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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2015, 11:14 
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Some good points on boosting, by Samson Dubina


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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2015, 15:02 
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Interesting how these days guys like Hodges, Dubina and a lot of others want to get rid of the unfair and unenforceable rules on boosters. I hope they will also support getting rid of the equally unfair and unenforceable minimum friction rule on long pips.

Both rules should be changed.

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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2015, 19:41 
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Yesterday I was asked to look at a setup that I sold to a clubmate that was too heavy. A TB ALC with Omega V Pro & a Joola Maxxx 400 both max coming in at 187 grams. Getting the glue off the OVP was not too difficult but to remove the glue off the Joola with the cake like sponge was more difficult. Resorted to using some Falcon Booster leaving it sit for about 30 minutes to soften the glue up so that it could be taken off. I then used Tibhar Clean Tuning which is VOC free since the sponge felt too dry. In taking the glue off it suffering some very mild pitting. If the new glue was ever taken off again I didn't want any further pitting to occur. End result was a setup of 177 grams which for my club-mate makes it a usable setup very similar in weight to what he was used to.

If these rubbers were new I wouldn't have had to resort to use of the mild boosters. But a rule change like what has just been discussed would cleanse my conscious. Can't help thinking that adding booster to a Tenergy 05 would make it unusable except for the chosen few giving then a distinct advantage to stay and remain at the top.


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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2015, 22:55 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Interesting how these days guys like Hodges, Dubina and a lot of others want to get rid of the unfair and unenforceable rules on boosters. I hope they will also support getting rid of the equally unfair and unenforceable minimum friction rule on long pips.

Both rules should be changed.


The reason I'm taking action on the unenforceable rule on boosting, and on hidden serves, is that these are huge problems that have led to widespread cheating. When you go to the U.S. Open or Nationals and watch, say, the final 16 of Men's Singles, it's unlikely you'll find a single match where there isn't at least one player (usually both) cheating. There are literally hundreds of players cheating in this way at such tournaments, while only a very small number doing so with frictionless long pips.

However, contrary to what a certain long-time Internet troll has posted repeatedly in various forums before usually being banned, and that many probably believe, I was not involved nor did I have any real opinion in the rules against frictionless long pips or the aspect ratio rule on long pips (and didn't even know about them until after they were passed), nor have I ever really taken a position on them. (On one of them - I don't even remember which one - I once said something like, "If they put a gun to my head, I'd probably support the rule," but that's because if you are undecided or have no opinion about a rule, you don't oppose it. The aspect ratio issue came about during the year I was mostly out of table tennis in 1998.) There is merit to the parallels between the rule against frictionless long pips and boosting, i.e. unenforceable rules. See my pledge below.

But there's possibly a simple solution to the problem of frictionless long pips. To my knowledge, there has been an incredible number of posts attacking it, but zero proposals sent to the USATT Rules Committee to change it. It's very simply - you propose the change and send it to them. I recommend focusing on the enforceability issue. Do you and other readers want to try to solve the problem, or just grouch about it? Contact info is on the USATT Committee page:
http://www.teamusa.org/usa-table-tennis ... committees

If the Rules Committee agrees, then they would recommend that USATT make the proposal to the ITTF, and the USATT Board would vote on it. And here's my pledge, as a member of the USATT Board - if the Rules Committee recommends it, I'll support it.

I'm involved in a large number of what I call progressive issues for USATT (all as an unpaid volunteer) - developing state and regional associations (I was recently appointed the USATT Regional Association Coordinator), team leagues (recently appointed chair of the USATT League Committee), training centers, and state championships. (I've been mostly on hold during the summer due to coaching at summer camps, but with summer ending I'll be back at work on these issues.) I can't take on every single issue.

So instead of grouching about the issue here, why not try to fix the problem? If the Rules Committee rejects it, then of course you might have reason to grouch. They may also reject my proposals, and if they do, I definitely will grouch.

-Larry Hodges (off in a few minutes to spend the day coaching at the MDTTC Camp)

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Last edited by Larry Hodges on 03 Sep 2015, 22:52, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2015, 00:07 
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Larry Hodges wrote:
mynamenotbob wrote:
Interesting how these days guys like Hodges, Dubina and a lot of others want to get rid of the unfair and unenforceable rules on boosters. I hope they will also support getting rid of the equally unfair and unenforceable minimum friction rule on long pips.

