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PostPosted: 24 Oct 2011, 15:24 
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35% doesn't sound like much Retriever, but I find its all relative and only you can know how good or bad it is within you. I know I have had seasons with that sort of result (or worse) and it can be due to lots of factors (lost many matches in 5, personal issues distracting you, gone up grades and acclimatising, had a break and coming back, etc). There are also seasons when you just get a bad run and don't find best form on the nights. If you feel you played well for the season and still lost most matches, that generally means you've had tough opponents who will eventually bring your game up a notch or you go down a grade eventually. Its all fun though! ;)

Gees, your opponents were finicky! I think it was more mind games than genuine protest. The rules allow white when orange ball used no doubt. I try not to buy white shirts that I might ever need to play TT in, as we only use white balls in our comps.

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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2011, 12:24 
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Hi Reb,

I am playing in Division 1 (read top or open ended) in SNDTTA, so I am not surprised that I only got 35%. Last comp we had Trent Carter playing. This comp we had state O/40 players etc in there as well. I did list the mitigating circumstances (long break, new rubbers). Over the nearly 30 years I have played I have had much success at the club, association and state (grade) tournament level, not to mention having had the opportunity to play some very good players. When I can get around to it I may post a picture of what that means, but in the meantime, I get out of playing a lot more than I put in. Having read Haggisv's 20,000th post, I can definitely identify with "having a unique style" growing up without any coaching.

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PostPosted: 25 Oct 2011, 12:30 
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Oops, in summing up the season forgot about the doubles from last Friday night, and the final result.

I couldn't get the fill-in to play doubles, so got fill-in 2, also from 2 divisions down (really 1 as he was allowed to play down a division. Anyway, between his more agressive style and my anchoring retrieving, get everything back playing we ran out comfortable winners 3-0. that meant we won the night 3-2.

Our team came last in Division 1. I ended up playing every match and got the best percentage of the 3 of us, ending up in the top 10 of those who had played 10 or more rubbers. If that had been the Autumn comp, I think we would have had to play the top team in Div 2 for the last Div 1 spot.

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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2011, 11:58 
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Saturday afternoon pactice (not).

Was asked to run the weekly casual drop in practice session put on by SNDTTA. Open up, orchestrate, and lock up.

I got there early, around the same time as one of the regulars, so we put up the 3 tables & blockout curtain & opened up for play. I started off letting people play as they turned up, including a couple of fairly newb 13 year olds. Those who get there early get to play singles but when there are too many waiting, doubles is the order of the day.

Anyway a few more almost-absolute-beginners turn up and they get to play doubles and have their turn waiting for their next turn to play. I come off a doubles and wait for someone else to join them. As a result, as I am almost the only one who is willing to play with them, I play around 4 in a row. Fortunately my game does not rely on outright winners, so I practice precision (putting the ball as close as possible to where they will most likely return the ball) and dial out the spin so they can have an enjoyable game. Unfortunately others are not so kind to such newcomers, in my opinion playing "alpha male" or something.

Later on, one of them has to go, asks me a few questions about bats, rubbers, spin etc and asking advice about where to buy a bat (Rebel Sport, go for allround if there is a choice, don't spend too much until you are sure etc) as they had used the least decrepit one left in the cupboard. They may return to play again.

While packing up the 13 year olds ask questions about my bat and playing spin, which I answer, then, when their parents still haven't turned up to pick them up I resign myself to waiting with them till they are. Fortunately the parents pick them up just as the last of the adults are leaving.

We really need more tables / time so that real practice, as against just playing games (best of 3 to 11) can be done. Also I am the 1st to admit that I am not the best at organizing, but, hey table tennis was played and everyone got a game and no-one was left waiting for long periods and we may have a few more that will take it up and play more seriously.

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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2011, 13:18 
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Retriever I see you have guys like Justin Han, Trent Carter, Stephen Tai (and even moviestar Jet Li :lol: ) in your league and division. Have you played any of these superstars, and how did you fare?

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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2011, 16:04 
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woah, those joola tango extreme are close to two years old? Ive seen reviews of that rubber where it said they start to lose there capabilities at two months :o

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PostPosted: 31 Oct 2011, 16:09 
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Velonstrials wrote:
woah, those joola tango extreme are close to two years old? Ive seen reviews of that rubber where it said they start to lose there capabilities at two months :o


So much depends on how you play with a rubber as to how long it lasts. Retrievers style will not wear out a rubber as fast as a hard looper or smasher will.

