Hi everyone, I hope you are all ok in these difficult times. It’s so strange to suddenly be in a world without table tennis. I am really missing my table tennis friends and our regular conversations. In my case I can certainly say my garden has never been so well looked after.

We had an STTA meeting last night via Zoom, which was a first for me as I’m not great with technology, but it worked.  I thought I would let you know what was discussed.

The most pressing item was that of the finalization of the league tables with a number of outstanding matches unable to be played. Fortunately in most of the divisions promotion and relegation had already been decided. The most important one for us was promotion from Division One. Hedge End A had managed to play all their matches before lockdown and ended up 5 points ahead of our E team. Our E team had two rearranged matches organized but of course were unable to play them, a suggestion had been made that all unplayed matches would be declared void, which would have been totally unfair.  Trevor had devised three different ways of calculating / predicting the final tables based on each teams progress over the season and this was eventually accepted by everyone.

As I said the main one from our point of view was Division 1, so our E team finished top and are promoted to the Premier Division. The only other issue was that of our K team finishing second in Division 2. Four T’s B had three matches still to play and had a mathematical chance of second place, but apparently didn’t want promotion anyway so our K team gain promotion.

That still leaves the play off match to be resolved between the second placed team in Div 1 – Hedge End, and the penultimate team in the Premier- Southampton West A. This will have to be played before the season starts again, but thankfully not our problem.

Other things discussed? The STTA rules say that the AGM has to be before the 7th June, well that’s not going to happen. The committee is going to meet again before the end of May to discuss rule changes, so that is something to look forward to …

It was also decided that for the first time since the war the Southampton Closed would be cancelled. Its only chance of being played might have been before the next season starts, but listening to last night’s news I wonder if we will even be able to start the season in October, let’s hope we can.

Finally, now the tables are resolved, we can start thinking about teams for next season, so it would be very useful if you could let me know if you are intending to play next year. Every year because of promotion and relegation some players are more comfortable with the division that they have been playing in and others relish the challenge of a higher division, so inevitably there will be team changes. Some teams prefer to stay together so we will do our utmost to keep them together. It would be very useful if you could let me know a) that you are going to play next season b) full time or as a reserve c) your preferred division d) who you would like to be team mates with and dare I ask this one? e) who you don’t want to be in a team with!

This sounds like the Spanish Inquisition! I will treat your replies in confidence.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards,

Colin French   colinfrench63@gmail.com

Ps If you have managed to play any related ping pong activity at home do let me know and share it with us, if anyone has devised any trick shots or games without a table I’m sure Trevor can put it on the website!