Both rules should be changed.


The reason I'm taking action on the unenforceable rule on boosting, and on hidden serves, is that these are huge problems that have led to widespread cheating. When you go to the U.S. Open or Nationals and watch, say, the final 16 of Men's Singles, it's unlikely you'll find a single match where there isn't at least one player (usually both) cheating. There are literally hundreds of players cheating in this way at such tournaments, while only a very small number doing so with frictionless long pips.

However, contrary to what a certain long-time Internet troll has posted repeatedly in various forums before usually being banned, and that many probably believe, I was not involved in the anti-frictionless rule on long pips (and didn't even know about it until after it was passed), nor have I ever really taken a position on it. (I once said something like, "If they put a gun to my head, I'd probably support the rule," but that's because if you are undecided or have no opinion about a rule, you don't oppose it. The issue came about during the year I was mostly out of table tennis - I think 1997 or 1998 or so.) There is merit to the parallels between this and boosting, i.e. unenforceable rules. See my pledge below.

But there's possibly a simple solution to the problem of frictionless long pips. To my knowledge, there has been an incredible number of posts attacking it, but zero proposals sent to the USATT Rules Committee to change it. It's very simply - you propose the change and send it to them. I recommend focusing on the enforceability issue. Do you and other readers want to try to solve the problem, or just grouch about it? Contact info is on the USATT Committee page:
http://www.teamusa.org/usa-table-tennis ... committees

If the Rules Committee agrees, then they would recommend that USATT make the proposal to the ITTF, and the USATT Board would vote on it. And here's my pledge, as a member of the USATT Board - if the Rules Committee recommends it, I'll support it.

I'm involved in a large number of what I call progressive issues for USATT (all as an unpaid volunteer) - developing state and regional associations (I was recently appointed the USATT Regional Association Coordinator), team leagues (recently appointed chair of the USATT League Committee), training centers, and state championships. (I've been mostly on hold during the summer due to coaching at summer camps, but with summer ending I'll be back at work on these issues.) I can't take on every single issue.

So instead of grouching about the issue here, why not try to fix the problem? If the Rules Committee rejects it, then of course you might have reason to grouch. They may also reject my proposals, and if they do, I definitely will grouch.

-Larry Hodges (off in a few minutes to spend the day coaching at the MDTTC Camp)


To be clear, it sounded as if Dubina and others were "grouching" about the ITTF making rule changes, which...let's be honest...drives practice change in TT more than anything, even on the local level. Perhaps you disagree with this, but I'd be willing to bet this is the perception the majority of players have.

I'd reckon that people feel sending complaints to the USATT with concerns and recommendations is akin to sending a letter to the whitehouse, where you get a nice canned response from an intern staffer who cordially thanks you for your correspondence, but ultimately goes nowhere.

Don't forget Larry, that you're intimately involved with the politics of the USATT and have a unique perspective. Perhaps you underestimate just how esoteric this all is to those that are simply competitive amateurs. Have you written your congressmen for every single bit of legislation you disagree with? I doubt it. But would you begrudge a person from complaining about said legislation? Instead of calling people grouches, perhaps the better approach is to do what you did above, guide them towards what choice they have to effect change, but do it in a way that doesn't come off as condescending.

I know you know your stuff, and are an abasssador for the sport here in the US. And forum posters can be annoying when they use AdHominem attacks or use your name in a post. Be better than them, and always remember, not everyone's an expert, but everyone is entitled to an opinion.

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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2015, 02:22 
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Underspin wrote:
Larry Hodges wrote:
mynamenotbob wrote:
Interesting how these days guys like Hodges, Dubina and a lot of others want to get rid of the unfair and unenforceable rules on boosters. I hope they will also support getting rid of the equally unfair and unenforceable minimum friction rule on long pips.

Both rules should be changed.


The reason I'm taking action on the unenforceable rule on boosting, and on hidden serves, is that these are huge problems that have led to widespread cheating. When you go to the U.S. Open or Nationals and watch, say, the final 16 of Men's Singles, it's unlikely you'll find a single match where there isn't at least one player (usually both) cheating. There are literally hundreds of players cheating in this way at such tournaments, while only a very small number doing so with frictionless long pips.

