SVTTC Reunion League

By SVTTC | Jan. 05, 2018, 2:25 p.m. (ET)

 Both seasoned players as well as youngsters look forward every Friday to play the Butterfly SVTTC Friday league. It is a league that was started by San Francisco Bay Area Table Tennis aficionados 13 years back. Since the early days, the league has had active participation from cadets and juniors who later went on to shine at the national and international level. One cannot undermine the seasoned adult players and occasional high level players/coaches who actively participate in the league to test the patience and skills of the upcoming young stars, as well other adults.

The league is held using the team format, where 2 teams each consisting of 6 to 7 players compete against one another. Each player challenges the player on the other teams, testing each other’s skills and endurance till the doors close down at night at the SVTTC club, located in Milpitas, California. One could witness and enjoy all the styles of table tennis showcased in one place. The styles include Choppers [Short Pips, Long Pips, Inverted + Modern, Classical], Loopers [Soft, Hard], Smashers, Fishers, Lobbers, and Blockers. The styles are embraced by players with either Shakehand or Penhold grips. It is very rare (across the leagues in the country) to find such experienced players with all these styles assembled to fight out the battle with skilled youngsters trained by the coaches in the Bay Area.

The reunion like the one that happened recently on Saturday, 9th December 2017, is starting to become more of an annual special affair. The reunion had participation from the youth of the past who have now transitioned into young adults either going to college, or walking into the busy corporate life. A total of 14 players participated in the reunion league with over 40+ matches played over a span of 3 hours. The average USATT league rating of the reunion roster was close to 2110. The highlight of the reunion is the participation of advanced adult players who spearheaded the formation of the Friday league during fall of 2003 in Palo Alto Table Tennis club. The reunion concluded with great food at social dinner as a part of the annual event.

In 2011, the league was moved to Silicon Valley Table Tennis Club(SVTTC) at Milpitas, California. Most of the league players are located in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Over time, the league has hosted visiting players from Sweden, Germany, Canada, Japan and China. The league has been lucky to have participation from some of the elite senior and junior players that include: Lily Zhang, Kanak Jha, Ariel Hsing, Prachi Jha, Angela Guan, Whitney Ping, Jiaqi Zheng, Khoa Nguyen, Victor Liu, and coaches from the local clubs. Every week The spectators, parents and friends enjoy watching the battle where the seasoned players test the young players with their skills and experience. Vice Versa, the young players test the endurance, and the weaknesses of the TT veterans. Some of these experienced players have stood at the podium in the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Open completion in advance categories like U-2100, U-2200, and beyond.

Advanced Leagues such as these help the young and upcoming players in a big way to shape their fighting capabilities, skills, mental toughness, and tactical thinking. It is also an incentive for the seasoned players to test their fitness, skills and in some cases provide an opportunity to learn from others to adapt their skills to the ever changing and demanding sport of table tennis. Every week at the end of the league, all the players can go home with a satisfaction that they gave their best despite the positive or negative outcomes. Young players especially can carry a list of areas for improvement, to work with either the parents, sparring partners or coaches, with a hope to do better next time they play the league or a tournament. If you are interested, and have access to the below URL, you can see the list of players who have played in the league until recently: