Alex Table Tennis - MyTableTennis.NET Homepage
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Blank spots of the sport history 1954-1959.
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

tabletennis11.com
Forum Home Forum Home > General > General

Blank spots of the sport history 1954-1959.

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
igorponger View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 07/29/2006
Location: Russian Federation
Status: Online
Points: 1972
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Blank spots of the sport history 1954-1959.
    Posted: 04/17/2017 at 1:40pm
THE SPORT HISTORY BLANK SPOTS.

QUERY.
Why did Hiroji Sato, World Sensation 1952, had no folllowers in Europe? Nobody dare to try a sponged paddle after him, why?

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.old.ittf.com/museum/ColinEvolution.pdf

There were no specific restrictions on the racket/covering composition till the year 1959.
Since 1959 the Rules prescribed that
-- Racket blade must be of wood
and any covering must be either
single pimpled rubber, with pimples
out, or sandwich rubber, with pimples in or out.

QUERY.
So, my vexed question is
   --Was the sandwiched rubber in use prior to 1959 and by whome, and for which events?

It looks like pingpang lady of Japan by name Watanabe did use sponged pimple-out at the Worlds 1955, 1956 ,1957.   Had Ichiro Ogimura been patronised by Tamasu and playing with a customized out-pimples sandwich rubber ?

http://pingpangshijie.1she.com/4434/105191.html

Since 1961, TEMPEST D13, inverted rubber sandwich by Tamasu Tokio Co. practically dominated the rubber market.   

http://tabletennis-reviews.com/manufacturers/butterfly/butterfly-company-profile/

]QUERY
Here again, I want my question answered
-- What rubbers did the Japanese competitors use while at the Worlds during the period of 1954-1959 ???   Could it be Tamasu production? Some pazzled question, indeed..

What I learned by now, Hiroji Sato 1952 Title Holder, used thick single layer of heat-insulation sponge, he picked up from some car workshop.
https://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/佐藤博治
Back to Top
rosecitytt View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 06/28/2015
Location: NA
Status: Offline
Points: 301
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rosecitytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2017 at 2:32pm
That's interesting about Satoh Hiroji, because they call that 軟式卓球(Soft table tennis), maybe because of thesponge rubber, the era after hardbat.
One Ply Penhold
FH:SP
BH:Tenergy 05FX
Back to Top
ChichoFicho View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 06/24/2009
Location: Earth
Status: Offline
Points: 1833
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChichoFicho Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2017 at 2:45pm
After Sato all Japanese champions used inverted rubbers - Ogimura, Tanaka, Itoh and finally Ono. The only exception is Mitsuru Kohno who used thin sponge Spectol.

Edited by ChichoFicho - 04/17/2017 at 2:46pm
Darker Speed 70

Hammond FA Speed

Tyotokusen
Back to Top
igorponger View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 07/29/2006
Location: Russian Federation
Status: Online
Points: 1972
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2017 at 6:44pm
EURICA!!
Mr. Steve Grant, dedicated sport historian of USA, did a lot of researching work and he found out many interesting facts from the early years of table tennis.    

SPONGED RUBBERS. FACTS ASSURED TRUE.
-- Japanese world champions, Tanaka 1955, Ogimura 1957 both used sandwich inverted made by Armstrong Takkyu Manufacturer.

Even more amazing knowledge can be found from this article. Read the article closely, it is a worthy reading , somewhat painstaking though..
TTC 75, page 12 -24 shreds light on many buried facts of the early sponged racket.    Table Tennis Collector web-magazine is to make you an accomplished Erudite.
Be happy.

http://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http://www.old.ittf.com/museum/TTC75.pdf&embedded=true
Back to Top
jfolsen View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 03/15/2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 374
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfolsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2017 at 8:10pm
Ok, if we are throwing in some sponge history here we go.

From History of US Table Tennis: Bernie Bukiet wins the 1957 US Open. In the 1958 US Open Bernie runs into Eddie Record in the round of 16. Bernie describes his opponents racket as "two sides of thick foam, like the kind you sit down on a chair. You can't hear the sound, I never play against this." Record beats Bernie in straight sets, 5, 14, 17.