However, contrary to what a certain long-time Internet troll has posted repeatedly in various forums before usually being banned, and that many probably believe, I was not involved in the anti-frictionless rule on long pips (and didn't even know about it until after it was passed), nor have I ever really taken a position on it. (I once said something like, "If they put a gun to my head, I'd probably support the rule," but that's because if you are undecided or have no opinion about a rule, you don't oppose it. The issue came about during the year I was mostly out of table tennis - I think 1997 or 1998 or so.) There is merit to the parallels between this and boosting, i.e. unenforceable rules. See my pledge below.

But there's possibly a simple solution to the problem of frictionless long pips. To my knowledge, there has been an incredible number of posts attacking it, but zero proposals sent to the USATT Rules Committee to change it. It's very simply - you propose the change and send it to them. I recommend focusing on the enforceability issue. Do you and other readers want to try to solve the problem, or just grouch about it? Contact info is on the USATT Committee page:
http://www.teamusa.org/usa-table-tennis ... committees

If the Rules Committee agrees, then they would recommend that USATT make the proposal to the ITTF, and the USATT Board would vote on it. And here's my pledge, as a member of the USATT Board - if the Rules Committee recommends it, I'll support it.

I'm involved in a large number of what I call progressive issues for USATT (all as an unpaid volunteer) - developing state and regional associations (I was recently appointed the USATT Regional Association Coordinator), team leagues (recently appointed chair of the USATT League Committee), training centers, and state championships. (I've been mostly on hold during the summer due to coaching at summer camps, but with summer ending I'll be back at work on these issues.) I can't take on every single issue.

So instead of grouching about the issue here, why not try to fix the problem? If the Rules Committee rejects it, then of course you might have reason to grouch. They may also reject my proposals, and if they do, I definitely will grouch.

-Larry Hodges (off in a few minutes to spend the day coaching at the MDTTC Camp)


To be clear, it sounded as if Dubina and others were "grouching" about the ITTF making rule changes, which...let's be honest...drives practice change in TT more than anything, even on the local level. Perhaps you disagree with this, but I'd be willing to bet this is the perception the majority of players have.

I'd reckon that people feel sending complaints to the USATT with concerns and recommendations is akin to sending a letter to the whitehouse, where you get a nice canned response from an intern staffer who cordially thanks you for your correspondence, but ultimately goes nowhere.

Don't forget Larry, that you're intimately involved with the politics of the USATT and have a unique perspective. Perhaps you underestimate just how esoteric this all is to those that are simply competitive amateurs. Have you written your congressmen for every single bit of legislation you disagree with? I doubt it. But would you begrudge a person from complaining about said legislation? Instead of calling people grouches, perhaps the better approach is to do what you did above, guide them towards what choice they have to effect change, but do it in a way that doesn't come off as condescending.

I know you know your stuff, and are an abasssador for the sport here in the US. And forum posters can be annoying when they use AdHominem attacks or use your name in a post. Be better than them, and always remember, not everyone's an expert, but everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Sampson may be "grouching" about the unfair boosting rules, but he's also taken action. I was part of the discussion when he had a long discussion on this with the person who now chairs the Rules Committee.

USATT is a much smaller and more personal group than the entire U.S., by about a 36,000-1 ratio. You can send things to a USATT Committee and you might get things done. I've doing things like that for years - don't get me started on that. Since there seems to be a relatively small but very dedicated group who believe the Aspect Ratio Rule is wrong, they should take action. That's how you get things done. But that's just my opinion.
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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2015, 05:00 
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Larry Hodges wrote:
You can send things to a USATT Committee and you might get things done. I've doing things like that for years - don't get me started on that.

That might work when you're a former national hardbat champion, USATT Hall of Famer, and high-profile author of TT Books. But, when you're a mediocre player from three miles west of nowhere, fat chance. Also, believe me, Kagin Lee knows there are lots of USATT members who are disgusted with the ever increasing number of restrictions placed on long pips players over the last 16 years. Still a huge minority, but popularity and fairness aren't always the same.

