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PostPosted: 08 Sep 2017, 21:51 
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iskandar taib wrote:
It will "help" but it won't be enough to bring parity. Defenders will continue to be in the minority until the equipment favors offense and defense equally. And to be honest - do we really want that? I don't really think any of us do, really. Remember why the expedite rule exists - and why it's hardly invoked these days.

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Why wouldn't we want that? If they are equal to each other, not only will there be more exciting games, but also a chance for a defender to become World Champion, number one of the world,... Why wouldn't a defender have the right to have all these achievements? He invests in his style at least the same amount of effort as an attacker does.

The expedite rule was called into existence because defense was stronger than offense at that time.

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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2017, 00:38 
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I think the game benefits most if it's not too one dimensional either way. Somehow promote an all round variable playing style that encourages the development of both offensive and defensive skills. I don't know how that could best be done. Increase the significance of spin relative to speed?

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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2017, 00:55 
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iskandar taib wrote:
It will "help" but it won't be enough to bring parity. Defenders will continue to be in the minority until the equipment favors offense and defense equally. And to be honest - do we really want that? I don't really think any of us do, really. Remember why the expedite rule exists - and why it's hardly invoked these days.

Iskandar



I think defending is a minority style, period. Most people would naturally prefer to win outright through slams/loops/drives/etc rather than play "passively" and chop or block the opponent down. Even on the lower end of the amateur levels (where the equipment is inconsequential for offense vs defense), people still more commonly try to win by attacking. The only reason they get stuck in push battles or 'paddy cake' matches is because their offense isn't that great or consistent, and they know it! So they take the safe shots, even though they'd like to be hitting home winners.

Even if equipment favored defenders outright, I still don't think it would become the primary playing style at ANY level! :lol:


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2017, 05:13 
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Lorre wrote:
The expedite rule was called into existence because defense was stronger than offense at that time.


Exactly. And too often you'd get two defenders having a "wrestling match" (I can't remember who wrote that - read it in a book written in the 1970s - he was writing about Satoh and his being able to break through these defensive "brick walls"). They brought the expedite rule in after one WC where some matches took over two hours to complete.

A good mix of defenders and attackers is good, swing it over too far and you get too many expedite matches. Today's defenders are the most spectacular to watch because they will very often (much more than in the hardbat era) start counter-attacking.

skilless_slapper wrote:
Even if equipment favored defenders outright, I still don't think it would become the primary playing style at ANY level! :lol:


There WAS a time when defense was dominant, though - this was in the 1920s-40s, even postwar. Lots and lots and lots of defenders at the world class level. Without the expedite rule matches would have gone on for a long time. Not because they were pushing at each other - with hardbat it's easier if one person topspin drives and the other chops - it was because you couldn't attack hard enough to break through a lot of these "brick wall" defenses with the equipment available (i.e. hardbat).

To answer the question asked in the header - no, I don't believe defenders are a "dying breed", they just haven't been very numerous at the top levels ever since the 1960s. I think there are more today (even among the men) than there were in the four decades following 1959.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2017, 05:34 
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iskandar taib wrote:
Lorre wrote:
The expedite rule was called into existence because defense was stronger than offense at that time.


Exactly. And too often you'd get two defenders having a "wrestling match" (I can't remember who wrote that - read it in a book written in the 1970s - he was writing about Satoh and his being able to break through these defensive "brick walls"). They brought the expedite rule in after one WC where some matches took over two hours to complete.

A good mix of defenders and attackers is good, swing it over too far and you get too many expedite matches. Today's defenders are the most spectacular to watch because they will very often (much more than in the hardbat era) start counter-attacking.

skilless_slapper wrote:
Even if equipment favored defenders outright, I still don't think it would become the primary playing style at ANY level! :lol:


There WAS a time when defense was dominant, though - this was in the 1920s-40s, even postwar. Lots and lots and lots of defenders at the world class level. Without the expedite rule matches would have gone on for a long time. Not because they were pushing at each other - with hardbat it's easier if one person topspin drives and the other chops - it was because you couldn't attack hard enough to break through a lot of these "brick wall" defenses with the equipment available (i.e. hardbat).

