5 years ago
Here's another interesting article by Glenn O'Dea.
Glenn is the editor of the popular Melton (in Victoria, Australia) Table Tennis Newsletter, Across the Net. If you would like to subscribe to the interesting newsletter contact Glenn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coaching comes in many forms. To most at club level, it usually comes in the form of giving yourself a stern talking to under your breath. If you’re lucky, it may mean some encouraging words from a teammate.
Once you get to tournament level, you may have the services of a coach, but the times that the coach can advise you has been limited. Rule 3.05.01.03 stated, “Players may receive advice only during the intervals between games or during other authorised suspension of play, and not between the end of practice and the start of a match”.
On October 1st this year, all of that goes out the window. The new rule is as follows:-“Players may receive advice at any time except during rallies and between the end of practice and the start of a match”.
Coaches are now allowed to give advice to players at any time during a game. How? Can they call out instructions? Hand signals? Semaphore? Very little detail has been given on this, but the rule is now in place.
Does this mean that the coaches can call instructions to players on what type of serve to use? Coaches and players who speak a language not understood by the opposition would certainly have an advantage. And does this make the players simply robots doing the bidding of a controller positioned outside the playing arena?
Is this in the best interest of table tennis? At least one governing body has concerns about the affect this rule will have on play. The USATT, governing body of table tennis in the United States, have rejected the new ITTF rule for all tournaments except ITTF sanctioned ones, like the U.S. Open. This was decided on at their recent board meeting after considerable discussion. I haven’t heard of any other country taking this type of stand.
The Americans were partially upset by the fact that a governing body has made a decision which affects them without their having a say in it. Isn’t that how the American Revolution started?
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