Interestingly, the USTTA (now USATT) bans sponge for a one year trial period that fall, hard bat only (not even sandpaper.)

I actually met Eddie Record and had several conversations with him. He was firmly convinced that sponge ruined the game. He thought it wrecked television viewing and exhibitions, many players back then made their living traveling around barnstorming.


Edited by jfolsen - 04/17/2017 at 8:21pm
Back to Top
berndt_mann View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 02/02/2015
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Status: Offline
Points: 1588
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2017 at 9:58pm
"What a mess!" (Victor Barna)

Steve Grant's article should be mandatory reading for any table tennis player who is curious about the development of sponge rubber, its history, its effectiveness and ineffectiveness,  and the standardization of the coverings permissible on a table tennis racket, due to a compromise though the majority of the member nations of the ITTF initially were in favor of maintaining ordinary pimpled rubber (hard rubber), in 1959.  Although ITTF President Ivor Montagu, himself a player who used a spongelike surface on his own racket apparently when a player, had his misgivings about the adaptation of sponge rubber in any manner and expressed them in an article to, I believe, the English Standardisation Committee.

Master Barna and Mr. Montagu, thou shouldst both be living at this hour to witness what table tennis has become in the fifty-eight years since the compromise leading to the standardization of table tennis rubbers was passed.   I suspect that Eddie Record, prehistoric sponge player, victor over Bernie Bukiet at the 1958 U.S. Open, and later, according to jfolsen convinced that sponge was ruining the table tennis he knew, were he alive (he may be, for all I know), would be flabbergasted, dumbfounded, appalled, apoplectic, aghast.  

A terrible beauty is born?  Or the birth of a hopefully benign but eventually carcinogenic mutant that no one at the time, not even the Armstrong Takkyu Co., could have foreseen.
Back to Top
Baal View Drop Down
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator


Joined: 01/21/2010
Location: unknown
Status: Offline
Points: 11941
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2017 at 10:41pm
Originally posted by berndt_mann berndt_mann wrote:

I suspect that Eddie Record, prehistoric sponge player, victor over Bernie Bukiet at the 1958 U.S. Open, and later, according to jfolsen convinced that sponge was ruining the table tennis he knew, were he alive (he may be, for all I know), would be flabbergasted, dumbfounded, appalled, apoplectic, aghast. 


Or maybe he would love the speed and shear athleticism of the modern game, and the dynamic possibilities of spin that the modern game presents.  We will never know.  But let's imagine this is true. Who cares what he thought?  Things changed in 19fiftyfricking nine!!!  That was then and this is now.  I think the game of that era is quaint at best.  Like cars with fins.  (By the way, I am old enough to have actually seen Bernie Bukiet play, and while the guy was already pretty old by that time, he had some of the most ugly strokes I have ever seen, and if that is someone's idea of esthetics in the sport, I pity them).  And 60 years from now?  What I think now won't matter then.

 
Back to Top
zeio View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member


Joined: 03/25/2010
Status: Offline
Points: 5164
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2017 at 10:44pm
"he had some of the most ugly strokes I have ever seen"
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
Back to Top
Baal View Drop Down
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator


Joined: 01/21/2010
Location: unknown
Status: Offline
Points: 11941
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2017 at 10:52pm
Zeio, don't forget this part.  It is just as important.

"if that is someone's idea of esthetics in the sport, I pity them"
Back to Top
zeio View Drop Down
Premier Member
Premier Member


Joined: 03/25/2010
Status: Offline
Points: 5164
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote zeio Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/17/2017 at 10:58pm
My bad.
Viscaria FL - 91g
+ Neo H3 2.15 Blk - 44.5g(55.3g uncut bare)
+ Hexer HD 2.1 Red - 49.3g(68.5g 〃 〃)
= 184.8g
Back to Top
berndt_mann View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 02/02/2015
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Status: Offline
Points: 1588
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 1:50am
Things did indeed change in nineteen-fifty-frickin'-nine, but simply stating that which is true begs the question of why was it necessary for the sport of table tennis to change.  What exactly was wrong with the table tennis of Leach, Sido, Miles, Reisman and Bergmann that merited or necessitated a change?  And why, particularly since the year 2000, have the changes to competitive table tennis been so drastic that virtually all of the Western Hemisphere is unfamiliar with its present rules and techniques, fascinating or no to those who do play competitively?  

