Decatur Table Tennis News

If you can excuse my bragging, I wanted to tell you about winning silver in mixed doubles at the Huntsman World Senior Games. This was my 13th appearance at the games which is held in St. George, Utah every October. My partner is Elena Cornejo from Orange County, CA. The games are for folks 50+ and the competition is fierce!

Huntsman World Senior Games

Results from Archi Open & Upcoming Atlanta Fall Open

A couple of weeks ago, the Archi's Open Tourney was held in Suwanee. The winner of the Masters Division was Susanta Sethy, who has been playing in Decatur. Congrats to him!

Susanta Sethy on the left, Raj Kosaraju (tourney Director) on the right

Speaking of tourneys...please mark your calendars for the Atlanta Fall Open which will be held at Lucky Shoals Park on Sept. 9. For all the information and registration, click HERE.

A couple of weeks ago I, along with assistants Pierre Russell, Patrick Russell, and Adam Lagyak, had my 5th Annual Table Tennis Camp. It was a challenge with a record 25 kids ranging in age from 9 to 15. I suppose at some point I'll be too old to keep this up...but not for a while.

Flyer for a first-time tournament to be held in Suwanee - it is not USATT sanctioned, but there are cash prizes planned.

DeKalb Senior Olympics

On May 2, Decatur once again hosted the DeKalb Senior Olympics table tennis competition. The groups were divided by age (50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s) as well as doubles. You should recognize many of the medal winners.

50s: (left to right) Kurt Simmons (1st), Chris Simoncelli (2nd), Kim Russell (3rd)

60s: (l to r) Warren Moon (2nd), Lennox Drakes (1st), Rene Nielsen (3rd)

70s: (l to r) Charlie Slater (1st), Pierre Russell (3rd), Not Pictured--Cam Coltharp (2nd)

80s: Wendell Dillon (1st)

Doubles: (l to r) Warren Moon & Charlie Slater (2nd), Kurt Simmons & Lennox Drakes (1st), Rene Nielsen & Wendell Dillon (3rd)

DeKalb Senior Olympics -- May 2, Decatur Rec. Center

Once again, Decatur will be hosting the table tennis portion of the DeKalb Senior Olympics. In this case, "Senior" mean 50 years old or older. We will play on Tuesday, May 2, from 6:30 - 10 p.m. (The form incorrectly shows 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.) We should have time for singles and doubles. There are forms in the Rec. Center lobby or you can download the Entry Form here. Please hurry...the deadline is April 15.

New Nets at Decatur Table Tennis

Many thanks to Decatur Active Living for buying us 7 new nets--the "clip on" type. These should make setting up and taking down a lot easier. Also, a HUGE thanks to Dan Marks. He donated that beautiful new silver Donic net. As with all our equipment, please handle these nets with care. Hopefully, they will serve us well for the future.

A Milestone Is Reached

Finally, I want to brag about a milestone reached by Decatur Table Tennis. We reached 500 people on my newsletter distribution list. Number 500 was Chris Gottilla. I presented him with a gift more precious than gold: a sleeve of Nittaku 40+ Poly balls. (Have you priced them lately?)

You may have noticed 2 new tables in the gym. We are hosting a Paralympic Table Tennis program from Blaze Sports. Please do not use these tables during our sessions. They are for Paralympic use only. Also, they will be sharing space with us on Sundays (part of the time), so please show all courtesies to the program.

I always encourage our players to join the USATT and get a rating by attending a sanctioned tournament. Our friends at Lucky Shoals will have the "2016 Atlanta Open" on Saturday, Sept. 24. To get the entry blank, click here


How often do you get to play table tennis? Maybe 2 or 3 times a week, if you’re lucky? How about EVERY DAY FOR OVER 3 YEARS? Will Shortz owns the Westchester Table Tennis Center (just north of NYC). Besides being the crossword editor for the NY Times, he is an avid ponger. Check out the record he’s setting–perhaps bound for the Guinness World Records:

Will Shortz Record

Three Taverns Brewery Table Tennis Tournament

Back in February we had the first Three Taverns Brewery Table Tennis Tournament. It was such a success, we are going to have “Round 2″ on Saturday, June 25, 1 p.m. I urge you to sign up soon because last time we reached our maximum and had to turn folks away. All the pertinent scoop can be found here:
3 Taverns Brewery Tourney

In other matters, I want to remind everyone that on Thursday nights, all play should end at 9:45 p.m. This allows the Rec. Center crew time to clean up and be out by 10 p.m. All the equipment (tables, nets, etc.) we use is made possible by the Active Living Dept. of Decatur. PLEASE show respect to all their personnel.
See you at the tables!

New outdoor table, Lucky Shoals Tournament June 4

I want to again remind you of the tournament on June 4 at Lucky Shoals Park (south Gwinnett County). The entry must be received by this Saturday, so act quickly!

Finally, I want to make you all aware of the concrete ping-pong table installed in Glenlake Park (off Church St. in Decatur). It is not only a functioning table (regulation dimensions), but an art sculpture! It plays very much like a regular table except, when the ball hits the stainless steel net, chances are it’s not going over! I was involved in the discussions to get the table for Decatur and the city showed its appreciation by mounting a plaque in my honor. Forgive my lack of humility, but I was so moved that I wanted to share pictures with you.

Outdoor Table

Table Plaque

Upcoming Tournaments

Fellow Pongers:
I am always encouraging you to join the USATT and go to “sanctioned” tournaments. This way you can get a rating and play others within your rating group. The club at Lucky Shoals is having one of their Giant Round Robin Tournaments on Saturday, June 4. They run great tournaments,

Decatur has been having its own “Friendly Tourneys” and the latest had Kevin Li the winner (who is from Oklahoma City and just happened to be here on business). The runner-up is our own Mark Johnson. Congrats to both.

Dekalb Senior Olympics

On May 10, Decatur again hosted the DeKalb Senior Olympics. Great fun and competition was had by all. The pictures below are as follows:

50s Event: Paul Hett (2nd), Kim Russell (1st)

60s Event: Carol Rhodes (2nd), Lennox Drakes (1st), David Kuechenmeister (3rd)

70s Event: John Karp (3rd), Pierre Russell (2nd), Charlie Slater (1st)

Table Tennis Camp

Fellow Pongers:
Charlie Slater will again lead a Table Tennis Camp at Decatur Rec. Center from June 27 to July 1, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Last year, we had 21 kids and everyone had a great time. Check out the photos:

T.T. Camp 2015

Helping Charlie will be George Cooper and Mark Knight plus others. To learn more about the camp and to learn how to register, go to pages 15 and 16 of the Playbook:

Decatur Recreation Playbook

Lots of news to report!

Fellow Pongers:
First, George Cooper was well enough to show up for last Sunday’s session. I was pleased to give him the $610 you folks so generously amassed. Hopefully, this will help George with some of his expenses after his bout with pneumonia. Many thanks to all!

Next, the “friendly” tourney we had at Decatur Rec. on Jan. 31 was such a success, we are having another one THIS SUNDAY. Please sign up by 10:30 a.m. It will be round robin with winners advancing to single elimination.

Finally, I had the pleasure of running a tourney for Three Taverns Brewery (121 New St., Decatur) last Saturday. It was their first attempt and it went so well, they are thinking about having a tourney every quarter or so. We had 45 players and had to turn away 5 “stand-by” players (45 was our maximum).

The first photo shows (left to right) Gardner Dale (3rd place), Charlie Slater (tourney director), and Calvin Lam (1st place). Not pictured is Blair Wilson (2nd place). Plan on joining us for the next tourney.