History of U.S. Table Tennis - Volume I: 1928-1939 by Tim BogganThis book is for my wife Sally and for Leah Thall Neuberger, Thelma "Tybie" Thall Sommer, and Bob Green


Note: This first volume in my projected History consists of an Introduction and 34 Chapters. Although in my drafts I’ve scrupulously documented to my own satisfaction (in almost 150 pages of footnotes) where I got every piece of fact or fiction I use in this book, it’s only practical for me to considerably reduce those citations here. Hence the selected documentation in both the text and the notes.

From Oct., 1933 through Nov.-Dec., 1993, the name United States Table Tennis Association (USTTA) prevailed; thereafter the Association is referrred to as USA Table Tennis (USATT).


Other sources, particularly letters, will often be cited in the text.

Interviews, Conversations, Correspondence

In working on this book, I’ve been helped by a number of people, the majority of whom were active players in the 1930’s. Though some have helped me much more than others, I present them all here together, alphabetically, with my thanks: Brad Balmer, Laszlo "Laci" Bellak, Joe Blatt, Freddie Borges, Ervin Brody, Bernie Bukiet, Chuck Burns, Doug Cartland, Elmer Cinnater, Glen Clark, Billy Condy, Barry Dattel, Frank Dwelly, R.C. Fritsch, Yoshio Fushimi, Sandor Glancz, Bob Green, Helen Elliot Hamilton, Rufford Harrison, Magda Gal Hazi, Tibor Hazi, George Hendry, Bernie Hock, Chuck Hoey, Bill Holzrichter, Jean-Jacques Huberman, Steve Isaacson, John Kauderer, Herman Lykins, Mark Matthews (formerly Marcus Schussheim), Jimmy McClure, Frank Milano, Dick Miles, Reba Kirson Monness, Ivor Montagu, Stan Morest, Manny Moskowitz, Richard Neilson, Leah Thall Neuberger, Lou Pagliaro, Henry Rabinowicz, Marty Reisman, Mayo Rae Rolph Roy, Leon Ruderman, George Schein, Hilja Schein, Gus Sempeles, Sol Schiff, Al Schwartz, Mildred Wilkinson Shipman, Mel Silverman (later Sylvan), Gene Smolens, Thelma "Tybie" Thall Sommer, Cy Sussman, Bob Viducich, Henry Wiener, and Wendy Woodhead.


The following scrapbooks, identified in the text by abbreviations, were invaluable to me: Ruth Aarons’ (RAS)--(and I want to thank Larry Hodges for discovering and rescuing this 150-page, left irresponsibly to disintegrate album for me); Frank Dwelly’s (FDS);Yoshio Fushimi’s (YFS I and YFS II); Reginald Hammond’s (RHS); Mark Matthew’s--formerly Marcus Schussheim’s (MMS); Mayo Rae (Rolph) Roy (MRS), and George Schein’s (GSS I and GSS II). Clippings in these scrapbooks often do not show their source or date, and many articles are written without a byline.


Former USTTA Historian Leah Neuberger’s Records. Separate Binders show, from their beginnings into the beginning 1990’s, the results of: World Championships; Annual Canadian National Exhibition Championships; U.S. Open Championships; U.S. Closed Championships; U.S. Intercities (later called National Team Championships, still later, U.S. Open Team Championships); Eastern Open Championships; and numerous City and State tournaments around the country. Many of the tournament results I incorporate in this book are from these Records (records which I’ve tried to confirm from other sources).

I want to thank Leah Neuberger’s sister, Thelma "Tybie" Sommer, for agreeing, after Leah’s death, that I might, in my Historian’s role, have access to these unique, labor-of-love Binders. I also want to thank Leah and Tybie’s long-time friend Bob Green for taking the considerable time and trouble of boxing up all these Binders (as well as the many miscellaneous Folders Leah had acquired) and sending them to me.


Barna, Victor. (1962) Table Tennis Today. London: Arthur Barker.

Bellak, Laszlo. (1990) Table Tennis: How A New Sport Was Born. N.p.

