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PostPosted: 16 Feb 2018, 07:16 
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Share Your Story - Best and Worst Places to Play Table Tennis

I've played my fair share of venues in the last 12-13 years of playing. I have my favorites and not so favorites, but there are always a few places I've played or still play that I just love and hate, or just feel plain out of place while being there.

The best place I’ve ever played at was in St. Johns New Brunswick.

My old Best Buy co-worker was from there and said that his father’s best friend is an electrical engineer that worked as a Light Engineer designing light plans (like a floor plans only for lighting) for companies to get the best lighting for their place of work, and had he was a table tennis enthusiast and would hold monthly tourneys held at his place for friends and family to come over and play. He got me invited to one of his shindigs and man did it ever live up to the hype. He had 6 tables in his 5500 square foot basement with 12’ ceilings and as you can imagine, the best lighting you could ever want or need to play table tennis. There were never any shadows on the ball while in play it was simply the best I’d ever seen the ball.

The worst/most awkward place I’ve ever played was in a Church.

I'll never forget the first time I was invited to a Pentecostal church to play with the pastor who at the time was top 10 in the state, a couple mutual friends and a few members of the church who had taken interest in the sport. I was in my early 20's and hadn't been to an organized church for 5 or 6 years. I remember being very uncomfortable going to a church that I knew nothing of their customs, and at that point in my life I had only known one church and that was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon)and knew understood that "my church" was vastly different than mainstream Christian domination's.

I show up, it’s February in Maine, it’s -10f (-23c) outside, and I guess they didn’t heat the youth hall in the winter time, as I recall it was barely 32f in the youth hall. What made it worse was there was only one table to play on. The table wasn’t in the best condition and if you didn’t win your matches you sat out and froze your twig and berries off.

I remember playing the pastor for the first time, he was huge, 6’5” 250+ lbs.. He had this big boisterous voice that sincerely made me feel like I was the most important person in the world when he spoke to me. I guess that’s what you’d expect from a Pentecostal pastor.

It was the most awkward person/place I’ve ever played to date, because one: I was playing a pastor in his church, and if anyone who’s played this sport for any amount of time knows that this sport could make the Pope swear, and I’m a very vocal player when I mess up. So I was constantly checking myself and ensuring that I was saying things like, “Oh gosh almighty” or “Jesus, Joseph and Mary!!!”, “Gosh darn it all to heck!”

And two: he was more vocal than I was, on every point. He would just yell nonsense into the air, and I was very off put by this action. I asked my friend in between games as to why he was yelling in between every point or when he messed up. He said that he is a Pentecostal pastor he is talking in tongues.

At first I thought my friend was just making a joke, but my friend must have realized my confusion and said, no, Pentecostals speak in tongues to God and that is exactly what he is doing… I said to him, “Then he’s CHEATING!”; I chuckled and left my friend in laughing fit as I headed back to the table.

With a smirk on my face I said to the Pastor in a sarcastic tone that I’d appreciate him not using tongues to help him win as I do not have the power of Christ on my side like he does. Thinking I was being quite witty and opening up the opportunity for friendly banter with this man.

The pastor’s face went stone cold serious, and he didn’t say another word during our match. I ended up beating him 3-2 and after that he said to everyone he was going to shut down the youth hall for the rest of the day and will open it back up when the weather got warmer. I was never invited back to play at the church and the pastor never talks to me when we see each other at events or out in public...

I have many more, but I've rambled on long enough!

I'm sure some of you have great stories of a few places/people you've played, I sure would love to hear about them!

Thank you so much for your time!

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I.Tibhar Stratus Power Defense; FH: Victas V > 15 Extra 2.0mm; BH: Giant Dragon Meteorite 0.5mm
II. Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk; FH: Butterfly Tenergy 05 1.9mm; BH:Giant Dragon Meteorite 0.5mm
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PostPosted: 16 Feb 2018, 10:51 
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In our area we used to play almost exclusively in licensed clubs, and this was back in the day when smoking was still allowed therein.

One of these licensed clubs had a table tennis room with low ceilings (strike 1), carpet on the floor (strike 2), and restricted area (strike 3). You would think that this would be enough for a worst venue in the area, but wait, there is more. This was the venue where 3 table tennis players had died pretty much playing table tennis. Admittedly those who died did have health problems - I think mostly older men with existing heart attack symptoms such as high to very high blood pressure, being overweight and not having the best diet. I am not sure how much the conditions contributed to the deaths - carpet may have made moving your feet more difficult, and the smoke in the air may have affected the oxygen content.
Up until smoking was banned in licensed clubs, my wife could always tell when I played at that venue when I got home - not because I was a little bit dead, but from the smell of cigarette smoke on my clothes.

One night we played in a club auditorium with a single feeble light over the middle of the table which favoured the person hitting a faster ball. I lost one match there purely because of this as I am a retriever and usually return the ball slower than it is hit to me and could not track the ball coming to me.

Good venues get taken for granted.

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PostPosted: 16 Feb 2018, 22:58 
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Joined: 30 Jul 2016, 01:07
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Location: Maine
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Blade: Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk
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Retriever wrote:

Good venues get taken for granted.


They certainly do good sir.

I cannot stand the smell of cigarette's I always loved seeing my father's family around christmas but hated that everyone on my father's side smoked. 30 of us in a double wide house with 20 adults all smoking.. After a couple days and I remember I would still smell cigarettes in my hair.

_________________
"When in doubt, chop. If still in doubt, chop again" USATT 1607
I.Tibhar Stratus Power Defense; FH: Victas V > 15 Extra 2.0mm; BH: Giant Dragon Meteorite 0.5mm
II. Butterfly Joo Se Hyuk; FH: Butterfly Tenergy 05 1.9mm; BH:Giant Dragon Meteorite 0.5mm
III. Tibhar Stratus Power Wood; FH: Butterfly Tenergy 05 2.1mm; BH: Victas V > 01 Stiff 2.0mm


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