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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 08:38 
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speedplay wrote:
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.


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:

Appreciate the back ground info Adham.

One thing I have noticed is how we all seem to focus on what we don't like, how about giving ITTF and Adham some recognition for the things they have changed that we actually have liked?

I'll go first!

Hidden serve rule, all though the wording is currently debated, I support this rule 100%! Being a low level player, this rule has helped me to understand a lot about serving technique and also made it easier for me to learn how to return different kind of spin on serves.

11-point game, hated it when I first heard of it, now I think it is one of the greatest achievements of all time. It makes the game so much more alive! Sure, I loved to watch a big comeback in the old 21 point days, but now, the game is so much more intense, both playing and watching.


Adham, kind of strange to ask you this, since most people think you can do what you want with the game, but we now realize this is not the case, but imagine if you could, no board members to convince and no National associations to please, then what change would you make to the game today?


Actually "A Perfect Politician" was very flattering, unfortunately I am a bad politician. I am as some people in the ITTF refer to me "A direct North American", which means I am a bad politician, too direct and also I don't like to "deal". So, I lead by consensus and by majority rule, which is more the trait of a diplomat. I like "positive" agreements.

Wow, if I were the Supremo of the ITTF with no Boards, etc. I would take half the ITTF money and give it to a private promotions company to promote our sport everywhere. I would take the other half and use it strictly to help develop the sport in developing areas. All the money saved from not needing any meetings would be used to help under-privileged kids play TT. I would let players play with any equipment they want, including frying pans. But, alas, I am elected by the AGM, 205 national associations, I have to answer to a Board of more than 50 persons, and I work with my 7-member Executive Committee, soon to be 9-member EC, all of whom have their own ideas and all of whom are TT experts. I have to say that the system works rather well. We do have heated discussions sometimes, but at the end, all is done for the betterment of TT worldwide, although sometimes it may not appear that way.

My individual influence as President of the ITTF is in one-on-one situations. Like convincing the IOC to include Team Events at the Olympics; or convincing a sponsor to invest in our sport; or fighting for an athlete's right to be at the Olympic Games (fighting with his/her NOC); or pushing for more TV coverage of our sport; or working with our staff daily to implement the plans and programmes of the ITTF. In these types of actions, I do have direct and individual influence. But when it comes to regulations, I do not even have a vote (at AGM), I do have the deciding vote in case of a tie at the Board of Directors meeting (never happened yet, it would be nice once to be able to break the tie, but then half the Board will be angry with me).

The most complex part of my Presidency is to reconcile the various cultures and ways of thinking and have them focus on a common goal, which is the betterment of our sport.

Adham

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 08:52 
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I wonder if you could clarify whether it is illegal or just not recommended to use a glue containing VOC's if this is done purely to stick a rubber to a blade well in advance of its use (such that no VOC's will remain in the rubber at the time of use)? Is it considered to have changed the topsheet characteristics?

I ask this as many of us still have some of the old glues remaining and may be able to make up bats 1, 2, 5 weeks in advance of their use and air them to ensure they can pass the Enez.

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 08:59 
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fattchoi wrote:
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.


Thank you. This is a very good idea. But I doubt we will have any takers. Usually I only get complaints and what we should do and what we should change. No one has ever thanked me for the volunteer work as the ITTF President ! Not yet. Of course I get a lot of praise from the members of the ITTF all the time and they congratulate me for running successful meetings or for staging successful events. But in all the Forums I have posted, no one said something like "Thank you for doing this work as a volunteer". I really don't mind, and the real purpose of coming to these Forums is to hear the views of all players at all levels, I never expected compliments, and I was ready for attacks and complaints (I don't like insults and abuse though) and I am prepared to answer and explain. So, I doubt that someone will come up and start saying what they feel is good about ITTF decisions.

I appreciate the comments made regarding the Open Service and the 11-points games. I agree that they have improved our game at least at the international level.

Perhaps a better call for input would be" "What should the ITTF do to better develop and promote TT". Common guys, your chance to throw in your ideas. And remember, "No idea is a crazy idea". Otherwise Table tennis would never exist. Who was the first guy that had the crazy idea of taking tennis indoors, play with smaller rackets, use champagne bottle corks as balls, and books as the net and play on the dining room table? Really crazy, right? But this is how our sport has evolved over the years.

So, let's see some crazy ideas.

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 09:11 
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Juan King Carlos wrote:
I wonder if you could clarify whether it is illegal or just not recommended to use a glue containing VOC's if this is done purely to stick a rubber to a blade well in advance of its use (such that no VOC's will remain in the rubber at the time of use)? Is it considered to have changed the topsheet characteristics?

I ask this as many of us still have some of the old glues remaining and may be able to make up bats 1, 2, 5 weeks in advance of their use and air them to ensure they can pass the Enez.


Good question. There is the "intrinsic" rule and the "extrinsic" rule. The "Intrinsic" motivation comes from inside you. So, if you are the type that feels that even if there is no highway patrol (police) around you still respect the speed limit, then you are one that follows the rules intrinsic way. However, if you are one that believes that a rule only applies in the extrinsic mode (only when seen), then you may use what you want as long as when tested you pass the test. So, to answer your question with 2 scenarios:

1. Is it illegal to use VOC-containing glue at any time? Yes, it is illegal. The illegality in this case is to protect the users from harmful substances, especially young children who may not use the glues in a proper way.

2. Could I pass the Enez test, even if I used illegal glues (glues containing VOCs)? Probably YES, if as you said you aired the racket sufficiently to get rid of all the VOCs. Now the racket control test is not limited to the Enez test. As of 1st January the racket control test will be able to detect VOCs through Enez, but also very low amounts of VOCs through another testing device (a sort of probe). The test also includes a precise measure of thickness of the racket covering (not more than 4mm at any part of the surface), a flatness test, and examining if the rubber was altered in any way. So, theoretically you can do what you want, then when tested if you pass all of the above listed tests, then you can use the racket.

I understand your question is for practical and economical reasons because you still have old glue available. I fully understand that you are not trying to break the rule or gain personal advantage, but would like to use the remaining glue. Of course I cannot advise you to break a rule, so the onus is on you. To choose the first or second scenarios. In both cases the final outcome is the same.

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 10:38 
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adham wrote:
So, let's see some crazy ideas.


Firstly, let me be the first in any forum that you have attended to congratulate and thank you for steering the ITTF ship for the good of the TT world. Thank you for all your time and work :D

As for ideas, I do have one which might solve the 'vertical throw' scenarios. In order to avoid advantages or disadvantages to either opponents in a match, maybe the umpire should be instructed to ask both players to show him their throw before the match begin. The one with the more vertical throw can then be given a choice of whether he wants the opponent to at least throw as vertical or not. I am sure once this rule is announced, most, if not all, players will immediately learn to throw vertically as it would disadvantaged themselve should they be required to make more vertical throw on the day of competition. If this idea is not crazy enough, I will try my best to come up with something else :P

Cheers.

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 11:26 
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fattchoi wrote:
As for ideas, I do have one which might solve the 'vertical throw' scenarios. In order to avoid advantages or disadvantages to either opponents in a match, maybe the umpire should be instructed to ask both players to show him their throw before the match begin. The one with the more vertical throw can then be given a choice of whether he wants the opponent to at least throw as vertical or not. I am sure once this rule is announced, most, if not all, players will immediately learn to throw vertically as it would disadvantaged themselve should they be required to make more vertical throw on the day of competition. If this idea is not crazy enough, I will try my best to come up with something else :P


I sure do hope your opponent isn't too nitpicky...there has to be sportmanship in that vertical throwing idea. :D

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 12:39 
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fattchoi wrote:
adham wrote:
So, let's see some crazy ideas.


Firstly, let me be the first in any forum that you have attended to congratulate and thank you for steering the ITTF ship for the good of the TT world. Thank you for all your time and work :D

As for ideas, I do have one which might solve the 'vertical throw' scenarios. In order to avoid advantages or disadvantages to either opponents in a match, maybe the umpire should be instructed to ask both players to show him their throw before the match begin. The one with the more vertical throw can then be given a choice of whether he wants the opponent to at least throw as vertical or not. I am sure once this rule is announced, most, if not all, players will immediately learn to throw vertically as it would disadvantaged themselve should they be required to make more vertical throw on the day of competition. If this idea is not crazy enough, I will try my best to come up with something else :P

Cheers.


Crazy idea? Actually it's brilliant. But for sure it may drive the players or umpires crazy. Your idea would work provided the players throw consistently the same way. In fact, your idea is a sort of an "equalizer system". But let's look at your "intent". You do not want one player to get more of an advantage than the other player. So what if we made your idea one of the "indicators" that the umpire needs to follow. So, in fact, he would see how each player throws the ball up in the first four points. Then he would set his "nearly vertical" tolerance to the one throwing closest to the vertical, and that would be his reference for that match. As you say, if players start to notice that they have to throw exactly vertical when they play Samsonov, or any player that throws almost vertical, they would slowly adjust their throw accordingly not to be disadvantaged. This would be fair, flexible and meets the original intent. Great idea, the only modification I would make is not to ask the players to show a "sample" throw, instead the umpire would judge based on the first 4 points.

I will pass your idea as is to the URC and I will also add the modification I suggest. Thanks a lot.

Adham

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 12:40 
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fattchoi wrote:
adham wrote:
So, let's see some crazy ideas.


Firstly, let me be the first in any forum that you have attended to congratulate and thank you for steering the ITTF ship for the good of the TT world. Thank you for all your time and work :D

Cheers.


Thank you for your congratulations. It's very nice of you.

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 13:11 
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Hi Adham,

you wrote about the service rule:

adham wrote:
...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%, ...

Adham


But the ITTF "Handbook for Match Officials - 2007" says:

"10.3 Throwing the Ball
10.3.1 The server is required to throw the ball “near vertically” upwards and it must rise at least 16 cm after leaving his hand. This means it must rise within a few degrees of the vertical, rather than within the angle of 45° that was formerly specified, ..."

Do you see a clear contradiction here?


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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 14:26 
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adham wrote:
fattchoi wrote:
speedplay wrote:
T........Common guys, your chance to throw in your ideas. And remember, "No idea is a crazy idea"....... So, let's see some crazy ideas.


Quote:
......My individual influence as President of the ITTF is in one-on-one situations. .......... pushing for more TV coverage of our sport


Hi Adham, I appreciate yr willingness to exchange views and the verification on the TT rules. I believe it' not easy to b ITTF President.

I think TV coverage is important to promote this game. At this moment, there is very little local broadcast of the TT games. We missed out a lot of international as well as local TT events. I personally feel that this is a crucial factor causing the game to be much less popular here. And this is bad b'cos TT is not only a good physical workout for all ages, but also an effective tool for "quick/ alertness thinking" training.

Then I understand, due to lesser crowds watching TT tournament, commercial bodies are unwilling to invest. :roll: :(

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 14:37 
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Hi Adham,

To be honest, apart from coming to our forum, I have no idea what voluntary work it is that you do. I do agree with Fatchoi that your work steering the ITTF shouldn't go unnoticed. I, personally, have gained a greater insight since reading your posts of the challenges and constrictions you have to face. In most organisations, the CEO has the final call on just about anything that goes on (either directly by signature or indirectly by policy approval). It seems you do not have this luxury, which of course makes leading infinitely more difficult. It is very easy for outsiders to criticise someone based on opinions raised on incomplete information. So, I appreciate your candour here with us, as it enables a fairer opinion to be created of you and the ITTF. Armed with this, it makes it a lot easier to understand why certain things are done, and understand the ways they are done, and the allows us to be more constructive in our criticism rather than just knocking things.

I can see as a forum we are building a good relationship with you, which is much better for input to our sport than to have you here under less pleasant circumstances. We get to discuss things amicably, and you can take on board good suggestions, rather than be distracted by "sledges" against you. I for one, not only congratulate you for allowing this to happen, but all of our great forum members here. I think we all have sustaining and enhancing TT as our main goal as well as just being able to participate in discussion of something that is of joint interest. I don't know if you ever have time Adham, but if you do, I think you would enjoy reading through other parts of this forum. There is a lot of interesting topics and perhaps idea created which are not brought into this thread.

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 23:30 
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Smartguy wrote:
Hi Adham,

you wrote about the service rule:

adham wrote:
...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%, ...

Adham


But the ITTF "Handbook for Match Officials - 2007" says:

"10.3 Throwing the Ball
10.3.1 The server is required to throw the ball “near vertically” upwards and it must rise at least 16 cm after leaving his hand. This means it must rise within a few degrees of the vertical, rather than within the angle of 45° that was formerly specified, ..."

Do you see a clear contradiction here?


Yes, obviously there is a contradiction between the current practice and the rule of the law. But you should read all the posts about this item. You will see that I am describing the current practice, the intent of the rule, areas of tolerance through conventional wisdom (nearly vertical) and areas of no tolerance at all (visibility of the ball). As you know, it would also be impossible to judge that the ball was thrown 16 cm exactly, so again here there is an "intent", a reference, and the assurance that the ball does go up and then come down. Can we say that a ball that was thrown up 14 cm is an illegal service? Theoretically YES. Practically NO. If you review ALL the posts in this thread about the subject you will see what I mean.

Thanks for your input.

Adham

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PostPosted: 17 Dec 2008, 23:35 
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jixiaolan wrote:
adham wrote:
fattchoi wrote:
speedplay wrote:
T........Common guys, your chance to throw in your ideas. And remember, "No idea is a crazy idea"....... So, let's see some crazy ideas.


Quote:
......My individual influence as President of the ITTF is in one-on-one situations. .......... pushing for more TV coverage of our sport


Hi Adham, I appreciate yr willingness to exchange views and the verification on the TT rules. I believe it' not easy to b ITTF President.