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S/U 1: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Andro Rasant 2.1 . BH Red Tibhar Grass Dtecs
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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 12:03 
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Hi Reb,

I last played Justin (anglicised name) Han a couple of years ago. I got a few points, but he had serves that I could sometimes not even get my bat to, and I pride myself on service return.

I have never played Trent Carter. He was my fill-in in my team for our local comp while i was out of the game :) :) I think that he too would wipe the floor with me.

Stephen Tai I used to play against regularly in the local comp. I think I won something like 75% of the time, head to head. He did not like the spin I returned the ball with, even on his pimples, also having to play that extra shot to win the point. I didn't play him in the season just completed.

I am not sure which player you are referring to when you mentioned the movie star Jet Li.

At one stage I had never played Pinky in a serious match, but had played 2 games against him at different times in Sydney Smashers (anyone remember the National League?) supporters events. One I lost 12-21 (that was how much he let most players get against him that day). The other I won 22-20 (he was trying to attack fast nospin serves, and the final point was my lob that he smashed off). Since then I have played him numerous times in proper matches and he has always beaten me in straight games.

Not sure which other names you would be familiar with.

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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 12:11 
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Hi Velonstrials,

Yeah I had 15 months out of the game, however I had left the Tango Extremes with the protective plastic on them. I have since gotten Friendship 729 Geospin Tacky 2.2 mm (try saying that 3 times fast) on the backhand and Yasaka Extend 2.0 on the forehand. I am getting a lot more spin for a lot less effort. As mentioned previously, this is on a 20ish year old Nittaku carbon blade.

I know some people look at my setup and shake their heads when I tell them I retrieve/defend. All I can say is that it is what I am used to. A chopper from Canberra, after I lost to him in 5 at the Aust Vets 2 years ago in the teams asked me if I had thought of "going all the way" and becoming a fully accredited member of the darkside, ie put pimples on the backhand and become a fulltime chopper, to which I responded that I had too much fun spinning the ball with inverted on my backhand.

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PostPosted: 01 Nov 2011, 15:33 
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Hi Retriever,

On your grading list there is a name Jet Li. The only Jet Li I know of is the moviestar lol.

http://www.sndtta.org.au/gradings.html

About 14 names down in the Div 1 list.

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S/U 1: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Andro Rasant 2.1 . BH Red Tibhar Grass Dtecs
S/U 2: Blade: Bty Gergely . FH Black Hexer+ 2.1 . BH Red GD Talon
S/U 3: Blade: Bty Gergely . No rubbers...thinking of adding Red Dtecs and Black Rasant
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PostPosted: 02 Nov 2011, 11:20 
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Hi Reb,

Just looked at the gradings you looked at. I have absolutely no idea who "Jet Li" is on there. There are quite a few there that I wouldn't have played against.

The problem with the published gradings is that if you are once graded (and for Division 1 you don't really need to be graded when you start, if you know what I mean) then don't play, your name is left there for 2 years, possibly longer.

Some who take a break from the game are allowed back in the grade below, while some retain their grade. I am not sure how that decision is made. For my break, I didn't even think of restarting at the grade below.

On the other hand I have anecdotal evidence where a player only played a small number of matches, unfortunately all against the better players in Div 1 and got downgraded. They have since not played enough to be upgraded again.

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PostPosted: 14 Nov 2011, 11:48 
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Turned up as a participant only to the "social and competition practice" Satuday afternoon that I ran a few posts ago.

Got there early, so got a reasonable hit up with another comp player. That was good, although we know each other's game fairly well. Then as more social players turned up, it was doubles all the way.

When I play doubles with social (read basement, I suppose) players, I dial down the tricky spin (and wrist) and placements except when retrieving (eponymously) the otherwise ungettable. As a result I tend to play as the brick wall, and the rest of the players get a game as good as they are, more or less, except if there is one who is decidedly more "social" than the rest. The other comp player, when I played in doubles against him, still went for his shots. As a result, the social players involved, I am sure, had a less than happy experience when playing against him. At one stage, I tried to explain how to counter spin to one lady (aim back to the same side of the table as the opponent's shot started), but because the other comp player was still going for his shots, this was of little effect. Also, he went for some tricky serves, and in returning them sometimes his spin spun his partner out.

In these circumstances, it is very hard to have a good game of doubles, and make it attractive to the social players so they maybe will come back again and maybe get bitten by the table tennis bug and get more serious and maybe eventually grow their game a little (and for table tennis to be the winner).