Bergmann, Richard. (1950) Twenty-One Up. London: Sporting Handbooks Ltd.

Clark, Coleman. (1933) Modern Ping-Pong: And How To Play It. New York: John Day.

Evans, H. Roy. (1988?) Memoirs (typescript copy).

Gurney, Gerald N. (1989) Table Tennis: The Early Years. International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF): St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, England.

Montagu, Ivor. (1936) Table Tennis: London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons.

Reid, Philip. (1974) Victor Barna. Lavenham, Suffolk, U.K.: Eastland Press.

Schaad, Cornelius G. (1930) Ping-Pong: The Game, Its Tactics and Laws. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Schiff, Sol. (1939) Table Tennis Comes Of Age. New York: Henry Holt.

Stewart, William R. (1933) Table Tennis Tactics. Chicago: Martin.

Uzorinac, Zdenko. (1973) Od London 1926 Do Sarajeva 1973. Zagreb: NISP "Vjesnik."

Uzorinac, Zdenko. (1981) Od Sarajeva do Novog Sada/From Sarajevo to Novi Sad. Zagreb: Graficki zavod Hrvatske.


Of course I’m greatly in debted to the USTTA table tennis magazine of the 1930’s.

The changes in the official publication of the USTTA/USATT are as follows:

Table Tennis Topics (TTT)--I include under this TTT heading the USTTA Newsletter (loosely thought of as being Topics) that, following the Oct., 1933 through May, 1954 issues of Topics, took the official place of that publication from Jan., 1955 through Sept., 1961. The name Topics was officially reinstated with the Oct., 1961 issue, and the publication continued through May-June, 1983. Following a name change (see below), it again, from Jan., 1986 through Nov.-Dec. 1992, became Topics--and included six interlocking issues, May, 1989 through Mar., 1990, of U.S. Table Tennis News (which I also loosely include under this TTT heading).

Spin--the name of the official USTTA publication from the July-Aug., 1983 through Dec., 1985 issues.

Table Tennis Today--the name of the official publication from the Jan.-Feb., 1993 through Mar.-Apr., 1996 issues. It was described as "The Magazine of USA Table Tennis," and the name of the Association was then changed to USA Table Tennis.

USA Table Tennis--the current name of the official publication beginning with the May-June, 1996 issue.

I might also mention:

American Ping-Pong--the short-lived publication of the Western arm of Parker Brothers’ American Ping-Pong Association (nine issues, from June, 1933 through May-June, 1934, ed. Robert E. Clark).

I’m in debt to two English table tennis magazines of the 1930’s:

Table Tennis--the official publication of the English Table Tennis Association (ETTA).

Table Tennis Activity--the high-quality magazine independent of the ETTA.

I’ll mention, too, another ‘30’s English publication:

Tennis Illustrated--though devoted to tennis, it had some coverage of table tennis.


International Table Tennis Federation Handbook (various editions). St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, England.

Joel, Bernard (?). NYTTA Handbook, 1931-32 and 1932-33.

Morest, Dr. Stanley F. Kansas City Table Tennis League Official Handbook 1939-1940.


New York Table Tennis--the official, short-lived publication of the New York Table Tennis Association.

Yap, Eduardo, ed. Table Tennis and The Table Tennis--quickly dying publications out of Chicago in the early 1930’s.


Butterfly Table Tennis Report (later Butterfly World Report)--(now bimonthly) publication of the Tamasu Company, Tokyo.


Table Tennis Digest--an official publication of the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).


Schaefer, Manfred. Tischtennis ‘89--Statistisches Jahrbuch des Deutschen Tischtennis- Bundes.

(Serialization Note. It appears that this first volume will be published, with historic photos and logos, so if I’ve neglected to thank anyone who’s helped me, or if anyone has any information that will make the book better and more accurate, please contact me via USATT Headquarters in Colorado Springs or at my E-mail address: timboggan@aol.com. The projected second volume will cover the years 1940-52.)