I think TV coverage is important to promote this game. At this moment, there is very little local broadcast of the TT games. We missed out a lot of international as well as local TT events. I personally feel that this is a crucial factor causing the game to be much less popular here. And this is bad b'cos TT is not only a good physical workout for all ages, but also an effective tool for "quick/ alertness thinking" training.

Then I understand, due to lesser crowds watching TT tournament, commercial bodies are unwilling to invest. :roll: :(


Yes, you are right. This is a main priority for me. I am not sure from which country you are. But as you may know, the ITTF has 205 National Associations, so of course it is impossible for the ITTF to go one by one. What we do is we psuh at yhe Networks level such as Eurosport, ART (Middle East), etc. Of coutse in Asia we also deal on a one by one basis in certain markets because the game is very popular in some countries. So we have agreements in China, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong etc. In other oarts of the world it is more difficult. So we package one-hour highlight packages of our top events, and offer them free of charge to the local TV stations. But we cannot do the leg work. We ask each national association to contact their TV station in their own country. Sometimes this works, sometimes not. We keep trying.

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2008, 00:09 
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RebornTTEvnglist wrote:
Hi Adham,

To be honest, apart from coming to our forum, I have no idea what voluntary work it is that you do. I do agree with Fatchoi that your work steering the ITTF shouldn't go unnoticed. I, personally, have gained a greater insight since reading your posts of the challenges and constrictions you have to face. In most organisations, the CEO has the final call on just about anything that goes on (either directly by signature or indirectly by policy approval). It seems you do not have this luxury, which of course makes leading infinitely more difficult. It is very easy for outsiders to criticise someone based on opinions raised on incomplete information. So, I appreciate your candour here with us, as it enables a fairer opinion to be created of you and the ITTF. Armed with this, it makes it a lot easier to understand why certain things are done, and understand the ways they are done, and the allows us to be more constructive in our criticism rather than just knocking things.

I can see as a forum we are building a good relationship with you, which is much better for input to our sport than to have you here under less pleasant circumstances. We get to discuss things amicably, and you can take on board good suggestions, rather than be distracted by "sledges" against you. I for one, not only congratulate you for allowing this to happen, but all of our great forum members here. I think we all have sustaining and enhancing TT as our main goal as well as just being able to participate in discussion of something that is of joint interest. I don't know if you ever have time Adham, but if you do, I think you would enjoy reading through other parts of this forum. There is a lot of interesting topics and perhaps idea created which are not brought into this thread.


Thank you very much. Actually I am not the only volunteer official of the ITTF. All elecetd positions are on a voluntary basis. My hope is to change that for the next president, of course I cannot change it for myself as it would be a conflict of interest. But my hope is that in the future the President of the ITTF be a professional (100% dedication to the job) like it is in Football (Soccer), Volleyball, Tennis, etc., where the President although elected is paid a salary so that they can dedicate all their time to the task. In my case, I have to run my own business, while volunteering as ITTF President. Not counting travel time, I try to spend at least 50% of my time on ITTF work. This applies to all elected ITTF officials be they the Ec members or the Committee Chairmen. Of course, each person oputs in as much voluntary time as their own circumstances allow. Some are retired and have more time, while others can only afford weekends and some evening time. In my case, I am lucky because of flexible time in my own affairs, so I can dedicate more time to ITTF work.

I thank you for your kind words, and yes, I agree with you, this Forum operates at a high level and I gained a lot from its members. Mind you, I do not shy away from criticism, complaints or even personal attacks, as long as they are substantiated with reason, logic and goodwill. What I don't like is people insulting and calling me names without even knowing me.

I will take your advice and look around in this Forum at other threads, but I will post only on this one. I made the mistake of posting on several threads in another Forum and found myself having to repeat things over and over again. But I will definitely look around to gain more insight from other topics.

Adham

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PostPosted: 18 Dec 2008, 00:26 
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Actually Adham, one of the "crazy ideas" I had some time ago that didn't go any further because it was just between forum members, but you might like to tell me what you think. I thought on this issue of the serve toss that a way to standardise the toss to almost vertical might be to introduce a "serving apparatus". I think this would be in the form of a glove that had a spring loaded device built into it. The device would allow a height to be set for the toss with a minimum of 6 inches. This would mean for the umpire that all he had to wath for was a player tilting his hand too much to direct the ball off vertical or moving the hand during serve. The device could be designed such that no spin was generated when it was triggered. Obviously there would be a need for someone to design this and a triggering mechanism that perhaps used a movement of the thumb or something. The glove would obviously need to be light enough it did not disturb the player in play. Obviously another issue it would impinge upon is that the player may be restricted in changing the bat to his "free hand", but I'm not sure how many people do this. Is this something that would put paid to the idea do you think?

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