The secret underground world of table-tennis in USA

Most Americans are totally surprised and shocked when they first find out table-tennis is an organized sport in the USA and is a much more popular worldwide sport. Table-tennis in USA is thus essentially sort of a secret underground activity. 

The official national governing body of the sport of tabletennis for USA is  USATT which is a part of the USOC (United States Olympic Committee).  The respective international governing bodies are  ITTF ( International Table Tennis Federation) & IOC (International Olympic Committee). Most of other 218 affiliate nations of ITTF also operate in a similar fashion working with their National Olympic Committees. 

Anyway the USATT is not exactly doing a great job of promoting the sport. However the sport suffers a bad image as just a basement "game" of ping-pong but it is slowly changing due to internet exposure. But the sport itself has its problems in that it is not much of a spectator sport and mostly a high speed comedy of errors.  ITTF for political reasons, had only made it worse in the past 15 years by its own admission by knowingly exterminating certain playing styles that had helped non-player spectator appeal in the past.

Unless you can "feel" the sport and relate to  the creation of obscene super-spins and can suffer through and understand the athleticism and difficulty involved in complexities of stroke selection and consistent stroke production at ridiculous  speeds , the sport is for the most part, a Forrest Gump joke on TV

Worldwide tournaments are organized at all levels by ITTF and its 218 affiliates such as USATT. The level of the tournaments varies depending on the level of sanctioning.  Events Olympics, World Championships, European, Asian & African championships have a five star status.  National , Regional & local  sanctioned tournaments have ratings from 4 star to 1-star.

Lot more information is available at USATT website. Many clubs nationwide use a league system almost identical to USATT tournament system. USATT will even calculate and provide player league ratings for free. The USATT League rating of a player is approximately same as USATT tournament rating (but they are on separate databases).

Below is a link to webpage of actual processed results of USATT league play for a given week for the Charlotte Table-Tennis Club, for which I was the founding director during 2009-2011. This is now one of the biggest leagues in the world with 45 to 50 players a night with 5 to 6 divisions of skill levels from national level down to novice.  http://www.4ctt.com/2010/week46.htm

USATT has a good national computerized rating system.  If you play in any sanctioned tournament you will receive a rating and changes up or down with each tournament you play depending on your performance.

The player level can be defined based on his/her rating (Combined ratings for men and women).

By the way, the USATT rating system is modeled after  the chess rating system

 

Player rating                                      Level

0                                                                       Non-player

1100 or less ---------------------------------    Novice

1101-1401                                                      Club level Beginner

1401-1700    -------------------------------  Intermediate

1701-1900                                                      Advanced

1901-2100    ------------------------------     Expert

2101-2300                                                      Master

2301-2500   -------------------------------    National  ( Grand Master)

2601-2700                                                      International  (International Grand Master)

2701-2850  --------------------------------  World ranking top 100  ( Touring Professional )

2851- 2950                                                     World ranking Top 10 to 20  

3000   ---------------------------------------- Perfection  (Normalization point)

 

 

You can see the detailed results of each player at USATT website.  It would look like this below ( for myself  ).  The USATT started keeping records just as I broke 2000 see at the very bottom. ( most players' have this initial goal of breaking 2000) . Some interesting notes >  I played Jonny Hauge below and lost.  Jonny Hauge is the brother-in-law of the 1993 World Singles Champion Jorgen Persson. Jonny was a visiting post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins university. Cheng Yinghua , my last match (On top of the list below) was a Chinese Team member and then moved to US. He was top 20 or so in the World at .one time.  Gao Jun was #3 ranked women in the world at one time.  Abbas Ekun was a Nigerian international player. David Zhuang was many time US Champion.  (I was actually taking lessons by playing these folks in a tournament setting LOL)

