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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2014, 02:14 
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Checking the USATT web site recently, I made the interesting discovery that Tahl is now rated right below Danny Seemiller. Danny's rating hasn't gone down but he's been surpassed by a few people with 2600 and 2700+ ratings, including quite a few recent immigrants. Cheng (who was the best player in the US at the time I was posting on Usenet) is still up there.

Yup, I didn't enjoy Tahl on the forums, either. Apparently he's now a USATT coach. I hope he's grown up somewhat, or perhaps he wasn't as bad in real life as he was online. I don't think I'd entrust any kid of mine to the Tahl on Usenet.

There were two Williamses, Alan and Scott, if I recall correctly. Alan was the one constantly posting evaluations of different blades and rubber. Towards the end of my time on Usenet Scott's house burned down and his two daughters died, which was really sad. I still have a half dozen sheets of ASTI rubber, part of a lot of 20 sheets or so I bought when ASTI went out of business and they were liquidating the stock. Probably quite dead by now. And I came across a ASTI Photon blade with Waqidi's autograph on it among my things recently - I'll stick rubber on it and compare it to my current blades.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2014, 02:36 
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iskandar taib wrote:
Checking the USATT web site recently, I made the interesting discovery that Tahl is now rated right below Danny Seemiller. Danny's rating hasn't gone down but he's been surpassed by a few people with 2600 and 2700+ ratings, including quite a few recent immigrants. Cheng (who was the best player in the US at the time I was posting on Usenet) is still up there.

Yup, I didn't enjoy Tahl on the forums, either. Apparently he's now a USATT coach. I hope he's grown up somewhat, or perhaps he wasn't as bad in real life as he was online. I don't think I'd entrust any kid of mine to the Tahl on Usenet.

There were two Williamses, Alan and Scott, if I recall correctly. Alan was the one constantly posting evaluations of different blades and rubber. Towards the end of my time on Usenet Scott's house burned down and his two daughters died, which was really sad. I still have a half dozen sheets of ASTI rubber, part of a lot of 20 sheets or so I bought when ASTI went out of business and they were liquidating the stock. Probably quite dead by now. And I came across a ASTI Photon blade with Waqidi's autograph on it among my things recently - I'll stick rubber on it and compare it to my current blades.

Iskandar


There were three brothers and Jim, the father, Alan worked for NATT and is one of the most brilliant people I have ever met and the Don Iguana reviewer was brother Dave and the non player is brother Scott. MR Williams recently passed away.


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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2014, 07:23 
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Iskander, I see Old Man Duffer beat me to correcting you about the Williams brothers. It was Dave Williams with his Don Iguana reviews of rubber and blades that were an interesting part of rec.sport.table-tennis. Alan Williams became much more active about the time Dave's participation started declining. He started working for NATT and was their de facto publicist for many years, writing many an interesting review of NATT tournaments, both online and in the printed USATT Magazine. He had an interesting way with his words and I do miss his contributions. He had a parting of ways with NATT a few years ago and contributed several more interesting posts on About.com TT forum before it closed down.

Tahl, the Garbageman from RSTT, has indeed matured over the years to become one of America's premier Paralympic players. He is a USATT certified coach and actually contributed a number of good coaching posts on About.com. He's really cleaned up his language and I came to appreciate his posts. I know he went back to school to get a degree and I believe he graduated a few years ago. He got up to @ 2500 if I recall correctly.

Regarding the switch to 40mm balls, I was a very vocal opponent of the switch. My main point of contention was that the change in size wasn't enough to truly make a difference and that any loss of speed and spin due to an 2mm increase in ball size would quickly be made up in rubber and blade technology. My, and most of the players I associated with back then, more or less stayed the same rating during the switchover, which is consistent with my predictions.

And I also still believe that I was also correct in that the loss of speed and spin was quickly made up (and even surpassed) by new equipment technology. In essence, I saw no real good coming from the switchover other than lining the ball manufacturers' pockets with substantial profits.

The ITTF also claimed the 40mm ball was essential to better acceptance of the sport on TV. I sincerely doubt that the 40mm ball made much of a difference in this aspect either as I didn't see much of any difference in TV coverage of our sport until many years later after the switch. I do think getting better contrast between the ball and the background and the eventual changeover to HD did make our sport more video friendly.

I still scratch my head in trying to figure out how Adham was able to manipulate things after the original vote on the 40mm ball was negative at the Eindhoven Worlds. At the time, the ITTF bylaws stated that law changes could not be enacted until they were brought up again two years later at the next BGM (Biennial General Meeting). Yet somehow the bylaws were changed to allow an AGM (Annual General Meeting) and the 40mm vote was brought up just a few months later (less than 1 year) and passed. I believe this was Adham's first year as President.

Good to see you back and contributing. If you didn't know it, USATT has started its own forum. Still a little slow right now until we get the word out and get more people signed up and contributing. Go to the USATT home page for a link to the forum.

Larry


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PostPosted: 10 Apr 2014, 15:17 
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larrythoman wrote:
Don Iguana reviews of rubber and blades
Thanks for a trip down memory lane, now I can piece that all together, Larry! I do remember the Iguana! lol

BTW, I do remember your name also...funny how after all these years there are a lot of the same folks interested in this unpopular sport in the U.S.
larrythoman wrote:
Tahl, the Garbageman from RSTT, has indeed matured over the years to become one of America's premier Paralympic players. He is a USATT certified coach and actually contributed a number of good coaching posts on About.com. He's really cleaned up his language and I came to appreciate his posts. I know he went back to school to get a degree and I believe he graduated a few years ago. He got up to @ 2500 if I recall correctly.
I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that. I always felt he was a good kid, but his filthy mouth made many of his posts obnoxious...I still remember his mantra..."I'm here to take trash out...".

To give Tal some credit, this was the time when all the gluing was going on, and the sport was turning for the worst...there was another guy that was always coming down hard on the gluers of that era, I can't remember his name.
larrythoman wrote:
Regarding the switch to 40mm balls, I was a very vocal opponent of the switch. My main point of contention was that the change in size wasn't enough to truly make a difference and that any loss of speed and spin due to an 2mm increase in ball size would quickly be made up in rubber and blade technology. My, and most of the players I associated with back then, more or less stayed the same rating during the switchover, which is consistent with my predictions.
I would have to agree. It doesn't seem that much slower than it was. But it seems to have improved with the 11 point game change also...

I know Iskander mentioned wanting to try a 44mm ball, anyone else tried those and do they really slow the game down that much more ? It would seem they would...I saw a 50mm ball for sale, labled as a practice ball. But it seems to me that the best practice would be to play consecutive games with different sizes, to get the hand/eye coordination tuned in...even with a bigger ball, sometimes it is fast play, and sometimes slow. Adjusting once's swing to the ball is key.

Good to see familar names here, after all these years.
larrythoman wrote:
If you didn't know it, USATT has started its own forum. Still a little slow right now until we get the word out and get more people signed up and contributing. Go to the USATT home page for a link to the forum
I don't think you were talking to me specific, but I will definitely check it out. Thanks for mentioning that!

GN
A.K.A. Alan DuBoff

PS - I just registered and posted a couple messages over on USATT. I had seen that before, but there was no messages, so I figured it wasn't active...lucky timing for me that it's actually just starting. Now I'm curious, Sean was just getting married with a wonderful Chinese gal about 15 years ago...I'm curious if they have any young ones with a racket in their hands...


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2014, 14:41 
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larrythoman wrote:
Tahl, the Garbageman from RSTT, has indeed matured over the years to become one of America's premier Paralympic players. He is a USATT certified coach and actually contributed a number of good coaching posts on About.com. He's really cleaned up his language and I came to appreciate his posts. I know he went back to school to get a degree and I believe he graduated a few years ago. He got up to @ 2500 if I recall correctly.

Larry,

Saw this on youtube...

Good for Tal! ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcrkzMqtlq0

GN


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2014, 23:05 
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GoldenNittakus wrote:
there was another guy that was always coming down hard on the gluers of that era, I can't remember his name.


That would have been Sjan, Srinivas Janardhanan, the person who single-handedly took down that Usenet group with his rants against glue and the evil ITTF. I got an email from him a few weeks ago telling me of his plan to run a tournament where he would not enforce the aspect ratio rule for pips out rubbers (which prohibited really-long long pips) or the two color rule (which dictated that black and red rubbers be on opposite sides of the blade). I politely told him that USATT could not sanction such a tournament.

GoldenNittakus wrote:
But it seems to have improved with the 11 point game change also...


That's been the most difficult part for me. Not so much the 11 point game itself, but the subsequent change to switching serves every 2 points instead of every 5. I had trained for 30 years to base my serving strategy on series of 5 serves, where each serve was a variation on the one before, contributing to the deceptive quality of the entire series of 5 serves. But now I only get 2 serves at a time, so there is little opportunity to build up deception from one serve to the next. Despite this hurting my own playing style, I still agree that this was a good rule change for the sport and it neutralized one more aspect of the sport that favored the server, thereby encouraging longer rallies and fewer mistakes.

GoldenNittakus wrote:
I know Iskander mentioned wanting to try a 44mm ball, anyone else tried those and do they really slow the game down that much more ? It would seem they would...I saw a 50mm ball for sale, labled as a practice ball. But it seems to me that the best practice would be to play consecutive games with different sizes, to get the hand/eye coordination tuned in...even with a bigger ball, sometimes it is fast play, and sometimes slow. Adjusting once's swing to the ball is key.


Yes I have two types--Nittaku and Sunflex. They are quite different from one another. Nittaku is considerably softer and plays really, really slow. I'd almost describe it as a puff ball. Defense is really enhanced and it usually is a big effort to smash a ball past the opponent, typically a culmination of several opening shots to maneuver the opponent out of position.

The Sunflex ball, on the other hand, is much harder and in my opinion is much more playable in the sense that I don't feel I have to change a lot of my strategies. It is faster and I feel like I can smash the ball past the opponent on speed alone.

With both balls, spin is considerably reduced and service effectiveness is drastically reduced. It's relatively easy to hit through most spins on the ball.

BTW, the 44mm ball is used on a large scale in Japan for senior play. They use 44mm balls, sponge pips out rackets only, and 7 inch high nets. I believe I've heard estimates of several hundred of thousands of players who are involved in this variation of TT in Japan.

Larry


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2014, 23:51 
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I forgot to mention in my post above about Nittaku's take on the 40mm ball. At the time, Nittaku was Newgy's distributor in Japan, so we would share information. Before the Eindhoven Worlds, they were vehemently AGAINST the 40mm ball, as was Newgy. Nittaku sent me a 6-pack of 38mm soft Nittakus. These played considerably slower than the standard 38mm ball in use at that time. IMO, these soft balls were noticeably slower than the sample 40mm balls that I tested them against. Nittaku's point was that if ITTF wanted to slow the ball down, decreasing the hardness of the ball was an easier way to accomplish that than increasing ball size. By changing the softness, it didn't seem to affect spin very much, touch was enhanced, and speed was noticeably slower on harder hit shots. So if what we need is less power and speed and more touch and defense, a softer ball might be a good way to accomplish that.

Larry


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2014, 00:50 
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larrythoman wrote:
That would have been Sjan, Srinivas Janardhanan, the person who single-handedly took down that Usenet group with his rants against glue and the evil ITTF.

This was jogged my memory a bit too well...lol That's the guy, you're swinging about 2800+ on all of these old names...between him and Tal, I'm surprised the group could even exist in those days...that was brutal...
larrythoman wrote:
I got an email from him a few weeks ago telling me of his plan to run a tournament where he would not enforce the aspect ratio rule for pips out rubbers (which prohibited really-long long pips) or the two color rule (which dictated that black and red rubbers be on opposite sides of the blade). I politely told him that USATT could not sanction such a tournament.

That is so funny...the irony! :D
larrythoman wrote:
BTW, the 44mm ball is used on a large scale in Japan for senior play. They use 44mm balls, sponge pips out rackets only, and 7 inch high nets. I believe I've heard estimates of several hundred of thousands of players who are involved in this variation of TT in Japan.

I'm anxious to go visit my in-laws again now...I haven't been back to Japan for about 10 years...would love to go play in some clubs over there.
larrythoman wrote:
I forgot to mention in my post above about Nittaku's take on the 40mm ball. At the time, Nittaku was Newgy's distributor in Japan, so we would share information.

NOW you've really jogged my memory...I bought my Newgy 2038 from you. I think I also bought a bunch of Halex balls to use in it also, didn't you sell me those which came from England? I still have a bunch in a bag that didn't end up with the robot when I sold it...I hated to sell the robot, I actually used it at a company I worked at that had a ping-pong table in the gym (3Com). I sold it with my table.

Seriously, good to run into you after all these years... :up:

Cheers,
Alan

PS - I joined the USATT site, but Sean is a lot slower at his admin skills than he is at pong...lol


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2014, 02:02 
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GoldenNittakus wrote:
NOW you've really jogged my memory...I bought my Newgy 2038 from you. I think I also bought a bunch of Halex balls to use in it also, didn't you sell me those which came from England


Well, we never had a 2038, probably a 2000 at that time. We didn't introduce the 2040 until late in 2000 and the 2050 at the end of 2009. We did not ever sell Halex balls--only our own Robo-Balls--so you must have gotten those from another company. Halex was (is?) a UK company. I never liked their balls. They always seemed to have a disproportionately high ratio of eggs.

GoldenNittakus wrote:
I joined the USATT site, but Sean is a lot slower at his admin skills than he is at pong...lol


Apparently the forum is written in a computer language that Sean is unfamiliar with and he is experiencing a major learning curve in keeping the forum going. It's now getting SPAMMED quite regularly, so I hope Sean can figure out how to keep the SPAM out before it destroys the forum before it even gets going.

Larry


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2014, 03:04 
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larrythoman wrote:
Well, we never had a 2038, probably a 2000 at that time. We didn't introduce the 2040 until late in 2000 and the 2050 at the end of 2009. We did not ever sell Halex balls--only our own Robo-Balls--so you must have gotten those from another company. Halex was (is?) a UK company. I never liked their balls. They always seemed to have a disproportionately high ratio of eggs.

It was a 2000, and I'm positive I bought it from you. I am almost sure you sold me the Halex balls but maybe not. I did enjoy having it...I see there are inexpesive ones nowadays...not sure where I got those Halex but somewhere online, or from the local guy I used to buy equipment from (his name was Syd, can't seem to find him online these days so maybe he's not selling tt equipment anymore...I thought he used to be in Vallejo and came down to the PATTC on Fri/Sat with his wares. I have a bunch of newgy balls also with those halex.

larrythoman wrote:
Apparently the forum is written in a computer language that Sean is unfamiliar with and he is experiencing a major learning curve in keeping the forum going. It's now getting SPAMMED quite regularly, so I hope Sean can figure out how to keep the SPAM out before it destroys the forum before it even gets going.


Well, it's in PHP, and Sean was just starting to dabble in it 15 years ago...maybe he's slower at programming languages also...lol

I remember talking about online forums with him when he started about.com.

Still having nigtmares thinking about sjan...lol

Cheers,
Alan


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PostPosted: 13 Apr 2014, 20:25 
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Thanks for the correction on the Williamses - it's been a while and the memory isn't what it was, and it wasn't much to begin with!

I think the 44mm competition in Japan was set up for the same reason people play hardbat - they wanted a slower game where the effects of spin were less. If participation levels are what they say they are then they must be doing something right. I've got a half dozen Champion 44mm balls, in my opinion they'd be great for teaching the ab-initio beginner the effects of spin.

I'd read about the soft balls in a book, it was mentioned in passing as an aid to training - in essence, if you could learn to hit the soft ball hard, then you'd be hitting the hard ball even harder! Problem was, I was never able to track down any, and I began to wonder if I'd actually read about a LARGER ball (meaning the 44mm). I wonder if they still make it, it'd just be a matter of using a different formulation of celluloid (probably more camphor) but using the same ball-making equipment. I wonder if sending them an email might work.

I was very amused to find a couple of posts by s-jan on About.com, apparently he's now taken a dislike to hardbat. Apparently anything but long-long pips and one-color combination rackets is to be disliked. I wonder why he doesn't just go ahead and hold his tournament, no need to get a USATT sanction for it, just get a gym, a few tables, post a fliers online somewhere and see who shows up... I was reluctant to mention his name here, since Google exists, apparently on About.com he'll occasionally create a new account and start posting - and would inevitably get banned after a few posts.

Iskandar


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PostPosted: 05 Jan 2018, 02:25 
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larrythoman wrote:
IMO, these soft balls were noticeably slower than the sample 40mm balls that I tested them against. Nittaku's point was that if ITTF wanted to slow the ball down, decreasing the hardness of the ball was an easier way to accomplish that than increasing ball size. By changing the softness, it didn't seem to affect spin very much, touch was enhanced, and speed was noticeably slower on harder hit shots. So if what we need is less power and speed and more touch and defense, a softer ball might be a good way to accomplish that.

Wonder what it would do to bounce. It may effect everyone's years of experience more than a ball that simply has more air drag.


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