(by Steve Hopkins)
Most years, Fourth of July fireworks are a part of America’s table tennis culture. The venue changes, and the schedule changes, and the city changes, and recently the big Summer event has been the US Nationals instead of the US Open – but nearly every year a thousand table tennis players, officials, staff, fans, and friends band together and watch fireworks. We’re going to miss that this year.
Chalk this up as another casualty of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Another in a long line of events that will be postponed or cancelled or re-imagined. But its not all bad. USATT has allowed for sanctioned events this month in areas where local rules allow it. USATT is still planning for a big tournament at the end of this year (either a Nationals or an Open or a re-imagined event with components of both). The ITTF has postponed most major events, so when the all-clear is sounded, there will be a flood of events for fans of the sport. And some of the world’s biggest events this year have been pushed into 2021, so next year, we will have the individual World Cup, the World Team Cup, the Olympics, and a full slate of Veterans and local events.
This year hasn’t been as planned, but there are big things on the horizon. So take an extra weekend to relax, and spend this year celebrating with your family and friends (with all of the normal activities of a normal 4th from barbecue to frisbees to hanging out in a park). By this time next year, table tennis is going to be back in a flurry, and you are going to want to be at the USATT’s big July event so you don’t miss all of the fireworks.