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USA Table Tennis

Finding a place to play is often one of the most difficult problems to solve in starting a table tennis club. It would be great to find a building fulfilling the requirements listed below. However, take what you can get to get started and keep looking for a better place.

Facility Requirements

Low Cost - This means that you will be looking for some kind of public building (i.e., city auditorium, school gym, or church basement). To provide funds for rental, it may be necessary to have a small per-night playing fee collected from each player.

Physical Attributes - The minimum floor space for each table is 25 feet long by 13 feet wide. The ceiling should be no less than 10 feet high and uncluttered over the playing area. Wood floors are best, tile next, and then concrete (avoid carpet). Make arrangements to have access to a dry mop and a wet mop to clean the floor before and after you play. A clean floor will benefit the players, and the building proprietor will appreciate the club's efforts in caring for the building.

Usually, you can do little to increase the lighting in a public building. It won't hurt to ask if you can clean the fixtures and install higher wattage bulbs. Incandescent lights are preferable over fluorescent, and all lights should be shade if possible.

Make sure the playing site has restrooms.

Availability

Most clubs like to meet at least twice a week. Regardless of how often you meet, regularity is imperative. A table tennis club can't be successful if it doesn't have a regular meeting night and time that the members can rely on and that can be promoted to the public.

How to Find a Place

If your city has a parks and recreation department, this is the first place to go. Frequently, the recreation director is responsible for a city auditorium or recreational facility and may be able to help you. YMCAs, Boy's Clubs, churches, and schools are good prospects. These organizations usually welcome activities that are youth- and family-oriented.

It seldom occurs that a group exhausts the public building search without finding a place to play. If that happens, don't give up. In almost any town, there are merchants who have an upstairs room they don't use. The members may have to do some work to get it into playing condition, but this labor should go some distance in paying the rent. Be aware that you may also be responsible for some utilities.

Whatever you end up with, be certain to give credit to the building proprietor in your news releases. This creates considerable goodwill.