-----

In other news, the exec committee of the club I play for recently sent out a "if someoine doesn't come forward to run the club it will fold" email to all current club members. I may have mentioned that this year the club has essentially been in caretaker mode with the team captains doing all the admin to be in the competition, rather than the honorary secretary & treasurer. Well a few have come forward and it looks like the club will live on. It was only a couple of years ago that the club celebrated 50 years of table tennis with a dinner, with many past club champions at attending including yours truly. Then the husband & wife who had been virtually running the club themselves for 30 years took a year off to travel and haven't been sighted since. Hopefully this year the club will be run in more than caretaker mode. I have offered to help, but my family circumstances at the moment do not really let me do much more than play around once a week, and as seen from the above, the practice that I am getting is of dubious benefit.

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PostPosted: 03 Dec 2011, 20:45 
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Last 3 Saturdays have turned up to Saturday afternoon practice with mixed feelings when coming away.

2 weeks ago, it was fairly warm, over 30 degrees C. There were only about 5 of us turn up, and it was the week of the month for playing a handicap comp. The 2nd best player (works 24 * 7 security job) had had a callout at 3am that morning. He and I warmed up, and he just could not middle the ball on his bat. It turned out that he had taken a couple of sleeping tablets to get back to sleep that morning, and was still very much feeling the effects of them in the afternoon. Anyway, he stayed around to start playing the handicap, but then apparently decided it wasn't worth it and went home, presumably to sleep off the rest of the sleeping tablets. I played every match to win, having an actual handicap applied to me. I won by retrieving, deception, spinning & placement. There was a 13 year old boy there, son of a friend of mine, who I took a bit of time to give some coaching to. I felt that in some small way I had contributed something back to the sport that I love to play. Unfortunately he went on a overseas trip with his parents just last Friday, so won't get much continuity of play.

Last week conditions were much milder, so there was a large contingent at the practice. I had been out to lunch with my family, so only managed to get there for the last hour, during which I played mostly doubles with a wide disparity in those playing. I practiced placement and very little spin or deception against those who struggled in play.

Today, it was a little warmer, and as a consequence there was again only 6 turned up. I started off with a fairly long hit up with a player who had reasonable shots but not very much patience. We hit up while the other 4 had around 4 or 5 games of doubles. I concentrated on playing a little more aggressively than normal, trying not to hit too many backspin shots, and bringing my forehand into play more in a counter hitting sort of way. It was not drilling exactly, but not far off it. Then we swapped around and 2 of the others played singles while we played doubles. Then towards the end I had another hit with a player who had not played for 6 weeks because of injury. He played a somewhat spinny game as well, though more attacking than me. I think i felt better for having extended hits at singles.

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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2011, 12:12 
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On Monday night turned up to a different club for a practice session.
Unfortunately my team mate couldn't make it. :)

However, a blast from my past turned up. The very 1st player I had a hit with when I first turned up to a table tennis club, back in 1982, arrived after I did. I also used to play him faily often when I made it to A reserve in the local competition. He hadn't played since 11 point games & the 40 mm ball came in. He brought in 2 bats that he used to use. The Mark V on one had clearly perished, and the Mark V on the other looked like it had nearly worn through to the sponge. The pimples on the other sides looked OK though. He started off playing with the 3rd bat which had Tenergy on both sides, and particularly the backhand went long on him. One of the other players lent him a bat with more forgiving rubber on it. He and I reminisced for a bit.

After that I had a hit with most of the players there. Thankfully we did not play their version of a handicap, and just hit up or played best of 3. I ended up having a hit with the best player there, and he commented on how I used spin to win. We played some games and he took me to deuce a couple of times but I managed to win every game we played. He had started off hitting from both wings, but my deception proved too much for him to continue hitting on his backhand, except for what he considered to be "unmissable kill shots", which often weren't (unmissable that is :) ).

After around 2 hours of practice I went home feeling like I had had a good session.

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PostPosted: 07 Dec 2011, 12:31 
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Retriever wrote:
I ended up having a hit with the best player there, and he commented on how I used spin to win. We played some games and he took me to deuce a couple of times but I managed to win every game we played. He had started off hitting from both wings, but my deception proved too much for him to continue hitting on his backhand, except for what he considered to be "unmissable kill shots", which often weren't (unmissable that is :) ).

So i guess that would make you the best player there now? ;)

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