Here are the comments from players who participated in the 3/24 tournament.
Hi Swavek, comments below. I was in the Table 11 Intermediate group:
Overall I think Swavek did an incredible job of organizing a tournament for that many players and that many divisions. I was surprised at how smoothly it all went!
Our net on our table (11) was substandard. It was a nylon net, and it behaved unlike any net I’ve ever played with. It seemed to have way more tension and rigidity than any other cloth net that the rest of the tables had.
I liked the extra barriers! I felt that it definitely helped keep lost balls in our area.
The opposite side of the gym (the non-bleacher side) needed more seating. The majority of us had to sit on the floor. A good rule of thumb would be to have ten chairs per table. 6 for the players in the group and a few extra for their visitors/friends/family.
Players should be required to stay seated adjacent to their table’s location. We had two instances where the next matches were delayed because players weren’t staying close to their table and were on the other side of the gym.
In general I felt it went well. A few thoughts I have are:
Have a scorekeeper for each of the finals only, where there are spectators who otherwise would have a hard time knowing what the score was, otherwise let the players keep the score and write it on the sheet after each game as was done by many tables
The barrier setups were quite nice and the tables were beautiful. Most of the nets sets were excellent, too, but there was one that couldn’t be adjusted, and for a tournament, the nets and tables need to be excellent even if it costs $50 more to buy a new net set. I did a number of the net setups and adjusted them properly when I did so, but perhaps someone should have done that officially. I just figured it needed to be done (I work at a couple clubs) and noticed they needed adjusted, and was happy to help. The thing you don’t want is someone that doesn’t know how to put it on and adjust it properly putting it on too tight or adjusting it wrong.
Maybe have the person entering the scores walk around with a notepad and enter them there at the table rather than taking them away and bringing them back. when the sheet wasn’t there, it was potential for trouble.
Whatever groups you decide to have, on skill level based groups, could you have suggested rating ranges for the groups? I’m not saying it should be mandatory, but just so people can anticipate the level of competition, and let unrated players decide based on the ranges where they belong.
I had a problem where I stepped on someone’s lost name tag that was on the floor somewhere and it stuck to the bottom of my shoe. I played a quarter finals match slipping now and then (into the table once), and thought it was maybe water or sweat on the floor causing it. I haven’t played many tournaments, so didn’t even think to check the shoe until I slipped again in the semi finals first game. My name tag wouldn’t stick to my shirt, either, so I understand how they lost it. I just wonder if there is a better way to make sure they don’t get lost onto the floor like that.
The lighting was excellent. I hate playing at places where I can’t see the ball.
Thanks for putting on a great event,
It is a good tournament, I really enjoyed it, thanks for your effort. One suggestion is that most tournaments try to play the final when most people are around so they can watch, that way it is a better environment. Maybe you can try to do that. I greatly support the idea of running a Junior program, we really should have much better programs for kids. Let me know if you need help with coaching.
Also if you have more kids sign up in the future maybe you can have kids under 18 to play the junior events. For example one of my students David Perrine, who is one of the best junior players, will be 15 soon and won’t be able to play the junior event any more, which is a pity. Zach Moy, who won the Junior event this time, is also turning 15. As good as Zach and David are, they are still more suited to play Juniors. Other kids and also learn from their techniques.
Good morning Swavek,
I must say – a wonderful tournament and a great experience for me as a first time participant. So nice that not only I’m looking forward to the next tournament but happily going to spread the word around.
As for suggestions:
1. You’re right, scoreboards and someone sitting so close is a distraction for older generation yet it is nice to know the scores especially for competitive games (at times I noticed that some scorekeepers forgot to make a change showing the # of games one when players switched side). I think the place for scorekeeper is a bit too close to table and realize you can’t help due to space limitations. Also feel that players will get used to it if it becomes a routine – change is always difficult to adjust to, even if it serves a greater good.
2. I’d strongly urge you to move at least the finalists from each division to next division (exception may be juniors group) so from amateur to intermediate and from intermediate to advance. Primary reason – it will help to make it a bit more competitive and will help enhance the game of division finalists as they face a bit tougher competition in the next level. And by the same token, you can drop the last two from each group to a lower group (especially if they haven’t won a single match in their group). I understand your desire to honor individual’s wishes but I feel that will help all participants and everyone will appreciate those that grace the podium, knowing they faced their equals.
3. I agree with the proposed mix and believe that will especially help juniors and seniors.
Swavek, the additional barriers were great. There were not many lets due to errant balls. I suggest having a middle aisle so players and spectators can walk to the back row of tables without walking thru the side courts. Also, I think it would be good to have a few scoring pads to be used on request by players. It would be nice for all final matches(all levels) to have a score keeper.
Mark J. Hoffman
It was my maiden TableTennis tournment and I thoroughly enjoyed the expereince. It was very well planned and executed. The ambience and facilities provided were great.
Unfortunately, our group got the older blue table and we had some difficulties in slower and uneven bounce on few occoasions. Other than that, everything was perfect.
I guess, we could start the tournment slightly earlier in the day, so that it does not go on till late evening. I missed the final match for the advanced group.
Looking forward to the next one in June.
Thank you very much for your extra-ordinary commitment and passion to make these tournaments a great success. The additional partitions did help in keeping the balls in the court and I do believe we should have them in the future events as well. With regards to the score board, I found it quite distracting while playing and hence I prefer not having them but this is just my personal preference.
Thanks once again for all the efforts you put in.
Best regards – DD
Dharma Dumpala (DD)
It’s our first tournament out of hometown, and it was definitely worth the six hour drive round trip. Thank you for the great organization. Although I did wish it could start a little earlier during the day, so we wouldn’t have to drive back almost midnight.
I agree with the two divisions for kids, but I’m not so fond of having a division for woman. There were not many woman players currently, and the top woman player won’t have too much competition at all if she has to stuck with the lower level players. I agree to divide by ratings as Bob Currey suggested, and for kids, they can be rewarded both by age group and by rating group (as they do in Chess tournaments).
Score board is a distraction at the kids group 1 (the youngest group) because some younger kids had hard time to keep up with the score and the players constantly had to stop and correct the score. If it is used, it needs to be supervised.
Again, thanks for a great event.
I just first want to say that you are a fantastic organizer. at the last tournament you just kept everything moving good and kept it smooth. it was so much fun to participate in that tournament. It was my first tournament ever and I loved it. If you didn’t keep on sending me those emails, and I remember you once called me. If you didn’t do that stuff, I don’t know if I would of been there. Thank you. I really appreciate it. I cant wait to go to the next one. I was wondering if you know how I can sign up to become a usatt member. I thought it might be fun to be an official member and know my rank.