I suspect that players such as Ogimura and Tanaka could have been as successful playing with orthodox pimpled rubber as they were with Armstrong sandwich sponge.  And Zoltan Berczik, one of the best choppers of the mid-1950s might well have become better known outside of Hungary.

As for your thinking that pre-1959 table tennis was at best "quaint", you are entitled to your opinion, as I am to mine.  But bear in mind that you are writing about a version of table tennis that you have never played, and were never taught by a nationally ranked player.  I have and I was.  A hypothetical to be sure, but how would the old you play against the old Bernie Bukiet, a member of the USATT Hall of Fame, ugly strokes and all, if you had to use a racket covered with rubber similar to his?

I am, at age 75, perhaps the oldest contributor to this forum.  And I'll wager I've seen Bernie Bukiet playing in person more times than you have.  Bukiet used to come several times a year to both Danny Vegh's Cleveland club in the early '60s and Dal Joon Lee's Columbus club in the early '70s to play against their best players, in particular Vegh, Potiker and Lippai (Cleveland), and Dal Joon Lee, Insook Bushan (Na), and John Tannehill. 

I'll grant that the strokes of today's best players are aesthetically pleasing.  Today's table tennis, however, in the manner it's played, puts me in mind of the Rocky movies of the '70s in which Rocky and his opponents Apollo Creed, Clubber Lang, Ivan Drago, exchange blows that would fell an ox and get up and do the same thing all over again.


Edited by berndt_mann - 04/18/2017 at 2:01am
Back to Top
heavyspin View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member


Joined: 08/16/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 776
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 8:51am
A lot of table tennis information from 1954 to 1959 was expunged from the records, or shall I say ex-sponged.
Back to Top
cje View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 04/13/2011
Location: edinburgh
Status: Offline
Points: 354
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cje Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 9:45am
This report on the 1956 Scottish National Championships indicates the kind of chaos that sponge players created:

https://www.facebook.com/MurrayfieldTTC/posts/1297071347014039
http://www.murrayfieldtt.com/



YEO/ Galaxy E-3/ FH: Skyline III Neo / BH: Palio HK 1997
Back to Top
Baal View Drop Down
Forum Moderator
Forum Moderator


Joined: 01/21/2010
Location: unknown
Status: Offline
Points: 11941
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 10:54am
Originally posted by berndt_mann berndt_mann wrote:

But bear in mind that you are writing about a version of table tennis that you have never played, and were never taught by a nationally ranked player. 


True and so what.  I may not be 75 but I am still among the oldest 5% of posters here without question, and throughout my competitive days as a junior in the early 70s the vast majority of serious players used inverted rubbers -- lots of Sriver or Mark V.  By 1972 hard sponge was already an anachronism.  Guys like Bernie Bukiet and Houshang Bazorghzadeh were notable almost entirely for the fact that they still played with hardbats.  (And Houshang, I should add, for being an unusually nice guy and I did see him many times).  We also live in miraculous days of the internet where videos of players from nearly every era can be seen. 

Table tennis didn't die in 1959.  The fact that hucksters like Marty Riesman weren't able to barnstorm anymore means nothing.  Vaudeville was dead too.  Did inverted rubber kill that too?  That argument would be equally rational.  In the year 2017 there are many more ways for people to spend their leisure time than at any point in history.

