Every Edmonton Open article ends with the standard blurb that you see in the very last paragraph. We tell you that the Edmonton Open Table Tennis Championships, one of Western Canada’s longest running athletic events, is organized to Table Tennis Canada’s 3-star standard, making our competition one of only a handful of table tennis tournaments in Canada that can claim this standard. So what is it about this tournament that has such a high standard? A lot of it has to do with the equipment. The flooring, lighting, tables, balls and size of the play area are among many of the factors considered. Here’s what we got at the 2016 Edmonton Open.
The Ball: Xushaofa, White, 3-Star, Seamless, Poly, 40+
The casual ping pong player may not be familiar with this brand but it is a hit among our players at the Edmonton Table Tennis Club. A couple of years ago when the ITTF announced that they would make the switch to a plastic ball, players scrambled to find the ball that suited them the best. Over time, this particular ball, the Xushaofa seamless 40+ poly ball seemed (no pun intended) to do the trick. Over the past few years more and more of our club members have switched to this ball over more well known brands such as Butterfly, DHS and Nittaku. There is an inherent quality in the roundness of the ball along with no seam which make for a true bounce and relatively fast play. Also, it seems (again, no pun intended) that this ball is indestructible with players telling me that balls have lasted for 6 months or more. Xushaofa balls has been used in tournaments throughout Alberta and you’ll see it in play at the Edmonton Open for the first time.
The Flooring and Lighting: Hardwood/1000 lux
The hardwood part is pretty straightforward. The floor is made of wood, but not just any old wood. If you know a thing or two about the sports scene in Alberta’s capital city you’ll recognize this to be the floor of the Saville Community Sports Centre’s competition gymnasium. Collegiate, national and international basketball and volleyball competitions have been hosted right here . If it’s good enough for them, it’s certainly good enough for the 2016 Edmonton Open Table Tennis Championships. Now on to the harder part of explaining the lighting, or more specifically the illuminance. Let’s get the obvious out of the way: you need to be able to see to play table tennis. In order to see, you need light, but how much light? Section 3.02.03.04 of the ITTF Handbook states that “In World, Olympic and Paralympic title competitions the light intensity measured at the height of the playing surface shall be at least 1000 lux uniformly over the whole of the playing surface…”
So what do we have for illuminance in the competition gymnasium? 1000 lux, the same that is required in World and Olympic tournaments. Illuminance is the measure of the intensity of light on a surface and it contributes to a better viewing experience for the spectator and is one of the main reasons why this is a 3-star rated tournament. The illuminance in a typical TV studio is 1000 lux. To get an idea of the flooring and lighting conditions at the competition gymnasium, check out this video and these photos:
The Table: Donic Persson 25, Green
You can check out the many reviews out there about this particular table. Donic, a German table tennis equipment manufacturer wouldn’t name this after the great Swedish player Jorgen Persson if it didn’t live up to the quality befitting of a World Champion and seven time Olympian. You can see our Donic Persson 25 tables in their tournament environment in the above photos. One of the characteristics of this table that separates it from your everyday rec room table is the thickness and uniformity of the playing surface. At a thickness of 25 millimeters it is nearly double the thickness of cheaper models. The added thickness and uniformity make for a truer bounce, better contact and enhanced spin. Edmonton Table Tennis Club uses only Donic Persson 25 tables for their regular club practices and league nights as well as the Edmonton Open. If you want to buy one of these tables for your small club or your home, you can contact Table Tennis Express right here in Edmonton. They are one of only two authorized Donic dealers in Canada.
The 2016 Edmonton Open Table Tennis Championships takes place September 3rd and 4th at the University of Alberta’s Saville Community Sports Centre. The Edmonton Open is an annual tournament organized to Table Tennis Canada’s (TTCAN) 3-star standard and is hosted and run entirely by volunteers of the Edmonton Table Tennis Club (ETTC).