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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2015, 05:19 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Larry Hodges wrote:
You can send things to a USATT Committee and you might get things done. I've doing things like that for years - don't get me started on that.

That might work when you're a former national hardbat champion, USATT Hall of Famer, and high-profile author of TT Books. But, when you're a mediocre player from three miles west of nowhere, fat chance. Also, believe me, Kagin Lee knows there are lots of USATT members who are disgusted with the ever increasing number of restrictions placed on long pips players over the last 16 years. Still a huge minority, but popularity and fairness aren't always the same.


Do you really believe that being, say, a hardbat champion gives me more clout to change rules? (I was going to use the example of the Paddle Point Rule, which you may have heard of - I was the one who took the initiative to write the proposal to get rid of it, and it passed, but I'd just become the US Hardbat champion at the time, though I doubt the Rules Committee people were aware of that. At the time I wasn't a hall of famer and only had one book.)

I would find the argument that the Rules Committee will ignore people who aren't hardbat champions, etc., a bit stronger if they actually did so, rather than assume they would, and then use that assumption as a reason not to take action. Maybe they'd ignore it; maybe they'd disagree with it. But they won't act on a proposal not sent to them. Frankly speaking, the large majority of proposals are turned down, but 100% of those not sent in are turned down. (I'm picturing that conversation with Kagin where I demand to ask why they haven't passed that proposal that nobody sent to them!)
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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2015, 06:06 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Larry Hodges wrote:
You can send things to a USATT Committee and you might get things done. I've doing things like that for years - don't get me started on that.

That might work when you're a former national hardbat champion, USATT Hall of Famer, and high-profile author of TT Books. But, when you're a mediocre player from three miles west of nowhere, fat chance. Also, believe me, Kagin Lee knows there are lots of USATT members who are disgusted with the ever increasing number of restrictions placed on long pips players over the last 16 years. Still a huge minority, but popularity and fairness aren't always the same.

Other than the Aspect Ratio Rule, what were the other restrictions placed on long pips players over the last 16 years? I'm sure there were others, but I don't remember them offhand. (Sorry to respond to your posting twice.)

When I was 16 in 1976, after playing in the US Open in July, I was rated 1180. (I'd started playing in February.) After a summer of practice, I was about a 1500 player. In early September I went to a tournament in Philadelphia. The tournament director saw me play a match, and took me out of three rating events that he thought I was too strong for. I protested, but to no avail. When I got home I wrote a letter to the USATT Board of Directors and the Rules Committee (or whatever it was called back then). Result? The tournament director never did that again. Later that year I wrote a letter to Table Tennis Topics (USATT's magazine at the time) pointing out that distributors were missing the boat by not sponsoring 9-year-old Sean O'Neill and 12-year-old Brian Masters, who were going to tournaments everywhere and mostly dominating their age groups. Result? Butterfly sponsored them both. (They were two of my practice partners.) Remember, I was an unknown 16-year-old at the time. You can't always get things done by going through official channels, but they are the first step.
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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2015, 15:19 
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Hi Larry,

The other big restriction was the ban on frictionless pips around 2007. As far as making a proposal to the ITTF, that's already been tried and failed five years ago.

Quote:
Proposed by the Swedish TT Association

To rescind the ban of pimples without friction by deleting the first sentence of item 1.4.4 of Technical Leaflet T4 shown in bold.

1.4.4.
Friction for pimples out: (The minimum friction level is 25 μN.)

Rationale:
The decision to ban the pimples without friction has led to a lot of problems in table tennis without gaining any positive effect. The use of frictionless pimples created a new playing style where defence close to the table was made possible. To ban the frictionless pimples instead of learning how to play against them seems to be the easiest way to meet something new and it definitely stops development. The development of new technique/rubbers/blades from time to time gives life to table tennis and creates interest.

Here are some of the problems which the ban has created:
- The friction limit is not possible to control in an objective way. Arbitrariness rules.
- The ban has caused conflicts between players and between players and officials.
- The ban has led to widespread cheating against the new rules. Players bring down friction with different methods and the players who do not, have lost the joy in playing or even stopped entirely to play.
- The ban has led to big problems for players, sellers and producers when rubber sheets repeatedly have been banned with very short notice and without explanation.


