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11 Jan 2013

The World Championship of Ping Pong

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The World Championship of Ping Pong was held this past week (January 5-6) at the Alexandra Palace in London. The event had a $100,000 purse for top table tennis players to win in a made-for-TV event put together by Barry Hearn–the maven of snooker, darts, and just about every other sport you see on TV.

Unlike other top table tennis events, the World Championship of Ping Pong had all players using the same equipment–a sandpaper bat that features layers of carbon and is based off of the Table Tennis Nation blade (Table Tennis Nation was a part of the paddle’s development).

The paddle was designed to increase the length of rallies and eliminate the incredible spins that modern rackets are best known for. As Hearn said, “I’m not a fan of sponge bats and I’m not a fan of spin. The game thirty years ago was bigger when it was hard bat and people were watching extended athletic rallies that were more televisual. Today’s modern table tennis frankly doesn’t fit television. It’s too up close and personal, you don’t get enough rallies and I think we need to go back to something like this to see if we can create proper sporting atmosphere. I’m fairly critical of modern day table tennis. I don’t think it fits into today’s market but I think this might.”

Picture via World Championship of Ping Pong

The tournament aired on Sky TV and featured 64 players. The reaction to the show so far has been incredible with ratings 3-4 times higher than expected. The event also featured a “double point ball” (another aspect Table Tennis Nation brought to the table).

The paddle though, was the key to the whole tournament. Designed to make rallies longer and level the playing field among pros, it made for much better television viewing than tournaments where players can use more or less whatever they choose.

While the event was for pros, the paddle can help beginners as well. There are more and more events popping up using these Table Tennis Nation-style rackets (many in the US, but throughout the UK and Europe as well). The World Championship of Ping Pong hasn’t made their specific paddles available, but the Table Tennis Nation paddles they’re based on are available through their website for less than £28 delivered.

You can learn more about the World Championship of Ping Pong here.

Did you watch it? What did you think?
Let us know in the comments, on facebook, and on twitter.

01 Oct 2012

Time To Say Goodbye

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It Goodbye

Frank Herbert said, “There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

If curiosity has stricken your mind to why I have begun this blog with a quote about endings, it is because After Dark Ping Pong are announcing our closing down of the site and it’s content.

It has been a truly eye opening experience for ADPP to be a part of a fast growing sport, especially during the best summers of sport of our time, The London 2012 Olympics. However, our time for this particular project is over, but for Table Tennis it is only the beginning.

A new club is opening in London called BOUNCE and the recent World Championships have just been in Liverpool Echo Arena.

To Note: Our site and all it’s content will remain until December.

On behalf of ADPP, Thank you to all our followers and readers for your support and passion for the game that we love. It has been much appreciated and we hope you keep the same enthusiasm the sport needs to continue growing.

Thank you so much for taking us in to your sport and accepting us as one of the leading blogs out there for social and professional sport. We have met some awesome people along the way and been to some incredible events that we wont forget, thanks for having us.

“There’s a trick to the ‘graceful exit.’ It begins with the vision to recognize when a job, a life stage, or a relationship is over — and let it go. It means leaving what’s over without denying its validity or its past importance to our lives. It involves a sense of future, a belief that every exit line is an entry, that we are moving up, rather than out.” (Ellen Goodman)

A final signing off from ADPP’s Founder and Head Editor,

Jojo Regan and Conor Haynes.

One of our favourites

12 Sep 2012

A Summer Of Sport: It’s All Over!!!

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The Paralympics closing ceremony spikes viewings and pays a sensational tribute to what has been an outstanding games. It represents the end of a special summer in the capital and for the whole of the UK. This summer’s action has been star studded action from the day one. As we move into September, the winter blues are sure to kick in as the TV choices are limited to Deal or No Deal and Xfactor! Oh well, at least Table Tennis can be played all year round and anywhere room or garden you can jam a table into!

The Paralympic Closing Ceremony

Full of emotion and suspense the crowd in the Olympic stadium witnessed inspirational speeches and a musical performance from Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z in the closing ceremony. Followed by impressive fireworks lighting up the London skyline.

All the athletes were cheered out on to the field with their individual flags waving proudly. The atmosphere was full of emotion from the 10 days that the Paralympian athletes put on for us in a spectacle that has exceeded all expectation this summer 2012.

The last 12 days have lifted the height of competitiveness in Paralympic and handicapped sports forever. Tom Coe said “The Paralympians have lifted the cloud of limitation.”

