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  1. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Dominikk85
    Club level is also a wide range. In Germany for example there are high level leagues with very good players and there are basically "beer leagues" where mostly older players without a lot of motivation meet, play some training matches and then drink a couple beers together without ever doing real drill work and training, it's just warm up, then training matches and then beer

    You mean its actually called beer pong?
    They just use the ball, no table, no bat, just the ball, with lots of beer?

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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan
    Tricky one this. Club level hmm, from my experience I'd go:

    1) China
    2) Korea/Japan
    3) Germany
    4) France
    5) Sweden

    Korea and Japan I'm not sure who has the most but I know both are very strong in numbers.

    And Poland and Russia.


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    #23
    Worth knowing USA is far behind all of Europe and Asia in terms of average level.
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  4. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by UpSideDownCarl
    Worth knowing USA is far behind all of Europe and Asia in terms of average level.

    But talking the non-pros, the level isn't too bad either (non pro players).
    of course, how far do you go to average things out? there are also lots of basement players in Europe and Asia, if we factor them in the equation, it will also swing towards the below average mark.

    IE, I know many many many people in China that can't play or serve the ball to safe their lifes

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    #25
    I think Carl is talking about average players at the club level. The average level of players who practice with regularity.

    I was surprised to see how good Eastern European players are. Their technique doesn't always look so correct to my eye, but their level looks objectively to be very high.

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    #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Dominikk85
    Club level is also a wide range. In Germany for example there are high level leagues with very good players and there are basically "beer leagues" where mostly older players without a lot of motivation meet, play some training matches and then drink a couple beers together without ever doing real drill work and training, it's just warm up, then training matches and then beer

    That kinda make me remember an older song from these old dude's generation... so what don't one of them komm schlag' ein bier...

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    #27
    You would need to define what a "club" is as it has different meanings and applications everywhere in the world.

    To me, a "club" is a tt operation owned by someone that is open everyday for more than 2 hours that has members who show up and play every day and do "club" things like pro coached training, club only league, club only tourney and club general play... Korea has this for nearly all the tt operations that are not company or school pro training places... USA has it for maybe 10% of what people call a club... which is usually rent space in a rec center for zero or next to nothing, setup tables, play matches for 2 hrs and hang it up... that is a club in 90% of USA but it isn't a real club... many places in the world work like that to a degree or another, because leasing space in a city is expensive and risky.

    Carl is barking up the right tree when trying to figure out the median level or average mean +/- 10-15% from center... using that spec, USA and Korea would be surprisingly weak for the average play level... 1400-1500 USATT.. but the top end in USA is strong for "club" in some spots... usually not so in Korea, but now an explosion of 2000-2400 level players developed by retiring modern topspin oriented pros (Kim Jung Hoon is one example)

    I hear there are very few if any real "club" in Japan... a school or community center allows tables to be setup as part of its program and some elite or ex-pro run things...and school with TT programs do what Korea does... hire an ex-pro to run a Marine Corps tough TT boot camp forever.

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  8. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #28
    yeah, asia doesn't have 'western" sport club, unless you talking pro/semi pro teams
    club is a euro/western thing

    in asia, club is more directed to kids - ie after school group coaching, 1on1. Many of them are beginners or lower levels.
    Your elites won't be here.

    Then you get amateur "teams" where its just you and your mates, think of a name and enter a teams tournament.
    You do not need to have your own venue.
    I have seen players hovering around different teams for different tournaments.

    So the definition of club is wrong, its too western and doesn't include how Asia works.
    But I just take it as your average social player that goes to TT centres, clubs, community centres etc and are more serious than your beginners.
    Last edited by Tony's Table Tennis; 07-31-2022 at 02:41 PM.
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    #29
    The amateur level in France is easily teh 2nd best one in Europe, and by far: I used to play with foreign students from Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Russia or Portugal while being in college, in the 90's Belgium was awesome, better than Germany, but they've lowered a bit since. Sweden has always been strong in really low local divisions, but when it comes to national amateur level... it's difficult for them.

    The national amateur leagues are definitely the best in Germany and France when it comes to Europe, just think of this: in 2021 the Lebrun Bros. were playing for their native club Montpellier who was in Nationale 1, the 3 tier and 1st non-pro league, they still couldn't make it to the Pro B because Lille Metropole beat them with guys like Joao Monteiro (POR) who was WR 78 at that time. Yep, it's amateur level, believe it or not.

    From the Regionale 2 to Nationale 1 there are 4 divisions, and it's a tough battle every week-end, some guys ranked in the top 1000 sometimes play for clubs involved in regionale 1 leagues because they're offered some coach jobs, or even regular jobs. Then the level starts to drop a bit in regionale 3 to the lower ones at the local level.

    So I would say
    1- China
    2 - Japan
    3- South Korea: less players than Germany or France but the amateur level in lower local leagues is better to me. Also TT is a way more important sport there than in european countries who are more focused on football, tennis, athletics track and field, handball and volleyball.
    4- Germany of course
    5- France
    6- Russia
    7- It's hard to say if it's Belgium or Sweden, because unfortunately most of the elite players are gone to Germany or France.

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    #30
    Quote Originally Posted by OldUser
    The amateur level in France is easily teh 2nd best one in Europe, and by far: I used to play with foreign students from Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Russia or Portugal while being in college, in the 90's Belgium was awesome, better than Germany, but they've lowered a bit since. Sweden has always been strong in really low local divisions, but when it comes to national amateur level... it's difficult for them.

