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USATT Membership Changes 2020

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    Posted: 09/06/2020 at 1:33am
I never joined USATT because I thought $75 was too high.

I heard recently from someone that USATT is coming up with a $25 / year membership 

Is this a full membership or some kind of trick giving just partial membership ? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vince64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/06/2020 at 10:00am
Originally posted by mahery mahery wrote:

I never joined USATT because I thought $75 was too high.

I heard recently from someone that USATT is coming up with a $25 / year membership 

Is this a full membership or some kind of trick giving just partial membership ? 
I just checked the usatt website and the price for membership was still 75.00. I also heard a while ago that they were going to announce some news about their next grand plan ( after reading through Tim Boggan’s history of TT books this would be about grand plan number 25 to increase participation and membership. Lol) to increase income, participation and membership. I believe one part of the plan was to lower the yearly membership fee but expect the tournament rating fee to be reinstated. What other ideas they have planned I’m not privy to that information.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pongfugrasshopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2020 at 1:56pm
I have no idea what the timeline is for any new policy (if any) to be put in place, but the USATT board discussed this back in July:


Clubs and Leagues Committee Report
Clubs and Leagues Committee Chair Vinod Kambrath introduced Flint Lane, who is a member of the CLC and the owner of Princeton Pong, a New Jersey club with over 200 members and have been involved in the sport of table tennis for about eight years. Mr. Lane noted that the CLC has had more meetings since Vinod took over a couple of months ago than it has in the last three years. The mandate of the CLC is to improve the sport as it is perceived by the clubs, which are extremely important to USATT but also rather variant in the way they are structured. Mr. Lane stated that the CLC is seeking to tackle the problem of how low USATT’s membership is in comparison to other sports, such as tennis. He stated that the big issue is ensuring that USATT offers enough value to its member. Right now, the primary reason for a person to be a USATT member is if that person is going to play tournaments. But only a small percentage of table tennis players are tournament players, so USATT needs to design memberships that provide value to people who play table tennis for reasons other than tournament play. Memberships should be designed for all persons who play the sport. Mr. Lane noted that the CLC believes that a number of elements need to be changed about the USATT membership, including the price point. Lowering the price to $25.00 would attract more persons. Mr. Lane stated that USATT should not consider itself with revenue leakage, because membership revenue is already declining and only creative thinking can turn this around. He stated that the CLC wants to incentivize clubs to encourage all of their members to become members of USATT. He stated that the CLC is prepared to begin developing ideas to help drive table tennis players to become members.


Edited by pongfugrasshopper - 09/07/2020 at 2:23pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2020 at 2:26pm
How many leagues players do not play tournaments? would it be a good idea to make members' leagues matches count towards their usatt rating like in rated tournaments? the only difference is in the additional $2 as a usatt fee ($2 for leagues, $5 for tourneys maybe? whatever...) and in the announcement: "your matches are rated." I imagine people could play rated matches almost every week that way and their rating would be more stable and realistic.
The creativity is in the software solution that will harvest data from tourney/leagues directors. Licencing Omnipong is maybe a 1st step and linking Omnipong to the server that maintain ratings for instant updates in real time would boost membership for sure. All those players who play leagues would be forced to join and they would be probably happy to do it, especially if the clubs eat 1/2 or the leagues' usatt rating fee.


Edited by stiltt - 09/07/2020 at 2:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mts388 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2020 at 4:31pm
Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

How many leagues players do not play tournaments? would it be a good idea to make members' leagues matches count towards their usatt rating like in rated tournaments? the only difference is in the additional $2 as a usatt fee ($2 for leagues, $5 for tourneys maybe? whatever...) and in the announcement: "your matches are rated." I imagine people could play rated matches almost every week that way and their rating would be more stable and realistic.
The creativity is in the software solution that will harvest data from tourney/leagues directors. Licencing Omnipong is maybe a 1st step and linking Omnipong to the server that maintain ratings for instant updates in real time would boost membership for sure. All those players who play leagues would be forced to join and they would be probably happy to do it, especially if the clubs eat 1/2 or the leagues' usatt rating fee.

How many clubs make enough money to subsidize players in league play?  And why should they subsidize players.  One sheet of rubber would cost more than a year of league play.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tofus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2020 at 5:25pm
Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

How many leagues players do not play tournaments? would it be a good idea to make members' leagues matches count towards their usatt rating like in rated tournaments? the only difference is in the additional $2 as a usatt fee ($2 for leagues, $5 for tourneys maybe? whatever...) and in the announcement: "your matches are rated." I imagine people could play rated matches almost every week that way and their rating would be more stable and realistic.
The creativity is in the software solution that will harvest data from tourney/leagues directors. Licencing Omnipong is maybe a 1st step and linking Omnipong to the server that maintain ratings for instant updates in real time would boost membership for sure. All those players who play leagues would be forced to join and they would be probably happy to do it, especially if the clubs eat 1/2 or the leagues' usatt rating fee.

I am very confused about this. 
First of all is this $25  per year announced or yet to be announced ? 
Second, the league rating , if I am not mistaken is a single pass system , whereas tournament rating processing is a multi-pass (4 I think) system. So I would tend to think you cannot mix & match
Third, if you charge me $2 per league night, that is $80 if I play 40 weeks in an year.  If you are going to do that you might as well  leave the membership at $75 and allow players to play in both tournaments and leagues with no additional fee, which will only encourage players to play more in leagues as well as tournaments, which in turn spur more clubs maybe. It is a trade off, I do not know. May be you can offer both options, with a player being allowed to switch to $75 option anytime for following year. 

Also my feeling is that ratings may become eventually free and only a handful of Olympic dreamers will join USATT  & USATT may become extinct  (If it can get any worse LOL) 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2020 at 5:46pm
I didn't know Vinod became the league commitee chair.

I do know that Vinod and his entire TT playing family enjoy playing league matches.

I do know (or at least personally believe) that Vinod would like to see mor participation in organized club play as a part of the TT experience.

I do firmly believe Vinod will bounce a lot of ideas around and that he wants to improve the situation.

I do more firmly believe that players who do not want to pay $25 per year for the obvious benefits of more organized play, recording of matches, and posting of league results ought to have their picture listed to the right of Webster's Dictionary definition of SCROOGE on their next printing. 

Since the clubs who did this and bothered to submit league play results online were doing this for club memebrs for free, some additional value ought to provided (if we are forced to pay, then provide value !), even if it is the media director posting certain metrics of data on the USATT newsletter... like say winner of each group and most significantly improved rating or whatever.

USATT is paying someone to make the online pdf newsletter and they are not working 24/7... there should be a way to import the data into the pdf. Adding this to and emailing a pdf does not significantly improve costs... and the small added costs can be more than made up from league revenue... at least we would be helping the local economy more somewhere.

As for clubs PAYING for some portion of the new proposed league membership fee of $25 a year... most players average more than 26 league nights of participation a year assuming 52 league nights... that is ONE USD per league night. A joker who cannot fork over $1 USD for the benefits of league and absolutely would not join and play league because of $1 USD should cut a tiny portion of their left side, put it on a slide, and look at it under a microscope to detect something - EXCESSIVE SCROOGENESS.

Locally here, when the big club was still open, players had to pay $7 if they were not club members and $5 to play in league play EACH LEAGUE NIGHT they played... before when our big club was open, dude setup tables in a school gym and charged $5 per person... this extra cost of $2 per person to play in a league (that had online results and ratings, but no USATT league afiliation) did not affect how many people played in league... particiation might have slightly improved as the venue was much better.

I echo mts sentiment about his stance against subsidees of this petty cash amount... the annual amount requested for increased benefits of official and recorded organized play is a very tiny portion of a player's annual TT expenditures. 

SO MANY TT players come on the forums with their tongue wagging just ITCHING to buy some D09C, Super ZJK, 968, or whatever gear is hot... and $25 USD doesn't make a dent in any of that. If one examines the true expenditures a TT player makes in a year related to TT, very often it goes over $1,000 USD... $25 is a very small fraction and NOT materially relevant in the financial impact.

There are JOKERS at league who spend over $100 per year just on damned GATORADE to consume at league night and are perfectly happy poisoning themselves this way. (Hey, I spent $4 - $5 on bringing in damn WATER those nights, so all the more)

If there are so damn many people opposed to spending $25 USD a year for the benefits of organized league play, then those jokers ought to wear QUADRUPLE MASK layered with a kg of moistened powdered AJAX for good measure to ensure dude doesn't sneeze and give the rest of us MISER SCROOGE disorder.


Edited by BH-Man - 09/07/2020 at 5:58pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2020 at 6:09pm
Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

How many leagues players do not play tournaments? would it be a good idea to make members' leagues matches count towards their usatt rating like in rated tournaments? the only difference is in the additional $2 as a usatt fee ($2 for leagues, $5 for tourneys maybe? whatever...) and in the announcement: "your matches are rated." I imagine people could play rated matches almost every week that way and their rating would be more stable and realistic.
The creativity is in the software solution that will harvest data from tourney/leagues directors. Licencing Omnipong is maybe a 1st step and linking Omnipong to the server that maintain ratings for instant updates in real time would boost membership for sure. All those players who play leagues would be forced to join and they would be probably happy to do it, especially if the clubs eat 1/2 or the leagues' usatt rating fee.

How many clubs make enough money to subsidize players in league play?  And why should they subsidize players.  One sheet of rubber would cost more than a year of league play.
I just think the rating has a lot of value for a lot of people and that can be played with by bringing the leagues under its umbrella. Already people have to pay to participate in their club's leagues even if they are full time members. Their is a typical weekly prize money for those leagues and it would be easy to either increase the participation fee, decrease prize money or a mix of both for the sake of feeding more the same rating system.
Note that a lot of tournament players would join leagues, especially those who attach a lot of value to their rating and prefer rated matches. A lot of leagues players would join tournaments too if they are forced to get a membership to play leagues and it gives them the right to enter tourneys without a membership.
Bringing in the usatt rated leagues just seems easy to implement and the added USATT fee can be hidden pretty easily. It seems there is no down trying and a lot of ups possible.



Edited by stiltt - 09/07/2020 at 6:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vince64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/07/2020 at 9:07pm
who is Vinod?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2020 at 4:11pm
I think you saw him at the Sacramento tourney last year Vince.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stiltt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2020 at 7:52pm
Originally posted by Tofus Tofus wrote:

Originally posted by stiltt stiltt wrote:

How many leagues players do not play tournaments? would it be a good idea to make members' leagues matches count towards their usatt rating like in rated tournaments? the only difference is in the additional $2 as a usatt fee ($2 for leagues, $5 for tourneys maybe? whatever...) and in the announcement: "your matches are rated." I imagine people could play rated matches almost every week that way and their rating would be more stable and realistic.
The creativity is in the software solution that will harvest data from tourney/leagues directors. Licencing Omnipong is maybe a 1st step and linking Omnipong to the server that maintain ratings for instant updates in real time would boost membership for sure. All those players who play leagues would be forced to join and they would be probably happy to do it, especially if the clubs eat 1/2 or the leagues' usatt rating fee.

I am very confused about this. 
First of all is this $25  per year announced or yet to be announced ? 
Second, the league rating , if I am not mistaken is a single pass system , whereas tournament rating processing is a multi-pass (4 I think) system. So I would tend to think you cannot mix & match
Third, if you charge me $2 per league night, that is $80 if I play 40 weeks in an year.  If you are going to do that you might as well  leave the membership at $75 and allow players to play in both tournaments and leagues with no additional fee, which will only encourage players to play more in leagues as well as tournaments, which in turn spur more clubs maybe. It is a trade off, I do not know. May be you can offer both options, with a player being allowed to switch to $75 option anytime for following year. 

Also my feeling is that ratings may become eventually free and only a handful of Olympic dreamers will join USATT  & USATT may become extinct  (If it can get any worse LOL) 
thanks for reacting, I just wanted to day dream based on that $25 rumor and I thought it was a great idea to lower the membership and increase newcomers. Of course then we need to reinstate the usatt rating fee. and at the time we do that, why not unifying leagues and tourneys? what prevent us from having the same process (1 or 2 passes...whatever...as long as it is all unified i am happy) to update ratings after a leagues match or a tourney match. Some tourneys are just RR just like leagues. 

Separating leagues and tourneys would be useful maybe if the 2 groups were so huge but here it is in everybody interest to simplify, level the playing field, make the system more affordable AND also easier to understand.

It is true that we may have some hidden fees but that's the marketing department's job to make people swallow the pill, and it's a soft one.

Frankly, there are plenty of people who paid the $75 to play only in the nationals and the us open, maybe the teams event in Baltimore. Those would maybe play leagues more often if the matches there were rated the exact same than in tourneys.

We can't overstate how important the rating system is in north america where individualism is pushed all the way. Let's take advantage of this to make tt more popular: open the usatt rating system to the leagues. The only problem? the certification of those who can run leagues. At 1st make them the same who run tournaments...whatever your process is now...easy peasy.

All your observations are very much acute however the big money is not the people who will play leagues 40 times a year. That's a small minority, the addicts. We want to tap in the newbies who play leagues now sometimes, wouldn't care to spend 1 or 2 more bucks because they would see some value in the evolution of their game: now their rating is much more active and so is their tt life.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote notfound123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09/08/2020 at 9:44pm
Leagues aside...

...does anyone know whether they will keep their rating system "locked" i.e. essentially killing all that good historical information as well as sites such as pongmobile? 

If you search, there are a little over 7000 people with ratings visible in the system which is probably 1/10th of the number of active players. I suspect the numbers will drop even more once we go past November which is when Joola Teams normally would take place, i.e. a 1 year renewal anniversary for hundreds and hundreds of people. 

First thing.. they need to bring the rating system back to life.
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