To answer the question asked in the header - no, I don't believe defenders are a "dying breed", they just haven't been very numerous at the top levels ever since the 1960s. I think there are more today (even among the men) than there were in the four decades following 1959.

Iskandar


Hardbat still has a following today, but I seem to see more attackers in those championships than defenders. Is that not about as fair as you can get defense vs offense?


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2017, 06:29 
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The last time I watched a hardbat match it was a video of the USATT hardbat mens' final from 2015 or 2016. Most of the points looked like two all-out attackers with double inverted. Serve and receive were critical and the rallies ended very quickly, usually in a spin error and almost always by the 3rd or 4th ball. To me, it looks like hardbat has totally failed at its stated goals (reducing the importance of serve and receive, balancing offense and defense, making the game more watchable via longer rallies) at least at the highest level. I wouldn't say it's succeeded at making things cheaper, either - you can get decent Gambler rubber for $12 to $15, and most Chinese rubbers are in the same ballpark.

I don't know whether this is because the hardbat committee has screwed up and allowed rubbers and blades that have much more spin than what was possible during the historic hardbat era, or whether technique and physical condition have improved to the point that the equipment restrictions are ineffective. In any case, I find a good attacker/defender "sponge" match way better to watch. Even watching two top-level Chinese attackers play (Ma Long vs FZD comes to mind) is significantly more interesting, and has longer rallies to boot.

One last thing - I disagree that the propensity of modern defenders to attack more makes them better to watch. I prefer the hyperathletic style of Koji Matsushita (best couple of points start at 5:32 btw):






to watching CWX, Gionis or Filus. Joo is my favorite, but he's special in both his ability to defend from both wings and his attacking prowess.

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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2017, 09:35 
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Well,

Defender style is supposedly not a passive style. Surely Everyone here knows the term prophylaxis. :)


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2017, 11:35 
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skilless_slapper wrote:
Hardbat still has a following today, but I seem to see more attackers in those championships than defenders. Is that not about as fair as you can get defense vs offense?


Indeed it does. If there are more attackers than defenders perhaps it's because of the influence of the way table tennis is played today OUTSIDE hardbat. Most of the players started playing with sponge and perhaps don't know how to play hardbat defense. I don't think it's the sort of hardbat equipment allowed, either - after all, if you WANTED one you could easily get a classic-style 3 ply, the sort Bernard Hock used to make. (Problem is.. most people coming from the sponge game don't want this kind of bat and don't want to play defense.) Back in the hardbat era there were all out attackers, too, at the top of the sport - Reisman and Barna come to mind. But points took longer to complete because getting past defensive players wasn't easy. Reisman was favored to win the 1952 World Champs but someone and his sponge bat got in the way.. :lol:

I suppose if you wanted to reduce the spin levels in hardbat - what about mandating OX long pips (or med pips) both sides? :lol:

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 09 Sep 2017, 22:20 
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I know one thing for sure: if you favor attacking players in how the game is set up, then you'll get mostly attacking players. If you do the opposite, you'll get mostly defensive ones. It's how the game is set up that will determine what you'll get. And how a game is set up is determined by humans, not by natural selection or another force humans are unable to control. Society today is "quick, quick, quick" and "I don't like to think". Translated to TT: TT rallies end really fast (3rd or 5th ball attack) and the emphasis is on speed, not spin (because spin makes you think). And that can be attributed to the neoliberal society in which being the quickest is the most important and thinking beyond tomorrow is a taboo. Strangely enough this system is beaten by a society that thinks long term (China). Let the Chinese determine how TT should look like and you'll get a totally other sport.

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PostPosted: 10 Sep 2017, 08:28 
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We have now got a progidy boy, Artur Abusev. He was recently promoted to the ranks of Russia national team. We trust on him so much.





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PostPosted: 10 Sep 2017, 18:36 
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Yes, Artur is quite talented. :)

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