There are different ways you can approach aging.  There is one group who says "back in my day..." followed by a bunch of complaining, often referring to a past that their mind has modified through the passage of time (or oddly in Berndt's case when he writes about things before his time as if he misses it).  Anti-inverted rubber whiners who fall in that group have annoyed me since the 1970s.  There is another group that cheers advances as they age, like an internet that allows modern players to see for themselves what 1930s table tennis looked like.  I for one can't think of anything much more exciting than a match between FZD and Ma Long for high stakes, or Miu Hirano against any top Chinese woman player right now.  Her match against Ding Ning last week is an instant classic.  I would have thought that as I hit my 60th birthday that I would be through with hearing complaints about how sponge messed up the game.   Evidently not.
Back to Top
heavyspin View Drop Down
Silver Member
Silver Member


Joined: 08/16/2005
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 776
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote heavyspin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 11:28am
Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

By 1972 hard sponge was already an anachronism
To add to that point, ESPN aired a US Open from Miami Beach around 30 years ago. As I recall, special guest Stellan Bengtsson was presented with a few rackets: an inverted, a pips out (with sponge), and a hardbat. He discussed basic characteristics, advantages/disadvantages. When presented with the hardbat, Stellan reacted "This is from the dinosaurs." 
Back to Top
igorponger View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 07/29/2006
Location: Russian Federation
Status: Online
Points: 1972
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 5:05pm
Some more useful knowledge taken from Steve Gordon's comprehensive publication, TTC75.
This erudite article filled in many gaps in my brain store..


"SPONGED RACKETS. CONQUEST OF THE WORLD" by Steve Gordon USA

Yet, in the right hands, sponge proved to be a very efficient attacking weapon.   Yugoslavia’s star Zarko Dolinar (right), another penholder, using a “massive" sponge bat he won the English Open in 1955 and had great success at the world championships in 1954 and ‘55.
Another sponge player who won the 1954 world singles championship, Japanese attacker Ichiro Ogimura, but only after he reasonably switched from thick sponge to thin 2mm for improved control. The losing finalist, fellow sponger Tage Flisberg of Sweden, said later, “I have always been called an attacking player…that is a reason I like sponge. You MUST be a good attacker to win with it…”    But one witness said it was the worst men’s singles final he had ever seen, too many kill shots, “devoid of rallies.” Too much offense or too much defense---sponge match-ups could go to either extreme!

Tage Flisberg of Sweeden, 36yo, had revitalized his game with sponge. Here’s a rough partial translation of this cartoon, from a few months before he made the ’54 finals:
--“The ’52 world title was won by a second-level Japanese named Satoh --- using sponge.
One naturally wondered how a top player would fare with sponge.
Indeed---it turns out that Flisberg is beating the likes of Bergmann and Leach match after match.”

Sponge variations seemed limitless. At that 1954 Worlds, “Some players had inset panels of finer sponge in the middle of coarse sponge,” reported an Australian newspaper. “It gave a different kind of spin to the ball, depending on what part of the bat came into contact.”

One Japanese sponge was borrowed from military industry works: It was a closed-cell type mainly used to seal tanks of fighter aircrafts, according to the Butterfly Company website. Perhaps that inspired Harada’s Armstrong Co. to name its sponge bat “New Arms”? (See its 1953 ad pictured in the previous issue of TTC publication, page 17.)

Hungary yet again changed its tune. They “decided to experiment with sponge bats,” said an article in the Times of India, “and a Hungarian sports goods factory has, after long months of research, produced a sponge rubber bat based on specifications brought back by the Hungarian team from Wembley, the ’54 Worlds."


NEW ZEALAND FUGLEMEN.
Down the Globe in New Zealand, the first sponger seems to have been Stan Stewart, who made his own heavy sponge racket in the 1930s.   In 1954, NZ had its first sponger singles champ, Bob Jackson, who had brought back several sponge bats from the ’54 Worlds. Jackson’s “tools of the trade" included a bat with soft foam, another ‘waffle-patterned’ to counter chop, and a harder, flat surfaced sponge bat to deal with the faster ball. He…was soon manufacturing sponge bats himself and advising and supplying other
people.”


Edited by igorponger - 04/18/2017 at 5:17pm
Back to Top
berndt_mann View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 02/02/2015
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Status: Offline
Points: 1588
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 5:46pm
(Baal)  Table tennis didn't die in 1959.  The fact that hucksters like Marty Riesman weren't able to barnstorm anymore means nothing.  Vaudeville was dead too.  Did inverted rubber kill that too?  That argument would be equally rational.  In the year 2017 there are many more ways for people to spend their leisure time than at any point in history.

