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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2017, 12:48 
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Yes, the question of light is important.... if it was designed for basketball, I very much doubt it will be good enough for table tennis. We face the same problems here.

Regarding using the painted side of a blade, I very much doubt this was ever legal. Still using a painted surface is actually quite hard, so I doubt you'd get much of an advantage from it. Putting an OX sheet on it is quite common here. Something like Dr Evil works well, because long pimples (OX) rubber tend to come off too easiliy over time, whereas Dr Evil has a thick backing sheet.

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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2017, 15:11 
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It was legal before 1959 (in fact, it was legal to use anything before 1959) and bare wood was specifically allowed in the 1959 rules (the other options being pips out sandwich, pips in sandwich and hard rubber, while sandpaper, not being mentioned, became illegal to use). You didn't even have to paint the wood. Don't recall exactly when it was banned, it was a part of the two-color rule changes. Practically everyone who played penhold before that had bare wood (no paint) on the back side of the bat, and quite a few of them would use the wood side occasionally as a "trick". The paint was mandated as part of the two color rule, but I can't remember if they banned hitting the ball with the wood side of the racket at the same time or if that came later. I remember Butterfly sold a weird rubber called "Pecular", which was either long or short pips without sponge, and the name strip was curved to fit around the cork behind Japanese penhold blades.

The one penholder at Weekend Social Doubles uses the wood side of his bat quite a bit - it's actually got a layer of "carbon fiber" vinyl on it (which I think gives some grip and better control than bare wood), and when he does it provokes shouts of "cheating!" and "illegal!" but they still let him use it. Causes no end of confusion, too - sort of like long pips on steroids. Huge spin reversal, but not much control against hard shots, so he mainly uses it to return serves and pushes.

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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2017, 07:53 
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Played our next comp match last night. Yours truly was deputised to be captain for a night.

I was on first against MR, who had a very thick blade with inverted rubber. I think I beat him 3-0.

Then DZ and I played doubles and won 3-1.

I then played doubles with AF and we lost narrowly in the 5th. More about that later.

For my final singles I played against JL, a guy I have played in the NSW Vets league and also at the Australian Vets in a teams match, both over 5 years ago. He used to play with inverted both sides, but now has pimples on his backhand. He has this line of patter that he wins by luck and talks up his opponent for some reason, but I just concentrated on playing my game. I started out playing him on his backhand, but I lost the 1st game badly 3-11. I had no answer to the flat backhand hit that he was so good at. So I tried playing him almost entirely on his forehand and won the 2nd game. Third game I played a few too many that he was able to take on his backhand so lost that. A friend came over to tell me that JL's backhand was his strongest shot, and I explained that I knew that and was playing his forehand, but that my execution had let me down. I clawed my way back to 2-2 and then took the 5th game reasonably comfortably.

In the meantime our number 2 player AF played MR. I thought that he would have beaten him without too much trouble but was very tentative - I think he lost 1-3. It beats me that he couldn't beat him. Styles etc.

Our other doubles combination, AF & DZ played the last rubber, but lost I think 1-3.

So on the night we ended up losing 4-5. That doubles loss by AF & I came back to haunt. We could have won the match 5-4. Oh well, I had won my 2 singles and 1 of the doubles for 3 of our 4 rubbers.

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PostPosted: 25 Apr 2017, 20:30 
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Last week our team played the team coming last so yours truly was not selected. Apparently we lost horribly. Oh well.

Played the next match last night.

Played S first up who was previously undefeated in the comp so far. He looped on forehand only and pushed mostly on his backhand. I won the first game quite easily. Umpiring was a lady who knows me from veterans, so she had a word in his ear at change of ends - I did hear her tell him to watch everything. I then won the next 2 games straight and thus the rubber, but not as easily as the 1st game. I must admit that nearly every shot of mine that hit the net went over and was unplayable.

Then doubles - AF & I played TA and JA, a husband and wife combination. We won that one reasonably easily.

Next was 2nd singles against A. He could loop both sides, and had a very high toss serve, along with a higher fault rate. The serve was loaded with back spin. I received quite badly for me. If it wasn't straight in the net it was for him to play a third shot with spin such that my next shot went long. I think I won that one three straight as well.

