WAB Club Feature: Maryland Table Tennis Center
(By Larry Hodges)
The Maryland Table Tennis Center, founded in 1992, has been a successful full-time table tennis training center in the United States for almost 30 years. The club dominated play in the U.S. in the 1990s and much of the 2000s, winning over half of the gold medals at the Junior Nationals and Junior Olympics in many of those years, and at times having the top two men and top two women in the country, and over half of the top 20 players in the country. In 2011 the Men’s Singles Final at the Nationals was an all-MDTTC battle, with Peter Li winning over Han Xiao. MDTTC has seen a resurgence of a strong group of young players with its renewed focus on teamwork; coaches work together as a team and players train together as a team.
The biggest draws at MDTTC are probably the Tuesday and Friday night leagues and private coaching. Lots of players come in for group training and open play. MDTTC has eight full-time professional coaches, plus a number of part-time ones.
What makes MDTTC unique? Historically, that would be that we were the club that blazed the trail that showed that a full-time club devoted to table tennis training could work. More recently, MDTTC has had great success with local juniors, who train as part of HW Global Foundation’s Talent Development Program. Our coaches work together as a team and players train together as a team. The biggest success is in Under 10 Boys, where they now have the #1, #3, and #4 players in the country.
- The club is open seven days/week, with 16 professional tables, great lighting and sports flooring.
- The club has one of the best coaching teams in the US — including Cheng Yinghua, Jack Huang, Larry Hodges, Wang Qingliang, Jeffrey Zeng Xun, Alex Ruichao Chen, Bowen Chen, and John Hsu.
- The club runs a number of leagues, including the Tuesday and Friday night leagues (open for all), an “Elite” league on Saturdays, and a Junior league on Saturday nights (which is league play combined with coaching).
- There are five 3-star tournamentseach year, including the Maryland State Championships.
- There are various junior training sessionson Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays
- The club runs campsall summer long, Mon-Fri, from June 18 to August 31. The club also runs a Spring Break Camp and a number of one-day camps when schools are closed.
- The club has Tuesdayand Friday Adult Lunch Break Classes.
- The club has a Pro shopwith Butterfly equipment.
- The club has a monthly newslettertitled “MDTTC News”.
- The club is home to three USATT Hall of Famers: Larry Hodges, Cheng Yinghua, and Jack Huang.
- The club is home to three USATT Coaches of the Year: Cheng Yinghua (1996 Coach of the Year), Jack Huang (1998 Coach of the Year and 2014 Developmental Coach of the Year), and Larry Hodges (2002 Developmental Coach of the Year and 2013 Science Award)
SOME OF MDTTC’s ELITE PLAYERS
- Tiffany Ke: Last year Tiffany pulled a trifecta, making the USA Mini-Cadet, Cadet, and Junior Girls’ teams, all at the age of 12! She is the reigning Maryland State Women’s Champion, and rated #2 in the country in Under 15 Girls at 2335 at age 12. She recently was as high as 2408. She won Cadet Girls’ Singles at the recent National Youth Ranking Tournament in Florida.
- Nathan Hsu: Nathan represented Team USA last year at the World University Championships in Taipei. Some of his best titles include winning gold medals in Under 22 Boys’ Singles & Teams and Under 16 Boys’ Singles & Teams at the Junior Olympics, and former National Club Team Champion.
- Nicole Deng:Nicole finished third in Hopes Girls at recent National Youth Ranking Tournament in Florida. She is currently #4 in the U.S. in Mini-Cadet Girls with a 1911 rating.
- Stanley Hsu, Mu Du, Andy Wu: These three nine-year-olds are ranked #1, #3, and #4 in the country in Under 10 Boys.
- Others include:
- Cheng Yinghua: Olympian; U.S. Open Men’s Singles Champion; multiple-time U.S. National Champion.
- Jack Huang: Who achieved a #1 ranking in the U.S. in 1990s.
- Jeffrey Xeng Zun: A former Cary Cup Champion.
- Wang Qingliang:2012 U.S. Open Men’s Singles Semifinalist; U.S. Open Age 21 & Under Boys’ Finalist.
- Bowen Chen:Cary Cup 3rd place; S. Open Cadet Singles Finalist.
- Martin Jezo:Former National Team Member of Slovakia.
- Harold Baring:Former National Team Member of Philippines.
- Nathan Hsu: Member of Team USA, 2017 Universiade.
UPCOMING EVENTS AT MDTTC
- Butterfly MDTTC April Open, April 14-15
- Regional Hopes Camp and Trials, April 27-29
- Maryland State Championships, June 2-3
- MDTTC Summer Camps, June 18-Aug. 31
MDTTC Video by Mossa Barandao of Pongmobile.com