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PostPosted: 08 May 2012, 08:03 
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Played league comp again last night, this time with the other team member LW. She is a shakehands, combination bat chopper (forehand inverted, backhand pimples - Dr N Scalpel I think). Our opponents did not have their best player, but then again did not need him :(

First up LW played a Japanese shakehand player who used to have pimples on his backhand but has been double inverted for a couple of years now. She got away to a 2-0 lead, lost the 3rd quite easily, lost the 4th somethin like 13-15, then folded in the 5th (0-5 at the change).

Next I played a shakehand looper with lots of touch. He did me 1-3, though I did surprise him a couple of times with reasonable attacking kill shots.

I was up for the 1st reverse singles, but again went down 0-3. I missed a number of shots down the line by millimetres. He was just too good. There were a number of nets & edges that we both laughed at - they came out pretty even in the end.

Then LW played the shakehand looper. She was feeling the effects of having played 6 singles & 2-4 doubles the previous day after not having played at all in the previous month & had started the night stiff, and then stiffened up further in the 2 match gap. She was simply outgunned 0-3.

The doubles was a possible chance for redemption, and we were 1-1 after the 1st 2 games. From there it went downhill and we ended up losing 1-3.

That was the end of the 1st round, with one match deferred. I am on 2 wins out of 8 in singles, and 1 win out of 4 in doubles. We hope to improve somewhat (!) in the 2nd round.

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PostPosted: 08 May 2012, 13:46 
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Dear Retriever,

I am enjoying your stories. I have played 35 years of tennis and 35 years of TT, and it is VERY enjoyable to see that TT players have much greater diversity of playing styles. Like yourself, I too am mostly a BH player. I switched to this after injuring my hitting shoulder two years in a row. I chose to switch to 90% BH to give my shoulder a rest, and now I enjoy BH more than FH, but I still hit FH's when my opponent hits wide.

And I too have not been making videos, but someone did tape my club tournament 6 months ago and I will see if I can get some footage.

Thanks for posting your TT adventures, we appreciate it!

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PostPosted: 25 May 2012, 12:47 
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Time for another update.

Last Friday we started playing the 2nd round. We played against the female Olympic hopeful (she had to withdraw from the Australian Olympic qualifiers with a leg injury - in the end she had injured both legs, 1 took 3 weeks to heal, the other a week), and the male lefthanded looping NSW O/40 representative. I went down 0-3 in both. The female shakehand double inverted player just hit and hits, and didn't miss a shot, including quite a few edges and the odd net. The male lefthander just was too consistent, and he too got quite a few lucky shots, that he didn't need, to beat me.

Last Monday we played a couple of students from the local university. One was a class above the rest of us there. He played IF first up. He just did nothing against IF, then chose the shot to pick hit, without getting out of 1st gear. Then I played his partner, a solid looper with a reasonable allround game. I managed to win the 3rd game & had hopes for the 4th, but it ended up 1-3. Next, I played the one who was a class above. He was quite tall, so I resolved to play him down the middle, into his body as much as I could. When I deviated from this, he was able to get quite a good anle on his shots and I couldn't get them. With playing a lot of different spins, and the odd nospin, I wen down 9-11 in the 1st game. The 2nd game, he "pulled his finger out" and I lost 2 or 3-11. The 3rd game he relaxed again, and I managed to get to deuce, but he again "pulled his finger out" and I lost 10-12. IF beat the solid looper 3-2 with good use of his pips & twiddling (he told me in the first round he lost 2-3). In the doubles I think we lost 1-3. I am not sure how we got the 1.

More on the class above player. He played a lazy sort of game against IF, knowing that IF was just waiting for him to put some work on the ball so that IF's Grass D-Techs backhand could be disruptive, so he served no spin balls, and generally just placed the ball back. Against me in the 1st game, I think he underestimated just what I was doing, so just played shots without really concentrating on what spin was (or wasn't) on the ball. When he did concentrate, he could just about wipe the floor with both of us. Some very good players can seem to treat us not quite as good players with disdain, even in a competition match. I usually try to respect my opponent in such a situation.

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PostPosted: 26 May 2012, 14:46 
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Thanks retriever for the stories, you give real life examples of tactics that I often forget about. Like the player who was hitting no spin serves, as most of us have experienced that this can work well and is often under-used! I am going to start giving this serve more credit in my playing tactics!

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PostPosted: 05 Jun 2012, 13:25 
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More real life, less TT tactics

Wherein your blogger takes up tap dancing, smells a rat, experiences some highs and lows not necessarily in that order, does something that leaves a bad taste in his mouth, gets ticked off but still gets no brownie points where it matters.

Didn't play comp this week as I had a fragile back from a twinge the previous Friday, nor get to play in the NSW Vets Closed on the Sunday, nor even attend same.