Then 2nd doubles - PU & I played S and JA and were doing reasonably. He is left handed too but pen-hold, so understandably wants to stay so he can play mostly forehands, which I felt was a little awkward. Anyway we traded games to 2-2 then in the 5th fell apart. I think we were down 0-5 at change of ends, then I remember being down 2-8, then we lost something like 4-11.

I umpired the final doubles which was AF & PU playing A and JA. This one too went the distance, and both AF & PU were putting a lot of A's serves into the net in spite of at least AF having seen me do the same. In the 5th however our team got on top early and changed ends at 5-1 and were never headed.

We ended up winning the match 7 rubbers to 2.

I think I am on 90% wins for the comp so far, probably in Top 5 contention for the moment.

In other news I have heard that our best player (he beats me at least) has tennis elbow and may not play much.

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PostPosted: 06 May 2017, 11:11 
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Another week, another match.

First up I played PB. The first thing I noticed was the serve toss not thrown up high enough. Also the umpire was one of these silent score flipping types. When a ball came over and under our table, he sat passive when PB caught it. I stopped and waited for the call. It didn't come, so I said to PB that the rally wasn't a let until the umpire called it. He then accused me of being too serious or competitive or something. I ignored this and when I got a word in edgewise told him that I was ready to continue, so he did. Anyway I won the first 2 games reasonably easily, then in the 3rd game found myself something like 0-7 down. I think I came back but not enough, losing it 8-11. I then won the 4th for the rubber win. Meanwhile DZ won his singles also in 4.

Being the captain for the night I scheduled MD (his first comp match for the season) & I for the 1st doubles to warm him up. We didn't combine very well and we lost 1-3. I did point out to one of the doubles players opposite us, R? that his backhand rubber which he had left short for pen-hold, was cut the wrong way so that it was lacking the brand and that theoretically it wasn't legal.

My second singles was extremely frustating. I played JB, a penholder with long pimples backhand and normal rubber on forehand. What happened was that when he decided one of my shots was too spinny, usually back spin or side back spin or whatever, he would use his long pimples to return it, which my usual reaction was to roll it back. He would then use his normal rubber and attack or block or whatever so I ended up playing his game, which is unusual for me. I lost the 1st 2 games 5-11 and 9-11 doing this. I knew I had to do something different so instead of rolling back the long pimples shot I continued spinning it and won the next 2 games 11-7 & 11-8. MD commented after me winning the 3rd game that JB would fall away, but this was not the case. The 5th game was more my game and I was never headed, changing ends well ahead and winning 11-4. Apparently somewhere in there (maybe the 5th game) I won 9 points in a row according to MD.

MD & DZ played the 2nd doubles and also didn't combine very well, but took it to 5, ultimately losing. During this rubber, SC from a different team came and I made the comment that the doubles was a "battle of illegal serves". More on that later.

MS & DZ both won both of their singles rubbers so we had won the match. Then DZ & I played the final doubles. We again lost in 5. We couldn't buy a doubles win last night.

After the match was over, PB asked me if I had criticized his serve during the 2nd doubles. I repeated my comment about it having been a battle of illegal serves, pointing out that DZ wasn't throwing the ball vertically and that MD was sometimes not removing his arm from forward of the ball. PB admitted that he hadn't actually hidden the ball. I then mentioned that R? had been starting his ball toss over the table, though when the ball was hit it was behind the table so he too wasn't tossing the ball vertically. PB then admitted that in the past he had been guilty of not tossing the ball high enough, and I confirmed that some still were not high enough. I made the comment that it was better to tell players "after the shooting is over" rather than pull them up in the middle of play and engender bad feeling. PB didn't know how high he had to toss the ball in service so I told him, making the usual "It's 1cm higher than the net" observation.

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PostPosted: 26 May 2017, 08:00 
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Been off the air due to injury nearly 3 weeks ago. Was walking back to the car after running the usual Saturday afternoon social play, noticed someone really looking at my car, did not pay attention to where I was walking, and rolled my ankle outwards where the edge of a piece of concrete was standing up from the dirt beside it. Jumped in the air, said some expletives and limped to the car.