ITTF's very influential Ebby Schoeler is on the record that long pips are bad. He's the one who campaigned tirelessly against the above proposal and is also responsible for the aspect ratio rule that created the infamous sjan.

In your blog, you mentioned a U.S. solution on boosting could take place by revising the USATT Tournament Guide. If that happens, I hope low friction long pips will be allowed again also.

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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2015, 22:25 
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mynamenotbob wrote:
Hi Larry,

The other big restriction was the ban on frictionless pips around 2007. As far as making a proposal to the ITTF, that's already been tried and failed five years ago.

Quote:
Proposed by the Swedish TT Association

To rescind the ban of pimples without friction by deleting the first sentence of item 1.4.4 of Technical Leaflet T4 shown in bold.

1.4.4.
Friction for pimples out: (The minimum friction level is 25 μN.)

Rationale:
The decision to ban the pimples without friction has led to a lot of problems in table tennis without gaining any positive effect. The use of frictionless pimples created a new playing style where defence close to the table was made possible. To ban the frictionless pimples instead of learning how to play against them seems to be the easiest way to meet something new and it definitely stops development. The development of new technique/rubbers/blades from time to time gives life to table tennis and creates interest.

Here are some of the problems which the ban has created:
- The friction limit is not possible to control in an objective way. Arbitrariness rules.
- The ban has caused conflicts between players and between players and officials.
- The ban has led to widespread cheating against the new rules. Players bring down friction with different methods and the players who do not, have lost the joy in playing or even stopped entirely to play.
- The ban has led to big problems for players, sellers and producers when rubber sheets repeatedly have been banned with very short notice and without explanation.


ITTF's very influential Ebby Schoeler is on the record that long pips are bad. He's the one who campaigned tirelessly against the above proposal and is also responsible for the aspect ratio rule that created the infamous sjan.

In your blog, you mentioned a U.S. solution on boosting could take place by revising the USATT Tournament Guide. If that happens, I hope low friction long pips will be allowed again also.


Since we were discussing the frictionless long pips ban, I meant what other rule besides that and the aspect ratio rule, and so carelessly left that out. (I knew about the frictionless ban.) I wasn't on the board when these issues came up, and didn't really follow them at the time.

Now here is how I see this issue. You wrote that Ebby Schoeler was the one who "campaigned tirelessly" against the proposal to end the ban five years ago. So I went to the ITTF directory:
http://www.ittf.com/_front_page/ittf2.a ... irectory_e

I know he held a number of ITTF positions in the past, but when I look at the various directories now, I don't see him on the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, nor the Equipment or Rules Committees. He's only on the nine-person President Advisory Council.

Now if this were my big issue, I'd see a golden opportunity. I'd first look for supporters on the key committees that Schoeler is no longer on. (The fact that Sweden was behind it before tells me that the idea has at least some supporters.) I'd start by contacting the Swedish members - they have members on the Executive Committee, the Board of Directors, and the Rules Committee (three different people). I'd contact the chair of the key ITTF committees - these three plus the Equipment Committee. I'd ask if they are willing to support this proposal. And after finding support, I'd ask Sweden to resubmit the proposal. (If they won't, there are about 200 other countries that could, with contact info for each in the Directory above. You could next try the U.S. by going through the Rules Committee - and I've already pledged my support to submit it to the ITTF if the Rules Committee agrees.)

Is this issue important enough to anybody to take charge? As I posted, I'm busy on other issues, and as I said when I ran for the board, I'm trying to focus on progressive issues to develop the sport. (As I also posted, I'm only involved in the boosting and hidden serve issues because they are such widespread problems.) Here's my posting on Fairness Versus Progressive Issues:
http://tabletenniscoaching.com/node/1398

So while others give up and feel powerless, I see an opportunity for someone willing to step forward. So . . . any takers?
-Larry Hodges

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PostPosted: 29 Aug 2015, 22:41 
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I've been reading this topic with great interest. If there's a possibility the ban on frictionless pips could be reversed, why not try it, MNNB? Keep a diary in your blog and mention all things and resistances you'll come across. Especially the latter: the action of those who resist in an unfair way are made public. Something those kind of people don't like at all. It might raise your chances to get the ban undone.


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