No, table tennis did not die in 1959.  Who said it did? 

Table tennis did, however, change over the several decades since 1959 from a sport which competitors of all levels competed with rackets and rubbers which were simple for beginners to use (they still are, if you are a recreational level player who plays with grandpa's old rackets) but in the hands of competitive players to world class players permitted a  far more equal balance between a predominantly attacking approach (example: that "huckster" Reisman) and a predominantly defensive approach (examples: the World Champions Bergmann and Leach) than the post-1959 table tennis of Zhuang Zedong to the 2017 table tennis of Ma Long and Fan Zhendong.

"Vaudeville was dead too.  Did inverted rubber kill that too?"

Vaudeville was already on life support by the early 1930s due to alternative entertainment provided by motion pictures.  Irrelevant, immaterial, and impertinent to table tennis, Your Honor.  Sustained.
Inverted rubber did not kill table tennis.  There is more than circumstantial evidence however to indicate that it did harm table tennis with respect to the number of competitive players on our side of the pond.  
Roughly 10,000 members of USATT in a nation of nearly three hundred and thirty million?  Come on.

(Baal)  There are different ways you can approach aging.  There is one group who says "back in my day..." followed by a bunch of complaining, often referring to a past that their mind has modified through the passage of time (or oddly in Berndt's case when he writes about things before his time as if he misses it).  Anti-inverted rubber whiners who fall in that group have annoyed me since the 1970s.  There is another group that cheers advances as they age, like an internet that allows modern players to see for themselves what 1930s table tennis looked like.

Yes there are different ways one can approach aging.  I approach aging as someone with a neurological condition I have put up with for ten years, a twice broken upper right arm and dislocated shoulder which ended effectively my right-handed table tennis career, a healed dislocated left elbow, a small area in my brain which indicates that probably in 2005 I suffered a mild stroke, a recovered depressive, and despite living in an assisted living home and not having much in the way of disposable income an extroverted attitude and a liking for iced tea.

Now.  Am I a member of a group who says "back in my day?" (your quotes, and your words put into my mouth).  No.  I don't go around saying that.  Do I write about things before my time as though I missed them.  Oh Hell yes.  Both as table tennis player and musician.  It is quite possible and hardly a sin to wax nostalgic about the play of Barna, Bergmann, Vana, Sido, Reisman, Miles, Aarons, Rozeanu et al. even though their era was done either before I took up table tennis or was a kid back in the late '40s-early -50s.  I also miss the compositions of everybody from the early renaissance lutenist Albert de Rippe to the spiky compositions of Theolonious Sphere Monk.  Do you not appreciate anything that happened before you were born?

I am presently typing this response over the Internet on a laptop computer.  A blanket and smoke signals did not seem to get anyone's attention.  It is a good thing for modern players to see for themselves what 1930s table tennis looked like.  Perhaps they will learn that table tennis did not begin with Jan-Ove Waldner, or if younger, Zhang Jike. Ma Long, Fan Zhendong and Xu Xin.  I do not disparage all advances as I age, Baal, just those that have turned the sport that attracted me to it 57 years ago to a one-sided contest likely to be attractive to those who play it and to a greater or lesser extent understand it.  I do not believe that this includes the general global public, possibly even in China, a nation of approximately one billion three hundred million people.  What percentage of them play competitive table tennis at the level at which it is defined in China?


Edited by berndt_mann - 04/18/2017 at 6:24pm
Back to Top
geardaddy View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 11/14/2013
Location: Minnesota
Status: Offline
Points: 362
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geardaddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 6:47pm
Glory goes to those in sports that can "change the game"....

Wayne Gretzky changed the game of Hockey by showing that speed and outstanding passing and stick-handling skill could out-pace the physical play of the day.

Olga Korbut changed the sport of women's gymnastics by introducing dynamic athletic movements.

Jack Nicklaus changed the sport of Golf with exceptionally long drives and more precise putting than had been seen before (and Tiger Woods brought yet another bump in these areas).

