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PostPosted: 11 Jun 2013, 13:21 
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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:


Just about the funniest of all 4 days. Why else did I throw it in? With pretty much the exception of the lady choppers already mentioned, the rest was the usual "my loop is bigger than your loop" fest that appears to be modern table tennis for many.

I also could have mentioned the umpire who left the score sheet behind for the walk on, so the referee had to go and get it and surreptitiously hand it to him before the match proper got under way. Fortunately (unfortunately?) all cameras (2 or 3 private ones) were probably focused on the table, so no video so it didn't happen :)

The saddest was finding out that TPTB in Australia were extremely uninformed about the figurative fun and games that have been going on about the incoming plastic ball. Just from following OOAK forums, my table tennis forum & about table tennis forum, I am "over 1,000 % better informed" according to one of TPTB.

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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2013, 13:23 
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Since my last post here, I was one of 2 umpires at the Australian National Championships, covering the individual events for that week. It was a little sad that on the final day when there were semis and finals that we only covered 2 of the 4 tables. For that matter there was no media coverage of which I am aware for this event. See the topic under general (not tournaments) for more on this.

I have also been helping run the weekly social hit. Last week my brother turned up after having mentioned a few weeks previously that he was going to turn up. It's his fault that I am a defensive player, through endless games when we were growing up, on a table top our dad made of gardening stakes and masonite, originally on trestles, later modified to go on top of an 8' by 4' snooker table. Even back then I was retrieving, not chopping :)

Weirdly, last night I had a dream that I was playing with my first "real" bat - a Stiga premade with Cobra 3 star green rubber both sides. I was playing badly and looked at the rubbers - they were almost perished and very ragged, but the worst was that for some reason they had a lot of air trapped between them and the blade. I ended up putting the bat on the table and leaning on it to get the air out. That was all I can remember.

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PostPosted: 13 Aug 2013, 16:37 
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Retriever wrote:
...made of gardening stakes and masonite...


Must've had an awesome bounce lol

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2013, 12:29 
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Yup. Why do you think I defended on? Certainly not because of the high true bounce :)

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PostPosted: 20 Aug 2013, 12:37 
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Last Thursday night I went to my club for the 1st time in some months for what I hoped would be some better quality practice. Unfortunately only 2 then 3 then 4 turned up counting me. I mostly had a hit with a young Indian guy who also plays at the social hit up on a Saturday afternoon (that I have been running solo for the last couple of weeks).

He couldn't hit more than a bout 2 or 3 in a row at me when he was smashing. Towards the end of the night, I asked him to swap bats for a little while. It took me a while to get used to. It was a reasonably new Stiga premade and from off the table I almost couldn't get the ball back over the net with my normal strokes. Talk about being almost dead. When we finished I also gave it a clean with my water soaked chamois, although that won't make much difference to the lack of bounce. It seems that he had never cleaned his rubber.

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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2013, 13:16 
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Ran the usual Saturday afternoon social practice last Saturday afternoon (duh).

My #2 son is coming again - this time for his gold Duke of Ed award. He complained to me that he was not coping with spin at all well. My brother was there again as well. He seems to be really enjoying himself. While setting up, one of the people who had arrived early and was helping us set up (duh again) asked whether #2 son was related to me. Of course I told them that he was, and that the other person helping set up was also related - my brother.

At the end of the session, this same person couldn't find their keys, so, as they lived almost on the way home for me, I offered them a lift to get their spare set. A discussion ensued as to whether the keys were stolen or merely accidentally picked up by one of the others. Also the all-important money that I was collecting ($5 per adult, $2 per concession [student or pensioner], or $7 per family for the 2 hours) was low. We were $43 short. so the talk turned to theft of both the keys & the money. Interestingly, one of the couples had claimed to have put in a $50 note to get $43 change, but there was no $50 note and I insisted that as they claimed to have put the money in that we would "wear the shortfall". To cut a long story short, eventually the couple put the $43 in, and when I got home after giving the person missing their keys a lift, I had a message that one of the people that had gone home early had mistakenly put the keys in their bag and taken them.

