Open Gym Information
The Table Tennis Open Gym is a Fox Valley Park District program. It is held on Wednesday and Friday from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. Open gym is for adults (18+) but on Fridays the children (6+) can play too. If you are not sure if the open gym will meet on a given day please contact the Eola Community Center front desk at 630-851-8990 and ask if Open Gym Table Tennis will be held that day.
While we are a USATT affiliated table tennis club we do not collect any fees from patrons. The park district runs the open gym program and they collect the fees.
On a typical night we get 20 – 25 players. One night recently we got 36 players. We setup 9 tables so 18 players can play at the same time. The courts are 13 ft wide and 38 long. Some players also choose to play doubles. Sometimes the 9th table in the back under the running track is used for coaching.
The Eola Community Center
555 S. Eola Rd.
Aurora, IL 60504
We play in the south side of the main gym behind the blue curtain.
The parking lot around the park district building fills up on Wednesday due to a multitude of activities at E.C.C. If you don’t find a free spot, you can park in the adjacent church’s parking lot, just south of the E.C.C.
Daily fee for adult Aurora residents is $4, non-residents $5. Children under 18 are $4. If you don’t have and park district ID yet, the front desk personnel will make you one for free on the spot. You must have another photo ID to prove you are who you claim to be and also sign a waiver form protecting park district from lawsuits. They will not sell you daily pass without the green ID. If you loose this ID they can make you a new one for $5. You can pay with a credit card at the front desk.
Once you pay they will give you a colored paper bracelet to indicate that you paid. There are no club dues or annual memberships. However, you can buy a 12 month individual park district membership allowing you to play table tennis and use the weights room for $33 per month. This will be billed to your credit card monthly.
We use the yellow board shown below to reserve play at a table. The board is behind the barriers facing the tables so you need to lean over the barriers to find it. We usually put it in the middle of the row of barriers. We don’t put paddles next to a table like some clubs do. If you like the action on a particular table put your park district ID card or some other card in the slot for that table number. Tables don’t have numbers on them but are numbered 1, 2, 3, 4 from right to left in the first row and then 5, 6, 7, 8 in the second row.
The winner stays at the table, and you take a place of the looser. Please take your card with you while you play. Some people forget it and then leave the club without their card. We frown upon players who move their card to another slot while they play at another table to shorten their waiting time. If there are more people waiting at the table you put your card behind theirs and wait your turn.
If there are no people waiting for a table you can play as long as you want, but please watch the board occasionally. If there is someone waiting you need to start the match promptly. If you just got to the table and people are waiting behind you, take no more than 5 minutes to warm up and start the match. If you don’t want to wait and there is room to setup another table simply ask the park district staff member sitting by the computer station in the other corner of the gym and and he will roll out another table for you. We can setup up to 8 tables in the space we have available. If you see that the players are not starting the match just walk over and ask if they are playing yet because you are waiting. This needs to be done usually for players in the second row of tables because the board is quite far for them so don’t see they can’t see it too well.
On October 26th, 2011 the Park District bought 10 brand new Killerspin MyT10 Club Pro tables in black. In June 2013, Swavek Lorenc – FVTTC Club President – bought 2 more identical tables so we now have 12 tables for use in tournaments.
The tables are rolled out by the park district staff but we need to set them up and attach the nets. The tables have a little yellow lever on the bottom part. To unfold the table, you need to push the lever with your foot and tilt the table top at the same time. Sometimes the table doesn’t unfold because the legs are stuck. If that is the case, gently pull on the bottom of the leg while tilting. It is best if two people unfold each half of the table to overcome these two problems. Once the table is level, you may also lock the 2 brackets connecting the legs to the table but the tables are stable enough without it.
The staff takes down the nets , folds the tables and puts them back in storage for us at the end of the open play.
Paddles and Balls
We don’t have paddles to give out or rent. You can buy a beginner paddle at the Sports Authority but I recommend contacting one of the table tennis equipment stores listed on our website. They can help you choose the right paddle for your style of play and skill level.
In 2016 a new plastic (also known as poly) ball became the official ball to be used at the tournaments. We play with such plastic balls of best quality i.e. 3 star. These balls have the best bounce. We like JOOLA, Nittaku or Butterfly white or orange balls. White balls are easier to see on our black tables but you may find the orange ones better. The new plastic ball are 40+ mm in diameter so if you have a ball look for 40+ label on it. The old celluloid balls had 40 mm and were marked 40.
Coaching is available in group lessons held on Saturdays and in 1 hour long private lessons on Wednesday and Friday. See coaching page for more information
If you have questions about our club you may contact: Swavek Lorenc at email@example.com.