My new book is out: Table
Tennis Tactics for Thinkers. It's 21 chapters, 240 pages, and 102,000
words - buy yours today! So far there have been 15 reviews at Amazon.com,
thirteen 5-star, two 4-star..
is now open!!! Come visit. Often. We're getting about 500 readers per day,
so come join us.
Check out my daily table
tennis blog, which goes up Mon-Fri by noon.
Daily Quarterly, a satirical website (similar to The Onion) did a hilarious
"news story" on Oct. 16, 2011, about Brad Pitt starring as me in a
film adaptation of my book, "Table Tennis Tales & Techniques." I
blogged about this on Oct.
17 and Oct. 18.
Many people believed it to be true, including the part where I was paid $3.5
million for the film rights. Here's Part
1, and here's Part
See the ITTF
News Item on the ITTF Coaching Seminar I ran at the Maryland Table Tennis
Center on April 16-17, 23-24, 2011. They even ran my picture! It's also featured
in the May/June USATT Magazine, along with my article "Changing Bad
Technique." (The Cary Cup Open coverage has an extensive passage about my
winning the hardbat event, though I was mostly there to coach. There's also an
ad for MDTTC training camps, so I'm all over this issue.) I expect to run
another circa April, 2011. If interested, email
I'm a table tennis player/coach/writer/organizer and a science fiction & fantasy
writer. My science fiction & fantasy page can be found
The International Table Tennis Federation recently named the first two ITTF
certified coaches in the U.S. - and I'm one of them! (The other is Donn Olsen.)
See the article
on their home page. I was also named one of the initial 11 ITTF Course
Conductors - see article
- which qualified me to teach and certify ITTF coaches in the U.S. I'll probably run a coaching seminar for
other USA coaches in Spring, 2011.
From Sept. 4-12, 2010, I was at the International Table Tennis Association
Coaching Seminar in Colorado Springs along with many of the top USA coaches.
It's the first time the ITTF has run such a seminar in the U.S. I'm now
certified as an ITTF Course Conductor. See article.
I was featured in March on tabletennis.com.
The Washington Post did a
video on the elite junior training at Club JOOLA
when I was coaching there. I'm interviewed several
times. The video is about 2 min 30 sec. Also featured on the video are Marcus
Jackson, Amaresh Sahu, Peter Li, and Tong Tong Gong, all ranked at or near the
top of their age group in the U.S.
In 2009, my third table tennis book came out, "Table
Tennis Tales & Techniques." It's a compilation of my best work over the past
30 years, including lots of interesting (and humorous) stories and many coaching
articles. It's packed with photos.
review by Tim Boggan!
I recently finalized my science fiction novel, "Campaign 2100: Rise of
the Moderates." (It covers the election for president of Earth in the year
2100, and features a third-party moderate challenge. One of the four main
characters is a table tennis player, and there are three table tennis scenes.) It's
117,000 words, or 596 pages double spaced. I also write
science fiction and fantasy short stories - I've sold 61, plus 28 resales, and
15 "Twitter" stories (140 characters or less, about 25
words). See my
Fantasy & Science
Above: The Table Tennis Book Signing at the USA
Nationals on Dec. 17, 2009.
L-R: Richard McAfee, Dan Seemiller, Donn Olsen, Larry Hodges, Scott
Preiss, Tim Boggan.
My article "The Table
Tennis Fantasy Tour" is up at Fantasy Magazine! Feel free to comment.
I was interviewed online by Community Fridays. The
interviewer, Emma Larkins, asked for the interview after one of the panels I was
on at the Capclave SF Convention.
the USA Nationals in Las Vegas, in December, 2007, I was caught off guard at the
Hall of Fame Banquet when they announced I had won the President's Award for
service to the sport of table tennis. (See below for some other plaques in my
As the editor of USA Table Tennis Magazine, I did 71 issues, through the March/April 2007 issue. (USA Table Tennis has gone through a lot of editors
over the years.) Here's the
item on my resigning as editor for twelve years of USA Table Tennis Magazine
after the March/April 2007 issue. I'm also the founder of the USA
Table Tennis League.
I now have 1431 published articles in
141 different publications, including 1285 on
table tennis. The first was in 1977. Many of these articles are linked online.
You might have read my book, Table
Tennis: Steps to Success. Over 28,000 copies have been
sold. It has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Indonesian,
Malaysian and Hebrew,
and there are more translations planned. I did an update in 2007 for a reprint. See
info page for ordering
My first book was Instructor's Guide to Table Tennis, the official
coaching manual for USA Table Tennis.
My third book just came out, "Table Tennis Tales & Techniques."
It is a compilation of my best published work. It came out in February, 2009.
I have a Master's degree in Journalism, and a Bachelor's degree in Math,
with concentrations in computer science and chemistry (all from University of
Maryland). I'm a member of the following organizations: USA
Tennis Hall of Fame, Maryland Table Tennis
Center, Classic Table Tennis Association,
Science Fiction Writers of America,
The Writers Center,
Critters, U.S. Tennis Association,
Quince Orchard Tennis Club, and
In the July/August, 2005 USA Table Tennis Magazine, I
had a feature article I co-wrote with Cheng Yinghua, "The
Secrets of Chinese Table Tennis ... and What the Rest of the World Needs To Do
To Catch Up." (This was also
translated and published in Slovenian!)
In October of 2004 I created a Celebrities Playing Table Tennis page - just what this world needs!
Hundreds of photos of celebrities playing our favorite sport! It's been
averaging 15,000 (that's not a misprint!) downloads per day! Many
pages and blogs discovered it and linked to it.
on plaque for larger version.)
In December, 2003, I was inducted into the USATT
Hall of Fame. (I'd missed it by one vote
the previous two years.) Here's the notice
of my induction, the profile
of me by Tim Boggan, and the
online video of my induction - go to minute 9, then 13:50). I was inducted as a "contributor." (I'm the
youngest person every inducted as a contributor.) Two
players were also inducted - Eric Boggan and David Zhuang, and Marty
Reisman received the lifetime achievement award. USATT has been around since
1933, and there are currently 109 members of the Hall of Fame. Here's a picture of me
with my parents at the induction ceremonies, and one of my parents
talking with USATT president Sheri Pittman.
I was the 2002
Table Tennis Developmental Coach of the Year. After being nominated three
times in past years but never winning, it was a pleasant surprise. I'm a USATT
Certified National Coach, the highest level of certification.
I was an editor for a magazine that covered quality
in industry ("The Quality Observer," 8 issues, a color glossy), and a computer programmer for one year before
coming back to table tennis.
From 1991 until 1998, I was the director and a regular (sometimes
full-time) coach at the Maryland Table Tennis Center in
Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA. (I only coach there part-time now, plus some
organizational work.) Go there to find info on training camps and
tournaments, most of which I help out on. MDTTC players dominated the
Junior Olympics and Junior Nationals from 1991 to 2003, winning over half the
gold medals and the most total medals for 13 straight years, but the last two
years many of our players have spent the summer training in China or other
places, so few have gone. We expect to be back at full force at the 2006 Junior
Olympics/Junior Nationals, when they are held in Norfolk, VA, which is driving
distance for a change.
was the director of the USATT League
which I founded in September, 2003. As of Sept. 1, 2009, over 9281 players had
played 160,011 league matches in 268 leagues in 47 states and DC.
a listing of U.S.
Hardbat Champions - I've won 18 U.S. national titles at the U.S. Open and Nationals
(15 in hardbat, but I normally use sponge).
Check out the U.S. Open and Nationals Doubles listings! However, my main task at
the Open and Nationals is online and magazine coverage. I'm
semi-retired from tournaments now.
Some web pages I maintain:
Left: Coaching the Maryland Team at the 2000 Junior Olympics/Junior
Nationals in Orlando, Florida. For 13 consecutive years (1991-2003), we won over
half the gold medals and more total medals than any other state.
I have a long history of using weird objects as a racket, from a clipboard
to just about anything else. It's just for fun,
but yes, I once did beat someone with an ice cube as a racket. I also beat
a news reporter using his running mini-tape recorder as a racket, giving taped
how I got started -
blame it on Marty Reisman! I also do local exhibitions. See my "cartoon"
on the last presidential election! Can you name all ten people?