So we all lived happily ever after!

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PostPosted: 26 Aug 2013, 13:47 
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Once, I had someone put both his keys and wallet into my bag :o Our bag was of same color, size but only slight difference in design. He was in a hurry to get onto a table and start playing :lol: Naturally he was so worried and thought he could have dropped both is keys and wallet along the way from car park to club :sweat: So he kept retracing his step while I quite happily walked home. Fortunately for him, he put his keys and wallets in the same section as I always put my home keys in. Otherwise, the keys and wallet would have remained undiscovered until probably days later. My bag has quite a few compartments and I don't access one of them often as it only contains balls which I hardly need as the club provides for them. Anyway, a quick look at the ID in the wallet and I rushed back to the club to return the keys and wallet. So likewise, all is well that ends well :)

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PostPosted: 27 Aug 2013, 13:28 
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A few years ago one of the regulars left just before me, taking my bat instead of theirs. Fortunately, a phone call and a quick trip in the car and I had my precious back :) I still don't know how they mistook bats!

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PostPosted: 05 Sep 2013, 13:19 
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Last Saturday I played in the local district championships (without the blessings of my better half), but not very successfully. Once upon a time, the championships were closed, only allowing those who had played league TT in the previous season to enter. These days they let those who were in some way affiliated to the clubs in the district enter as well. Me too as I am "a regular at the Saturday afternoon social doubles, as well as being a member of one of the clubs.

I entered Div2 singles (that is what I am graded from last playing comp a year ago) & Div1 singles. As soon as I got there I looked at the Div2 draw & saw I was in a group with who I thought was an out of area player who I considered to be too good for Div2. I drew this to the organisers' attention, but they let it go. Apparently he was a member at another club in the district but had never played league for them.

In the Div2 RR of 3 I played the other player first up - I think I was leading 2-0 o 2-1 in the best of 5, but then folded to lose 2-3. Against the player I had complained about, I took the 1st game before he rolled me 1-3. Before the game he was trying to talk himself down etc. He then beat the other player. I still don't know whether he went on to win Div2.

In the Div1 RR of 3 I played a penholder who hid the ball behind his face on a lot of forehand serves, & also threw the ball back on to his bat. As a qualified umpire, no matter how much I told myself to just play the serve, I was ultimately fascinated by the ball going out of view. He got away to a 0-2 lead which I pegged back to 2-2 before he took out the 5th game. The other player whom I last played last year and had beat him then. He went through me 0-3. Someone watching commented that he didn't miss any smashes. He also had a problem with his serve - throwing it up maybe an inch or two instead of 6 inches, but this didn't bother me at all

What I learned:
I need to be playing comp (league) to be competitive.
I must not be put off by anyone's serve.
I must keep the ball lower & play less passive shots.
I must be in a good frame of mind to play well.

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PostPosted: 02 Dec 2013, 12:16 
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Have only been running (& playing in) the usual Saturday afternoon social and competition "practice" afternoons since last update.

Last Saturday, a fairly good player (forehand attacking looper) turned up as he thought the listing in the local paper mentioned "competition". As it is, 70-80% of the regulars just want to play a social game of doubles to maximize their time on the table. I explained to the new guy that he was welcome to stay but that he would mostly be playing doubles. Well, he stayed.

You know how there are some people who, when playing much weaker players, are either unable or unwilling to dial back their game to make it more fun? This guy was one of them. Some players welcomed this as it gave them a chance to face balls that they did not usually face, and hopefully grow a little as a player. Others were more bemused and either just watched the ball go by or fly off their bats.

