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 Post subject: Good stuff
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2008, 14:23 
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I really like this Forum and its a pleasure to be part of it. The Forum members here ask pertinent questions, intelligent questions and are genuinely interested to know. The debates are civil and honest. Good show you guys. And I have not been called any names, that is a relief.

I plan to stay in this Forum as long as needed, but sometimes due to personal business schedules, ITTF responsibilities and family circumstances, I may not be very quick at replying. I hope you all understand.

Thank you for making me feel comfortable here. By the way, I also like a German Forum on which I post as well. Also the members there are very genuine and interested in learning about the ITTF.

Adham

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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2008, 15:24 
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adham wrote:
Glueless wrote:
adham wrote:
Glueless wrote:
adham wrote:
The problem in returning service is not so much the quantity of spin, the problem is to know the and recognize the amount and type of spin. If you can see the point of contact, and if you can see the direction of the toss, then it's rather easy to know the amount and type of spin. This is why I keep insisting about the "intent" of the rule. The main intent is "a clear view for the receiver", as long as that is achieved, then the players are happy. As long as they can see the point of contact then it's OK for them.


This would eliminate the need for the 'nearly vertical' portion of the rule. If I understand correctly, as long as I toss the ball at least 15cm in the vertical and do it so that the toss and contact point are perfectly visible to my opponent, then I have met the 'intent' of the rule and the angle at which I toss the ball is irrelevant.

I'm more confused now than ever. :oops:


Don't be confused. The necessity of the wording "nearly vertical" is to avoid one particular situation, whereas players where throwing the ball high, but to the side, and as the ball descended, they shielded it with the left shoulder (for right handed server). The ball was visible to the umpire all the time, but was shielded from the receiver just before the point of contact.


Adham,

Thank you for the kind response!

In my example I mentioned that the toss of my serve and contact point would be visible to the opponent. No shoulder in the way at all. No point of the toss or contact point is blocked from the opponent at any point during the service.

Would this service be legal regardless of the angle of my toss?


With all the conditions you mentioned, in ITTF events, the umpires do tolerate a toss that is about half way between the vertical and the horizontal, so nearer to 45% than 90%, so as long as your toss is not at the 180% level (0%), but nearer to 45% then it is currently tolerated. As I said in previous posts, this is at ITTF events and as long as the umpire does no see any unfair advantage being taken.

One very important point. I will never umpire any of your matches, so you have to accept the decision of the umpires that umpire your matches, right? Some are very strict and some are more lax. You have to serve according to the rule, and through experience you know the degree of tolerance accepted, but you can't throw the ball horizontally backward and claim that your service is legal because the point of contact is visible. here is my advice:
- Serve exactly as you described (all is clear to receiver) and stay within the 45% and 90% vertical.
- If you have a very strict umpire, then stay closer to the 90% vertical.
- Use common sense

But if I were you, I would spend more time on developing spin variations in my serves (using wrist, finger pressure, forearm acceleration, varying point of contacts, trunck rotation, etc.) - also see a previous post about this.

It is very difficult to explain this in writing, so I hope you get the gist of it.

Adham


Adham,

You did a fantastic job explaining this in writing, I think we all got the gist. This actually clears things up quite a bit! This is the first admission I have ever heard of the true tolerance levels allowed in legal services.

While I certainly understand that some umpires will interpret the rules differently, and therefore officiate their matches differently, I think this really helps to explain why we see such variation in services that are being allowed in officiated matches. The requirement of tossing the ball vertically is not treated as being terribly important in light of other more important aspects of the serve, like making sure that your opponent can see the service toss at all points of the service.

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 Post subject: Re: Good stuff
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2008, 15:29 
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adham wrote:
I really like this Forum and its a pleasure to be part of it. The Forum members here ask pertinent questions, intelligent questions and are genuinely interested to know. The debates are civil and honest. Good show you guys. And I have not been called any names, that is a relief.

I plan to stay in this Forum as long as needed, but sometimes due to personal business schedules, ITTF responsibilities and family circumstances, I may not be very quick at replying. I hope you all understand.

