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  1. presents TableTennisDaily Podcast #12 - Thomas Weikert

    Welcome to episode 12 of the TableTennisDaily podcast, today on the show we are joined alongside the ITTF President Thomas Weikert.

    Thomas became the German National Association President in 2005. And in 2014, he took over the presidency of the ITTF from Adham Sharara.
    In this podcast we really explore and question recent rule changes and possible future rule changes for the sport including the net height increase, plastic balls and boosting.

    We also speak about the Chinese Dominance, media exposure and current ITTF projects to help the sport grow.

    Enjoy!



    Breakdown of the podcast

    00:00 Introduction.
    00:48 Start.
    11.25 Rule changes and who has final say.
    13.50 How much will the net height increase?
    14.20 Ultimate goal to make table tennis rallies longer?
    15.20 Ideas to make further rule changes to the serve, example only to use backhand serve.
    16.30 Rubbers and boosting.
    18.00 New system to detect boosting in the future.
    20.50 Why not legalise boost?
    22.43 what systems are in place to detect booster on players bats?
    23.10 The plastic ball, what are your overall views? (Price, quality and Quantity)
    26.15 The differences between the plastic balls
    29.30 Longer rallies with plastic ball versus celluloid?
    30.15 Will social media have a big influence of the growth of table tennis?
    33.14 What are the new features on the new ITTF Website
    34.34 Promoting players in table tennis to make stars like Ronaldo
    37.24 New World Ranking Structure
    42.47 China dominating tournaments an issue?
    45.46 User questions including sponsors and participation numbers.

    If you would like to save or listen to the podcast on itunes, search TableTennisDaily in the itunes store. If you are an android user you can download the Stitcher app and search for TableTennisDaily.

    What do you think about, ITTF president, Thomas Weikert's opinions and ideas on the world of table tennis?
    Thanks for listening!
    Out Now: TableTennisDaily.com 2.0


  2. Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    Yes!!!!
    I liked the parts where he laughs... what do you think of the plastic ball Thomas.... laugh from Weikert L0L
    Last edited by TTHopeful; 07-15-2016 at 06:44 PM.

  3. First round was disappointing - he sounded just as knowledgeable as I am. I know Dan is trying to be polite, but I never got the impression that Weikert understood how strongly TT players around the world feel about the changes or that Dan conveyed that.
    Last edited by NextLevel; 07-15-2016 at 07:09 PM.
    Cobra Kai TT Exponent - No mercy in this dojo, no matter your rating or the score. All spin, no power or footwork.

    "We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training" - Archilochus

  4. It's a difficult balancing act. He seemed pretty candid and approachable in general, and he seemed to at least acknowledge that there are plenty of issues about the plastic ball to be worked on. I'm sure lots of us would have liked to have heard Dan turning the thumbscrews on him, but being too confrontational might stop future interviews from happening.

    He's definitely a big step up from Adham in many ways IMO. Not as epic as President NextLevel would be, but maybe we can get there some day.

  5. POTITTF NextLevel !!!
    Quote Originally Posted by AndySmith
    It's a difficult balancing act. He seemed pretty candid and approachable in general, and he seemed to at least acknowledge that there are plenty of issues about the plastic ball to be worked on. I'm sure lots of us would have liked to have heard Dan turning the thumbscrews on him, but being too confrontational might stop future interviews from happening.

    He's definitely a big step up from Adham in many ways IMO. Not as epic as President NextLevel would be, but maybe we can get there some day.

  6. Quote Originally Posted by AndySmith
    It's a difficult balancing act. He seemed pretty candid and approachable in general, and he seemed to at least acknowledge that there are plenty of issues about the plastic ball to be worked on. I'm sure lots of us would have liked to have heard Dan turning the thumbscrews on him, but being too confrontational might stop future interviews from happening.

    He's definitely a big step up from Adham in many ways IMO. Not as epic as President NextLevel would be, but maybe we can get there some day.

    Not so much the thumbscrews but getting something that shows that he has his finger on the pulse of what is going on out there. I mean, would anyone seriously propose that we do strictly backhand serves if he has his finger on the pulse of what is out there?

  7. Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    Not so much the thumbscrews but getting something that shows that he has his finger on the pulse of what is going on out there. I mean, would anyone seriously propose that we do strictly backhand serves if he has his finger on the pulse of what is out there?
    I really hope that backhand-only service comment was just a flippant, comical remark lost in the German accent. Wishful thinking, eh? Sometimes the brainstorming brings a whirlwind, and sometimes a fart.

