Nationally sanctioned table tennis tourney set

Aug. 02, 2014 @ 04:19 PM

This past fall Monroe Parks and Recreation Department and the table tennis clubs of Monroe and Charlotte held an exhibition and tournament that attracted 21 competitors.

Encouraged by the response, the group has taken extra steps this year to meet the higher standards of a nationally-sanctioned event.

The Monroe Open will be held Aug. 30 beginning at 9 a.m. with check-in 30 minutes before.

The event is the first of its kind held in Monroe and is rated as a two-star tournament. It will be held at Dickerson Recreation Center, 899 N. Johnson St., Monroe.

Organizers said the tournament last year was a warm-up for this year’s event sanctioned by the USA Table Tennis Association.

“The 2014 tournament involves USATT rating points,” tournament director Bill Englebreth said. “We hope to draw players from a larger geographic area with even higher skill levels.”

Entries cost $20 per event with a maximum of two per player. All entries must be prepaid and must be received by organizers by Aug. 27.

The tournament referee is John Pahl.

There will be six Stiga or Butterfly tables with Donic nets and three-star orange Nittaku balls. Only approved USATT equipment will be used.

Last year, Andy Bain of Statesville won Group A, Kevin Lu of Charlotte won Group B, Jeffrey Ashkin of Charlotte won Group C and Mickey Abermann of Charlotte won Group D.

Between the preliminary and single elimination rounds, about 30 people watched an exhibition match between world-ranked players Pablo Perez and Greg Riley. Perez competed most recently at the 2013 World Table Tennis Championships in Paris, France. Riley played in the Olympics in the 1990s for Barbados.

Englebreth explained the benefits of a sanctioned event.

“A USATT sanctioned event is publicized throughout the USATT clubs and draws players at higher skill levels and from greater distances,” he said.

More wins will boost a player’s national rating.

“The average recreational player will be around 700. The average Monroe club player is around 1,100. The average tournament player is around 1,700,” Englebreth said.

He said there are some players in North Carolina rated over 2,000, and organizers hope a few will participate in the Monroe event.

“Monroe Parks and Recreation is very excited to host this tournament at our facility.  We look forward to continuing our relationship with the Monroe Table Tennis Club to provide opportunities for our residents to enjoy this wonderful sport,” Monroe Parks and Recreation Department assistant director Tonya Edwards said.

Englebreth explained the rating of tournaments.

The USATT considers a large number of variables in designating star ratings for tournaments, including court size, lighting, floor surface, spectator seating, total prize money, number and type of events and number and type of tables.

Local area tournaments are usually two-star or less. More stars will draw more and higher skilled players.

The Cary Cup held in March is a four-star event and draws hundreds of players, including international champions, and usually has more than 40 players rated over 2,200, Englebreth said.

For entry forms or information, visit monroerecreationaltabletennis.wordpress.com or email tournament director Bill Englebreth: revbillosl@aol.com.

AT A GLANCE

What: Monroe Table Tennis Open

When: Aug. 30, 9 a.m., Check-In 30 minutes before

Where: Dickerson Recreation Center, 899 N. Johnson St., Monroe

Entry Deadline: Aug. 27

Cost: $20 per event, max. 2 events per player

Inquiries email: revbillosi@aol.com

USATT sanctioned tournament; all USATT regulations apply (usatt.org)

Website: monroerecreationaltabletennis.wordpress.com