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    1. Top | #1
      Eli Baraty is offline
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      Table Tennis vs Ping Pong - Should Table Tennis take note from Ping Pong?

      Table Tennis vs Ping Pong

      The average Joe, believes Ping Pong and Table Tennis is the same thing!

      Ping Pong is now a separate sport with its own governing body that holds a World Championship once a year. This event is held in London England (Alexandra's Palace) hosted by Match Room (Barry Hearn's) enterprise.

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      The game is played up to 15 points best of 3, with a sudden death point at 14 all and a double point ball played once on your serve. The bats are all the same, blue sandpaper on a wooden blade. - I have a limited amount from the actual event if anyone wants to purchase, £10 each plus P&P.

      The event hosts 64 players from around the world whom qualify via their host nations qualification system. The event is televised on Sky Sports and runs like clock work. The atmosphere is very special, created by the: umpires, fans, television, commentators, lights, layout and of course the charismatic competitors.

      Unfortunately that's about all their is for the fans of blue sandpaper bats.

      As for Table Tennis, it's an Olympic sport and the second most participated sport in the world, with an estimated 300 million players across the globe it's a sport that has so much to give but possibly the most undervalued sport on the planet!

      The worlds top 50 make a lot of money; playing for clubs, sponsorship deals, tournament prize money, exhibitions and endorsements. Yet many don't know or believe a living can be made from table tennis.

      Even though table tennis has all the right attributes of being a spectators sport, it seems to lose out to Ping Pong once a year!

      So what is table tennis doing wrong?

      In Germany,France and a few other European countries, clubs are funded and supported by the local council's, sponsorship and even football clubs. They attract up to ten thousand spectators for a single match in some clubs and yet this beautiful sport does not get Media coverage. Table Tennis is rarely seen on national or international TV, giving TT a stigma as a social game anyone can play in their garage.

      Why is Ping Pong, (with no real structure) able to attract huge sponsorship deals, crowd's, media coverage and Sky sports televise the whole event (Worlds champs)?

      The answer is simple, all it takes is one tycoon (Barry Hearn) for Ping Pong to tweak the game in terms of points and level playing field (creating uncertainty) with a substantial amount of Prize money.

      Table Tennis needs to take note and there's plenty of Tycoons playing table tennis, all the sport needs is one person to take up the challenge. One that is willing to invest a little but potentially gain a lot more than invested.

      I want to propose a similar format to Ping Pong and provide three table tennis bats; 1 offensive 2. All round and 3. Defensive, the players can choose according to their playing style and let the battle commence.

      Today table tennis is dominated by the Chinese, possibly due to their investment of the sport and of course hard work and dedication. But unbeknown to everyone 'technology' gives them another edge over the rest! They use rubbers, unavailable on the open market and ones that are only used by the Chinese national team. These rubbers have been specially designed and created to produce more spin and speed alongside control compared to the other traditional TT rubbers.

      I would like to see a level playing field in terms of equipment and see if the Chinese are really the best on the planet or does equipment (technology) give them the edge over the rest?! What are your thoughts TTDaily?

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      Last edited by Eli Baraty; 02-01-2017 at 08:12 PM.
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    3. Top | #2
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      China has the biggest Table Tennis population. I'm guessing 90% of that 300 million. No wonder they have the best technology, biggest clubs and Michael Jordan level of stardom players. While in the rest of the world, Table Tennis population is barely unnoticed.

      In my country Table Tennis and Ping Pong are the same. While Ping Pong, like the one you mentioned in your discussion, is called Liha.

      Also, one suggestion to popularize Table Tennis is to add an American player into the top 10. Surely that will get media's attention. Those guys are good at hyping things up.
      Don't forget footwork.

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    5. Top | #3
      TTHopeful is offline
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      I watched the final of the ping pong world championships. It looked like the rally length was longer than table tennis. What do you think Eli? Is the rally length longer in ping pong or table tennis? From the spectator point of view who hasn't never played table tennis before all they want to see is long rallies i am guessing as they cannot comprehend spin etc. Only people who play table tennis can respect what pro players do in table tennis.

      It would be an interesting study to show a table tennis match to an audience of people and a ping pong match to an audience of people and to see which one they preferred to watch.

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    7. Top | #4
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      Ping Pong competitions has a show like mood. Lots of beer, loud crowd. It's nearly equal to the game what the average people play at beach, in the school or in the park, just on another level. And for people who didn't played TT seriously sounds good that: 'table tennis is all about equipments; in TT aren't long rallies; PP is only about skills, everyone is equal'.
      I think ITTF should show the epic side of this sport. Show the people how fast this game is! Show the crazy angles! Show the sweat of the players! Let them hear the CHO! New camera angle would help a lot and idolizing the top players also. More money in advertising.