The early sponge players changed the game of Table Tennis with equipment that provided new capabilities.  Waldner changed the game again with superior tactics along with some new innovations in technique (i.e. serving, mixed all-around defensive/offensive skills).

So accept that change happens in sport.  The Chinese didn't sit on their bums and complain, rather they responded to changes that came along.  It's inevitable.  Deal with it.


Back to Top
berndt_mann View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 02/02/2015
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Status: Offline
Points: 1588
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 6:56pm
Originally posted by heavyspin heavyspin wrote:

Originally posted by Baal Baal wrote:

By 1972 hard sponge was already an anachronism
To add to that point, ESPN aired a US Open from Miami Beach around 30 years ago. As I recall, special guest Stellan Bengtsson was presented with a few rackets: an inverted, a pips out (with sponge), and a hardbat. He discussed basic characteristics, advantages/disadvantages. When presented with the hardbat, Stellan reacted "This is from the dinosaurs." 


From John Tannehill, Hall of Famer and as graceful a hardbat player and all-round player with inverted sponge as the United States has produced (www.hardbat.com)

These thoughts and others entered my mind as I yawned with boredom at watching the world champion (Bengtsson) play in Lapland. It wasn't that he was any less of a great player than I thought, but that his strategy never varied--the serve, loop, and kill were easily executed with an unbelievable consistency and technique that were anathema to the senses. He has trained his body as seriously as any astronaut, but his title would vanish without his space weapon, the Stellan Bengtsson Mark V bat.

There could be no tragedy in his style resembling the moral suffering of a Marty Reisman who has remained faithful to the sensual style of the game despite technological inventions. Once an anti-Stellan Bengtsson Mark V bat is developed, what will Stellan do then? Will he finally see his own absurdity and revert to rubber, or will he continue his false struggle to combat technology with better technology?

Whatever happens, the personal aura of Marty Reisman remains, and the memory of the game's one-time greatness with the spectators does too. Are they not in the end to judge a player's worth with their thumbs up or down?

As you know John, my friend of thirty-five years and my sometime hb to hb sparring partner, an "anti-Stellan Bengtsson Mark V bat" did not happen, and an anti-Ma Long or (name your male or female young gun of the CNT) has yet to happen either.

The dinosaurs lost.  Even Tage Flisberg, the Stellan Bengtsson of the 1950s though a finalist and not a World Champion, went over to sponge.  Still, those dinosaurs were magnificent while they lasted.

Later on, according to MYTT table tennis historian roundrobin, armadillos took up the game.  He cited petroglyphs of armadillos wielding racket like thingies batting a ball back and forth.

And we all thought that table tennis began as a parlor pastime or a way for bored British servicemen stationed in faraway lands to relieve boredom and have a little fun.  No sir.  Table tennis is hundreds of millions old, and we have the estimable Mr. Bengtsson's word to vouch for that.




Edited by berndt_mann - 04/19/2017 at 12:11am
Back to Top
igorponger View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 07/29/2006
Location: Russian Federation
Status: Online
Points: 1972
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/18/2017 at 9:01pm
Hiroji Satoh original racket as used at the 1952 World Champs, Bombay






http://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=http://www.old.ittf.com/museum/TTC72.pdf&embedded=true
Back to Top
berndt_mann View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 02/02/2015
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Status: Offline
Points: 1588
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2017 at 11:18am
(geardaddy)  So accept that change happens in sport.  The Chinese didn't sit on their bums and complain, rather they responded to changes that came along.  It's inevitable.  Deal with it.

Change is a neutral term.  It can be for good or for ill.

When hidden serves and speed gluing were banned, not only the Chinese, but almost all of the world's professional players and many of the world's competitive players switched to boosters from speed glues and changed their service motions so that that were totally are partially hiding contact by using their head, hips, waist, or other parts of their anatomy. 

This was, for the most part, the world wide table tennis community's response to those changes.

On April 1, the ITTF announced that as of October of this year the net would be raised 1 centimeter and as of January 1, 2018 the size of a table would be increased to 6 meters in length by 3.5 meters in width.  An April Fool's day joke?  Probably, but the announcement, last time I looked two days ago, is still part of the ITTF General News archives.