Thank you for making me feel comfortable here. By the way, I also like a German Forum on which I post as well. Also the members there are very genuine and interested in learning about the ITTF.

Adham


Adham,

It is an honor to have you here Adham and I truly applaud your willingness to communicate so freely with those of us who are at the roots of this wonderful sport. Open communication between the grassroots players and the world organization can only increase understanding and solidify this sport at all levels of participation. I sincerely thank you for your efforts in initiating and maintaining that communication!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2008, 16:19 
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Thanks for your patient reply to me Adham. I can see where you're coming from now. You are considering the sponge and booster to be separate entities, thereby breaching rule 2.4. I think Berenger is considering a boosted sponge to be a single entity. By his impression, a boosted sponge will still give more power or other characteristic than sponge alone, even when the topsheet is attached after the boosting. From your reckoning, this will have little or no effect. I guess that point is kind of moot anyway, if rule 2.4 is to be interpreted that anything added to the sponge does not become part of the sponge. Perhaps this should be amended into the wording, so it is clear for one and all who may not be privy to a discussion like ours.

I also agree with Glueless, your input to this forum is very welcomed. It stops us having to surmise things between ourselves and potentially get it wrong, and feel negative toward the ITTF because of it. I think and hope you are gaining a mutual benefit from being here.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: 16 Dec 2008, 18:55 
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Adham thanks for your reply on stomping and the role of the wrist in the service. You have answered both questions well enough for me and I need no more responses from you on these matters, but please consider the following.

Regading stomping: I come from a golf background, where people basically police themselves. As you go up levels people usually behave more appropriately. I have no time for those that do not. It doesn't bother me when playing aginst a stomper but I don't think it looks good. I appreciate you looking into from an image point of view, if the ITTF have no problem with it then I won't.

On the serve: I can very easily believe the Chinese have thoroughly researched it and wouldn't argue with them. Obviously you don't just see the wrist. You have both central and peripheral vision. I suspect the wrist and contact point would both be in the realm of central vision. My point is that once the bat is gripped the wrist reflects the bat angle and any change in bat angle is shown up at the wrist (double action or no). The wrist is much slower moving and therefore easier to track. You can both hear and see contact as well. I don't know if players alter bat angle through just the thumb joint but again this could be seen by attending to the wrist area.

I have not studied the table tennis serve in detail and you are more aware of the variations than I. The studies I referred to looked specifically at perception and attention in elite athletes when returning a serve. It is in that specific area that studies would be relevant to this quesiton.

I too appreciate you taking the time to visit the forum and answer questions. Certainly when you hear reasons for a rule you can understand why an interpretation in a certain area may appear lax. It may have been more approprate to define the service in terms of three dimensions to avoid confusion.

Thanks for your time

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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2008, 23:40 
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Glueless wrote:
adham wrote:
Glueless wrote:
adham wrote:
Glueless wrote:
adham wrote:
The problem in returning service is not so much the quantity of spin, the problem is to know the and recognize the amount and type of spin. If you can see the point of contact, and if you can see the direction of the toss, then it's rather easy to know the amount and type of spin. This is why I keep insisting about the "intent" of the rule. The main intent is "a clear view for the receiver", as long as that is achieved, then the players are happy. As long as they can see the point of contact then it's OK for them.


This would eliminate the need for the 'nearly vertical' portion of the rule. If I understand correctly, as long as I toss the ball at least 15cm in the vertical and do it so that the toss and contact point are perfectly visible to my opponent, then I have met the 'intent' of the rule and the angle at which I toss the ball is irrelevant.

I'm more confused now than ever. :oops:


Don't be confused. The necessity of the wording "nearly vertical" is to avoid one particular situation, whereas players where throwing the ball high, but to the side, and as the ball descended, they shielded it with the left shoulder (for right handed server). The ball was visible to the umpire all the time, but was shielded from the receiver just before the point of contact.


Adham,

Thank you for the kind response!

In my example I mentioned that the toss of my serve and contact point would be visible to the opponent. No shoulder in the way at all. No point of the toss or contact point is blocked from the opponent at any point during the service.

Would this service be legal regardless of the angle of my toss?


With all the conditions you mentioned, in ITTF events, the umpires do tolerate a toss that is about half way between the vertical and the horizontal, so nearer to 45% than 90%, so as long as your toss is not at the 180% level (0%), but nearer to 45% then it is currently tolerated. As I said in previous posts, this is at ITTF events and as long as the umpire does no see any unfair advantage being taken.

One very important point. I will never umpire any of your matches, so you have to accept the decision of the umpires that umpire your matches, right? Some are very strict and some are more lax. You have to serve according to the rule, and through experience you know the degree of tolerance accepted, but you can't throw the ball horizontally backward and claim that your service is legal because the point of contact is visible. here is my advice:
- Serve exactly as you described (all is clear to receiver) and stay within the 45% and 90% vertical.
- If you have a very strict umpire, then stay closer to the 90% vertical.
- Use common sense

But if I were you, I would spend more time on developing spin variations in my serves (using wrist, finger pressure, forearm acceleration, varying point of contacts, trunck rotation, etc.) - also see a previous post about this.

It is very difficult to explain this in writing, so I hope you get the gist of it.

Adham


Adham,

You did a fantastic job explaining this in writing, I think we all got the gist. This actually clears things up quite a bit! This is the first admission I have ever heard of the true tolerance levels allowed in legal services.

While I certainly understand that some umpires will interpret the rules differently, and therefore officiate their matches differently, I think this really helps to explain why we see such variation in services that are being allowed in officiated matches. The requirement of tossing the ball vertically is not treated as being terribly important in light of other more important aspects of the serve, like making sure that your opponent can see the service toss at all points of the service.


Yes, this is the current general practice at the ITTF level events. But, please, if an Umpire faults you for not throwing the ball vertically enough, do not say "But the President of the ITTF told me it's OK". I am just explaining the general practice at the top level. As I said, use your common sense.

Now, an excellent example of a "by the book" service is Vladimir Samsonov. He throws the ball up really vertically upwards, the Umpires love him for that.

I also would like to say that all of the comments made that the service rule should be strictly applied, are all of course correct. But in every trade, there is always a tolerance area reached by both sides of the trade (in this case the Umpires and the top players). This took perhaps a year to naturally develop. However, if a very strict umpire applies the rule 100% and faults a player, the player must accept and adjust accordingly. This does happen at ITTF events every once in a while, but generally there seems to be an accepted tolerance, as I described, in terms of "nearly vertical". However, there is no tolerance on the "visibility" rule, the umpires are quite strict ensuring that the receiver sees the ball at all times.

Adham

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PostPosted: 16 Dec 2008, 23:47 
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Service:

By the way, if you are faulted for a bad service, always ask the Umpire "why", so that you can adjust. I see so many players being faulted, they do not ask why (they assume), and they get faullted again and lose their temper. Most umpires after they fault a player for a bad service will make some kind of a gesture to show why the player was faulted, or if they speak the same language they will offer an explanation. But many umpires don't say anything (they are not obliged to offer any explanation) in fear of starting a debate or an argument. In these cases, the player should ask very politely and calmly "What did I do wrong?". The umpire for sure will provide the reason for the faulty service and then the player can adjust and not lose any more valuable points on service faults.

It really irritates me to see sometimes top players repeatedly being faulted, rightly so, and never asking what is wrong with their service !

Just a tip. Hope it is helpful.

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 02:07 
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speedplay wrote:
adham wrote:

But, please, if an Umpire faults you for not throwing the ball vertically enough, do not say "But the President of the ITTF told me it's OK".

Adham


Darn, there goes my best argument! :wink:

Really appreciate your participation here Adham! I also appreciate the fact that other known names have joined this place to take part of the communication with you. Hopefully, some of them will find their way in to the rest of the forum as well.

About the sponge boosting, I can really only see one reason why it is not allowed to attach a home boosted sponge to a top sheet, cause then everyone would boost and then claim they only boosted the sponge.

I think it is strange that there are different rules for the factories, why can they treat rubbers while we can't? I know, you have answered it but according to me, there boosting changes the rubber as much as my own boosting. The difference is, when they do it for me, they double the price of the rubber, if I do it at home, it's only a fraction more expensive then not boosting it.


I hate to say it, but probably because we trust (or should trust) the factories more in their handling of substances that may contain VOCs or harmful materials. They are better equipped than a 13 your old kid. My "personal" opinion is that if the ITTF gets into the business of approving boosters (or such substances) that are VOC-free, poison-free, and are made ecologically safe from natural substances, then why not allow it at all levels. But you have to understand our skepticism. We tested 5 so-called "safe" VOC-free boosters on the market and found VOCs in all of them, and poison in 2 of them. The distributors were convinced that these were totally safe. When we sent them the lab results, I believe at least 4 of the distributors stopped selling the boosters. So we are still at the early stage to be able to recognize totally safe boosters, but I am sure the day will come. But I am also sure that it may not be needed after all because of the expected progress in the new generation of rubbers and sponge.
My vision is that at ITTF-level events we would have refined racket testing that would detect low levels of VOC, would detect any alterations to the rubber and imposes strict controls on thickness of the racket covering. When this is safely in place, we could allow anything as long as the racket passes the test. But our main concern is putting in the hands of children substances that could cause them harm.

I'm glad you understand, of course I do not expect you to agree, but understanding the ITTF's position is already a positive step for me.

Adham

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 02:16 
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[quote="speedplay"
I think it is strange that there are different rules for the factories, why can they treat rubbers while we can't? I know, you have answered it but according to me, there boosting changes the rubber as much as my own boosting. The difference is, when they do it for me, they double the price of the rubber, if I do it at home, it's only a fraction more expensive then not boosting it.[/quote]

I agree with you on the cost issue, but I think the logic is that if a manaufacturer wants to produce a certain specification of sandwich rubber product, its his business to do this within the ITTF regulations he must abide by, so long as he makes effort to take VOC's out before packaging it. In this process there is a fair degree of control as the manufacturers process must follow ITTF rules and will/should be consistent.

Players doing their own boosting come under no process control at all by the ITTF, and what they do will never be consistent across the millions there are.

So while I might not like it, I can see why the ITTF can allow manufacturers to produce a "speed-glue effect" sponge, but we are not allowed to turn a cheaper rubber into that.

Am I correct in my assumption Adham? Or is there more to it?

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 03:41 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
[quote="speedplay"
I think it is strange that there are different rules for the factories, why can they treat rubbers while we can't? I know, you have answered it but according to me, there boosting changes the rubber as much as my own boosting. The difference is, when they do it for me, they double the price of the rubber, if I do it at home, it's only a fraction more expensive then not boosting it.


I agree with you on the cost issue, but I think the logic is that if a manaufacturer wants to produce a certain specification of sandwich rubber product, its his business to do this within the ITTF regulations he must abide by, so long as he makes effort to take VOC's out before packaging it. In this process there is a fair degree of control as the manufacturers process must follow ITTF rules and will/should be consistent.

Players doing their own boosting come under no process control at all by the ITTF, and what they do will never be consistent across the millions there are.

So while I might not like it, I can see why the ITTF can allow manufacturers to produce a "speed-glue effect" sponge, but we are not allowed to turn a cheaper rubber into that.

Am I correct in my assumption Adham? Or is there more to it?[/quote]

Yes, absolutely correct, this is one of the points I may have failed to mention. Thanks.

Adham

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 03:42 
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adham wrote:
RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
[quote="speedplay"
I think it is strange that there are different rules for the factories, why can they treat rubbers while we can't? I know, you have answered it but according to me, there boosting changes the rubber as much as my own boosting. The difference is, when they do it for me, they double the price of the rubber, if I do it at home, it's only a fraction more expensive then not boosting it.