A now ... my "table tennis resume."
- Current Positions
- Member, USATT
Hall of Fame, 2003
- USATT Certified National Coach
- USATT Certified Umpire
- Member of USATT's Coaching, Club, and Editorial Committees
- ITTF Certified Coach
- Past Positions
- Member, USATT Coaching Committee, 2010-2013
- Member, USATT Editorial Committee, 2010-2013
- Member, USATT Club Committee, 2012-2013
- Editor, USATT Magazine, 1991-1995, and July 14, 1999 to February, 2007
- Founder & Director, USATT League,
Sept. 1, 2003 to February, 2007
- Club Programs Director,
USA Table Tennis, October 2000 to February, 2007
- Editor, U.S. Open, U.S. Nationals and U.S. Team Trials Program
- Webmaster, USA Table Tennis, July
14, 1999 to November, 2005
- Founder & Moderator, USATT
Forum, Jan. 1, 2004 to January, 2007
- Chairman, USATT Coaching Committee, 1991-1995
- Chairman, USATT Club Committee, 1990-1991
- USATT Vice President, 1991
- Chairman, USATT Resident Training Program Committee, 1990-92
- Member of USATT Junior, Grassroots Development, Ratings, and Senior Committees,
- Manager/Director, USATT Resident Training Program, December 1985-December 1989
- Assistant to the Executive Director, 1989
TABLE TENNIS COACH
Right: Coaching Todd Sweeris at
the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials. He made the team.
- Head coach at TableTennisCoaching.com,
where I do a daily table tennis blog.
the video of my two-hour seminar coaches meeting at the 2009 USA
Nationals on setting up & running junior programs.
Table Tennis Developmental Coach of the Year; nominated as USATT Coach (or Developmental Coach) of the Year, 1996, 1998
- Certified by USATT as a National Coach, the highest level
- Certified by ITTF as a coach in 2010, one of the initial two USA coaches
- A coach at the Maryland Table Tennis Center
(previously the National Table Tennis Center) since 1991
- Director & Coach,
Club JOOLA Table Tennis in Rockville, October, 2007 - April, 2008
- Chairman, USATT Coaching Committee, 1991-95
- Head Coach, Maryland Junior Olympic Team, 1992-2004. Since 1991,
Maryland juniors have won more gold medals than all 49 other states combined, and
from 1991 to 2003 won over half the golds and more total medals than any other
state every year, 13 straight years.
- Coach of University of Maryland 3-time National Champion College Team, 1993-95
- U.S. Junior Team Coach, U.S. Open, 1990-1994, 1997-98
- Head Coach, U.S. Junior Team, King Kar City Youth Cup Championships, Taiwan, 1994
- Head Coach, U.S. Junior Team, Canadian National Exhibition (Canadian Open), 1992
Right: Director/Assistant Coach, Olympic Training Center, Resident Table
Tennis Program, 1989. That's me on the far left.
- Director/Assistant Coach, USATT Resident Training Program, 1989; Manager, 1986-89;
Assistant Manager, 1985-86 (see photo on left)
- Have coached at over 90 table tennis camps, mostly as Head Coach
- Director and Co-Coach of USATT's Elite Coaches Camp, 1992; have attended numerous USATT
- Author of Table Tennis: Steps to
Success (over 24,000 copies sold), Instructor's Guide to Table Tennis (USATT's official coaching manual), and
over 300 published coaching articles
- Editor of Table Tennis Coaches Quarterly, 1989-90 (3 issues)
- Certified as a coach by ACEP (American Coaching Effectiveness Program)
- Tournament Director for Club
JOOLA Table Tennis in Rockville, January-June, 2008 (five tournaments).