Friday night got home and was confronted with multigrips and washers and a drip from a leaking faucett. As I was plumb out of excuses I got to change the washers on 2 taps on the basin in our main bathroom. Oh the vanity!

Saturday climbed under the house with 15 year old son in tow, on the search for the dead rat, crawling commando style for the most part. Needless to say we couldn't locate it.

Next stop, borrow the neighbour's ladder and climb into the ceiling, still with my tagger along. Got to over the room with the nasty smell but no cigar (or dead rat). On our way back to the manhole found the miserable thing and scooped it up into a plastic bag brought along for the purpose. Then gagged at the maggots still there on the ceiling, then placed that plastic bag inside another one and exchanged it for a can of insect spray with my support crew. My son then nuked the maggots and we got out of there.

That night I got my other half to examine a lump on my shoulder. She pronounced it a tick (no, the other lump), and took great delight in making me cross with its removal.

On Sunday do you think I had accumulated enough brownie points to at least show my face at the NSW Vets Closed and chew the fat or maybe even umpire a match or two?

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 12:42 
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Like a few of us, I suppose, the urge to blog comes and goes.

Since last post, I played 2 local comp matches, I think losing all 4 singles. Our team came last in the grade, and I myself ended on less than 20% wins for the season, and was downgraded, which meant that our team was also downgraded from division 1 to division 2.

Have I peaked? I don't think so. Have I had less time to practice & faced a small amount of opposition to my playing from my spouse? Certainly, and hence have not had as much of that skill & will to win.

I also subbed in to the monthly Vets comp for my captain from the local comp in division A2, 1 level below where I last played a couple of years ago, and acquitted myself reasonably well, winning 5 out of 6 singles.

Since then - almost no table tennis & I was resigned to sitting out for the rest of the year as with our local comp team now in division 2 which plays a 3 person format we would have had problems fielding a team with our captain being away for the Australian Insurance & Public Service championships and her & the other team member being away for the Australian Vets as well.

However my number 2 son has decided to play table tennis for the physical recreation component of his silver Duke of Edinburgh award (he did bronze last year), so I will be taking him to practice a lot of Saturday afternoons for around six months. So I will get at least a little table time, however quality practice may be lacking (unless I persuade him to be serious about table tennis for the Duke of Ed).

This Saturday the local comp championship tournament is on, so there may be a few less attendees, so I may be able to drill with him.

Till next time ...

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PostPosted: 16 Aug 2012, 17:04 
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Hi Retriever!

Quote:
I also subbed in to the monthly Vets comp for my captain from the local comp in division A2, 1 level below where I last played a couple of years ago, and acquitted myself reasonably well, winning 5 out of 6 singles.
This sounds like a good accomplishment! 5 of 6!

Also, I'm glad your number 2 son is playing1 I hope that is a good adventure for both of you!

TTYL

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2012, 11:44 
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Update since last

Have been going along to the Saturday afternoon social hits fairly regularly, but that only keeps my eye in, no improvement there. It doesn't help that I am pretty much the best player there, and that it is mostly doubles play.

Also the Benelong Cup was played again in Sydney in October. Yours truly was again called on (well, volunteered actually as was apparently not on the mailing list for invitees, was surprised to receive an email response from TTA CEO I think!). We ended up with 2 International umpires & 2 State umpires for 2 tables. This time it was the Australian Men (without Henzell, although he played in the prelude at the great hall at Parliament House in Canberra) vs a Korean club side & the Australian Women vs a Chinese club side.
I had a horrible day at work on the Friday, having intended getting off early, but working late, then was faced with around 3.5 hours of being main umpire or assistant umpire for the mens table without breaks. We also had an AWD (wheelchair) match both nights. Saturday evening was much the same, but I managed a nap in the afternoon. Not too much controversy, but the Korean coach did question why an Australian wasn't at least yellow carded for what was a very minor infraction that I doubt any of the audience would have even noticed.

Also I attended the funeral of Dave Beaumont, a veteran player & administrator, a couple of weeks ago, which was held just after the Australian Vets (& the Benelong cup, which his daughter played in). Everyone who was anyone in NSW TT was there with TTA CEO & President, & interstate attendees. Very sad.

Last week when googling for one of the other TT web forums, David Jones (Australian department store) came up with a "Ping Pong" line of women's clothing.

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PostPosted: 16 May 2013, 12:24 
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Over the last few months have been playing once a week at the social & comp practice that I help run, so not much to report (except my #2 son did get his Duke of Ed Silver Award using this as part of it). Have only had 1 competitive knock in that time, so am out of practice against consistent loopers etc.

