Table Tennis, commonly known as “ping-pong,” is one of the most popular sports in the world, second only to soccer, according to www.usatt.org. This is owed to table tennis’s great variability, as one may play it as a relaxing, recreational game, or as an intense sport requiring athleticism, smarts (athletic chess?) and rigorous training. Perhaps this has distorted table tennis’s image to Americans as just a soft activity, but it has attracted attention all over the world as a sport anyone can play. 70 years old and can’t play basketball with your grandchildren anymore? Want to train full-time to become an Olympian? Looking to get your son into different sports? Like the color orange? Uncoordinated and slow? Why not try to improve with table tennis?
Though originated in England, table tennis has come to be dominated by the likes of China, Sweden, Germany, and the Koreas. From its worldwide popularity, table tennis has evolved to an endless flavor of styles, ranging with the extremely defensive to the powerful offensive. There are at least three popular grips: the shakehand, the penhold, and the Seemiller. One may learn a myriad of strokes to diversify his/her own style, or choose a few to specialize in. There are topspin loops, backspin chops, flat hits, flipping, pushing, blocking, defensive “fishing,” high-arcing lobs, and so on. One may also choose different equipment to suit a style, such as rubbers from the explosively bouncy to the absorbing and controlling.
Unlike most other racket sports, one may develop and use a full arsenal of different serves for a specific strategy. Serving to any part of the court is allowed, and serving with backhand or forehand is permitted as well. One may serve fast and deep, or slow and spinny, with unique variations. Backspin, topspin, nospin, sidespin, combos, etc.
You don’t have to be confined and play one particular position or repetitive style like many other sports. Come and try all your skills; test your footwork, speed, power, coordination, strategic thinking, and endurance. Or just have fun with your buddies and play around. Almost anything is allowed.
Table tennis has enjoyed a recent jump in popularity in America. ESPN, the major sports channel in the US has shown over one hundred hours of table tennis in the past few years. Table Tennis video games and the major motion picture “Balls of Fury” have increased awareness of the sport amongst Americans. All these factors have contributed to a major movement of table tennis players in America.
The UCSD table tennis club meets Mondays 8pm-11pm and Thursdays 8pm-9:30pm in the basketball court area of the main gym at Muir. We provide balls and five quality tables. Players of all levels are welcome. Even with a few varsity members around, beginners are encouraged to play and even ask the advanced players for advice. In fact, many of the members are former volunteer or paid coaches and will gladly assist. The playing atmosphere is informal; you may either challenge anyone to a friendly match, or practice your skills with a partner of your choice.
Twice a season, UCSD plays in a meet with several other Southern California schools, which includes UCLA, USC, UCI, CalTech, and Pepperdine. This league is governed by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Assocation (www.nctta.org). The overall winner of the meets is guaranteed a spot to compete in the National Championships in April. The highest-ranked divisional runner-up in the nation is also given a berth.
Team matches are played with four members on each team. Each member plays one singles match, then one doubles match is played, giving a total of five matches.
Currently, the main competition for the varsity Tritons (preseason national ranking #3, www.nctta.org) in Southern California is USC ( #6). With possibly the highest concentration of solid players and teams in the country, rivaled only by the Northern California division, the SoCal league makes for tough, healthy competition for all schools involved.
February 27th Table Tennis Article UC San Diego was invited to Western Regionals Tournament in Silicon Valley Table Tennis Club in Milpitas, California. The Co-ed Varsity team attended the tournament and 5 players: Khoi Nguyen, Ryan Chen, Gregory Yip, Jerry Cheng, and Andrew Shehata. UC San Diego was drawn into a tough group featuring Ohlone Read More >
UC San Diego Table Tennis UC San Diego Table Tennis team participated in the Southern California Divisionals held in California State Northridge on November 7th. The team was able to send 4 different teams to the competition including Co-ed Varsity, Women’s Varsity, JV1, and JV2. Co-ed Varsity hung on to receive 3rd place finish with Read More >
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