Next morning went to the GP who sent me off for X-Rays (no breaks, but evidence of "old injury"), then gave me the week off work. Gave the ankle RICE (rest, ice, elevation, compression), and no table tennis for 2 weeks. The next Saturday turned up and ran the Saturday afternoon social without playing. Then last Saturday, played very gingerly with an elastic bandage on it at the social afternoon.

Aiming to play again this Saturday, then if that goes OK, more like proper practice on Monday night, still bandaging it or maybe taping it. Back when I played soccer (real football) I used to tape one of my ankles, so with the help of a Utube video I think I remember how, will just have to shave the bottom of my leg towards the ankle, otherwise it is a real pain to get the tape off.

<slightly OT but ...>
Just to make life more interesting, during the week off work, while helping out on the paper run my family does by only driving one of our cars, I was parked properly on the side of the road when a young girl (well maybe lady, she was off her Ps) crashed into the car, pushing it into the kerb. No injuries for me, she banged her head, but seemed OK. Her excuse was that she had stuff on her passenger seat and was trying to rearrange it to stop the seat belt reminder beeping and was not paying attention. Tow truck driver on first glance at the under body on his truck thought it might have been a write-off, but in the meantime it has been OKed for repairs. Supposedly we may get it back in another week. Now realize how much we rely on having 2 cars. First world problem I guess. Just when my daughter was becoming more confident learning to drive - had been going out with my wife nearly every day up till this happened.

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PostPosted: 06 Jun 2017, 13:18 
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Did go to the Monday night practice and beat all I played. Missed the Thursday night comp match as I went to the local association committee meeting.

Played last night with my ankle bandaged up, but still felt a few twinges.

First up was against LL, an older Asian lady penholder with smooth rubber on the forehand, short pimples on the backhand, a flat hitter. I got the first 2 games reasonably easily, then fell behind in the 3rd and ended up losing 8-11. Renewed for the 4th game, I won it comfortably. It was against her flat hitting that I felt the twinges, probably from having to move pretty quickly to get to the ball when she flat hit. I mostly tried to keep the ball low and short to stop this, of course.

The 1st doubles was myself and AF, and we won that in straight games. Sat out the next 2 singles and the doubles.

Then played MW, who from what I saw in his other singles and doubles looked to be a chopper, normal rubber both sides. won comfortably 3-0 but can't remember him chopping.

Last was another doubles, this time with DZ. Again we won in straight games.

The match ended up 9-0, 27-2 with me responsible for losing one of the 2 :(

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PostPosted: 13 Jun 2017, 07:48 
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Another week, another comp match ...

Played against Macq Uni at our home as theirs wasn't open because of the long weekend. So I played A & S, same as last time, with the same result, both 3-0. A is mostly a forehand looper with an occasional odd looking backhand loop. He commented on the amount of sidespin in my game but also the amount of back spin I get when I set my mind to it. S is an entirely forehand looper who pushes on his backhand. I got a lot of points where he missed the ball off my left handed backhand return where I hit it "inside out". A lot of players only see it as back spin for some reason, but there is enough side spin to curve the ball away from a right handed player slightly.

In the first doubles I played with DZ against A & S, and we lost 0-3. The second doubles was JV & PU playing BR & S. We were down 0-2 in games and something like 5-10 in points and came back to lose it in the 5th. The 3rd doubles was myself & PU against BR & A. We kept up with them, getting to 2-2, but fell away in the 5th to lose something like 6 or 7-11.

Overall we lost 3-6 in rubbers, but we may still make the play-offs having won 9-0 last week.

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PostPosted: 20 Jun 2017, 12:55 
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Last week of comp before semis etc. We found out we were 3 points behind the current 4th placed team, but not from the results web site :(, so we needed to win at least 3 more rubbers (individual matches) than the 4th placed team does in their match later on in the week. One of the reasons we were only coming 5th was that MD (100% wins) & I (9x% wins) have been out injured, me as mentioned in the blog, him with (table) tennis elbow.

1st up I played RS, a penhold looper who I didn't play last time. He couldn't handle the spin, particularly the amount of backspin, so I won 3-0.

Then MD & I played the 1st doubles and we managed to combine OK winning 3-1. Last time we lost badly.

My 2nd doubles was against JB who nearly had me last time. Since then he has changed his backhand rubber from pimples to smooth, and he missed a lot of backhand shots. I won comfortably this time 3-0, and his game just wasn't the same as last time.

Then AF & I played the 2nd doubles and we again won. That was my playing contribution for the night, 4 from 4. I umpired a singles that AF lost, and MD took his first loss against JL, an older combination player who could block full blooded loops with his long pimples so they would have double bounced, but could also attack with them. I then umpired the final doubles which we won in the end, so we ended up winning 7-2.

I suspect that we will end up just out of the semis. In our comp we also have a Top 5 competition for those ending up with the highest percentage of wins having played more than a certain number of singles, so I should have a shot at that. We also have the district championships in August.

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PostPosted: 27 Jun 2017, 07:47 
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As predicted, we did not make the semis ... by one point in the competition table = 1 rubber = 1 individual match in a team match. Oh well. There are 2 of us who should be playing Division 1 next com, myself & MD. The others in the team are already talking about next comp. I can't see us going up a division as a team. MD may be able to stay down with the rest while I find a team in Division 1.

I ended up winning 17 /18 singles matches. In terms of Ratings Central, I started on 1530 +- 195, which dated back to the 2009 Australian Veterans tournament and ended up on 1503 +- 86. The cut off for Division 2 was 1400 and Division 1 was 1550, so in all fairness I suspect I should go up.

Played at the club last night against a Div 1 player, IF (1329), who I have played with since 1982. Then against a social player who I tried to give some pointers to, but as he is older than me, I am not sure how much he took on board. Then one of my team mates, AF (1312), first a best of 5 which I won after being down 0-2, then a best of 3 which I lost 1-2.

In other news, the new PCYC being built in Dee Why (Sydney, NSW, Australia) will open on Thursday. We have managed to get Friday 7-10pm & Sunday 2-5pm for table tennis. We bought some DHS D40+ balls off Haggisv for that. I am trying to find out if that starts this Friday. The official opening is on 11 August.

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PostPosted: 03 Jul 2017, 08:21 
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Went to the club last Monday and played a few matches, 2 with AF. I won the first one best of 5, then lost the 2nd one best of 3 :|

This weekend has been very busy with table tennis etc. On Thursday after dropping my daughter at the start for a 4 day Duke of Edinburgh Gold practice hike, I went to the new PCYC on its first day open, that will have table tennis Friday nights and Sunday afternoons, to see if everything would be OK for that. Went in civvies with no bat and ended up having a hit with the manager (who is very pro TT) in a dim foyer area with $2 bats.

Another guy (Level 1 Coach originally from Korea - L1C) is going to be actually running the 2 sessions ongoing. I found out that I had seen and played with him at a previous club. I was going to turn up to both initial sessions for support and to help out. They have 6 used tables all up, from another PCYC, 2 pretty good, 2 with bent casters so not quite level, and 2 pretty average. They have 2 good nets and 4 new but very fragile plastic nets.

Friday night was OK. I talked to a number of people who either just had a look or had a hit and gave out flyers for the local association. Played with the L1C. He was determined that he would be able to beat me, so for him it was one more game, lose, one more game, lose ... until I had to go.

Saturday afternoon I was running the usual social table tennis at Manly Vale. As it is the start of school holidays, we only had 5 counting me. One guy reckoned that I should turn up to one of the local hotels ("The Steyne") on a Thursday night and beat everyone. I could resume my "professional" playing career. Wouldn't need to become a "sponsored player" (see thread over that away by Dark Arts).

Sunday afternoon turned up at the new PCYC to find that no-one knew how to shut the louvres manually to block out the sun from floor to ceiling windows that made up the western wall of the room that is used. Apparently the manager finds out how to do that on Tuesday. Teething problems. Both Friday night and Sunday afternoon were free, but the PCYC is going to start charging a fee from next Friday. Again I was helping the L1C by telling people about what was going to happen etc.