I agree with you on the cost issue, but I think the logic is that if a manaufacturer wants to produce a certain specification of sandwich rubber product, its his business to do this within the ITTF regulations he must abide by, so long as he makes effort to take VOC's out before packaging it. In this process there is a fair degree of control as the manufacturers process must follow ITTF rules and will/should be consistent.

Players doing their own boosting come under no process control at all by the ITTF, and what they do will never be consistent across the millions there are.

So while I might not like it, I can see why the ITTF can allow manufacturers to produce a "speed-glue effect" sponge, but we are not allowed to turn a cheaper rubber into that.

Am I correct in my assumption Adham? Or is there more to it?


[/quote]
Yes, absolutely correct, this is one of the points I may have failed to mention. Thanks.

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 Post subject: To understand me better
PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 03:52 
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Hey guys (and gals, I hope?):

In order for you to understand me better I would like you to know that as a young man I was a sort of intellectual hippie with very liberal ideas. I am still considered today a liberal in my way of thinking. But I was also raised in a structured environment. Although I had a lot of freedoms I also had a lot of responsibilities and was always made to assume the consequences of my actions (by my parents). So, in a sense I have a liberal way of thinking, but I also like structure and discipline, but neither to any extreme. So you could summarize me as a moderate, a diplomat, with liberal ideas, that likes to function within a moderately flexible structure. I don't like absolute rules, dogma, lack of flexibility and obsessions. I do like reason, exchange of ideas, intelligent debate, flexibility, diplomacy, resolving problems amicably and tolerance.

This may sound like a "lonely hearts club" advertisement. But please I am not soliciting any romantic encounters. My wife is watching.

I hope this self-descriptive post helps you understand me better.

Adham

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 05:08 
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adham wrote:
I don't like absolute rules, dogma, lack of flexibility and obsessions. I do like reason, exchange of ideas, intelligent debate, flexibility, diplomacy, resolving problems amicably and tolerance.
Adham


Welcome to our favorite forum, I was away on vacation for a few weeks and wow, looks what happenied, you are here. I just spent more than a day to review all the questions and answers you have kindly provided, thank you very much.

The descriptions you have provided above will make you in my book "a perfect politician", and I think for you position, you have to be a very good politician.


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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 05:24 
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tatlwai wrote:
adham wrote:
I don't like absolute rules, dogma, lack of flexibility and obsessions. I do like reason, exchange of ideas, intelligent debate, flexibility, diplomacy, resolving problems amicably and tolerance.
Adham


Welcome to our favorite forum, I was away on vacation for a few weeks and wow, looks what happenied, you are here. I just spent more than a day to review all the questions and answers you have kindly provided, thank you very much.

The descriptions you have provided above will make you in my book "a perfect politician", and I think for you position, you have to be a very good politician.


Welcome back. I don't want to disappoint you, but I'm a rather lousy politician. I would say that my Engineering background conflicts with the political way of doing things. I am more of a diplomat, always trying to find solutions for the benefit of all. This is not easy, but I always attempt to find the middle ground. It may mean that very often I do not get my way, but in a democracy that is definitely an acceptable way of doing things. I explain, I try to show the positive and negative side of every issue and then I try to find a solution. It works most of the time with good cooperation of all involved in the ITTF. It's a very delicate balance. Of course on matters of principle I do not budge.

By the way, where does someone from California go on vacation?? In my youth most of my vacations and adventures where in California.

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 07:30 
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speedplay wrote:
Tat, since you have been away, I'll let this past, but we have an agreement here not to insult Adham or call him names, so please stop insulting him and call him a politician :wink:


:lol: :lol: :lol: and a big welcome to Adham to this beloved forum of ours.

I too agree with speedplay that so far, we only voiced our gripes with the ITTF rules. So it is only fair to also voice our approval of any ITTF rules so that the ITTF know what's good and what's not. And with that knowledge, the ITTF can improve on what's not while maintaining what's good.

Cheers.

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