Janardhanan, Srinivas

Opponent Event Scores Rtng
Chg
Name Rtng Diff
Potomac Spring Open held on 1998-05-17
Losses
Cheng, Yinghua 2796 690 15 ,15 0
Lonergan, Sean Michael 2528 422 10 ,14 0
Rating points: Before this event 2106; after 2106; net change 0
Potomac Fall Open held on 1997-11-23
Wins
Bailey, Jay 1685 -421 - 0
Losses
Gao, Jun 2649 543 - 0
Ekun, Abass 2493 387 - 0
Rating points: Before this event 2106; after 2106; net change 0
Potomac Spring Open held on 1997-05-11
Losses
Zhuang, David Yong-Xiang 2739 633 - 0
Ekun, Abass 2500 394 - 0
Rating points: Before this event 2106; after 2106; net change 0
Potomac Fall Open held on 1996-11-24
Losses
Ekun, Abass 2582 476 - 0
Pace, Brian Sulieman 2545 439 - 0
Rating points: Before this event 2106; after 2106; net change 0
Potomac Spring Open held on 1996-04-28
Losses
Zhuang, David Yong-Xiang 2718 612 - 0
Yeh, Stephen 2369 263 - 0
Rating points: Before this event 2106; after 2106; net change 0
NTTC April Open held on 1996-04-14
Wins
Cormier, Roger J. 1589 -517 - 0
Vos, John G. 1187 -919 - 0
Losses
Yeh, Stephen 2369 263 - 0
Rating points: Before this event 2106; after 2106; net change 0
NTTC March Open held on 1996-03-17
Losses
Hauge, Jonny 2113 -1 - -8
Rating points: Before this event 2114; after 2106; net change -8
NTTC Feb Open held on 1996-02-18
Losses
Huang, Tong Sheng Jack 2658 544 - 0
Jaicks, Ron 1623 -491 12 ,-14 ,18 -50
Rating points: Before this event 2114; after 2064; net change -50
NTTC January Open held on 1996-01-21
Losses
Lonergan, Sean Michael 2589 475 - 0
Rating points: Before this event 2114; after 2114; net change 0
NTTC November Open held on 1994-11-20
Wins
Sung, Virginia Wei-Ni 2260 190 - 40
Elwell, Gary 2021 -49 - 6
Losses
Lonergan, Sean Michael 2350 280 - 0
Lee, Richard 2214 144 - -2
Rating points: Before this event 2070; after 2114; net change 44
NTTC October Open held on 1994-10-09
Wins
Byles, Ernest S. 2272 310 - 50
Lonergan, Terry George 2044 82 - 10
Lin, Laura 1826 -136 - 1
Tan, Andy 1746 -216 - 0
Lachance, Carl 1731 -231 - 0
Losses
Bavly, Larry 2285 323 - 0
Lee, Richard 2216 254 - -1
Li, Sunny 2158 196 - -3
Burnside, Richard 2101 139 - -5
Lonergan, Terry George 2044 82 - -7
Rating points: Before this event 1962; adjusted to 2025; after 2070; net change 108
Maryland Circuit held on 1994-10-02
Wins
Archer-Davies, Sam 1862 -89 - 4
Archer-Davies, Sam 1862 -89 - 4
Davis, Mark E. 1848 -103 - 4
Lee, Vivian 1820 -131 - 3
Ford, Chauncey Edward 1819 -132 - 3
Ford, Chauncey Edward 1819 -132 - 3
Kronlage, Yvonne M. 1791 -160 - 2
Wilson Jr., Herbert Kline 1756 -195 - 1
Ebron, Carlos Donnell 1741 -210 - 1
Bailey, Craig K. 1673 -278 - 0
Van Dusen, Philip 1644 -307 - 0
Van Dusen, Philip 1644 -307 - 0
Lopez, Jose 1635 -316 - 0
Sumner Jr., Lee E. 1618 -333 - 0
Sumner Jr., Lee E. 1618 -333 - 0
Sumner Jr., Lee E. 1618 -333 - 0
Losses
Cheng, Yinghua 2819 868 - 0
Reed Sr., Barney David 2055 104 - -4
Reed Sr., Barney David 2055 104 - -4
Heisler, Michael Allen 2013 62 - -6
Rating points: Before this event 1951; after 1962; net change 11
Westfield September Open held on 1994-09-25
Wins
Chang, Karen 1808 -158 - 2
Kam, Davis 1753 -213 - 1
Gigliotti, Frank 1671 -295 - 0
Losses
Dattel, Barry 2395 429 - 0
Zalesskiy, Oleg 2101 135 - -3
Golubovic, Maria 2100 134 - -3
Jain, Ashu 2063 97 - -4
Luethi, Andreas 1960 -6 - -8
Rating points: Before this event 1966; after 1951; net change -15
MATTC September Open held on 1994-09-18
Wins
Garcia, Victor 1955 -19 - 7
Podis, Gary R. 1735 -239 - 0
Podis, Gary R. 1735 -239 - 0
Cogley Jr., Robert W. 1725 -249 - 0
Bujung, Leonard W. 1648 -326 - 0
Satchell, Delano Darrell 1314 -660 - 0
Losses
Burnside, Richard 2112 138 - -2
McCoullum, Henry 2107 133 - -3
Allen, Mark S. 2070 96 - -4
Lonergan, Terry George 2026 52 - -6
Rating points: Before this event 1974; after 1966; net change -8
Maryland Circuit held on 1994-09-11
Wins
Ebron, Carlos Donnell 1763 -220 - 1
Ebron, Carlos Donnell 1763 -220 - 1
Sumner Jr., Lee E. 1728 -255 - 0
Sumner Jr., Lee E. 1728 -255 - 0
Sumner Jr., Lee E. 1728 -255 - 0
Lopez, Jose 1579 -404 - 0
Douglas, Burnie W. 1352 -631 - 0
Branch, Michael W. 731 -1252 - 0
Losses
Cheng, Yinghua 2812 829 - 0
Lonergan, Sean Michael 2372 389 - 0
Kubo, Masamichi 2349 366 - 0
Pham, Hung 2330 347 - 0
Asgarali, Nazruddin 2199 216 - -1
Allen, Mark S. 2063 80 - -5
Allen, Mark S. 2063 80 - -5
Rating points: Before this event 1983; after 1974; net change -9
NTTC September Open held on 1994-09-04
Wins
Jones, Travis 1513 -505 - 0
Losses
Pham, Hung 2338 320 - 0
Yeh, Stephen 2297 279 - 0
Byles, Ernest S. 2274 256 - 0
Sampson, Thomas 2094 76 - -5
Yao, David 2003 -15 - -10
Lonergan, Brian Patrick 1983 -35 - -10
Lonergan, Brian Patrick 1983 -35 - -10
Rating points: Before this event 2018; after 1983; net change -35
NTTC July Open held on 1994-07-24
Wins
Malench, Mark 1202 -826 - 0
Losses
Lonergan, Sean Michael 2284 256 - 0
Ko, Christopher J. 2010 -18 - -10
Rating points: Before this event 2028; after 2018; net change -10
RPI Open held on 1994-03-20
Wins
Huang, Xuejun 2132 143 - 30
Sangsiri, Thongchai 1914 -75 - 5
Alaka, Akani 1896 -93 - 4
Wong, Jasper 1602 -387 - 0
Phillips, Joshua 1522 -467 - 0
Scavo, Bruce A. 1464 -525 - 0
Losses
Ekun, Abass 2560 571 - 0
Rating points: Before this event 1989; after 2028; net change 39