Table Tennis: Now An Official Varsity Sport In The New York City Public High Schools

By Ben Nisbet | April 12, 2014, 9 a.m. (ET)

AYTTOWe are excited to inform you that the New York City Department of Education has formally added table tennis to its list of varsity sports.  We feel this decision is a game changer for our sport locally, regionally and even nationally. 

Adding Table Tennis as an official varsity sport, injects prestige and money - placing it on equal footing with sports like Baseball, Lacrosse, Wrestling and Tennis.    Now, New York City students who excel in High School Table Tennis, can include their match results and participation in official transcripts when they apply to college.  More importantly, High School Table Tennis will engage hundreds of school students, in what we feel is an ideal urban sport.     

Interscholastic competitions for the 2014 season began this week at 12 High Schools.  These team matches are gender specific, with equal footing for both boys and girls.   In 2015, the league will move to the winter season and will hopefully expand to 24 high schools!   It is our vision to move from initially hundreds to eventually thousands of New York City high school students playing competitive table tennis.   For a list of participating high schools, championship dates, format and rules, please visit - www.psal.org.  

The governing entity for high school sports in New York City is the Public School Athletic League (PSAL).   American Youth Table Tennis (AYTTO) is working closely with the PSAL - offering needed know-how, expertize, coaching and event oversight.   

A special thanks goes to AYTTO supporters and coaches, Mr. Mitch Seidenfeld - President of Minnesota Table Tennis Association, actress Susan Sarandon -SPiN New York, Andy Brockmann, League Commissioner and Steven Chan -Joola USA.     Your collective support, expertize, and enthusiasm will ensure a successful inaugural year.     

Ben Nisbet and former National Team Member Virginia Sung formed AYTTO 10 years ago.  Its board now includes, Jonathan Bricklin, Morris Jackson, John McFadden, Ben Nisbet and Brian Sentance.  

Note:   USATT has pledged a $5K challenge grant to support AYTTO in quest to provide expertize for the high school league.  There is vital need for schools to receive proper tables and equipment for this year and beyond.  Anyone interested in donating may visit www.aytto.org  and make an online donation in support of our sport and high school table tennis.  

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