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PostPosted: 24 Dec 2009, 03:50 
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With all the crap with the ITTF and lately with the USATT and prize money. How about a Players Union. Just about all the organized sports in the USA has one. Everyone would pay dues and be represented by the union. If the ITTF and USATT (and other orgs) wanted to change rules it would have to nagotiate the terms with our union. We could have a board of players and coaches and also representives from each country. What do you think.

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 Post subject: Re: I got an idea.
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2009, 04:14 
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The reason many organized sports generally have a union is because players' salaries and other benefits are determined by privately owned organizations (i.e., teams) that are managed like corporations, so it makes sense for the workers (i.e., players) to be unionized, especially because, unlike other corporations -- which are subject to antitrust laws -- many organized sports teams are allowed to collude with one another to set salaries, etc., so competition doesn't force owners to offer better compensation or benefits the same way it does in other industries, and thus, the players need a counterweight, which a union provides. In table tennis, however, there's no real separation between labor and management. This is the same in regular tennis, and, unless I'm mistaken, I don't think there's a union for tennis players. My understanding is that the ITTF, in theory, is supposed to represent the interests of the players, as part of representing the interests of the sport as a whole. Now, maybe conflicts are created because the ITTF winds up also capitulating to the interests of table tennis manufacturers, and so it might be good to alter the ITTF's structure to make that sort of thing less possible, but the real issue for many darkside players is simply that the vast majority of players doesn't use such rubbers, doesn't understand them and would rather not have to deal with them, so that even if a players' union were formed, such a union would probably not represent the interests of many of us on this forum.

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 Post subject: Re: I got an idea.
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2009, 04:25 
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Yes good idea ,would they be elected?
Just having a voice is a good idea but it still might effect the Jo average player as they will still have thier own wagons to push. I would just hate the reintroduction of smaller balls ,or playing to 21 or that stink when you entered a Table Tennis club of speed glue.

Most people don't want to be on commitees and we would rather moan about things on forums as opposed to writting to, joining or lobbying our National Associations

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 Post subject: Re: I got an idea.
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2009, 04:34 
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Interesting idea Joe. The thing I think would happen is that it would probably be made up of the world class players, so the interests of players like you and me probably wouldn't be addressed. That being said, regarding things like the ball size, I could see them having a positive effect for everybody. In regards to something like frictionless pips, odds are those guys couldn't care less.

Maybe on a national level it would be easier to get our voices heard. It seems like the USATT player rep also has only the interests of a limited amount of top players in mind. What they need is a full players committee, made up of players of all levels, from 1200 to 2400, to represent the interests of not only the elite, but also of the "average" tournament player.

I recently was asked about joining, and accepted, a position on the board of one of the clubs I regularly attend. I know it's small, but as rodderz says, too many people complain but don't join to do anything. I also wrote a letter to the editor of the USATT magazine and the USATT board in regards to my feelings on what happened at the Nationals. Again, it may not make any difference, but at least I feel good that I let my voice be heard, whether people agree or disagree.

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 Post subject: Re: I got an idea.
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2009, 07:47 
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Very nice post, Tradional Tradesman. Very well thought through, IMHO.

TraditionalTradesman wrote:
Now, maybe conflicts are created because the ITTF winds up also capitulating to the interests of table tennis manufacturers, and so it might be good to alter the ITTF's structure to make that sort of thing less possible, but the real issue for many darkside players is simply that the vast majority of players doesn't use such rubbers, doesn't understand them and would rather not have to deal with them, so that even if a players' union were formed, such a union would probably not represent the interests of many of us on this forum.

I agree with this. If a union of players was formed, it would presumably be run as a fully democratic body where every players has a vote. At least that is the format that has been mentioned in this forum before and the idea behind it is that active players are closer to the game and know what is right for it.

So far so good, but take into account what Traditional Tradesman said above and we have a scary little scenario coming up. All around me - I'm a shortpips player - are inverted players. They outnumber the pips players I see at local clubs by a factor of 30 to one, perhaps even more. Most of them resent playing pips and voice that view in subtle as well as less subtle ways. They hate pips because they do not know how to handle them and are so frustrated by not knowing that some habitually refuse to play pips players just because of this. It happens all the time.

Now, it only takes a proposal to ban all pips completely from someone to get the ball rolling. In a democratic vote involving all active players the results would not favour pips at all. Yet, it would be a democratic vote by active players along the lines of what has been proposed. Let's say the numbers will be 75% for a ban and 25% against. How would you feel about that? Your fellow players have just killed of a large part of table tennis through a perfectly fine vote. Player power has prevailed and the ban will be implemented.
Excellent! Isn't it?

Nope, I don't think so. It is shite, and you know it as it limits the future and scope of table tennis. My point is, that a fully free democratic vote involving active players will certainly not always serve the purpose of what we think is right. It will only serve the majority view of the players and what they personally want and what serves their own game, not table tennis as a sport. It would make the far from perfect, but to a degree deliberately balanced, views of the ITTF look very attractive now, wouldn't it?

Until this kind of problem is solved, we will - if we are fairly lucky - have a status quo, i.e. not enough support for minority views in table tennis. If we are unlucky it could hurt the sport more than it helps it. But if these things can be avoided, a player union would be a good thing.

One question - are you sure that players and their interests are not decently represented in national or international committees already? If not, why is that, in your opinion?

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 Post subject: Re: I got an idea.
PostPosted: 24 Dec 2009, 08:08 
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Well it's certainly something worth considering in one form or another. The ITTF mainly makes rules for the elite levels not directly for us players, so if some sort of players union can at least have some input or vote into the ITTF, then it may well be worthwhile...

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 Post subject: Re: I got an idea.
PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 08:10 
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I think you're thinking of the "ITTF Athletes Commission", which Adham mentioned here:

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=4772&p=61793&hilit=primorac#p61793

It sounds like this is also geared to the elite players, and I'm not sure if the comission actually has any power, or are simply there to advice if requested...

This is quite a good topic and idea GrumpyJoe, perhaps I should move it to the General TT section, where we might get some more input from other members?

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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 09:08 
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The members of the "ITTF Athletes Commission" are not elected by the Athletes.

Quote:
1.13.01 The Board shall appoint:
1.13.01.01 an Athletes' Commission to advise the Board on the development of table tennis, consisting of 1 representative nominated by each Continent and 2 former players nominated by the Executive Committee.


The Board means the Board of Directors of the ITTF.


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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 09:18 
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Thanks Smartguy!

I guess that answers my other questions as well, they only advice and don't have any real power...

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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 09:27 
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I think a players union could already be very useful, if they were recognised by the ITTF, and had the ability to make proposals and vote, very much like a national association. This way at least players would have a voice, and could raise issues or object or support new rules/changes, without being blocked by the National associations.

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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 10:14 
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haggisv wrote:
I think a players union could already be very useful, if they were recognised by the ITTF, and had the ability to make proposals and vote, very much like a national association.


I think the ITTF has become a real problem in the last ten years. At the same time I'd like to express some constructive scepticism about some constructive ideas. :)

A players union can only become a part of the ITTF, if the ITTF Costitution is changed. This requires a 2/3 majority of the AGM (Annual General Meeting of the National Associations).

Obviously it can be easily blocked by the National Associations. I don't think they were interested in a players union.


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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 10:42 
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Yes I think you're right... The National association are supposed to represent their players, so if they're doing their job, there should be no need for a players union...

I just feel that often National Association do not always have a the funding, or people with the right expertise or people with the the courage to question the ITTF proposals or make proposals on their own.

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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 11:03 
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haggisv wrote:
I just feel that often National Association do not always have a the funding, or people with the right expertise or people with the the courage to question the ITTF proposals or make proposals on their own.


Yes, I would even say the system is broken and can not be repaired from within.

Maybe independent (from the ITTF) press could help. Just imagine the headlines like "The International Table Tennis Federation ITTF Illegally Bans Player's Equipment" or "Speed Glue Ban Swindle" or "TT Players Forced to Buy New Equipment Again and Again" or "Shaved Blades Hoax" etc.


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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 11:08 
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The players a already have a voice through the Athletes Commission. Why the need for a new one?
These are the current members:

    PRIMORAC Zoran (HRV) CHAIRMAN
    DESJARDINS Lyne (CAN) DEPUTY
    BOUDJAJA Sofian (ALG) AFRICA
    MATSUSHITA Koji (JPN) ASIA
    STEFANOVA Nikoleta (ITA) EUROPE
    SUBONJ Viktor (USA) NORTH AMERICA
    MONTEIRO Thiago (BRA) LATIN AMERICA
    LI Karen (NZL) OCEANIA
    AGGARWAL Neha (IND) Junior representative
    KNIGHT Darius (ENG) Junior representative

As is apparent at least two of these are pips players.

The committee members are appointed by the Board of Directors, but not selected by it. That is the task of each of the continent associations. In other words, the BoD has nothing to do with who is sitting on this committee, their only power is to appoint the suggested members.

So, who here thinks that a majority vote among all current players worldwide would result in a list that would be more representative of players/us than this?

Here is what Adham said about their role in a previous thread:
Quote:
Yes, of course, the ITTF Executive Committee could raise this question of doubles. At the moment it is not a priority. Usually for these types of changes we would first consult with the ITTF Athletes Commission (currently Chaired by Zoran Primorac), they would consult the players and coaches to see if there is interest, then we would conduct several experimental events and get evaluations of these events and then we would propose a change to the rules. This is at minimum a 2-year process.

Lame, powerless ducks without real influence or power, aren't they?

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PostPosted: 25 Dec 2009, 11:23 
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Smartguy wrote:
Maybe independent (from the ITTF) press could help. Just imagine the headlines like "The International Table Tennis Federation ITTF Illegally Bans Player's Equipment" or "Speed Glue Ban Swindle" or "TT Players Forced to Buy New Equipment Again and Again" or "Shaved Blades Hoax" etc.


Do you think you can make those statements hold up in court? Never mind, just try to sell those nonsense stories to any respectable journalist without rocksolid proof of what you are claiming and we will see how far even the "independent" press is willing to go along with you.

Great way to bring about change though, is it not? Concerted smear campaigns by the new power body in table tennis bodes very well for the future, I think. I mean, I would really trust people using such methods to represent me...

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