Statistically speaking the Paralympics closing ceremony averaged 5.9million viewers on Sunday evening with channel 4 having the bigger share of the audience than BBC1 or ITV1. The viewings even peaked for a 5-minute spell of 7.7 million viewers. Sunday evenings viewing was only beaten by Jonnie Peacocks 100m win (6.3million) and the opening ceremony that averaged 7.6 million viewers (with a 5 minute peak of 11.4million).

The flame was put out by Jonnie Peacock and Ellie Simmonds, which has burned throughout the Games. A tribute was given to the people who helped put this summer’s highlight together. 70’000 games makers and the armed forces that stepped in to provide security. Lord Coe gave the speech, which received a standing novation from the 80’000 crowd.

This followed a performance of ‘Run this Town’ by Jay-z, Rihanna and Coldplay with a montage of the best moments of the Games to Coldplay’s ‘The Scientist’.

The fireworks were spectacular and sparked off all along the Thames as well as the Olympic park and a projection read “Thank you London, thank you UK” on the houses of Parliament.

An attempt at a powerful metaphor from Lord Coe went down well with the crowd with roars of applause. He said, “Finally, there are some famous words you can find stamped on the bottom of a product. Words, that when you read them, you know mean high quality, mean skill, mean creativity, we have stamped those words on the Olympic and Paralympic Games of London 2012. London 2012. Made in Britain.”

Winter Plans?

What have you got planned or are looking forward to, to get you through the winter? Let us know in the comment section below!

Conor Haynes

10 Sep 2012

Team GB Victory Parade!

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We wanted to do use big images to show our parade photos so click on this link HERE to check out the main post. We have posted this here so that it will come up on the RSS feeds! We have some great images and a video from the parade! Check it out!

08 Sep 2012

ADPP Interviews Ping England!

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After Dark Ping Pong’s Conor interviews Andy from Ping England, the organisation behind all those free table tennis tables that we have been using lately! Comment below if you have played on one of the public tables?

We bumped into Andy at one of the Pongathon events at Richmix in Shawditch, London. Click the image at the top to begin the video.

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

Ping is a street table tennis festival/project that has been running for 3 years now, however there has been a big push in the run up to the Olympic games this summer.

The tables have been all over the UK in cities like London, Liverpool, Bristol, Northampton, Birmingham, Manchester and Brighton. There is almost no city safe from Ping’s incredible scheme! They have even popped up in Airports and train stations!

There were 300-400 tables in total and almost every single one of them will be staying there FOREVER! Most the temporary locations were meant to end in June or July but have been extended to August and September because of how successful there have been.

The tables are staying because they have been donated to Community centres, charities, organisations and local bars. They will be in charge of the upkeep and will be where you can pick up the bats and balls to play.

03 Sep 2012

Gold Medal favourite Will Bayley grabs a sensational Silver Medal at the Paralympics 2012!

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Bayley was up against Jochen Wollmert in the S7 Men’s Table Tennis Final at the Excel Arena.

Wollmert on his quest to grab his place in the final caused upset to the Chinese world No. 1 after beating him in the semi finals.

Wollmert beat Bayley in a 3-1 battle with the scores going 11-8, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4 in a match lasting 40 minutes in front of a sellout crowd.

Wollmert has won an outstanding 9 Paralympic medals since his first appearance at the Barcelona 1992 Games

After his defeat Will said, “I’m a fighter – I’ve shown that all my life, and I’ll be back”.

Will’s story is incredible and he has proved he is a “fighter” countless times.

Will was born with Arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder affecting the joints of the hands and feet, he was in and out of hospitals undergoing operations until he was 18 and when he was 7, he was also diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a blood cancer. After intense chemotherapy Bayley left the hospital and discovered his passion for table tennis.

Congratulations Will on your Medal, A true inspiration!

Conor Haynes

What did you think?

What did you think of Will’s Incredible performance? Let us know in the comments section below and make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with all the action!

17 Aug 2012

Olympic TT Bals Up for Auction!

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Check out this link for your chance to bid on and win on of the TT balls that was used in the Olympics. You can bid on balls from almost all the matches, and as you know the players only use one ball for each match so it will have been used and held by the professionals!!

So do not miss out on this chance of winning this piece of memorabilia from the London Olympic Games!! There will not be another chance like it!

Comment below and let us know what ball you will be bidding on or which ball you wish you could have!