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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2010, 01:57 
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My Chinese coach told me that when he was about 4 years old that they put down a 2x6 board as a "net" and played on the ground. No wonder China is so far ahead...

We need to just give our kids any kind of paddle and some balls and just tell them to go out and play and let them invent their own games until they get older and want to play "for real."

 

 

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2010, 02:41 
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Let me just throw out a bit of a wrench into this: WHY do we want to promote table tennis? Is it necessarily a good idea?

Part of what I like about table tennis right now is that, at least in the U.S., it's largely an outsider sport, which means that it's played mostly by foreigners from countries where it's popular and Americans who are often not your conventional jocks that you might find in other sports. I'm actually quite happy about this state of affairs, as it means that, for the most part, when I play table tennis, I can socialize with people I like and others who are, at least, interesting. I certainly wouldn't have the same feeling stepping onto a basketball court, for instance (assuming I could play basketball). Using basketball as our example again, the money and attention that it has succeeded in attracting have certainly made the game popular but at the expense of making it unappealing to people like me, both because of the crowd it attracts and the behaviors it inspires, breeding a culture of disrespect and aggressive showboating. So, while making table tennis more mainstream would likely result in better venues, more prize money, less ridicule and an overall higher level of play, I'm not sure it's worth the tradeoff. It's simply the case that mass commercial culture in market-driven societies corrupts anything it touches, and table tennis will be no exception.

Having said that, I think that one thing that makes table tennis less popular than other sports is just that it doesn't make for great television. The ball is too small and moves too quickly, and the importance of spin in the game -- a feature that's easier to feel than to see from the sidelines -- makes it hard to appreciate what's going on. I think that one thing that would make it more popular, therefore, is finding a way of televising it that would be more viewer-friendly. For instance, some television networks have used animations to make the puck in hockey games (which also moves too quickly for television) glow, and they show a streaking line to mark its trajectory in the game. Perhaps something similar would work for table tennis. They could make the ball appear bigger than it is (the 80mm ball?). Or perhaps even showing the game at a very slightly reduced speed would do the trick, though this would, of course, have the downside of making the game look less fast-paced and dynamic, so perhaps frequent slow motion replays of exciting points would be an adequate substitute. Also needed is commentary that is geared more toward people who don't necessarily understand what's going on. I'm not suggesting that attractive television coverage is all that's needed, but for any sport to make it big in modern-day societies, effective television presentation is a must.

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2010, 03:07 
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In the USA, I think I'd like to see the USATT go after the millions of dollars of government funds that are currently being thrown around to promote table tennis as a health care sport that preserves good fitness for a lifetime.

I'd like to see programs/leagues spring up in every city using the Chinese model of the mid-1900s. The would save trillions in health care costs by keeping the population more healthy.

As for building TT as a spectator sport, if people play it, they would be more likely to watch it on TV or live.

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2010, 03:54 
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That's a great point Bob, with the fitness initiatives and healthcare legislation by the government they need to be investing in lifetime sports, and what better sport than table tennis? And like you said, once more people play, there will be more demand to watch.

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2010, 05:48 
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Another benefit is that players could be well respected when you tell someone that you play competitive table tennis, and not feel like you might be branded as a dork for doing so. I've gotten over that, but I think there is a bit of a stigma involved, because all most people know is the basement game, at least until you can get them out to a club.

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2010, 06:07 
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speedplay wrote:
TraditionalTradesman wrote:
Let me just throw out a bit of a wrench into this: WHY do we want to promote table tennis? Is it necessarily a good idea?


According to me, yes, it is a good idea. The things you mention about money and the crowd it attracts would only affect the pro's, and I think it is safe to say that most of us are very far from this, so we wouldn't be affected by it.


I disagree about the crowd. You don't have to be a pro basketball player to be affected by the negative aspects of pro basketball culture. You can see the same kind of unappealing displays that you see on t.v. exhibited on the local playground. Already, just from this club called Spin opening in New York City that I've described in other posts, it's attracted all kinds of unsavory types to the table tennis world (now that table tennis is suddenly hip), and it won't be long before they filter out to the regular clubs and start spoiling the atmosphere there. I'm not saying there aren't any benefits to table tennis gaining in popularity, but I think I'd rather be branded a dork than spend my time hanging out with the people who do the branding.

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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2010, 07:47 
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TraditionalTradesman wrote:
speedplay wrote:
TraditionalTradesman wrote:
Let me just throw out a bit of a wrench into this: WHY do we want to promote table tennis? Is it necessarily a good idea?


According to me, yes, it is a good idea. The things you mention about money and the crowd it attracts would only affect the pro's, and I think it is safe to say that most of us are very far from this, so we wouldn't be affected by it.


I disagree about the crowd. You don't have to be a pro basketball player to be affected by the negative aspects of pro basketball culture. You can see the same kind of unappealing displays that you see on t.v. exhibited on the local playground. Already, just from this club called Spin opening in New York City that I've described in other posts, it's attracted all kinds of unsavory types to the table tennis world (now that table tennis is suddenly hip), and it won't be long before they filter out to the regular clubs and start spoiling the atmosphere there. I'm not saying there aren't any benefits to table tennis gaining in popularity, but I think I'd rather be branded a dork than spend my time hanging out with the people who do the branding.


When table tennis was at its zenith in terms of spectator popularity, particularly in the USofA, those in the upper tiers of the game generally deported themselves in gentlemanly and lady-like fashions. While I can't recall any table tennis thugs we did have our "colourful characters." When I was in my formative years and table tennis, almost no matches involving higher level players were played without a side bet whether it was large or small.

I have to believe that the paradigm would be pretty much as you see it if the table tennis of tomorrow were to seriously reflect ethos you have described, that being said i would still rather have SRO crowds.

On the flip side of the coin: The benefits, enhancements and developments in professional golf have enhanced to a degree the play and equipment and hopefully the experience of the weekend hacker.
the Old Duffer


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PostPosted: 30 Apr 2010, 08:47 
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I would like to see a documentry on TV about table tennis , showing slow motion shots, close up of the muscles used, the legs, strength, power ,speed ,spin ,footwork,quickness, softness, styles, backspin,reflexes, adhockness

and the grace of the game



enough about me lol

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PostPosted: 01 May 2010, 01:08 
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dwruck wrote:
Another benefit is that players could be well respected when you tell someone that you play competitive table tennis, and not feel like you might be branded as a dork for doing so. I've gotten over that, but I think there is a bit of a stigma involved, because all most people know is the basement game, at least until you can get them out to a club.

Some Hollywood producers were creating some type of reality series involving "dorks" and somehow they contact our TT club for potential prospects. One of our top players was recommended and they flew him out to California for an interview. When they found out he was a handsome dude, with the athletic skills and body of a professional athlete they said "not interested." Stereotypes are hard to break.
 

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PostPosted: 01 May 2010, 02:29 
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I don't feel like people being jerks in athletics, has anything to do with the popularity of the sport. I still feel like the better players disrespect me by not wanting to play me. I still feel like I get pushed aside when the better players want a table. I don't mean to give my club a bad name, they are not unkind and I still enjoy playing, but I understand I'm not given preference or taken as seriously because i'm not as skilled yet.

I don't feel like it has anything to do with the popularity of the sport at all. It's a cool under ground sport right now, but my love for the sport is greater then my love for the feel of having a secret passion.

I want to be able to play more and be respected when I say I enjoy playing table tennis.

Also I do have a hidden agenda, I want to be a pioneer of a sport, like columbus. He didn't create America it was here, he didn't industrialize it, all he did was accidently find a new place that he thought was cool, and he then took peole to come see it and how he is recognized as discovering America. I want to be able to say, I was important in the popularization of table tennis in at the very least, Idaho, but at the most American/Internationally.

This is simply a sport I love and want to tell people about, so they can enjoy it as well.


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PostPosted: 09 Jun 2010, 20:05 
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makai wrote:
I had a dream last night. My dream was just like a flashback in my Social Studies class talking about Third World Countries and how they had it rough. I want to at least increase their participation in table tennis since I know they can't get to play that much as too us guys having it good.

A Pro Tour Like event where only Third World Countries can enter. This is surely let them develop international experience and maybe someday one of them can enter internationally. Provided the venue isn't in their country of course since I think they have economic and financial issues?



Can I suggest a International company who,s c e o is table tennis crazy ! His aim is to develope the sport world wide. You can contact them from their web site vinqui.com they sell beautiful table tennis bat pendants to subsidize their promotion of the sport. They will privide free of charge coaching packs and merrit badges for players and coaches.Their ethics they want to give to every player is fantastic for our sport.
Barry


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