- Director of over 150 USATT sanctioned tournaments
- Director of the largest 4-star tournament in U.S. history, the 1998 Eastern Open, March 20-22, at
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, with 411 entries, the most ever for a
4-star tournament. Previous high had been 272
- Director of 1993 Junior Nationals, which had the most TV coverage of any
Junior Nationals before or since. It was the only one with a major sponsor (Janlibo),
and the only one with prize money ($5000 in cash prizes)
- Assistant Operations Director, 1991 & 1992 U.S. Opens
- Editor of Table Tennis Tournament Directors Quarterly, 1989-90
- Commissioner, 1989 Colorado State Games for Table Tennis
- Founder of the annual North American Teams Championships (run by North
American Table Tennis), Baltimore, MD
- Director & Coach,
Club JOOLA Table Tennis in Rockville, Fall, 2007-Spring, 2008
- Club Programs
Director, USA Table Tennis, Oct. 2000 to Feb. 2007
- Co-Founder, Maryland Table Tennis Center and National Table Tennis Center
- Director, Maryland Table Tennis Center, 1997 - Sept. 1998
- Director, National Table Tennis Center, 1992-1997
- Chairman, USATT Club Committee, 1990-91. During this time, USATT Certified clubs went
from 226 to 301
- Founder & President, University of Maryland Table Tennis Club, 1981-85, 1991-92;
probably the most active club in the U.S. in early 1980s with 16 tables, open 7 days/week
and full on most nights
- President & co-founder, Beltsville Table Tennis Club, 1991
- President, Northern Virginia Table Tennis Club, 1982-85
- Commissioner, Northern Virginia Table Tennis League, 1983-85
- Founder & Director, USATT League,
Sept. 1, 2003 (its debut) to Feb. 2007.
- Founder of the North American Team
Championships, Baltimore, MD
- Founder of the U.S. Classic Hard Bat
- Founder or co-founder of four table tennis clubs
- Arranged the two largest showings of USA Table Tennis in history, Headline News and CNN
specials on Ping Pong Diplomacy's 25th Anniversary in 1997 and on the National Table
Tennis Center in 1993. Have arranged over 40 TV showings on CNN, Headline News, ESPN, ESPN2, Nightline, and on
ABC, CBS and NBC local news programs
- Did all media work for
USATT at the 2003 U.S. Open. Ten newspaper articles, and coverage by
five TV stations.
- Arranged TV showings on four TV stations for the 1993 Junior Nationals while attracting
more players than any junior nationals since
- Hundreds of newspaper clippings on table tennis activities
- Promoted and directed the 1998 Eastern Open, Baltimore, MD, which received 411
entries, the most ever for a 4-star tournament. (Previous high had been 272.)
- After years of promotion, Maryland now has more USATT members as a percentage of
population than any other state in the U.S.
- Have done many exhibitions,
both local and around the country
- Editor, USATT Magazine, 71 issues, Nov., 1991 to Dec., 1995, and July, 1999 to
Feb. 2007. Circulation is around 8000. Advertising increased from $2300/issue when I was first hired to over $14,000/issue,
$15,000 in my last issue.
published articles in 141 publications, including 1285 on table tennis.
- Author of Table Tennis: Steps to
Success, Human Kinetics Publishers, 1993. Over 28,000 copies sold. It's
been translated into Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, Malaysian, and Hebrew.
- Author of "Table Tennis Tales & Techniques."
It came out in Feb., 2009.
- Author of Instructor's Guide to Table Tennis, the official USATT
coaching book, 86 pages
- Author of three USATT Manuals:
- Editor of MDTTC Newsletter, a monthly starting in 2012, with 10 issues (as
of March, 2013)
- Editor of the Club JOOLA Monthly Newsletter, December 2007 - June 2008
- Editor or Co-Editor of the Programs for the 1991, 2001-2006 U.S. Opens,
the 2000-2006 U.S. Nationals, the 1993 Junior Nationals, the 2001 U.S.
Team Trials, the 2000 Enron Millennium Friendship Tour, and the 2003 & 2004 North
- Author of 171 weekly Table Tennis Tips at the USATT
Home Page as "Dr. Ping Pong."