There was a group of guys who had a local champion and lined up (there may have been 10 of them) on the 1 table. I asked if I could play so joined the end of the queue. I just used the $2 bat they were using and when it came to my turn I lost to him narrowly. They were playing a weird game that if the challenger lost the 1st point, they were out, but then (I think) played the best of 5 points if the challenger won the 1st point.

Again the L1C was convinced that he was going to beat me so we played again towards the end of the session. He asked me how often I play so I told him basically twice a week, once for real (Monday nights) and once with little real competition (Saturday social afternoons). He told me he thought that if I trained properly I would be better than Nam Ho Oh (Australian originally from Korea who may have represented Oz). I didn't have the heart to tell him that I get more out of table tennis than I put in and that real training at my age would probably wreck my game. Not to mention real life (TM) with a wife who is neutral if not a little anti table tennis and 4 children and a full time job.

Tonight I go to proper practice. I am just thankful that after this weekend my wife still talks to me :)

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PostPosted: 05 Jul 2017, 07:43 
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At practise on Monday night, I played DZ who had new Hurricane ? National rubber on his forehand. He now wants new rubber for his backhand. I think he won the first 2 games then I pegged him back to 2-2 and we stopped then with him claiming "tiredness" :) I then played J?, a penholder with short pimples on his backhand. I managed to beat him 3-2.

Yesterday I got the email inviting me to play the Top 5 event for division 2. Woo hoo! This is a round robin where the players with the best averages who had played more than a minimum number of singles matches play a round robin for a perpetual trophy & medal. It is done for all divisions and is at the end of July, a week or two before the district championships.

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PostPosted: 11 Jul 2017, 07:35 
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Another full on table tennis weekend. Friday night still trying to get the new PCYC venue off the ground. Played endless games with the L1C, he got 1 game out of many. Saturday afternoon ran the social at Manly Vale. Sunday afternoon, the same as Friday night, except this time the louvres were halfway closed and then fully closed about 10 minutes before the end when the sun was all but down. Monday night practice at the club for me. Lost to J, but beat MD.

Last night I also wrote to the editor of the local paper to get something in the paper about table tennis at the new PCYC. I will have to wait and see what happens there.

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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 07:51 
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Another 4 times 4 table tennis on the weekend.

Friday night at the PCYC we had a couple of paying customers father & son. Then L1C & I had our endless games which I didn't drop a game from.

Saturday afternoon, ran the community centre 2 hours - had a guy drop in asking about other clubs (and times to play), so told him about the PCYC.

Sunday afternoon at the PCYC, the guy from Saturday afternoon turned up plus one other. The louvres over the west facing floor to ceiling windows were again only half closed. The PCYC manager, his 2IC, the L1C & I all tried to use the manual override to close them. No joy, but again automatically they closed at around 4:40pm by which time direct sunlight is no longer an issue as the sun is below some trees to the west. The manager has promised to contact the manufacturer / supplier to see if / how the manual override can be used to fully close the louvres. The L1C & I had our endless games, this time with an audience of some spillover from a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu tournament that was on in the basketball hall for some of it. I didn't lose any and remember winning one game 11-1.

Monday night played MD and lost, he was playing like a normal player, running around his backhand to play the forehand, to protect his tennis elbow which is worse for him on his backhand. I also played JC (found out surname was C) from last week and the week previous to that and lost to him, although the 2nd game was 18-20!

We are looking at putting a DIV 1 team (MD, JC, Me, AF ??) and a Div 2 team (PU, DZ, RF, JV?) in the upcoming Spring comp.

Still waiting on an email from the PCYC manager to arrange a time during working hours for a photographer from the local paper to take photos to accompany an article on TT at the new PCYC to drum up some numbers, hopefully that will happen later on in the week.

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PostPosted: 18 Jul 2017, 12:45 
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Blade: OldNittaku Carbon
FH: Evolution FX-P max
BH: Tenergy 05 max
Forgot to add I tried out a DHS D40+ ball last night. Both I and MD agreed that it felt pretty good. Brand new there was a fair amount of dust which ended up as ball marks on our rubbers, and it seemed to discolour from the table a bit quicker than the DHS 40+.

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Retriever (sometimes golden, but often leaden)
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