Anyway, he begged to have a singles, so I, as the best of the regulars gave him one. Of course I gave him no speed whatsoever and played him on the backhand as much as possible. Almost anything on his forehand was put away or mishit. I won the 1st game fairly easily. The 2nd game was a different story. I think I won it 18-16. I remember trying a forehand sidespin/topspin serve when I had the ad point and faulting. I suspect that if it had gone to a 3rd game it would have been much the same as the 2nd game. Objectively he had the better looking shots, while I was the better scrambler & was able to execute my strategy better than he was able to counter it.

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PostPosted: 20 Feb 2014, 06:53 
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A few things since last post ...

I will be taking part in a Brain Foundation promotion at Martin Place in Sydney CBD on 11 March from 7am to 2pm. They (Brain Foundation) asked NSW Vets TT if players were interested / available to show off so I said yes. There is an announcement with web link in Table Tennis Injuries and Health.

I am also now on our local District Committee. The way things work in our neck of the woods is club -> district -> state (NSW) -> national (Australia). We had our first committee meeting last night, and the majority of it was organizing the upcoming Autumn league & re-getting a date for the District Championships later on in the year. I foreshadowed a talk about the introduction of the new plastic ball with a view to getting something pushed to the next level - state, for protests / questions to hopefully get up to the national level and beyond. I have previously sent an email to the TTA CEO / president bringing their attention to the irregularities surrounding its introduction, but got no joy. Now trying to "work the system from within".

Oh and the regular Saturday afternoon social play started back around 2 weeks ago, and in the interim I went to the club for practice a couple of times.

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PostPosted: 14 Mar 2014, 06:39 
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Turned up to the Brain Awareness event on Tuesday morning at Martin Place in the Sydney CBD, halfway between the original time we were told and the last time we were told to turn up. I was early, so got my tasteful green tee-shirt & matching cap & helped out by giving out flyers and rubber brains (for the impending plastic zombie apocalypse :) ). Then Pinky turned up with only one table plus a robot.

Given that there were probably 8-10 of us vet players there was considerable contention to show off. They also didn't put it up in the actual amphitheater, but on the slope just up hill from there. Then as the morning wore on the breeze came up, blowing downhill as well. In addition we invited onlookers to come & have a hit.

Around lunch time the Brain Foundation's captive celebrity, Todd Sampson, advertising Guru, Gruen Transfer/Nation/Planet personality etc came and I played doubles with him. He asked to play with the youngest player & that was me. Mind you he was pretty impressed with the 77 year old on the other side of the table. Pictures or it didn't happen. Well on the Brain Foundation's facebook page (link from its web page) there is at least 1 photo showing him & me.

At the end I asked the day's organizer if she felt that their use of table tennis as a focal point was successful, and she was very happy with the amount of attention that a table with players gave their event. At least 1 person was happy.

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PostPosted: 31 Mar 2014, 11:22 
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Went to the local Umpires & Referees Association AGM and asked when plastic balls would be used in Australia. The opinion I received was that the celluloid ball would still be used for up to 3 years due to old stocks and patent issues. I assumed that was excluding any ITTF events.

The only one I am aware of is the Australian Open, this year being May 21 - 25 in Sydney, $32,000 prize money - interestingly player entry fee is stipulated in USD, but the prize money in $, so unsure if USD32,000 or $A32,000. Umpire payment for Australians is definitely $A20 per day with free parking, with interstate umpires getting free accommodation. Overseas umpires - unknown remuneration. Referee is I think from overseas this time - last year was a local.

I have put my hand up to umpire at it again this year. Interestingly this year they asked for a brief rundown of events umpired in the last year. I was able to quote 2013 Australian Open, the 2013 Australian National Championships (umpired the Men's singles final among other things) and the Bennelong Cup. All this for a State (not International or even National) umpire. Not sure when I will find out if selected.

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2014, 07:14 
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Retriever!

Thanks for the info on the balls. I'm glad the old ones will stay available for a while.

Have fun umpiring!!!

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PostPosted: 01 Apr 2014, 12:30 
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Hi Glennholder,

The info about the balls was for Australia.

I usually enjoy umpiring as I get the best seat in the house.

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