- Author of chapter on table tennis in Tricks of the
Trade for Kids, 1994 (edited by Jerry Dunn); co-authors include Ronald
Powell, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Buzz Aldrin, Peggy Flemming, William Buckley, Mr. Rogers
and Dennis Connor
- Editor & Writer of 19 issues of Table Tennis Talk, monthly
on-line publication, January 1997-September, 1998
- Author of 10 issues of Robo-Coach, monthly coaching
column on the Newgy Table Tennis Page's Coaching Forum, December 1997 - September 1998
(recently republished at TableTennis.com)
- Editor & Producer of Table Tennis World, December 1995-July 1996
- Editor of Table Tennis Today, November 1991-December 1995. Advertising revenue
increased from $2300/issue to $5600/issue during my tenure
- Editor of Table Tennis Coaches Quarterly, 1989-1990, USATT publication
- Editor of Table Tennis Tournament Directors Quarterly, 1989-1990, USATT publication
- Editor of Northern Virginia Table Tennis News, 1983-85
- Assisted in the production of History of U.S. Table Tennis, by Tim Boggan,
Volumes I-XI, by doing the page layouts and photo work.
- Non-Table Tennis work:
- USATT Webmaster for www.usatt.org from November, 1999
to November 2005
- Increased web hits from 1700/day to about 4000/day
- Started up weekly "Tips of the Week" and "Photo of the
Week" in 1999, as well as excerpts from Tim Boggan's table tennis
history books. All are online at www.usatt.org
- Author of most news items at the USATT home page at www.usatt.org
(from Dec. 1999 to Dec. 2005).
- Put online most USATT documents, most of which I wrote. Most are at the USATT
Club Programs page
- Started online reporting of major USATT events:
I've won lots of state titles and 22 National titles:
- 1990 U.S. Collegiate Men's
Doubles Champion (with Christian Lillieroos)
- 1994 & 1995 U.S. Collegiate Team Champion (University of Maryland,
- 1991 National Hardbat
- 1992 U.S. Open Hardbat Singles Champion
- 13-time National or
U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles Champion (6 National and 6 U.S. Open; 9 with Ty Hoff,
4 with Steve Berger)
- 4-time National
Hardbat Over 40 Champion
- 2000 North American Hardbat Over 40 Champion
- 1985 U.S. Open Under 3400 Doubles Champion (with Jeff Harris)
Below is a more complete listing of titles.
Sponge (National titles in bold)
- 2010 U.S. Open Over 40 Doubles Finalist (with Mike Levene)
- 2002 Maryland State Singles Champion
- 2002 Potomac Fall Open Under 2400 and Over 40 Champion
- 2000 Middletown November Open Under 2300 Champion, Open Semifinalist
- 1997 Potomac Valley AAU Men's Singles Champion
- 1995 National Collegiate Team Champions University of Maryland
- 1994 National Collegiate Team Champions University of Maryland
- 1992 Maryland State Games Open Singles Champion
- 1990 Potomac Valley Open Open Champion
- 1990 Winston Salem Open Champion
- 1990 National Collegiate Doubles Champion, Singles Quarterfinalist
- 1990 Rocky Mountain Region Collegiate Singles and Doubles Champion
- 1989 Men's Doubles Quarterfinalists, U.S. Nationals
- 1989 Colorado State Games Singles and Doubles Champion
- 1985 U.S. Open Under 3400 Doubles Champion
- 1983 Northern Virginia Open Champion
- 1982-83 Eastern Regional Collegiate Men's Doubles Champion
- 9-time North Carolina Open Champion, 1979-81
- Final 16, 1983 Pan Am Trials
- University of Maryland Table Tennis Singles & Doubles Champion,
- 10 tournament wins over players from 2390 to 2539, and many wins over
- In 1997, 1998 & 2000, played in U.S./North American Team Championships
as a player/coach in a lower division (average rating: about 1950). Combined
- Equipment: Butterfly Oberon blade (now discontinued), Stiga Carbo Sound (2.0
black) on forehand,
Butterfly Sriver (2.1 red) on Backhand. Sometimes use hard bat racket for variation, or chop with
long pips & inverted, or use a clipboard, an ice cube, or any other combination or
Hardbat (National titles in bold) For more info on hardbat table tennis,
go to www.hardbat.com. I'm
now semi-retired from tournaments, due to age, recurring injuries, lack of
practice, and a recent
tendency to play really, really bad.
Hodges smacking in forehand against Steve Berger and Marty Reisman, with partner
Ty Hoff watching in mute admiration. (I normally use sponge.)
