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USATT Announces New Membership Programs

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    Posted: 10/10/2020 at 11:06am
I got an email yesterday from USATT about the 2021 membership structure and thought it might be worth discussion.

Looks like the basic annual membership is $25, the "pro" membership is $75, and a tournament pass is $50 per event. At least that how I read it. That structure would make playing in more than one tournament prohibitively expensive, so everyone who wants to play tournaments will probably default to the "Pro" plan. But I can't tell whether the $75 membership covers the extra fee that is usually tacked on for each tournament (probably not). The relevant text from the email is below.

"Under the new program, members can select one of two available annual memberships – “Basic” and “Pro” – depending on each particular member’s playing goals.

The Pro Plan, which will cost $75 per year, will allow the member to play in all USATT Sanctioned Tournaments and Leagues, including the US Nationals and US Open. The Basic Plan, which will cost $25, permits the member to play in 0 – 4 Star Tournaments, which will include a new event – the US Nationals State Qualification Tournament – and USATT Leagues. All members will continue to receive the historical benefits of USATT membership including coverage under an accidental medical insurance policy, voting privileges, travel and sponsor discounts, access to the USATT newsletter, and full access to the complete USATT rating system.

In addition, USATT will continue to offer the Tournament Pass for persons seeking to play in a single tournament. The Tournament Pass will be priced at $20 for juniors and $50 for adults."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote igorponger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/10/2020 at 11:31am
   Got vaccine shot to your FOREARM FLESH? here in Russia you have to be medically treated before entering table tennis event.   

Edited by igorponger - 10/10/2020 at 11:37am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote pongfugrasshopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/10/2020 at 12:18pm
Tournament pass at $50 makes no sense since you can buy a basic membership at $25.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/10/2020 at 1:56pm
The tournament pass would be used if you decided to play in one of the 5 star events to which the $25 membership does not give access.  For example if the only league or tournament you were interested in was US Open, then $50 is better than $75.   Even if you bought the $25 membership with no intention of going to a five star,  you could change your mind and for $75/yr ($25+$50) attend one of the 5 star events.

At least that is how I read it.

Mark
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vince64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/10/2020 at 3:12pm
Originally posted by Odie Odie wrote:

I got an email yesterday from USATT about the 2021 membership structure and thought it might be worth discussion.

Looks like the basic annual membership is $25, the "pro" membership is $75, and a tournament pass is $50 per event. At least that how I read it. That structure would make playing in more than one tournament prohibitively expensive, so everyone who wants to play tournaments will probably default to the "Pro" plan. But I can't tell whether the $75 membership covers the extra fee that is usually tacked on for each tournament (probably not). The relevant text from the email is below.

"Under the new program, members can select one of two available annual memberships – “Basic” and “Pro” – depending on each particular member’s playing goals.

The Pro Plan, which will cost $75 per year, will allow the member to play in all USATT Sanctioned Tournaments and Leagues, including the US Nationals and US Open. The Basic Plan, which will cost $25, permits the member to play in 0 – 4 Star Tournaments, which will include a new event – the US Nationals State Qualification Tournament – and USATT Leagues. All members will continue to receive the historical benefits of USATT membership including coverage under an accidental medical insurance policy, voting privileges, travel and sponsor discounts, access to the USATT newsletter, and full access to the complete USATT rating system.

In addition, USATT will continue to offer the Tournament Pass for persons seeking to play in a single tournament. The Tournament Pass will be priced at $20 for juniors and $50 for adults."
You should probably have also mentioned that starting on Jan 1, 2021 you need to be current usatt member to play in leagues using the usatt league rating system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pongfugrasshopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/11/2020 at 11:18am
Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

The tournament pass would be used if you decided to play in one of the 5 star events to which the $25 membership does not give access.  For example if the only league or tournament you were interested in was US Open, then $50 is better than $75.   Even if you bought the $25 membership with no intention of going to a five star,  you could change your mind and for $75/yr ($25+$50) attend one of the 5 star events.

At least that is how I read it.

Mark
Good point. They've also eliminated the infamous Ratings Access Subscription plan. Overall I like the new membership plan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jfolsen Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/11/2020 at 11:58am
This might fix some small area of concern. The fundamental problem is that having a USATT membership is useless if you don't care to play in sanctioned tournaments. They no longer supply a magazine or any other reason to join if you are not an active tournament player.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pongfugrasshopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/11/2020 at 3:02pm
Originally posted by Dennisun Dennisun wrote:

I am confused about this. I was looking for a club but it seems from above that I have to pay $25 to USATT in addition to other club fees to play at these clubs. Is that correct ?

Or maybe these clubs are free once I pay $25 to USATT ?   That is not bad for a new member.

Because I heard many of these clubs charge like $25 just for one session. Is that true ?

Do I have to pay even if I just want to play ping pong at these clubs or there is no difference ?
  

The $25 annual USATT membership allows you to play in 0-4 star rated tournaments, but you will also need to pay whatever fee that is required to play a particular tournament.  

Fees to play at a club are separate and vary club to club.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pongfugrasshopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/11/2020 at 4:24pm
Originally posted by Dennisun Dennisun wrote:

Originally posted by pongfugrasshopper pongfugrasshopper wrote:

Originally posted by Dennisun Dennisun wrote:

I am confused about this. I was looking for a club but it seems from above that I have to pay $25 to USATT in addition to other club fees to play at these clubs. Is that correct ?

Or maybe these clubs are free once I pay $25 to USATT ?   That is not bad for a new member.

Because I heard many of these clubs charge like $25 just for one session. Is that true ?

Do I have to pay even if I just want to play ping pong at these clubs or there is no difference ?
  

The $25 annual USATT membership allows you to play in 0-4 star rated tournaments, but you will also need to pay whatever fee that is required to play a particular tournament.  

Fees to play at a club are separate and vary club to club.  

I understand and thank you for reply and information
But I am being told that many clubs these days are being pressured by USATT to not allow players to become club members unless they also join USATT. Is that true ? I was told the $25 fee (instead of $75) was a trick to put pressure on players to play in the USATT League and am told USATT wants it cook the books to artificially boost membership statistics to get funding from Olympics committee and sponsors.

I just want to play ping pong and not table tennis and not get involved in all this politics. 
Is that allowed in these clubs  ?
   
I really don't know about the internal politics and what the future of USATT holds, but so far I haven't seen anything about being required to be a USATT member to play at a club.  I'm sure the USATT would love to get all club players to be members, but requiring it does not sound beneficial to club owners trying to attract more customers.  

I'm not sure what you mean by playing ping pong and not table tennis, but it is a table tennis club after all.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Odie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/11/2020 at 4:47pm
I understand and thank you for reply and information
But I am being told that many clubs these days are being pressured by USATT to not allow players to become club members unless they also join USATT. Is that true ? I was told the $25 fee (instead of $75) was a trick to put pressure on players to play in the USATT League and am told USATT wants it cook the books to artificially boost membership statistics to get funding from Olympics committee and sponsors.

I just want to play ping pong and not table tennis and not get involved in all this politics. 
Is that allowed in these clubs  ?
   
[/QUOTE]
I really don't know about the internal politics and what the future of USATT holds, but so far I haven't seen anything about being required to be a USATT member to play at a club.  I'm sure the USATT would love to get all club players to be members, but requiring it does not sound beneficial to club owners trying to attract more customers.  

I'm not sure what you mean by playing ping pong and not table tennis, but it is a table tennis club after all.
[/QUOTE]
Probably impossible to enforce USATT membership at the average club, too.

Edited by Odie - 10/11/2020 at 4:56pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Baal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/11/2020 at 4:50pm
sjan has landed again on Earth.  He was relegated back to his mothership.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BH-Man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/11/2020 at 11:36pm
The Herpes of internet TT talk sites?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FS1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/13/2020 at 7:33am
This is good. I wish I lived in the states still. 

75 dollars vs 25 dollars, most of us just like to play tournaments. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FS1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/13/2020 at 5:16pm
Well with all due respect I am not saying one is necessarily better than the other. I don't think most ppl really care, they just want to play tournaments. 

I used to go to a club where there were some good players that had never played in USATT only played non sanctioned gatherings, so it is kinda funny where you say a person can't play non sanctioned events. 

This isn't a political movement, this is just table tennis haha
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mjamja Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/13/2020 at 5:18pm
Originally posted by SultanP SultanP wrote:

Originally posted by FS1 FS1 wrote:


This is good. I wish I lived in the states still. 

75 dollars vs 25 dollars, most of us just like to play tournaments. 


I researched some of this and on USATT website somewhere it said sanctions can be imposed on players if they play in a non-USATT sanctioned tournament. That  REALLY scared me.
 

I read somewhere on the internet that a U1400 player in Nebraska had played in some unsanctioned "barn" tournaments.  Nebraska's equivalent of "garage TT".  When he showed up to play at Nationals they would not let him play, refused to refund his entry, and confiscated his table tennis equipment.  The latter was a real shame since like most US U1400 players he had 2 Butterfly ZJK SZLC blades with Dignics on both sides and one W698 with National Blue Sponge H3 and Tenergy that both had been touched by Ma Long's personal equipment manager.

Yes, do not mess with the USATT.  You could end up with missing funds, an audit, and the removal of those individuals overseeing your game.  Wait, did that already happen somewhere.

Mark - Tongue firmly in cheek.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/13/2020 at 6:53pm
$25 is better than $75 to play tournaments.  But if they put the 'rating fee' of $7 or $10 per tourney back in, it will be a wash if you play enough times.

Meanwhile the annual fee for leagues has gone from $0 to $25.  This while apmost all the clubs are struggling to stay alive.  Clubs will end up switching to RatingsCentral to avoid losing any of the league players they have left who don't join USATT.

End result will probably be fewer members, less revenue, and lower attendance at Nationals and Open.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vince64 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/13/2020 at 7:46pm
Originally posted by BRS BRS wrote:

$25 is better than $75 to play tournaments.  But if they put the 'rating fee' of $7 or $10 per tourney back in, it will be a wash if you play enough times.

Meanwhile the annual fee for leagues has gone from $0 to $25.  This while apmost all the clubs are struggling to stay alive.  Clubs will end up switching to RatingsCentral to avoid losing any of the league players they have left who don't join USATT.

End result will probably be fewer members, less revenue, and lower attendance at Nationals and Open.
The 25.00 usatt membership covers both playing in tournament 0-4 star and playing in leagues assuming said club is using usatt ratings for their league 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote penholderxxx Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/13/2020 at 8:37pm
" ......., and confiscated his table tennis equipment.  " - mjamja

if he was not allowed to participate or was refused entry, why confiscate ?

Wacko 
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Uhm... Sarcasm. PHxx... Sarcasm.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Odie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/13/2020 at 10:54pm
Mjamja was joking. Don't make us explain....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Odie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/13/2020 at 10:58pm
Originally posted by SultanP SultanP wrote:

Originally posted by mjamja mjamja wrote:

Originally posted by SultanP SultanP wrote:

Originally posted by FS1 FS1 wrote:


This is good. I wish I lived in the states still. 

75 dollars vs 25 dollars, most of us just like to play tournaments. 



I researched some of this and on USATT website somewhere it said sanctions can be imposed on players if they play in a non-USATT sanctioned tournament. That  REALLY scared me.
 



I read somewhere on the internet that a U1400 player in Nebraska had played in some unsanctioned "barn" tournaments.  Nebraska's equivalent of "garage TT".  When he showed up to play at Nationals they would not let him play, refused to refund his entry, and confiscated his table tennis equipment.  

 
I did not know that.  That is pretty scary.  But it puzzles me why & how USATT tracks these players or if USATT was tipped off by someone who did not like this person.  

However I personally am not worried about playing in so called "unsanctioned" tournament because I have not played in any tournament yet. . I also  still do not understand fully what it means.  My bigger concern is about USATT claiming to be some National Governing Body. I do not want to be prosecuted or something if I join another table tennis group. It also puzzled me what other sports are controlled by NGBs. Is it only for Olympic sports ? I for sure don't think they can control American Football or golf for sure as they are not Olympic sport. I also know there is not some Secretary of Sports in (Trump's) cabinet, which would be so funny given Trump and  which is the equivalent of sports ministers in many countries who take large bribes and they will change the rules & policies based on who can give the biggest bribe. 

Also nobody answers when I ask why USATT is trying collect every last penny from its members while USOC, the organization that controls & manipulates USATT has billions of dollars and why can't they give any money to USATT ?   I am not going to be in Olympics and most members (except 2 or 3) are not. So why should I cough up my money ? I don't get it. Especially in a table-tennis-less country like USA, they should be paying me money to become a member and play in tournaments. 


Keep fighting that fight.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote notfound123 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/14/2020 at 12:28am
I don't get it.. what's the big deal? 25 bucks?? which is like 1/3 of what Tenergy/Dignics would cost you. To be able to participate in weekly leagues and almost all tournaments while again being able to access the ratings (finally)? 

Take my money! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cole_ely Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/14/2020 at 7:49am
Originally posted by notfound123 notfound123 wrote:

I don't get it.. what's the big deal? 25 bucks?? which is like 1/3 of what Tenergy/Dignics would cost you. To be able to participate in weekly leagues and almost all tournaments while again being able to access the ratings (finally)? 

Take my money! 

Personally I find the whole mess confusing compared to the old days. I can't even figure out how to go online and pay practically. The website is part of the Olympic website and it's kind of a mess. To me anyway. I don't mind paying
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Originally posted by notfound123 notfound123 wrote:

I don't get it.. what's the big deal? 25 bucks?? which is like 1/3 of what Tenergy/Dignics would cost you. To be able to participate in weekly leagues and almost all tournaments while again being able to access the ratings (finally)? 

Take my money! 

seriously. players in the US can be so damned cheap and then complain about how there is no money or growth in the sport
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BRS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/14/2020 at 11:35am
My point was simply that USATT is giving with one hand, $25 for tournaments down from $75, and taking with the other, $25 to play leagues, up from $0.

The most likely result of this will be to drive leagues off the usatt ratings platform, leading to lower membership and less money for usatt.

I make no comments about whether the amount is reasonable or people are cheap to not want to pay it. From a business decision PoV that doesn't matter.

If a club charges $10 a week for leagues and 10 players out of 100 don't want to join usatt (which they never had to join before), the club loses $5000 a year from those players.  Clubs would be crazy not to switch to a free ratings system or maintain ratings themselves.  

Right or wrong, a lot of people don't play tournaments.  And a lot of people don't pay for things they don't use.  Many people also have a problem paying for things that used to be free.  

Usatt has no plan to grow the sport and never have had.  All the growth has come from clubs and coaches like larrytt said years ago.  Usatt only slices the pie 100 different ways, and every time it gets smaller.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mts388 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/14/2020 at 11:47am
$25 for a year of league play sounds like a very good deal.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10/14/2020 at 12:54pm
I have to wonder if we have the full picture yet.  This seems to simple - and the finances as stated seem a bit shaky.  I suspect they (USATT) will also be imposing something like a "Rating Fee" or some other "per tournament" fee.  They may not do it right away, but I would look for it soon.

There are two things USATT may be after:
1) Increased "Official" membership
2) Increased Revenue

Unless there is a Membership based revenue stream they are trying to tap into - for example USOC doubling their financial assitance if USATT membership reaches "some number" - the finances are pretty clear.

A $25/year for USATT Leagues and all 0 to 4* tournaments membership sounds pretty good overall, but who you are and what you do will determine how good it is for you.

1) For USATT League only folks this will be a $25/year cost increase.  How they react to this will be critical.  If too many players (and clubs) decide to just run "Non-USATT" leagues (Ours has been doing that for at least 10 years), the USATT will neither make much (if any) more money or significantly increase their "Official Membership" numbers.

2) For occasional players (2 or more non 5* tournament per year) this will be a money saver and I would expect most to jump at the opportunity.  I think this group would help boost USATT Membership, but I don't think they will bost it all that much.

3) For "frequent and serious" tournament players (play many tournaments per year with at least 1 being a 5*) this will essentially be a wash (break-even).  I wouldn't expect them to have any problem paying $75/year.  This would also be close to a wash for the 1 tournament per year players, but with the $25 membership.

(Note: This is all wild guessing and "what if"! If there is a membership number they are shooting for to get some other "Bonus" funds (could be USOC, a corporate donor, or some generous individual), that number and the amount of funding matters. If USOC were to agree to give them $1,000,000 if they could get to 10k members, this plan might pay off handsomely.  If they need to get to 20k members, I have my doubts - they would need a BUNCH of League players to make the jump - and even that might not get them there.

As a Tournament Director, I liked the $20 Tournament Passes.  They were easy to explain and tolerable for most.  It was also easy to explain when players would be better off buying a $75 membership. Before the TPs were an option I HATED having to make "occasional tournament folks" buy a $40 USATT Membership, then pay a (I think) $7 Rating Fee before they even looked at event costs.  In my neck of the woods the vast majority of players only play 1 to 3 tournaments per year, and all are 0* to 3*.  If I can JUST sell a $25 membership every year and be done with it, I'd be fine with this - and I think most of my players would be too.  If USATT follows up with a (for example) $10 (or more) "Rating and Processing Fee" per tournament I won't be thrilled.  The ratings process doesn't cost them much and the vast majority of the work is done by the tournament director (and software).

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