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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2015, 04:24 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
If table tennis was suddenly as popular as tennis, that would be a great thing.


I find it funny that some people like Larry Hodges think it's not important to get table tennis in schools in the U.S. (leagues simply aren't working after all these years in L.A...too expensive and time consuming for most people due to constant traveling). From my experience in badminton, exposure to the youth in schools IT'S ALL THAT MATTERS. The same with tennis. Without formal acceptance by high schools and colleges table tennis will forever remain as a fringe recreational sport in the U.S.


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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2015, 04:37 
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I was talking to two of my badminton teammates, one from South Korea and another from Japan...both girls said table tennis is featured prominently as a middle school and high school sport in their respective countries. Is there any wonder why both countries are constantly producing the only genuine threats in the world to the Chinese dominance in table tennis, along with a couple of players from Germany? ;)


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2015, 02:04 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
I pose an alternate view about the popularity of our sport. Would it really be of benefit to us as players if the sport became as big as soccer for example? If big money and corporates took over the game like they do other sports and the common man is left out in the cold for much of it....would that really be a benefit to the current grassroots player in the sport (and I'm hypothesising about grassroots players being pushed aside by these big money people in preference to the players THEY consider should play the game. This would include BIG MONEY directing the ITTF and Affiliates to run TT centres THEIR way). I'm not so sure that would be great for the sport.


I agree. Happily this will never happen. The sport can never be attractive enough for mass television viewing.


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2015, 07:26 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
I pose an alternate view about the popularity of our sport. Would it really be of benefit to us as players if the sport became as big as soccer for example? If big money and corporates took over the game like they do other sports and the common man is left out in the cold for much of it....would that really be a benefit to the current grassroots player in the sport (and I'm hypothesising about grassroots players being pushed aside by these big money people in preference to the players THEY consider should play the game. This would include BIG MONEY directing the ITTF and Affiliates to run TT centres THEIR way). I'm not so sure that would be great for the sport.


A bit of a stretch imagining TT could ever be as popular as soccer (football). Oh, hang on ... it probably is in China.

I don't think this thread concerns the current, common TT player. And even so, I don't think a huge injection of money and capital would necessarily push them out. You might see a lot more people rolling up at your club wanting to join, and you might turn to your buddy and suggest, "Isn't it weird how we always get new members after a TT World Cup?"

Big money, small money, whatever money ... I think it's been suggested quite a bit that certain current governing bodies have less than ethical aims already.

It's certainly worth weighing up the pros and cons of what you fear might happen if the sport did become mainstream in a big way.

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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2015, 14:07 
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Don't we wish TT can be as popular as some "esports" for the young generation?



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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2015, 16:59 
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I think it's hard since the sport is to boring to watch for an not interested TT player. To much dead time during the points.


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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2015, 07:22 
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Blondie said
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I think it's hard since the sport is to boring to watch for an not interested TT player. To much dead time during the points.

If this is the case then why isn't this "dead time" used in telecasts (or professionally edited videos) for slow motion replays and explanation of what has just occurred to the layman? I assume lack of money will be the explanation.

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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2015, 08:41 
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Blondie wrote:
I think it's hard since the sport is to boring to watch for an not interested TT player. To much dead time during the points.


I think all sport can be boring to watch, just ask most women. An interest in any sport is a multi-faceted endeavour: early habits, participation (or some level of vested interested) and presentation. Regarding the latter, much of this is up to the organising bodies such as your local TT organisation or the ITTF. Popularity - mainstream appeal - of sport has a lot to do with money and the media bodies motivated by this. Sponsorship is one of the main sources of money outside of the sporting bodies.

Table tennis can be made more popular if compared to the trajectory of popularity in most other sports.

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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2015, 15:14 
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roundrobin wrote:
mynamenotbob wrote:
If table tennis was suddenly as popular as tennis, that would be a great thing.


I find it funny that some people like Larry Hodges think it's not important to get table tennis in schools in the U.S. (leagues simply aren't working after all these years in L.A...too expensive and time consuming for most people due to constant traveling). From my experience in badminton, exposure to the youth in schools IT'S ALL THAT MATTERS. The same with tennis. Without formal acceptance by high schools and colleges table tennis will forever remain as a fringe recreational sport in the U.S.


I just ran across this. This is NOT what I argue. What I've argued is that schools aren't the first step. The first step is to popularize the sport on our own by developing regional leagues and junior programs (like other sports do and how they do it for table tennis overseas) rather than hoping schools in the U.S. will suddenly get interested in a small sport like us out of the blue. They are only interested in us if we send volunteers for free, and we have no way of doing that except in a few isolated cases. When we grow the sport, that's when the people who run schools will notice us and be interested, and that's when we take that step and spread through schools. I'm not going to get into a debate here about how to popularize the sport U.S. other than to say it's been done all over the world and in other sports in the U.S., and we're not magically different here in the U.S.; we just haven't been going about it the right way. I've blogged about this many times. This might even be a blog topic for tomorrow (or rather, this morning).

USATT has tried going to schools repeatedly over the years, and it never works since we haven't done the groundwork first, i.e. developing the sport to the point that the schools see us as having potential instead of being a charity case. I wish there were an easier way, where we could just snap our fingers and schools would spread table tennis everywhere and we'd have millions of active, serious players, but it doesn't work that way. We have to create a foundation first, and then schools can take us to the next level.
-Larry Hodges

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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2015, 15:16 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
If table tennis was suddenly as popular as tennis, that would be a great thing.


Which is why some of us are working very hard to make it so. It won't happen on its own! :)
-Larry Hodges

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PostPosted: 14 Apr 2015, 19:34 
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Larry Hodges wrote:
roundrobin wrote:
mynamenotbob wrote:
If table tennis was suddenly as popular as tennis, that would be a great thing.


I find it funny that some people like Larry Hodges think it's not important to get table tennis in schools in the U.S. (leagues simply aren't working after all these years in L.A...too expensive and time consuming for most people due to constant traveling). From my experience in badminton, exposure to the youth in schools IT'S ALL THAT MATTERS. The same with tennis. Without formal acceptance by high schools and colleges table tennis will forever remain as a fringe recreational sport in the U.S.


I just ran across this. This is NOT what I argue. What I've argued is that schools aren't the first step. The first step is to popularize the sport on our own by developing regional leagues and junior programs (like other sports do and how they do it for table tennis overseas) rather than hoping schools in the U.S. will suddenly get interested in a small sport like us out of the blue. They are only interested in us if we send volunteers for free, and we have no way of doing that except in a few isolated cases. When we grow the sport, that's when the people who run schools will notice us and be interested, and that's when we take that step and spread through schools. I'm not going to get into a debate here about how to popularize the sport U.S. other than to say it's been done all over the world and in other sports in the U.S., and we're not magically different here in the U.S.; we just haven't been going about it the right way. I've blogged about this many times. This might even be a blog topic for tomorrow (or rather, this morning).

USATT has tried going to schools repeatedly over the years, and it never works since we haven't done the groundwork first, i.e. developing the sport to the point that the schools see us as having potential instead of being a charity case. I wish there were an easier way, where we could just snap our fingers and schools would spread table tennis everywhere and we'd have millions of active, serious players, but it doesn't work that way. We have to create a foundation first, and then schools can take us to the next level.
-Larry Hodges

I totally agree with this. I work in a school myself, in England. We have a "decent" local league system, but the majority of the players are old. Table tennis isn't seen as a popular or serious sport. As a result, table tennis interest in school is very low. Even when we have enthusiastic youngsters who want to play, and clearly seriously enjoy playing, they won't take the step toward joining a club because it just isn't as "important" (popular/whatever) as football and myriad other sports.

In my opinion if you can get the club setup (active players, decent venues and coaching especially for youngsters) and the right league structure, the rest will fall into place. The UK has the latter (though its national league could be better) but the former is often found wanting. Where I live in the north east of England we have barely anything in the way of coaching. There are clubs that have really good coaching setups but they're few and far between.

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PostPosted: 15 Apr 2015, 09:44 
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Retriever wrote:
Blondie said
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I think it's hard since the sport is to boring to watch for an not interested TT player. To much dead time during the points.

If this is the case then why isn't this "dead time" used in telecasts (or professionally edited videos) for slow motion replays and explanation of what has just occurred to the layman? I assume lack of money will be the explanation.


Sorry sorry meant of course between the points!


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PostPosted: 15 Apr 2015, 09:48 
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Oskar wrote:
Blondie wrote:
I think it's hard since the sport is to boring to watch for an not interested TT player. To much dead time during the points.


I think all sport can be boring to watch, just ask most women. An interest in any sport is a multi-faceted endeavour: early habits, participation (or some level of vested interested) and presentation. Regarding the latter, much of this is up to the organising bodies such as your local TT organisation or the ITTF. Popularity - mainstream appeal - of sport has a lot to do with money and the media bodies motivated by this. Sponsorship is one of the main sources of money outside of the sporting bodies.

Table tennis can be made more popular if compared to the trajectory of popularity in most other sports.


Thats very true. :)


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PostPosted: 15 Apr 2015, 09:48 
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Larry Hodges wrote:
USATT has tried going to schools repeatedly over the years, and it never works since we haven't done the groundwork first, i.e. developing the sport to the point that the schools see us as having potential instead of being a charity case.


I agree - it's not a case of 'chicken or egg'. Children need guidance and this determines much of their attitudes, choices and habits. They can also be influenced by their peer group and mainstream advertising. I do think that table tennis suffers with a 'charity case' stigma, and it's understandable when its participants are so enthusiastic about it. It's so easy to over-reach sometimes. Cool heads and good discussion are needed.

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PostPosted: 15 Apr 2015, 09:52 
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Blondie wrote:
Oskar wrote:
Blondie wrote:
I think it's hard since the sport is to boring to watch for an not interested TT player. To much dead time during the points.


I think all sport can be boring to watch, just ask most women. An interest in any sport is a multi-faceted endeavour: early habits, participation (or some level of vested interested) and presentation. Regarding the latter, much of this is up to the organising bodies such as your local TT organisation or the ITTF. Popularity - mainstream appeal - of sport has a lot to do with money and the media bodies motivated by this. Sponsorship is one of the main sources of money outside of the sporting bodies.

Table tennis can be made more popular if compared to the trajectory of popularity in most other sports.


Thats very true. :)


It's pretty much what Larry suggests above. It seems the tried and tested approach should always be about creating good infrastructure, investing in solid coaching and selling all of this on the back of great advertising.

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