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Feedback Q&A on Sports

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 108 comments and questions on Sports issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.

List of next 10 letters




Table Tennis Can you stand to the side to receive the ball? USA
Basketball Rule Changes More players caused rule changes USA
Table Tennis Looking for concrete ping-pong tables USA
Table Tennis What if the ball nicks the very edge of the table? USA
Table Tennis Concerning a concrete ping-pong table USA
Table Tennis On hitting a long ball in the air USA
Table Tennis Wants sandpaper ping pong paddles USA
Top 50 NBA Where the hell is Dominique Wilkins? USA
Table Tennis Can I return the ball in the air in a volley? USA
All-time NBA Comments on top NBA players USA

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First 10 letters

Can you stand to the side to receive the ball?

Topic: Table Tennis


October 28, 2006

When you are serving to another person in a game of doubles does that person have to stand behind the table or can that person stand slightly in front of the table to the side




The person can stand to the side, but it is easy to then serve the ball near the center line out of his reach.

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More players caused rule changes

Topic: Basketball Rule Changes


October 16, 2006

There should be more players in the sport of college basketball that caused rule changes. I beleive Ralph Sampson was one as well as Sam Worthen of marquette.




I'm not sure what rule Sampson cause to be changed. Also, I'm familiar with most players from Marquette. When did Sam Worthen play there?

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Looking for concrete ping-pong tables

Topic: Table Tennis


September 10, 2006

I am writing in response to your reply to the writer from Miami, FL, who wanted to install one or more concrete tables in a public park. You replied that concrete tables are not standard, and therefore should not even be considered for purchase. I recently moved from Germany, where concrete table tennis tables are in every public park and school yard. I would, as the other writer, like to find a company who could install a permanent table for a public park, or in my case a university campus. Most important (more so even than official table tennis regulations) is that the table should last for at least 5 years and be installed permanently, where it could not be stolen or moved. I found plenty of sites advertising such tables on German web sites, but not a single one which ships or sells to America. Any help? PS - as long as the table(s) meet the aformentioned criteria, the material they are made of doesn't matter.

Brian - USA



The USA Table Tennis Association does not recommend concrete tables, but they also have a section on "basement table tennis" where the rules of play are quite flexible. So, I don't see why such a table wouldn't be acceptable, provided it had a good surface on it.

I've seen a number of German websites mentioning concrete ping pong tables, so using them must be popular there. But I really haven't seen any companies offering them in the US. I remember years ago seeing concrete tables in a park, but I have seen any since.

I think it would be a good idea to have permanent tables for the kids to use. If you find out about someone who makes such tables, let me know and I will pot the information.

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What if the ball nicks the very edge of the table?

Topic: Table Tennis


September 10, 2006

This is something that has been bugging me for a long time. If the ball knicks the very edge of the table, does it count? I hear that if it hits the edge and does not bounce up, and continues going down, it is out. It is only in if it hits the edge and bounces up first. Is this true? What is the OFFICIAL rule?




The official table tennis rules of the USA Table Tennis Association only states that the ball must hit the table. In a tournament, it would be very difficult for a judge to determine if the ball just nicked the edge or bounced up slightly. As long as there is the noise of it hitting the table, it should count.

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Concerning a concrete ping-pong table

Topic: Table Tennis


July 17, 2006


I live in Miami and I am trying to get the Miami-Dade county Parks and Recreation Department to have some concrete table tennis built in some of the parks. In order to do this, I have been looking for companies that make them and/or places in the US that have them already. I read the comment of one of the readers indicating he plays on a concrete table tennis in a park. I would like to know if anybody can tell me of a company I can recommend to the Parks department so they take the idea into consideration. That way, I could see this sport being better promoted here in South Florida as well as practicing one of my favorite sports. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks and regards,

Alejandro - USA



One problem is that the Table Tennis rules specifically forbid a table tennis top made of concrete. It has to be made of wood, otherwise the whole game changes. A big problem with standard tables in parks or recreation centers is that people sit on the table, causing damage. Also, if it is outside, rain may cause the table to warp.

A good solution would be a concrete platform--even made of cinder blocks--with a wooden top firmly attached. Plywood could be used and ready-made table tops are available for around $30. In that way, the cost would not be too much for the Parks Dept. but still, you will probably have to go through a lot of red tape to get the project going.

As far as a concrete table goes, I don't know who would made them.

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On hitting a long ball in the air

Topic: Table Tennis


May 15, 2006

In reference to question "Ball is long and is hit" - It is A's responsibility to hit B's side of the table or he loses!!! If A's ball goes flying so as to miss B's end of the table, he loses the point!!! Otherwise - B would have to chase A's wild balls across the room and B's trying to stop A's wild balls with his paddle would lose the point. Sorry, A loses each time he misses the B's end of the table.

Billy - USA



Thanks for the feedback on that issue. The biggest problem is when B purposely hits the ball in the air to return it, and it is not clear whether or not the ball will be long. Returning the ball in that manner before it hits the table is a lost point. But just stopping a shot obviously long is OK. In non-tournament play, you can get into some arguments about this.

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Wants sandpaper ping pong paddles

Topic: Table Tennis


May 14, 2006

I love sandpaper paddles. I have several of them and play them them every single day for about 2 or 3 hours. However, sandpaper paddles are very hard to find. What type of sandpaper is used on sandpaper paddles and what is a company that makes a similar type of sandpaper? Please let me know a.s.a.p! Thank you!

Andrew - USA



I guess you could glue on a fine sandpaper, but you might get lumps. It is probably better to buy them online: sells them for about $2 each. sells them for $5 each.

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Where the hell is Dominique Wilkins?

Topic: Top 50 NBA


May 3, 2006

Where the hell is Dominique Wilkins? Why isn't he among the NBA's top 50 players of all time?




I agree that he was a great player. The list was made by sports announcers, and I don't agree with many of their selections and those omitted from their list.

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Can I return the ball in the air in a volley?

Topic: Table Tennis


March 29, 2006

Can i return a ball during a volley in the air.In other words..acn i hit the ball in the air...before it hits mt side of the table...Thank you

lorenzo - USA



No, the ball should it the table before you can return it. What is real bad is if the ball would be so high that it wouldn't even hit the table and you hit it in the air. You would lose the point, even if the ball was out.

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Comments on top NBA players

Topic: All-time NBA


March 25, 2006

This is a great web site! They have the NBA's top 50 all over the internet, but I've never seen players broken down by position like this before.

I have a few questions. First, at center I noticed that you rated Kareem higher than Shaq. I think that's fair, but let me ask you, what would Shaq have to do in the remainder of his career to be ranked higher than Kareem?

At guard, wasn't Oscar Robertson a point guard? If so, how would your top 3 PG and SG change?

I have a slight disagreement with you that Dr J was better than Bird, but that's a matter of opinion. But I do have to ask, if you chose a top 3 PF of all time, what would that list look like? Mine would be Duncan, Petit and Malone, in that order.

Last one. What would be your all-time NBA defensive team? I've got Russel at C, Jordan at SG and Rodman at PF (those are the easy ones). I threw Pippen and Gary Payton in at SF and PG, but I didn't know enough about the old timers to give a fair vote.

Again, great site! I'd like to know what your answers to my questions would be.

Tom Hall

Tom - USA



Shaq is certainly the dominate center today, but his numbers have never been all that good, especially considering there are no other really good centers to go up against. Kareem stood up well against Wilt, who was rated as the physically strongest player in the NBA at the time. It would be an interesting match-up between Kareem and Shaq.

In reality, I prefer not to have active players on the all-time list. Time Duncan will have to wait, but he certainly rates among the top.

After Oscar Robertson started playing with the Milwaukee Bucks, Guy Rodgers was the point guard. Actually, in those days they didn't think in terms of point guard and shooting guard.

Dr. J certainly was more sensational that Larry Bird, but I think Bird played more of a full game. It is close between the two. Bird was a competitor but not a very good sport.

Karl Malone is also worthy of getting listed. The page on the top-50 NBA players lists many of the greats. Both this list and the top-50 need to be updated with many of the recent players who have retired. I think that some of the old-timers may not even make the NBA with the athleticism of the present players.

Your all-defensive list looks good.

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