustrated.

Ping-Pong Hats
I bet you didn't know Amazon had so many!

Lots of Table Tennis Cartoons – in French
Here they are!

How Panda Trains for the World Championship
Here's the video (2:04)!

This Serve Can't Be Returned
Here's the video (8:31) from Pongfinity!

Mostly Non-Table Tennis
Here's my new blog on my latest science fiction & fantasy happenings, with some table tennis included. I'm always split between my TT and SF worlds!

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