I am currently contemplating returning an expression of interest to be an umpire at the Australian Table Tennis Open in Sydney 7-10 June. It offers $20 Aus/day (& twin share accommodation for interstate umpires), and is due by email tomorrow. It only asks for "suitably qualified umpires". My being only a state level umpire begs the question as this is supposed to be an international event, however given my acceptance as umpire at the Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament last year, it may be worth my while.

Also given that I am not playing in the local comp (long story), I have made inquiries to play in the Metropolitan Team Pennant at Homebush in Sydney, but have not heard back.

The local TT club I play for is having its AGM next Monday night. Should have been late January or early February, but due to a miscommunication or 2 (being kind) it has slipped out to this. Maybe it will be resurrected from its current life-support status, but if I hold my breath waiting, I may go the same way.

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PostPosted: 28 May 2013, 07:46 
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Played again last Saturday, all doubles, unfortunately.

Email came in yesterday confirming me as an umpire for the upcoming Australian Open, 7-10 June in Sydney (Homebush). It was a form letter asking for interstate flight & accommodation info. I replied that I am a Sydney local & reiterated my request for complimentary parking. We will be "paid" an honorarium per day, but guess how much all day parking near the venue is. Hint, at least that much.

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PostPosted: 28 May 2013, 11:31 
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Retriever wrote:
Email came in yesterday confirming me as an umpire for the upcoming Australian Open, 7-10 June in Sydney (Homebush). It was a form letter asking for interstate flight & accommodation info. I replied that I am a Sydney local & reiterated my request for complimentary parking. We will be "paid" an honorarium per day, but guess how much all day parking near the venue is. Hint, at least that much.

Well done Retriever, looking forward to catching up then! Parking is $20 per day - I checked, and decided to stay within walking distance of the venue!

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PostPosted: 28 May 2013, 13:18 
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Will be good to see you again, PRW! I haven't been playing much lately though.

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PostPosted: 28 May 2013, 14:35 
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Hey my distant friend, Mr. Retriever!

I SURE would like to see a 2 min video of you playing. C'mon now, no excuses, everyone's cell phone can take a decent 2 min video!

I'm playing in a similar style to you, but I'm just learning to do it.

Thanking you in advance!

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2013, 08:21 
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Spent the last 4 days umpiring at the Australian Table Tennis Open in Sydney.

It was not promoted very well, even to us table tennistas. An email was sent out to TTNSW members on Friday, the day that it started. I found the email in the evening after I had spent the day helping unpack & setup 8 Stiga Rainbow tables & umpire tables, 16 towel boxes, 200 odd barriers, oh and also the odd bit of umpiring the mixed doubles. I thought that what I had signed up for was simply umpiring, but there were 3 TTA people, 1 NSW person & the umpires & referee & deputy doing all the set up.

It was officially opened on Saturday by the ex tennis player & current federal member for Bennelong, John Alexander, who has organized table tennis tables for all schools in his electorate (cheaper than tennis courts), the state attorney general & state member for Epping, and the Chinese Consul-General.

An Australian pair won the Mixed Double, William Henzel & Miao Miao, but the almost the rest of the medals went to Koreans who had sent quite a contingent including Oh Sang Eun who was billed as being WR 20. He never seemed to have to get out of 3rd gear even in the final. I umpired the quarter-final match where Henzel went down to Cheon, who ended up playing for the bronze medal. Women's singles was won be German Deng Yaping the chopper. Another Korean chopper played off for the bronze medal.

In a conversation I had with Will Goodyer, president of TTA, I raised the issue of the various controversies surrounding the introduction of the new larger plastic ball. He knew that it was coming in, but had no idea of:
    . the fictitious ban on celluloid production cited in the original proposal
    . the scare about the hazard of making the precursors to celluloid being as bad as asbestos handling
    . the dubious study or testing of the plastic ball by unnamed players using unnamed but probably smooth spinny rubbers
    . the patent on the process for making the plastic ball being held by the wife of an ITTF committee official
    . the letter written by the table tennis equipment manufacturers association requesting the patent issue be resolved within 14 days.

I am thinking that I will follow him up with an email citing evidence for these things. I wish that I had spoken to him before the recent world championships.

On a lighter note, one of the young Korean lady players was basically throwing herself at one of the Australian players, saying that she wanted to marry him, apparently being desperate to come to Australia. One of the sponsors presented each medal winner with a large can of baby formula, so one of the other umpires warned the Australian player that he had better watch out as she already had a number of cans of baby formula for their children.

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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2013, 12:46 
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Retriever wrote:
On a lighter note, one of the young Korean lady players was basically throwing herself at one of the Australian players, saying that she wanted to marry him, apparently being desperate to come to Australia. One of the sponsors presented each medal winner with a large can of baby formula, so one of the other umpires warned the Australian player that he had better watch out as she already had a number of cans of baby formula for their children.

:rofl: That has to be the highlight of the day :lol:

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