- 2012 U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Ty Hoff) - 13th time
- 2011 U.S. National Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Ty Hoff)
- 2011 U.S. Open Over 40 Hardbat Finalist
- 2011 Cary Cup Hardbat Champion
- 2010 U.S. National Over 40 Hardbat Singles Champion - 4th time
the video of the final against Adoni Maropis - yes, the actor who played
the evil Fayed in "24"! I won 21-15, 21-15, but he's a very good
- 2010 U.S. National Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Ty Hoff)
- 2010 Cary Cup Hardbat Champion
- 2010 U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles and Over 40 Hardbat Singles Finalist
- 2009 U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles and Over 40 Hardbat Singles Finalist
- 2003 U.S. National Over 40 Hardbat Singles Champion.
- 2003 U.S. National Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Steve Berger).
- 2003 U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles Finalist
- 2002 U.S. National Over 40 Hardbat Singles
- 2002 U.S. National Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Steve Berger)
- 2002 U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Steve Berger).
- 2002 U.S. Open Over 40 Hardbat Singles Finalist
U.S. National Over 40 Hardbat Singles Champion
- 2001 U.S. National Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Steve Berger)
- 2001 U.S. National Hardbat Singles Semifinalist
U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Ty Hoff)
U.S. National Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Ty Hoff), Singles Quarterfinalist
North American Over 40 Hardbat Singles Champion
- 2000 North American Hardbat Doubles Finalist
- 2000 North American Hardbat Singles Quarterfinalist
- 2000 U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Ty Hoff)
- 2000 U.S. Open Hardbat Singles Quarterfinalist - lost to winner Ty Hoff
- 2000 U.S. National Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Ty Hoff)
- 1999 U.S. Open Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Ty Hoff), Singles Semifinalist
- 1999 U.S. Nationals Hardbat Doubles Finalist
- 1998 U.S. National Hardbat Doubles Champion (with Ty Hoff), Singles Semifinalist
- 1998 U.S. Open Hardbat Singles Semifinalist
- 1997 U.S. National Hardbat Singles Finalist
- 2000 Matthew Murad Memorial Hardbat Singles & Doubles Champion
- 2000 Hardbat Singles Finalist: Meiklejohn Seniors, St. Joseph Valley Open
and Eastern Open
- 1992 U.S. Open Hardbat Singles Champion
- 1991 U.S. National Hardbat Singles Champion
- Rating using hardbat in regular tournaments (against sponge players): 2183
- Master's degree, Journalism, University of Maryland, August 1997.
- Bachelor's degree, Mathematics, University of Maryland, 1986; concentrations in computer
science and chemistry.
- Winner of the 2007
Space Westerns Limerick Contest!
- Former Software Engineer for RDI. Specialized in SQL, Oracle Forms & Reports (D2K),
and Visual Basic. Also experienced in HTML, Pascal and Fortran.
- Experienced desktop publisher with complete desktop publishing system.
- 53 years old, and getting older every single gosh-darn year on Feb. 27.
- Achieved minor celebrity status in 1985 by solving the "Magic
Rectangles" problem posed by Math Puzzlist Martin Gardner, one of five
puzzles he challenged college students nationwide to solve. The solution - the
"Hodges Algorithm" - was published in "Mathematics and
Computer Education Magazine" in Spring, 1986. (Solution came to me
while I was lying in bed!)
- University of Maryland arm wrestling champion,
Under 170 pound weight
- Completed the 1977
Marine Corps Marathon, and lettered in track as a miler in high school.
- Meet Sheeba, my
dog. She loves bacon
snacks! She's 15 (as of Feb. 2013) but other than being nearly deaf and
a slight limp from a back leg, she still acts like a puppy.
- I recently discovered that, with a little help from me, Dilbert
did a cartoon on me!
- Some of my favorite quotes.
- Hobbies include reading, writing science fiction &
fantasy, playing tennis
(4.0 level), and presidential politics. I also collect table tennis books in English
far, with many dating from 1900-1950), and statues of wizards and dragons.
I'm also a big fan of Dilbert,
The Simpsons, The
Big Bang Theory, and (unfortunately) the Baltimore