Long Beach Table Tennis Club

Long Beach Table Tennis Club
Play site: Jefferson Middle School Gynasium
7th St. & Grand Ave., Long Beach, CA 90804



Written by: Bill Hillier
March 10, 2004

       Founded in 1933 the LBTTC has had its ups and downs but in recent years it has developed into a good, steady Club. When an Executive Committee was formed several years ago, the Club became more dynamic and grew in popularity. Non-sanctioned tournaments and a monthly handicap tournament provided most of the action along with the free play. Members of the Executive Committee recognized, however, a growing demand for an on-going program where members could meet and compete regularly.

       Mr. Bob Chew, Tournament Director, heard about the USATT League Program last October and told President Winston Ngai about this; both loved the program and knew that it would work very well for the Club. The free league membership, the ratings software, and the suggested match format offered convenience and flexibility with the promise of much fun. Without a second thought the Long Beach Table Tennis Club League was immediately registered. A five member League Committee was formed with Bob Chew as the League Director and we were ready to go.

       The first league entitled Winter League 2003 kicked off on November 15, 2003. It met every Saturday thereafter and ended December 27. As many as 12 tables were used and averages of 80 matches were played each session. To make the League more interesting, the top 4 finishers in each of the six rating groups qualified for the final playoffs with the top two in each rating group receiving trophies. The finals were followed by an awards ceremony and a free party. Members were very excited over League play.

       The Winter League was a great success as indicated by the comments of participants and their eagerness to signup for a second league. The Spring League started January 31, 2004 with 64 members at the beginning. Since then the number of participants has grown to 81, of which 30 are not USATT members but soon will be. The Club has received numerous phone calls and e-mails from individuals wanting to become members and play in the League. It is amazing to see so many players with different ethnic backgrounds, ages (9 to 75), and abilities competing. An 11 year old champion can be seen challenging against a former, much older champion from a different country or a wheel chair player holding up his end of the table, happy over his rating improvement. Two young members recently qualified for the National Cadet Boys Team. One player travels over 70 miles from Oxnard just to participate in the League.

       The Long Beach Table Tennis Club League has a bright future and the League Committee will continue to bring forth new elements to keep the League interesting and appealing to new and potential members. It is the Club's policy to offer free membership to junior players, ages 9 to 17, because these players represent the future, of the sport. The club plays four days a week at Jefferson Middle School in Long Beach at the intersection of 7th and Grand Avenue.