  8. Great job Dan and Team !!! I hope this kind of interactions will be a great way to bring ITTF closer to hobby players ... wonderful initiative

  9. Quote Originally Posted by AndySmith

    Not as epic as President NextLevel would be
    kukamonga for the president! Make table tennis great again!

  10. Thanks a lot for putting so much effort in all these podcasts Dan. In general, I like them a lot.

    However, I don't like what Thomas Weikert is saying. He delivers no new information at all. Everything he is telling is old hat. For instance, when he is asked about boosters or plastic balls he just describes which problems exist. Wow, I think almost everyone knows them. But he does not go into detail except for "we are working on that". Furthermore, he has obviously no own opinion or is not willing to share it ("this is not my opinion. It is one idea...") and no overview what is going on. He sometimes used phrases like "as far as I heard / know". But if not him who should know?

    If this superficial story is everything he has to answer on these very good questions being ITTF president can't be a very tough job.
    Finally, I did not learn anything by the interview. Too bad!
    Last edited by Tornado2016; 07-15-2016 at 11:34 PM.

  11. Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    First round was disappointing - he sounded just as knowledgeable as I am. I know Dan is trying to be polite, but I never got the impression that Weikert understood how strongly TT players around the world feel about the changes or that Dan conveyed that.
    I thought he understood a lot of the issues and addressed them adequately and said what he wants to do to solve them. With the plastic ball he said that mistakes may have been made bringing it into the game without enough testing and the fact that certain plastic balls are better than others. I think that you'll agree that the quality of plastic balls continue to improve and become more reliable which is a good thing for the sport and looking back and blaming people isn't going to help. He did similar with boost saying that they may legalise it, as the reason speed glue got banned was because of VOC's which boost does not contain. As for the net height increase he said that players of all standards will be involved in the testing and their points of view will be important as to deciding this or, from what it sounded like, any other future rule changes.

  12. Quote Originally Posted by AndySmith
    I really hope that backhand-only service comment was just a flippant, comical remark lost in the German accent. Wishful thinking, eh? Sometimes the brainstorming brings a whirlwind, and sometimes a fart.
    I completely agree I think he was just brain storming. This is an informal type of interview which will sometimes result with informal answers as you quite rightly point out.

  13. Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Jeffcott
    I thought he understood a lot of the issues and addressed them adequately and said what he wants to do to solve them. With the plastic ball he said that mistakes may have been made bringing it into the game without enough testing and the fact that certain plastic balls are better than others. I think that you'll agree that the quality of plastic balls continue to improve and become more reliable which is a good thing for the sport and looking back and blaming people isn't going to help. He did similar with boost saying that they may legalise it, as the reason speed glue got banned was because of VOC's which boost does not contain. As for the net height increase he said that players of all standards will be involved in the testing and their points of view will be important as to deciding this or, from what it sounded like, any other future rule changes.
    I think he tried to stay unprecise on purpose. Example: he said "it is one possible idea to permit boosting" but he never said that it is an idea the ITTF is discussing. He never said that it is a good or bad idea in his opinion. He never said that they are going to test it. He only said it would be possible. After all, he said nothing. And that's how it worked through the whole podcast.

  14. Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2016
    Thanks a lot for putting so much effort in all these podcasts Dan. In general, I like them a lot.

    However, I don't like what Thomas Weikert is saying. He delivers no new information at all. Everything he is telling is old hat. For instance, when he is asked about boosters or plastic balls he just describes which problems exist. Wow, I think almost everyone knows them. But he does not go into detail except for "we are working on that". Furthermore, he has obviously no own opinion or is not willing to share it ("this is not my opinion. It is one idea...") and no overview what is going on. He sometimes used phrases like "as far as I heard / know". But if not him who should know?

    If this superficial story is everything he has to answer on these very good questions being ITTF president can't be a very tough job.
    Finally, I did not learn anything by the interview. Too bad!
    With respect this is a 50 minute podcast we could have talked for 3 hours purely about the plastic ball but there were many topics to discuss. He admits there are problems from an official standpoint which is good to hear in my opinion but as I said he had a limited time to speak and couldn't go into them in fine detail. At least he admits that mistakes have been made and that things need to be and are being improved. This is a lot more than most people in positions of power will do. As he speaks from an official standpoint he is trying to convey the ideas of the ITTF as a whole and so doesn't give too many personal opinions. Finally there is no way that you knew that he played in the German 1st division in 84 surely?! So at least you learnt that eh? At the end of the day he can be judged in a few years time when he has more time to work on improving the sport then we can truly say wether he has been successful or not. Until then,for the good of our sport, we should try and be positive and hope that the changes he and the ITTF put in place work and make table tennis better.

  15. Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2016
    I think he tried to stay unprecise on purpose. Example: he said "it is one possible idea to permit boosting" but he never said that it is an idea the ITTF is discussing. He never said that it is a good or bad idea in his opinion. He never said that they are going to test it. He only said it would be possible. After all, he said nothing. And that's how it worked through the whole podcast.
    Just because he doesn't say the ITTF are discussing certain things doesn't mean that they aren't. It's easy to be negative but I believe that what he was saying, for the most part, was that the ITTF understood the problems facing table tennis and that they were coming up with ideas to solve them again we didn't have a huge amount of time to discuss them in detail. In my opinion he didn't say nothing but I don't mind if you feel that way I just disagree with you.

  16. I think you got me wrong.

    Since I am from Germany I knew that Thomas Weikert played first league. I also know the town where he lives, the club where he is playing and the league he is currently in.

    As I said, Dan and you have nothing to worry about. You did a great job. As always, you find a good balance between being polite and curious, formal and informal, and so on. However, since these podcasts are more informal and inofficial I hoped to get a more personal perspective on the ITTF. That was not what I expected but what I was hoping for. For example, it would have been very interesting to hear about Weikerts personal opinion, possible differences between his own thoughts as a table tennis player (now on amateur level) and as an official. Something which gives us a feeling of how hard it might be to do global decisions. However, Weikert did not answered the questions as a person, neither as a man who has some power to change the global development of the sport but as a reprensentative of a federation. In other words as an institution. That and nothing else is my criticism about. I do not like that because as a consequence his answers were repetitions of what I can read in official ITTF interviews and announcements. Maybe, I am the only one with that feeling because I read some German interviews with him during the last years. And I don't think the interview would have been longer if his anwers had been more concrete.

    But as nextLevel said: there were some questions I could have answered in the same way without being involved in all that official stuff. For instance, that quantity, quality and price are the things you have to consider introducing new balls.

    Of course, this is my personal point of view. Anyone is free to have another opinion and to like his answers. But that will not change my own thoughts about that.
    Last edited by Tornado2016; 07-16-2016 at 01:12 AM.

  17. Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Jeffcott
    Just because he doesn't say the ITTF are discussing certain things doesn't mean that they aren't.
    Exactly. Thus, after hearing the podcast you still do not know if they are discussing these things or not. Just because he gave no concrete answer but remained vague. You are not better informed than before. That is what I criticized.

    But enough for that. I think my point is clear now.
    Last edited by Tornado2016; 07-16-2016 at 01:19 AM.

  18. Quote Originally Posted by Tornado2016
    I think you got me wrong.

    Since I am from Germany I knew that Thomas Weikert played first league. I also know the town where he lives, the club where he is playing and the league he is currently in.

    As I said, Dan and you have nothing to worry about. You did a great job. As always, you find a good balance between being polite and curious, formal and informal, and so on. However, since these podcasts are more informal and inofficial I hoped to get a more personal perspective on the ITTF. That was not what I expected but what I was hoping for. For example, it would have been very interesting to hear about Weikerts personal opinion, possible differences between his own thoughts as a table tennis player (now on amateur level) and as an official. Something which gives us a feeling of how hard it might be to do global decisions. However, Weikert did not answered the questions as a person, neither as a man who has some power to change the global development of the sport but as a reprensentative of a federation. In other words as an institution. That and nothing else is my criticism about. I do not like that because as a consequence his answers were repetitions of what I can read in official ITTF interviews and announcements. Maybe, I am the only one with that feeling because I read some German interviews with him during the last years. And I don't think the interview would have been longer if his anwers had been more concrete.

    But as nextLevel said: there were some questions I could have answered in the same way without being involved in all that official stuff. For instance, that quantity, quality and price are the things you have to consider introducing new balls.

    Of course, this is my personal point of view. Anyone is free to have another opinion and to like his answers. But that will not change my own thoughts about that.
    Yeah but I bet you didn't know the excact years . I joke of course you do seem to have an encyclopaedic knowledge on the German leagues both past and present! I understand what you're saying, but a lot of feedback we've had from other people so far is that they found what he was saying very informative and learnt things they hadn't known before. So maybe you're just more up to date with the vast majority of people in that case I'm sorry the episode didn't give you any new news or useful information. Maybe in the future we will get other ITTF officials on who will be able to provide some information that you may not have heard before.

  19. Of course go on with these podcasts. I appreciate that. I like the concept very much

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