Conor’s Column


Hi I am Conor and I am ADPP’s newest team member! I will be publishing my column once a week on every Friday which will be all about the latest news and gossip from the week of sport over the past 7 days.

If you want to get in touch about my column please do! E-mail me at and will be happy to answer any of your questions! Alternatively use our ‘Contact Us’ page on the top right!

Scroll down for all my previous posts, the further down you scroll the older the post!

Ping! Tables Everywhere!: Friday 13th July

Bring your paddles and balls with you wherever you go in London because there will be a table near you. It was not until last weekend when I was on my way to work near Liverpool street station outside the Exchange house when I noticed that Ping Pong tables created by Ping! had been purposely been set up in the square.

If you are a London traveller, you may have noticed the street pianos that welcome anyone to come along and play… well it turns out that the same group that set them up got involved with Ping! in helping them with this particular project. Creative director Colette Hiller said: “When we installed London’s street pianos, the public took good care of them. We think Ping! Will evoke a similar sense of public spirit and goodwill.”

There will be over 90 Ping Pong tables in London placed in shopping centres and stations. The underlying goal behind this is the campaign that Sport England wants to get more people playing sport by the 2012 Olympics.

All of this has been made possible because of funding from the English Table Tennis Association, the National Lottery and Yahoo. The “Sites for the tables, which will be available for four weeks from July 24, will include Soho Square, Westfield Shopping Centre, Tate Britain, the British Library and Heathrow Terminal 3.”

Sport England’s chief executive, Jennie Price, said: “I hope thousands of people will take advantage of these outdoor tables and will enjoy playing.”

Conor Haynes

Click the Image and it will take you to the Ping! England website so you can find your closest table!!


Conor’s Column Special: Friday 25th May

Yes, the London 2012 Olympics and it is only 59 days away! In this Conor’s Column *Special*, we give our ADPP readers a complete ‘down-low’ on the Olympic kit supplied by Adidas, with the inside scoop coming right from the guys inside one of the worlds biggest sports brand! Click here for the full story

How’s Your Grip? Tuesday 13th March

Table Tennis is a game of speed, reaction time and co-ordination. Ping-Pong is played at a very quick pace and a player has a short period after playing their shot before having to return the next shot. In order to return a powerful shot a player must have good body positioning, footwork and an excellent grip.

Many professional Ping-Pong players choose their grip to suit their style of play but also they choose a grip that feels comfortable to play with. You are more likely to play well with a grip that is comfortable as oppose to one that is not.

The Shakehand and Penhold grips are two of the most popular grips amongst the top ten ITTF World ranked professionals players.

The Worlds current number one, Ma Long of China, uses the Shakehand grip and it is called this because the racket is held in a way that is a lot like shaking someone’s hand. The advantage of this grip is that it locks the wrists and allows for more control for backhand and forehand. However, the disadvantage is that the inflexibility of the wrist allows for a less powerful shot and the inflexibility can make it harder to adjust.

The Worlds current number three; Wang Hao of China uses the Penhold Grip. The grip itself is pretty self-explained as it is a lot like holding a pen. The advantage of this grip allows more flexibility in the wrists unlike the ‘Shakehand grip’. The flexibility is good for serving and means you can adjust freely to an opponents shot.
An interesting point to make about these two particular grips is that they both were developed from opposing ends of the world. The ‘Shakehand grip’ originated in the western countries where tennis originated and both have a similar grip. On the other hand, the ‘Penhold grip’ is an Eastern originated grip mainly associated with China but has minor variations to it in other countries such as Japan.

These are just two ways to grip the paddle, but there are many more. So experiment with different grips to suit your style and get playing.

Conor Haynes.


Olympic Selection: Friday 2nd March

It has been announced that ten athletes have been shortlisted regarding Table Tennis for Team GB in the London 2012 Olympics. With only six places available in the team the players will be fighting for their place in the team. Six men have been shortlisted in the ten

whilst only four have been listed for the women’s. This means one woman will painfully miss out on the opportunity to be selected for team GB. Whereas, for the men that have been shortlisted they will not feel as hard done by, because three have to be dropped.


Andrew Baggaley (England)

Paul Drinkhall (England)

Darius Knight (England)

Liam Pitchford (England)

Danny Reed (England)

Gavin Rumgay (Scotland)


Na Liu (Northern Ireland)

Naomi Owens (Wales)

Joanna Parker (England)

Kelly Sibley (England)

The positive thing to take from this group of players is the age category that ranges from 18 to 28, showing that not only does GB have a strong team for the 2012 Olympics but

also there are positives for the future Olympics. Only 147 days now until the games begin.

Get playing,
Conor Haynes


Is the Future Robots? Friday 24th February

The game of Ping-Pong as we know it originated in Britain in the 1880s as a game that the upper class would play as an after dinner activity and would normally be played with two players. However, in the modern game due to technological advancements, table tennis does not have to be played with two players.

For a while table tennis tables have been designed so that one side of it can be put upright enabling you to rally against yourself. Despite being able to have the ball bounce back, the trajectory in which it is returned is unrealistic, therefore it is unlikely to improve your match playing skill.

In more recent developments there is now Ping-Pong machines, kind of like the ones tennis players have been using for years but now table tennis has them too. Having used them myself I have seen it in action and rate it highly.

The key feature of the table tennis ball machines is that there is a remote where you can change the power and spin to your desired level. It is dependent on your individual skill level to what setting you want the Ping-Pong balls pumped out.

This piece of equipment does not come cheap, but if you happen to have no opponent to play against, it will turn out to be a valuable asset for improving your skill.

Get playing,

Conor Haynes


Hungry for Hungary: Friday 20th January

What a tournament the Hungarian Open was turning out to be for the top two British women Kelly Sibley and Joanna Parker. They both qualified for the main draw deservedly. However the competition proved to tough and both suffered defeats. a big well done to Andrew Baggaley, he got through to the final 16 where he eventually succumbed to world number 4 Xu Xin.

On Olympics news, a rule change allows only two singles players from each team to compete instead of three.This could not be a more recognizable means to an end of China’s dominance in the sport leaving a spare podium place for another competitor.

That would be typical of my luck; sweating, straining and scraping to make top three for my country and still getting screwed by a rule of some sort… However, it will mean going the extra mile to get there, making the competition even more exciting for its spectators.

I am a big fan of the impossible shots, the type that make this sport so great to watch, check out this clip TableTennisDaily put together of ten impressive shots.

Get playing,
Conor Haynes


My First Post: Friday 13th January

Hello to all fellow table tennis fans and a huge shout out to our very own After Dark Ping Pong followers! Wishing everyone a Happy New Year. My name is Conor Haynes and I am the newest member of the team and have taken the role as Head Editor for the online based blogs and interviews! I will be providing you with a weekly column on latest table tennis news and gossip. I hope to give you a sneaky incite of what is happening and who is trending absolute talent on and off the table.

I know as well as you do that 2012 is a massive year for table tennis with the Olympic games just around the corner. All the teams have been practicing hard to get themselves in peak condition and I cannot wait to see all the teams who are competing provide us with flair and agility in which will no doubt be an outstanding Olympic games. Good Luck, to all those taking part!
Get playing,
Conor Haynes