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    9. Top | #5
      lgreggs is offline
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      I think ping pong is just very cleverly marketed. The organisers are all about creating atmosphere and a good experience for the spectators. They get to make lots of noise and have lots of fun. If table tennis was put in the same arena with same atmosphere it would gain the same popularity.

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    11. Top | #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by ajtatosmano2 View Post
      Ping Pong competitions has a show like mood. Lots of beer, loud crowd. It's nearly equal to the game what the average people play at beach, in the school or in the park, just on another level. And for people who didn't played TT seriously sounds good that: 'table tennis is all about equipments; in TT aren't long rallies; PP is only about skills, everyone is equal'.
      I think ITTF should show the epic side of this sport. Show the people how fast this game is! Show the crazy angles! Show the sweat of the players! Let them hear the CHO! New camera angle would help a lot and idolizing the top players also. More money in advertising.
      Exactly! Table Tennis needs more hype. Also, we need players with passion, players with flare! Player who would take off their shirts after winning a match and shouting at the top of their lungs while standing at the top of the table. Or players taunting their opponent after scoring a great shot. It may sound absurd but that's what sells to the crowd, passionate players.

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    13. Top | #7
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      Quote Originally Posted by ajtatosmano2 View Post
      And for people who didn't played TT seriously sounds good that: 'table tennis is all about equipments; in TT aren't long rallies; PP is only about skills, everyone is equal'.
      It's (mostly) true though.
      Last edited by doraemon; 02-01-2017 at 12:09 AM.

    14. Top | #8
      Takkyu_wa_inochi is online now
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      Londoners like to have fun. I lived there for two years. Many stupid events. I saw the RedBull SoapBox race in Alexandra Palace, that was hilarious, and fully packed of course. Went to "chessboxing" events... very popular as well... Check it on Youtube...

      The Olympics were a lot of fun too...and so many other stuff. Thank you London for the memories.

      So I'm not surprised of the success of those championships. Any big event where there is (free-)flowing beer is guaranteed to attract people there...

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    16. Top | #9
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      Table Tennis vs Ping Pong - Should Table Tennis take note from Ping Pong?

      Okay, a few thoughts.

      Ping Pong is a brand. Table tennis is the sport. What is being called "The World Championships of Ping Pong" is a sandpaper competition. But it is still table tennis.

      Nothing wrong with that. Sandpaper and hardbat are both fun.

      I do think there is a value to having sandpaper and hardbat competitions. Regardless of the rules used, (games to 21, 15 or 11 etc) there is something about hardbat that seems fun. The ball goes so slow compared to table tennis with sponge. This means, with hardbat, you have much more time and the rallies can be extended much longer. Different skills end up being involved. Hardbat is less about spin and spin deception and more about placement and moving your opponent around. So there is a more consistent lateral aspect to the game, like in tennis, than there usually is in table tennis with sponge.

      Also, to get to a level where you can have the kinds of rallies that move side to side, in and out, that have momentum changes within the rally, in table tennis with sponge, you really have to have two players that are well matched and they have to be at a high enough level to react fast enough to how fast the ball is coming at you.

      One thing that hardbat misses out on is cool shots like the extreme curve on a good hook or fade.

      But I do think it is great to have tournaments for sandpaper and hardbat. And it is even better if they are well publicized and marketed.

      However, we also have to realize a few things:

      1) most of the top players (or is it all of the top players) in a competition like The World Championships of Ping Pong are taking skills learned from training with sponge and applying it to sandpaper play. Most of these guys are not traditionalist, sandpaper/hardbat only players. The techniques come from modern table tennis.

      2) Part of the marketing groundwork has been laid by the ITTF having a pro tour. It is hard to say what this event would be like without the existence of the ITTF. It is also hard to say how an event like this would fair if it was in Korea or Japan, or China. Would there be the same interest? Or is some of the interest related to the fact that the event occurs in a country that is not so well represented in the ITTF world rankings but who are well represented here? It is really hard to say.

      3) THERE IS ONLY ONE EVENT A YEAR. If ITTF dropped all its events save one, and pooled all the money for prizes for ONLY one Event the whole year, what would the prize money be and what would the media draw look like. What would happen if they spent all the money from the whole world tour on only one event?

      It is pretty hard to say. That could end up meaning one great event or a total disaster. But no matter what else, it would be, for sure, a total disaster for the sport of table tennis as a whole. And, from my perspective, the sandpaper event being called The World Championship of Ping Pong would not even be an event without the groundwork already laid out by the ITTF and regional table tennis leagues like the Chinese Super League and the Tischtennis-Bundesliga. These structures have already laid out the groundwork to help cultivate some kind of preexistent fan base.

      Another few details, related to some of what I said in #1 above: I notice, in the top 32 it looks like 8 Asian names and 24 European names. In the top 16 there are 3 Asian names. The rest are European. I believe the winner this year was Asian. But in all the previous events it was a European who won.

