Pingpong prowess


Parker Rezner

Two members of the club begin an intense table tennis match

Parker Rezner, Assistant Lifestyle Editor

Table tennis, also known as pingpong, is a sport known and beloved by all. The mere sight of a table and paddles at any social event is enough to instigate banter, especially if you are lucky enough to be the winner.

John Weber, with others, took this idea further than an activity at social events or an intramural sport, and decided a year ago to establish the Table Tennis Club. In a game that requires excellent hand skills, there was legwork to be done to get this club started.

“There was a lot of interest for the intramural table tennis league that was going on in Fall 2020. I just kind of realized that this could be an actual club, and so I just started going through the process of filling out paperwork, getting all of these leaders together to fill out the executive team, and ended up getting it going. I’d say one of the biggest challenges was just retaining people. We have people of all different skill levels playing. So we have people that have been playing for ten plus years, but then we also have people who are just picking it up and may be a little discouraged when they see people that are a little higher skill level so trying to keep the fun atmosphere but also the competitive atmosphere has been a challenge, but I think we got a good group so far,” said Weber.

For many of the players having just an intramural team did not give them enough playing time to fill their hunger for the game. A change had to be made.

“Yeah, we were doing intramurals, I mean it was fun, but didn’t really give us as much playing time as we wanted. So, we decided to make it a regular thing and we play twice a week now,” added board member of the club Cameron Hyatt.

Of course, honing your table tennis skills can happen anywhere, as long you have a paddle and ball at your disposal. However, this club provides these pingpong advocates more than they could ever get from individual practice.

“We kinda play games that allow people to hop on a team, and then you’d play a point, rotate out, play a point, rotate out. So it’s a little bit more consistent than sitting around watching games getting played. We have King of the Court, a game called 31 where it’s basically you play a point with extra rulings, and we also just started a club league where you get consistent match play with people in the club,” said Weber.

Besides being a competitive sport that requires skill and agility, team members are also there for the commoratory, the connection, and community. 

“We got some great guys here, and we all like to have fun with each other. Sometimes, we goof around and other times we’re pretty serious and we can get competitive, but we all have a great time with each other. We like to support each other, and point out things that maybe we can work on or things we’re doing well, it’s a great community. I mean we’re here to have fun but we also want to become better players, and we’ve seen a lot of development from the guys as the year has gone on,” said Hyatt.

The Table Tennis Club took the opportunity to enhance an interest here on campus, and spiked it like you would a weak backhand return. With an inter-club league already established and a strong culture being built, the sky’s the limit for these table tennis titans.

The middle of a long volley between two competitors (Parker Rezner)