Many Roles but Focus Remains Same - Ed Hogshead's Many Avenues to Help Grow US Table Tennis

By Fatemeh Paryavi | July 10, 2017, 3:34 p.m. (ET)

Ed Hogshead USATT

 

At the Las Vegas 2017 Supermicro National Table Tennis Championships, there are people from various backgrounds and disciplines. Among those are US veterans and coaches, and amidst those, Director Ed Hogshead, who in his golden days was an A player, and had won many state championships—including but not limited to the Illinois State Championships of 1970, and leagues in Germany while he was enlisted in the army.

“I’ve always loved the game, and I like to help people. It kinda is an idea that I have a lot of experiences and I’d like to be able to share”, said Hogshead when asked about coaching Table Tennis. He also said that he is selective when coaching, since “I like to coach those who listen and generally younger—the youth”, he continued.

Other than playing and coaching professionally, Hogshead has been a professional referee, and an umpire. His first umpire experience was at the US open in New Jersey in 1969.  “I Umpired because to me it was better for the spectators to see what was going on in the match—to see the scores, I thought it was better for the players where they didn’t have worry about arguing if the ball hit the net”, Hogshead stated.

Hogshead also started the Americas State Championships, and has been a promoter and host of many Table Tennis events including but not limited to the Arnold Sports Festival, which is held at Columbus, Ohio annually. The Arnold’s Festival hosts about 75 different sports, and 20,000 athletes. Hogshead has been the table tennis tournament director for 12 years at the Arnold’s Festival. He proposed an idea 3 years ago to the management team, about opening and expanding the event, which was agreed. After buying a 70,000 square feet building, Hogshead was asked to make the place grow, and it did. Now, up to 400 athletes venture there to play sports.

 

When asked about the future of Table Tennis in the United States, and who Hogshead thought would be the best future candidates for medals worldwide, Hogshead said he hopes that USA Table Tennis will understand that our best hopes for worldwide medals are through the Paralympics. He stated, “I really would love to see more sport momentary of the Para athletes—of the youth.”

And now, the number of full-time Para clubs in the US has grown from about 1 or 2 from when Hogshead remembers, to about 200.

Later, when Hogshead was asked about his inspiration in the sport, he explained his inspiration by saying, “I really like both the diversity and the equality of the sport”.  He went on to explain how if you walked into a club/event, you would never know what language you might hear, in the American State Championships there were players born in 23 different countries. Whether the diversity is in the race, gender or able bodied/disable bodied persons, he concluded: “we’re all competing on equal levels, just broken down by ratings…and everyone loves Table Tennis”.

We hope that we see more of the Para Table Tennis players in the competitive field soon.

 

By: Fatemeh Paryavi