      Sorry to raise the race card. But, in England, with a guy from England being the reigning champ and at least a couple of players from the U.K. in the top 16, that could peak interest a bit.

      Was worldwide media coverage of this higher than the Asian Championships? Was coverage in the U.K. bigger than coverage of the Asian Championships in, say, China?

      We would need many more facts to judge the effectiveness, overall, of an event like this, in comparison to other events. And I don't think one or two very rich people could support a whole world tour.

      However, hardbat and sandpaper are valuable and great fun. And it is worth there being events like this. Anything that can help promote the sport is good. And if the ITTF can do a better job on many levels, it really would be a great thing.


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      Last edited by UpSideDownCarl; 02-01-2017 at 04:36 PM.
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    18. Top | #10
      Ilia Minkin is offline
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      I remember somebody mentioned in this forum that the tickets for the finals of coming WTTC were sold out weeks beforehand.

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    20. Top | #11
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      the problem with table tennis is not that the evil media doesn't want to cover it, the problem is nobody enjoys watching table tennis on tv. some of us do but we are the minority. the rallies are short, most of the time players are just walking to the ball, picking it up, walking back to the table and focusing before they serve. and finally when they are playing non-players have no idea what is going on.

      the idea of having standardized bats could maybe fix some issues, level the playing field and make the sport more appealing to amateurs, but there is one problem... it's never going to happen. equipment manufacturers like butterfly would go bankrupt and since the ITTF is their puppet we might as well just drop the idea.

      so what's realistic and could maybe help? better marketing, better camera angles and better commentators are needed. don't change the sport just change the atmosphere and hope for the best.

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    22. Top | #12
      Eli Baraty is offline
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      good comments and suggestions,

      in regards rallies, its debatable table tennis does have its fair share of amazingly long and spectacular rallies but i guess in general you get slightly longer rallies due to reduced speed, spin and variation of shots and styles table tennis can provide

    23. Top | #13
      ajtatosmano2 is offline
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      Table tennis IS attractive, the problem is with the current way of interpreting.

      For me football (soccer) is much more boring. Men running all around, nothing happen (well, they try to reach a good position, but you know...) for 10-30 min. and then they get a chance to score. I feel it's a bit like poker: a good player have better chances to win, but luck is very important. One team has 10 chance and score from 3 (if it's a good match: there is a plenty of 0-0, 1-0 etc.), while the other team has 6 chance and score from 2.

      We must face the fact, that europeans/americans usually doesn't like to watch an asian dominated sport. Racism, even if it's not directly negative, affects the view's number (in Eu/USA). European championships was popular in Hungary, but world events... And I hear sometimes things like this: 'Table tennis? Ah, ping pong, yes! It's full of yellows jumping like crazy and they always win. The japs! Yes, the japs win everything, right? Or the vietnamese?'

      In china TT is extremely popular, in Japan I think it will become more and more popular. We have to work on the Eu/USA/Afrika region. (I dunno about Korea and other Asian countries, so I don't speak about them) Change of the angle is vital. IMO idol players also. Cheap playable premade bats would be good. Something like 2 Friendship rubber on a cheap all blade, instead of the current 'five star' premade ones.
      On the media side: tournaments (and TT in general) should be advertised in online newspapers, media portals etc. because if the average guy see a placard and just basic information, it won't motivate him to watch TT. However if he sees a short clip in the newsportal (with attractive points from attractive angle), he will say: 'Wow, that looks interesting! Maybe I'll switch to it on the TV during late-dinner.'
      Last edited by ajtatosmano2; 02-01-2017 at 08:44 PM.

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    25. Top | #14
      Ilia Minkin is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by ajtatosmano2 View Post
      Table tennis IS attractive, the problem is with the current way of interpreting.

      For me football (soccer) is much more boring. Men running all around, nothing happen (well, they try to reach a good position, but you know...) for 10-30 min. and then they get a chance to score.
      ... they get a chance to score and they miss. Totally agree.

      I also doubt that the high speed of the ball is bad and should be reduced. It is the feature that makes the sport really unique! What is the other kind of sport where players face fast flying shots accelerating at them from within such short distance? For many of us table tennis is so attractive because of this vivid demonstration of superhuman abilities of elite athletes that face bullets and put them back on the table. I think that solution is improving the casting, better angles and vantage points, better slow motion replays and better commentating.
      Last edited by Ilia Minkin; 02-01-2017 at 09:30 PM.

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    27. Top | #15
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      If somebody can make a good show out of a crowd of guys fruitlessly running on the field for 90 minutes, then it should be possible to make a show from a beautiful 3rd ball winner.

    28. Top | #16
      Ilia Minkin is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by genrel001 View Post
      Also, we need players with passion, players with flare!
      Where is Michael Maze when we need him so much...