    The national amateur leagues are definitely the best in Germany and France when it comes to Europe, just think of this: in 2021 the Lebrun Bros. were playing for their native club Montpellier who was in Nationale 1, the 3 tier and 1st non-pro league, they still couldn't make it to the Pro B because Lille Metropole beat them with guys like Joao Monteiro (POR) who was WR 78 at that time. Yep, it's amateur level, believe it or not.

    From the Regionale 2 to Nationale 1 there are 4 divisions, and it's a tough battle every week-end, some guys ranked in the top 1000 sometimes play for clubs involved in regionale 1 leagues because they're offered some coach jobs, or even regular jobs. Then the level starts to drop a bit in regionale 3 to the lower ones at the local level.

    So I would say
    1- China
    2 - Japan
    3- South Korea: less players than Germany or France but the amateur level in lower local leagues is better to me. Also TT is a way more important sport there than in european countries who are more focused on football, tennis, athletics track and field, handball and volleyball.
    4- Germany of course
    5- France
    6- Russia
    7- It's hard to say if it's Belgium or Sweden, because unfortunately most of the elite players are gone to Germany or France.
    I see a lot of Russian speaking players on Youtube and whatever, so it seems that Eastern Europe in general has quite a few strong players. But how come there are not strong players in the pro ranks from Eastern Europe? I even see some top ranking players from Brazil, Egypt, etc but not from Russia.

  11. Tony's Table Tennis is offline
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    #31
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    I see a lot of Russian speaking players on Youtube and whatever, so it seems that Eastern Europe in general has quite a few strong players. But how come there are not strong players in the pro ranks from Eastern Europe? I even see some top ranking players from Brazil, Egypt, etc but not from Russia.

    What you see on youtube, only means those people have time/habbit to post videos on youtube.
    I know many that don't post, either not interested, or don't have time.
    Or maybe you are not looking at the correct languages, ie I see a lot of high level Japanese and Korean content over European contents.

    Other than my "spy" cam, many places I go don't even have videos on the internet.
    There are even places where "no recordings" allowed, and have signs up and I was warned before going in... That place I dared not to record lol

    If you are now referring to strong/pro players from Russia, Russia always has a passion for table tennis. The pro club there was also euro champs, with some of your elites pros playing for (non russian). Over the years you also have decent russian pros. Obviously with the war and sanction, that club is now out of the european league and all the foreign players has left (Dima, Lin, Hugo etc)

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    #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Zhuang
    I see a lot of Russian speaking players on Youtube and whatever, so it seems that Eastern Europe in general has quite a few strong players. But how come there are not strong players in the pro ranks from Eastern Europe? I even see some top ranking players from Brazil, Egypt, etc but not from Russia.

    There are some, but due to the recent events in Ukraine and the new WTT rankings, russians elite players are not well ranked for now. They've got some really awesome young players, like Romania that is a really nice TT school, as Hungary too. The thing is that their elite players, like the swedish or belgian ones, mostly plays in the Bundesliga or the Pro A/Pro B, the hungarian Adam Szudi has been the only guy able to beat Alexis Lebrun in the Pro A this past season as an example.

    We all know the WTT ranking system means near to nothing.


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    #33
    The thing with Russia is that their strong sport culture is engrained into kids very soon, from all the ex-USSR or younger russian guys I've had the pleasure to meet, I've tried volleyball, handball, tennis, table tennis with them and they all knew the basic techniques of any sport while still being amateur like me. Quite humbling.

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    #34
    Yeah I'm a huge fan of boxing, and Russian/Ukrainian boxers are absolutely the best! They train the hardest, have the best fundamentals, and operate at the highest level.

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    #35
    China, Japan, Korea

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    #36

    Well Samsonov was and is a Superstar,so the sport gained popularity.
    Even i thought Samsonov had the best chance to the Heir of Waldner as the top non Asian Player.
    But let´s be honest China is a different animal with the sport beeing engrained in their culture,as Japan and Korea.
    I am a bit saddened that our sport lost lots of active players here in germany since the 90s...we almost had one million active club players now we are around 300k and the sport becomes more niche,hope in other countries the youth department works better,and if the want to play tvirtual Table tennis on a Nintendo,then let them start this way.
    Maybe they will try it out on a real table one time!


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    #37
    Quote Originally Posted by Haraold

    Well Samsonov was and is a Superstar,so the sport gained popularity.
    Even i thought Samsonov had the best chance to the Heir of Waldner as the top non Asian Player.
    But let´s be honest China is a different animal with the sport beeing engrained in their culture,as Japan and Korea.
    I am a bit saddened that our sport lost lots of active players here in germany since the 90s...we almost had one million active club players now we are around 300k and the sport becomes more niche,hope in other countries the youth department works better,and if the want to play tvirtual Table tennis on a Nintendo,then let them start this way.
    Maybe they will try it out on a real table one time!

    It's been the same in France and Belgium, I think it's a kind of european thing since the focus is made on football for example. But yeah it's kind of a surprise to see less german youngsters performing at a high level nowadays, even Kay Stumper is struggling to succeed in WTT qualifying draws competitions. The youngsters that are doing well are indeed from France, Belgium or Romania, there are not many of the german ones in the youth rankings.


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