Let's suppose that these two changes were actually to come about.  How would you who still play competitively feel like dealing with them?  In other words, what would it take for you to realize that not all change is for the good and not all change need be inevitable and not all change need be put up with?


Edited by berndt_mann - 04/19/2017 at 11:19am
Back to Top
geardaddy View Drop Down
Super Member
Super Member


Joined: 11/14/2013
Location: Minnesota
Status: Offline
Points: 362
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote geardaddy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2017 at 2:28pm
Berndt, I didn't say that all change was good and that we should accept it no matter what.  The game constantly evolves and sorts out what is good or bad over time.

Contrary to the myopic and skewed view held by certain members on this forum, the sport of Table Tennis is not falling apart over rules changes, cheating serves, et al.  I think most participating in the sport sees these issues as being minor bickering.  The general public is not even aware of these so-called serious issues in the sport.  The sky is not falling.  Most players and spectators like the modern game, and are quite pleased and entertained.

So, I am not going to even try changing your view that the old hardbat game was better than the modern TT game.  Complete waste of time.  Go ahead, keep the fires burning.  I don't care.  But accept that MOST people involved in the game today don't agree with you.

I have tremendous respect for the old hardbat champions, or any champions within their era.  What would happen if the greats from long ago played the greats of today - who really knows?  We can make lots of guesses about who was "better", but it's nothing but a thought experiment.

The thing in particular that draws my ire though is when you and your ilk disparage those who play the modern game, as if they don't deserve respect, their equipment is a crutch for their success, blah, blah, blah.  To me it's tremendously rude and disrespectful.  Frankly these statements by Tannehill etc are sad and pathetic.

Whatever.  It's not useful to waste any more breath on your lost cause.
Back to Top
berndt_mann View Drop Down
Gold Member
Gold Member
Avatar

Joined: 02/02/2015
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Status: Offline
Points: 1588
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote berndt_mann Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04/19/2017 at 5:59pm
Those statements by Tannehill were an observation as he trained in Lapland in 1971.  Bengtsson had just won the World TT Singles Championship.  John was 19 then and the second best player in the country behind Dal Joon Lee. 

That was forty-six years ago.

And who, geardaddy, are my "ilk"?  The late Mr. Reisman, whose eloquence in disparaging "the modern game" before he died December 7, 2012 was far more pungent than my own?  Greg Letts, the moderator of the much missed about.com forum, who recently changed to hardbat against all comers and recently stated that he's doing, all things considered, quite well with it?  Ever seen Greg's "Sports Interrogation" animated sendup?  It might change your mind about the shenanigans affecting the current sport and the changes made to it in particular by former ITTF President Adham Sharara.  It's also funny as hell.

As for rudeness and disrespect, the version of the sport that I learned and played in the final years of my career has been called slow, unathletic and obsolete, by some members of this forum and the rec.sport.table-tennis and about.com forums, when the about.com forum existed.  That version, whether played in the 1930s or played in 2017, was and is neither.

As for cheating with respect to serving and boosting rubbers, well yeah it's illegal and not very nice, no matter who does it.  But who cares?  Let's bring back finger- and knucklespin serves and see how well they work with inverted sponge.  Cheating?  We don't see no stinkin' cheating!  Talk about myopia!

On one point you are quite rignt.  The general public doesn't give a Censored about rules changes, rubbers, $400 blades, Ma Long's body core rotation or any of that jazz, because they don't know about all these things so dear to members of table tennis forums, and if they did know, might shrug their collective shoulders and say......whatever.  The world in general isn't interested in table tennis.  That's a shame, but constantly changing the way the sport is played isn't going to make the world, or at least those in the world who are sports fans of whatever sport any more interested.

My "lost cause" is doing pretty well, thank you, since it has no ITTF or Ministry of Sport support.  Have you been to the National Championships or the U.S. Open lately?
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.156 seconds.
Mark all posts as read :: Delete cookies set by this forum

Cookies and JavaScript must be enabled on your web browser in order to use this forum


Copyright © 2003-2013 MyTableTennis.NET - All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer