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 Post subject: Unjust laws and morality
PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 07:15 
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Been watching the water margin again

There's been a few discussions about laws and morality.

If laws are unjust, is it really immoral to break them; should they be opposed and exposed? Is there not a point where peope have to take a stand?

I've put this in ITTF section as it's their unjust and unworkable laws we're all having to live with, but if you want to shift it to experimental go ahead.

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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 07:59 
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You are considering martyrdom for the cause of LP rubber?

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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 08:03 
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Even Adham says the strict international equipment rules shouldn't be used at the levels of the game where people play for fun. Unfortunately the ITTF takes no leadership role in helping the national associations create workable rules for recreational competition. Quite the opposite in fact, as the ITTF meekly goes along with allowing the German Association to ramrod through special rules specifically targeting amateur players worldwide.

Considering that...

1. The new equipment rules are unfair and unenforceable.

2. The ITTF President says strict ITTF equipment rules shouldn't be used in local leagues.

3. Local table tennis officials have no chance of protecting us from those who have the advantage of tweaked equipment.

4. Players aren't doing anything different than playing the way they've always played.

5. The most successful table tennis country follows the strict ITTF equipment rules at the national level and lets recreational players play with the equipment they wish.

I'd say the ITTF President and the Chinese Association have it right.

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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 08:12 
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Breaking them is easy but who decides what's just and not? You, me or someone else? You tread a dangerous path if you advocate breaking rules.

I think you have two choices.

1. You work within your league, your club, your association and try and change things within - and that is possible. Our league has voted in local rules when it was thought stupid or in appropriate to apply rules advocated by the ITTF and fed down through the ETTA. It is your leagues right to do that if they want.
2. You start your own club or league which isn't affiliated to your national association and is run by your club or your friends by your rules. But that takes a lot of effort, organisation and hard work. Sometimes it's easier to complain than to actually do something.

I think in my experience people on this forum are also the vocal exception. In my league the majority of players were either glad or couldn't care less about the FLP ban. There was some grumbling when the 11 up rule came in and some stopped playing altogether but the majoirty now prefer it. A lot of the top players used to speed glue or tune but they now accept you can't do that and have adapted to the newer style rubbers or continue to use the older ones but without speedglue. Sure not everyone has the luxury to just adapt to another type of rubber but a lot can and do - both pips and inverted players.

I thnk what it boils down to and without wanting to be offensive to anyone is either work to change it, adapt or stop playing in national association affiliated leagues. Antipip, you play golf. Would you enter a PGA competiton using illegal grooved wedges? Sure the PGA gave you some time to adapt but how many of the ITTF rules are sprung on us. FLP's in England had at least a couple of years grace before they were banned from ETTA comps and local leagues - and it was the local leagues not the ITTF who voted in that ban - that's playes like you and me not Adham. His influence doesn't extend to local leagues. The speed glue ban was also announced well in advance for people to adapt and change. Sometimes it's hard being a minoirty. Sometimes it does become majority tyrony.

So to answer your question.

If a law is unjust... "in your eyes" or mine?

Is it immoral to break them - only your conscience can answer that.

Should they be opposed and exposed? Opposed definitely. Exposed, I'm assuming that means you put forward your argument and therefore I'd say definitely.

Is there a point where people have to take a stand? Some people like to talk. Others do. Is breaking the laws knowingly making a stand? I think we run the risk of going down the cheating vs making a stand argument here again.

And before anyone thinks I'm an Adhamite, I'm not. I've had many frustrated emails to Odd which fell on deaf ears. I don't care what equipment someone uses. If it's 10 inch thick sponge and they can control it, well all credit it to them. If it's FLP's and they understand how to use it, then it's a challenge and something to be savoured. But I choose, (note I choose, not Adham or the ITTF chose for me) to play in a league that is affiliated to the ETTA and in doing so I weigh up the pro's and con's and accept the rules that my league applies. When I don't playh in my leagues competitons, I choose to play people who can use what ever they like.


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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 09:05 
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In 1955, a 42-year-old African-American woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for breaking the rules by refusing to give up her seat on a crowded bus to make room for a white passenger.

Even if the majority at the time thought that white people are more entitled to a bus seat than African-Americans, ultimately it was decided that that rule was unjust and that the rights of minorities should be protected.

Civil disobedience has led to the abolition of many unjust laws, from civil rights, to prohibition, to women's rights, to limits on freedom of speech and movement.

It can certainly be argued that what Mrs. Parks did in 1955 wasn't morally wrong, even though it technically broke a rule.

Flashing forward to 2011, if enough table tennis players choose to tweak their equipment as a form of civil disobedience, there's a possibility that the number would reach critical mass and the authorities would be forced to rescind the rule since it has been rendered meaningless.

The Swedish Association tried changing the rule through the political method. There are other methods to force change, as well.

Edit: I'm not advocating that people break the rules. I'm just saying that theoretically if enough people did it's possible the rule would collapse under its own weight. Some might argue the end justifies the means.

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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 09:37 
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MNNB wrote:
Edit: I'm not advocating that people break the rules. I'm just saying that theoretically if enough people did it's possible the rule would collapse under its own weight. Some might argue the end justifies the means.

Without wanting to drag politics or civil liberties of the scale of Rosa Parks into a sports discussion, wouldn't the rule only collapse if it was proven that it was being broken. By your own logic elsewhere, if the authorities can't come up with a reliable means of "policing" the rule, unless you want to repeal the rule on hear say and innuendo, people are going to have to own up to having played in tournemts and competitions with illegal equipment. Otherwise it's a case of "out of sight out of mind".

Just imagine if the worlds top 100 players stood up and said they tuned or boosted there rubbers because they thought the rule was daft. I wonder what the ITTF would do then :?: Now that would be interesting.


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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 09:52 
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Debater wrote:
Without wanting to drag politics or civil liberties of the scale of Rosa Parks into a sports discussion, wouldn't the rule only collapse if it was proven that it was being broken. By your own logic elsewhere, if the authorities can't come up with a reliable means of "policing" the rule, unless you want to repeal the rule on hear say and innuendo, people are going to have to own up to having played in tournemts and competitions with illegal equipment. Otherwise it's a case of "out of sight out of mind".

Civil disobedience in table tennis is easy. No enforcement. No consequences. Officials might not be able to prove it, but they'll know it's going on. If the ITTF won't take the lead, maybe the national associations will do it themselves. Someone needs to address this. If they don't, it's de facto acceptance, which is almost as good as a rule change. Sort of like jaywalking in New York City.

Debater wrote:
Just imagine if the worlds top 100 players stood up and said they tuned or boosted there rubbers because they thought the rule was daft. I wonder what the ITTF would do then Now that would be interesting.

That would be great. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 22:49 
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It's the life issues that interest me in morality, mnnb's example been just one.

The other reason for the post was that people speaking out agaisnt the ITTF's rules were labelled immoral by some, I don't think they are; I think the rules are the problem. I guess I want to make the point that I feel the action of bringing these rules into place could be considered immoral.

I don't believe players at the lower end can change things, I think change would have to come from a revolt of the top players, forming there own league, rules and rival organisation.

It's one thing to say organise your own league, but any player with aspirations to even represent at county level, would need to play with approved equipment in an approved league; so I don't think forming non-affiliated leagues are much of a go-er either.

I'm kind of the opinion that's it not life, but sport so stick to the rules; even though I consider them to be immoral and as a consequence I wouldn't condemn those who break these rules.

Interesting point about there been no way of testing and knowing the scale of those breakinghte rules, maybe it was be design to be that wooly.

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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 23:01 
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antipip wrote:
It's one thing to say organise your own league, but any player with aspirations to even represent at county level, would need to play with approved equipment in an approved league; so I don't think forming non-affiliated leagues are much of a go-er either.

Then it's not a question of morality, it's a question of an individuals priorities and their desire to play at county level or above. What price morals.

Clubs, leagues, county level etc all have to start somewhere. It takes time, effort, money, experience, luck, volunteers to get them running etc. Perhaps that's too high a price to pay, but it hasn't stopped the hardbat clubs and associations, or the Philippine Liha clubs being set up and the competitions that fall out of them. So it can be done.


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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 23:16 
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Didn't we have these discussions in previous threads?

Same conclusions, no real answers; however, I tend to agree with Debater's comments. :)


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PostPosted: 28 May 2011, 23:52 
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Debater wrote:
antipip wrote:
It's one thing to say organise your own league, but any player with aspirations to even represent at county level, would need to play with approved equipment in an approved league; so I don't think forming non-affiliated leagues are much of a go-er either.

Then it's not a question of morality, it's a question of an individuals priorities and their desire to play at county level or above. What price morals.

Clubs, leagues, county level etc all have to start somewhere. It takes time, effort, money, experience, luck, volunteers to get them running etc. Perhaps that's too high a price to pay, but it hasn't stopped the hardbat clubs and associations, or the Philippine Liha clubs being set up and the competitions that fall out of them. So it can be done.


That's the barrell they have you over, that's why it would be different to attract players to play in a rival league. Hardbat and Liha are selling a different product (it doesn't stop them playing affiliated TT - well atm at least one never knows with the ITTF), getting a non ITTF league up and going would be more or less direct competition.

edit: You'd need a whole breakaway network right up to the pro level, a bit like darts split.

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PostPosted: 29 May 2011, 00:38 
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I understand Debater's frustration as an official/organizer in trying to enforce unenforceable rules that not even the ITTF President supports.

I understand the frustration of the players in being told they can no longer use their favorite style or equipment and now must play a less effective game that brings them less joy.

From the pros on down, the ITTF has put all of table tennis into a perpetual cat and mouse game between players and officials as far as equipment goes. It seems most in the sport are content to "let sleeping dogs lie" which to me signals an acceptance of this situation.

It just comes down to whether people respect the rule (the pros obviously don't, which has a definite "trickle down" effect) or the organization that sets those rules. As an ox pimples player, I personally question the credibility of an organization in which the Equipment Chairman doesn't even know what "ox" means.

Note: I know the issue has been brought up before, but I don't mind discussing it.

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PostPosted: 29 May 2011, 01:16 
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We have discussed this stuff ad-nauseum in the past on the forum and it hasn't gotten us far, if anywhere. It kind of just goes around in circles. I am totally sympathetic with the thrust of the conversation and would love to see something concrete occur. I think there is a degree of divide and conquer going on though simply due to the fact that most rule-breakers would be in the minority and to make a stand they really do need to stand up and not just admit, but thrust in people's faces that they played with banned equipment. A heck of a lot of gutsy efforts would be required and if they were just piecemeal, they would probably just be shot down one by one.

So where does that leave it? I would think it either needs someone like a Fabian Akerstrom needing to do it where it would be recognised or an organised effort of "conscientious objectors" either all playing together in a high profile tournament and standing unified afterward or simply organising a protest somewhere it would get enough publicity to attract the right people's attention (where and what this would be is beyond me, perhaps outside ITTF's headquarters? :lol: ).

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PostPosted: 29 May 2011, 01:21 
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A one off tournament with old rules and ball size would be great, but wouldn't the ITTF be likely to threaten all it's players with a ban if they tried to play in it?

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PostPosted: 29 May 2011, 01:28 
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antipip wrote:
A one off tournament with old rules and ball size would be great, but wouldn't the ITTF be likely to threaten all it's players with a ban if they tried to play in it?

They would have to threaten the players to make sure that they don't become involved which some shady group that supports illegal gambling, which the ITTF apparently thinks all rival table tennis groups do. According to the ITTF, Bwin.com is the only ethical place to wager your mortgage payment. :lol: :lol: :lol:

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