    29. Top | #17
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      Table Tennis is almost dead. In Europe are some countries like Germany, France and Sweden where is strong. But other countries like Austria, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Czech republic are dead. Why? It's easy. This sport is no more interesting? Why? Because no coverage from TV, no promotion in schools, NOTHING. I am from Slovakia and two same players are the best more than 15 years!!!! Pištej is one of them and he was in semifinal at Ping Pong Word Championship. He is really good player, but he will soon go to retirement and we don't have new players good enogh.

      I love table tennis! In January I was in Budapest for Pro Tour. There was possible to see how wrong is everything in this amazing sport. I went there for last 16 players. First 4 singles they set at 4 tables in same time. Ok. I was not happy because is not possible to look to 4 matches in same time. But then it was easy because first 2 tables was about 10-15 metres from viewpoint but other 2 tables were 50-60 metres!!! I think its not possible look to table tennis from this distance. But OK, at tables closier played Joo Sae Hyuk and Vladi Samsonov and I was happy. BUT!!! After this, they set next 4 matches to 2 and 2. But what do you think which tables they choose? OFCOURSE!!! These which they were 50-60 metres from viewpoint!!! Why? Because they set cameras for these tables! Someone who prepared this tournament didn't think about spectators. I think this is why our sport is almost dead. They don't have good people for marketing, for preparing, for anything. GOOD PEOPLE, I mean experts! I don't understand why. I don't belevie ITTF doesn't have money. They didn't allowed us sit closer. We asked money back and went back to home (about 300km). Many people leaving with us and they were really angry. Players played almost in silence. Sad look

      Other thing. Our population is bigger and bigger. People in my country in last 50 years are almost 15-20cm bigger. Table is same high. It's horrible for tall people play table tennis.

      ITTF saying us: "table tennis is very quick and we need longer rallies". Why using these new shit balls? We are playing with them more than 2 years. Nothing is better, they are joke. If you buy ball with ***, you want to buy some quality. But no, they are pure shit. ITTF doing nothing about it Please give us back old balls. My club need more than 2x bigger money for buying balls for year! Please give us bigger nets and everything will be more interesting. These balls are so bad, there is no possibility for longer rallies because you never know how it will jump And I don't understand how is possible tolerate so big difference. If you play one day with Butterfly G40, try next day something like DHS. You will be very sad about your play
      Last edited by exit_2; 02-01-2017 at 10:24 PM.

    30. Top | #18
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      i think three fairly simple things would improve things quite a bit:

      1) change of angle

      2) playing with multiple balls distributed by the umpires. this would reduce the waiting time between rallies making it more interesting to watch. i think they tried this in the chinese super league, does anyone know how it went?

      3) commentators explaining what exactly is happening and why. i've heard people say "table tennis is a fun sport to play, but whenever i watch the pros on tv i can't understand how they make these simple errors like returning the serve into the net"

      these three things do not cost special extra money and they could make the sport more attractive right away.
      Last edited by izra; 02-01-2017 at 10:24 PM.

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    32. Top | #19
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      Saw Ping Pong in this forums for the first time and it looks fantastic!

      It looks like the people running Ping Pong is far superior than those in Table tennis, can they just bite the bullet and beg Ping Pong organizers to organize Table tennis tournaments for them? Surely Ping Pong is not popular because the game play is more spectator friendly than Table tennis right?

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    34. Top | #20
      ajtatosmano2 is offline
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      Quote Originally Posted by exit_2 View Post
      I love table tennis! In January I was in Budapest for Pro Tour. There was possible to see how wrong is everything in this amazing sport. I went there for last 16 players. First 4 singles they set at 4 tables in same time. Ok. I was not happy because is not possible to look to 4 matches in same time. But then it was easy because first 2 tables was about 10-15 metres from viewpoint but other 2 tables were 50-60 metres!!! I think its not possible look to table tennis from this distance. But OK, at tables closier played Joo Sae Hyuk and Vladi Samsonov and I was happy. BUT!!! After this, they set next 4 matches to 2 and 2. But what do you think which tables they choose? OFCOURSE!!! These which they were 50-60 metres from viewpoint!!! Why? Because they set cameras for these tables! Someone who prepared this tournament didn't think about spectators. I think this is why our sport is almost dead. They don't have good people for marketing, for preparing, for anything. GOOD PEOPLE, I mean experts! I don't understand why. I don't belevie ITTF doesn't have money. They didn't allowed us sit closer. We asked money back and went back to home (about 300km). Many people leaving with us and they were really angry. Players played almost in silence. Sad look
      Yes, the organisation of that pro tour was terrible. There were both technical problems (can't build mobil spectator's terrace in time) and stupid decisions. But fortunately there is change in the national association's leading and they claimed that they learnt from their mistakes.

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