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Please visit The Table Tennis Centre again for regular updates to Tips and News.

Butterfly Teams Tournament, Nov 27 - 29, Philadelphia

VENI, VIDI, VICI: We are off to Philly. team Name: The Daleks, as we intend to EXTERMINATE! the opposition. Hopefully the rating at this one will reflect the East Coast levels. That means we have a chance of doing something!!!. The four daleks are : Austin, Ben, Cheok and me. we are seeded around 44th of 69 teams. It really depends where we are in the division, but we already know one team from Middletown, PA.: Don Vastine, Steve Gibson and 2 others. They are rated just above us, and should we meet them, a good match in prospect. Watch this space for a report. Bye..................


Jef Graduates as First ITTF Level II Coach in the USA.

From October 30-November 6, 2012, USATT Coaching held its first ever ITTF Level 2 and Level 2 Course Conductors Courses at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Seventeen coaches, including three foreign ITTF Course Conductors, took part.

The ITTF Level 2 Course uses the ITTF Advanced Manual as the course textbook and the material covered is a big step-up over the Level 1 Course. While the Level 1 Course deals with a wide range of general knowledge to prepare a coach to work mostly with juniors and beginners, the Level 2 Course is far more technical. The Level 2 Course is designed for coaches working with players from USATT 1750-2350 rating levels. All strokes and how to teach them are covered in great detail. In addition, the Level II Course goes much deeper into the details of planning both physical and physiological training.

After six days of hard work and long hours at night spent studying, all the USA Coaches passed the extensive oral and practical exams. Jef finished 50 hours of post-course coaching work and received a positive grade from his supervisor to complete the requirements to achieve the first ITTF Level 2 Coach Certification in the USA. For the complete story of the Course, click on the link below:
Courtesy USATT.

The Rules Of Table Tennis

I am always surprised and amazed when players do not know the rules of their chosen sport. As a Coach it is my responsibility to make sure that my players know and abide by the rules. At a recent tournament, where white balls were being used, I asked  aplayer to change his white shorts as the ball was white. I was amazed at his reason for saying that they were OK!. He said that rule only applied to shirts and that was what it said on tournament flyers. This is largely true, but it is misleading and leads to conflict when payers object to clothing colour. I explained that as I am  Club Umpire that the rules actually state that ALL clothing other than shoes must not be substantially the same colour as the ball. Here is the Rule from the ITTF Laws of Table Tennis:
3.02.02 Playing Clothing Playing clothing shall normally consist of a short-sleeved or sleeveless shirt and shorts or skirt or one-part sports outfits, socks and playing shoes; other garments, such as part or all of a track suit, shall not be worn during play except with the permission of the referee. The main colour of a shirt, skirt or shorts, other than sleeves and collar of a shirt shall be clearly different from that of the ball in use. 

This quite obviously covers shorts. A request has been made to USATT to require Tournament Directors to quote this rule verbatim in their tournament flyers. Long live the revolution!

ITTF The Laws of Table Tennis


Jef, red tracksuit, front row. Photo courtesy Richard MacAfee

Link to November/05/ITTF-Level-II-Coaching-Course

New Video Coaching Service Available

Not everyone has access to professional coaching. Now you can send your video file (flv, mpg, wmv) DVD, mini DV tape, VHS, SD memory card. For any other media please contact me.

I will analyse match play and/or practice sessions. I will then make main recommendations for your ongoing development. Analysis will be based on 25 years of playing experience, 10 years of professional coaching experience and my recent training for ITTF Level 2 Coach.

Each recommendation will contain detailed suggestions for improvement. Send your table tennis objectives with your "video". If you are not sure what your objectives are I will send you an example and form to fill in to send.

Price for this expert service is $50.00 for 15 minutes of you playing.

If you have further questions call or email me.



Tip of the Month.

Service and Service Return.

The general rule and received wisdom is to keep the serve short, go for the double bounce, but how helpful is this? Not a lot! The top players exclude specific areas of the table by serving into specific areas a high percentage of the time. See the diagram below. (From The Advanced Manual, ITTF)


This diagram shows a short underspin serve to bounce position in the short left block on the table. We now have to think in terms of the value of this serve to the server and the value of the return to the receiver/returner. The serve cannot be attacked with a strong stroke (defined as a medium to long heavy topspin). The least risky return is back to where the serve came from, either short or long, thus placing the ball to the weaker b/h side. (Weaker is defined by the strength of the muscle group in executing a b/h stroke compared to f/h). The serve bounce position draws the opponent in wide f/h close to the table and away from their b/h side, thus opening up the possibility of ball placement to the b/h corner they just vacated regardless of a short or long return from them. This we can call the primary return position. The secondary position is to place the ball to the wide f/h. This is a higher risk return because it opens the f/h down the line to the vacated side of the table. NOTE: The servers options are  to flip the short return or topsin the longer return to the space.
New Serve position next month's Tip.

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Video Clips.
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