ALVaTTc Guidelines

ALVaTTC (Allentown/Lehigh Valley area Table Tennis Club) is a USATT (USA Table Tennis) and PATTA (Pennsylvania Table Tennis Association) affiliated club. 
ALVaTTC is a non-profit organization/club. 
Dues are used to pay the club's rental fees, USATT affiliation, USATT tournament 'sanction' fees and miscellaneous expenses. 
Any surplus monies are used to repair, upgrade, purchase and/or maintain equipment and excess is equally invested and donated to the Allentown YMCA/YWCA.

A - PLEASE PAY ‘BEFORE’ YOU PLAY

Rates per night are as follows: under age 18 - $4.00; all others - $6.00.  A discounted club membership can be paid by the month, quarter, half‑year, or year at a rate of $40, $100, $170, and $288 respectively.  Open Play nights are on Tuesdays and Fridays from 6:30 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. (summer hours are from 6:00 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. and are in effect from ‘about’ mid June through ‘about’ mid September).  ALVaTTc has a RENTAL agreement with the Allentown YMCA/YWCA, therefore all players shall deem participating as a privilege,....NOT a right!  

B - DUES

Anyone wishing to pay the annual rate may do so at any time, however, the period ends on December 31 of that year.  All per night rates are in effect the second play night of January until the annual rate is paid.  Semi‑annual rates are only accepted by the second play night of January and July.  Quarterly dues are only accepted by the first play night of each quarter, i.e., the first play night of January, April, July and October.  Monthly dues are only accepted by the first play night of the month.  There will be no pro‑rated refunds under any circumstances.

C - SAVINGS

Players are encouraged to join and/or renew USATT membership and purchase equipment through our club to help our treasury and save money for themselves.  Optional - All players are encouraged to join USATT and participate in USATT ‘sanctioned’ tournaments to establish a ‘published’ rating.

D - SAFETY 

  1. To ensure the safety of all players YMCA/YWCA insurance regulations REQUIRE that no player cross into another player's playing area while play is in progress.
    1. To assist you in identifying where one playing area ends and another begins, flat orange cones will be placed on the floor at the boundary between playing areas.  Note their location before beginning to play.  
    2. In general, the player closest to a ball is to retrieve the ball. 
    3. When a player needs to cross into another players playing area, then that player must wait for both practising players to stop play and acknowledge the player crossing the area.  'LET' calls may only be made by the participating players and 'on duty' umpires.
    4. Players must move barriers and walk around them.  Stepping over or leaping over barriers is never acceptable.
  2. Gluing: Fire Regulations require that all gluing be done OUTSIDE the building.
  3. Floors: If footing/floors tend to have slippery conditions, please wipe non-marking (mandatory) shoes on provided wet towels.
  4. Consequences for failure to adhere to the safety regulations set out in these guidelines are as follows:
    1. First Offense: Player will be asked to leave the playing areas that night with no refund.
    2. Second Offense: Player will be asked to leave the playing areas that night with no refund and will not be permitted to return for 30 days.
    3. Third Offense: Player will be asked to leave the playing areas that night with no refund and will not be permitted to return for 100 days.

E - DOUBLES

Only table # 1, table # 3 and table # 6 may be used for doubles. (See * 5 below)

Players preferring to play DOUBLES  (See * 5 and # 6)
1/ shall have a partner available
2/ shall announce that their team 'have the next doubles match'
3/ shall NOT be signed up for singles on the play sheet
4/ shall vacate table after two [2] matches or mix & match if no opponents available
5/ * as a courtesy to all players and an accommodation/courtesy for new players, doubles shall NOT begin until AFTER all tables are occupied in excess of 12 participants.
6/ Common sense should be prevalent when ANY tables are in need of a player[s] and a doubles team is 'waiting' their turn for a doubles match, the 'waiting' doubles team members shall be aware and notify the lone player that hitting with him/her will expire when the 'waiting' doubles team is due to play.

F - SET-UP

Tables should be set up in the following manner 1‑2-3, on the RIGHT side and 4-5-6, on the LEFT side.

G - TABLE USAGE

For singles matches, best of FIVE games shall be played on all tables.  Tables # 1, # 3 and # 6 may/should be used for DOUBLES ONLY w/a best of 7 games format.  DOUBLES are NOT permitted @ ANY time on Tables # 5, # 4 and # 2.  Players are LIMITED to a TWICE match ONLY play @ the SAME table.  All age/ability persons are welcome, however, youth participants under age 13 MUST be accompanied by a RESPONSIBLE adult.

H - SIGN-UP

When there is an excess of 16 participants, all players must sign the play sheet before they begin to play (NOTE: please see E - DOUBLES).  The next person signed up will replace the loser of the match between the first two players.  The player who signs up will be allowed to play before the player who doesn't, regardless of who was there first.  Each player, after crossing out his/her name on the play sheet, is allowed to play two matches before he/she has to sign the play sheet again.  If that player is unavailable when the next table opens, that player's name shall be crossed out and the player must re-sign the play sheet.  Players on tables for which they did not sign up to play will be deemed to be 'just practising' and must yield to player(s) who signed the play sheet.  If you are 'just practising’, you still need to sign the play sheet listing a circled 'P' AND your start time.  ‘Practice’ time (in lieu of match play) is limited to 18 minutes.

I - WARM UP

Each player has five (5) minutes to warm up before his/her first match.  Warm up thereafter shall be limited to two (2) minutes for all subsequent matches.  The match must begin after the allotted warm-up time has elapsed.  Players that help with initial set-up are eligible for an additional TEN (10) minute warm-up time prior to their first match.

J - INFORMATION

Upcoming tournaments and other Table Tennis information are posted on our site www.alvattc.org, on the bulletin board and the USATT website.  NO PLAY on ‘Good Friday’.  The Allentown YMCA/YWCA does NOT allow discrimination and/or solicitation!!  BOTH are LEGAL grounds for banishment.

K - EVENTS

All ALVaTTc players are encouraged to plan ahead to participate in the events listed below.   

ALVaTTc Sponsored Events

The following events are run by our club members.  Volunteers needed.
Please speak with a club officer to discuss how you can be of assistance at these events. 
  • TBA - EITHER the Holiday Classic held 'around' the New Year.OR our Spring Classic tournament held in late March - TBA
    These
    tournaments cater to all age and ability level players and both feature 10 singles and doubles events and are quite  in-expensive.  Awards are trophies with CA$H awarded in the highest ability level events and is NOT a USATT sanctioned event.
  •  Healthy Kids Day - Sunday - Mid-April.  Volunteers help with instructions and demonstrations. 
  •  National Seniors Day - Wednesday - Mid-May.  Volunteers help with instructions and demonstrations. 
  • Lehigh Valley SportsFest - a NON USATT sanctioned tournament is held on the 3rd Saturday of July catering to all age and ability level players and features varied age levels and ability levels and QUITE in-expensive.  Awards are trophies with CA$H awarded in the highest ability level events.

Other Events of Interest

  • PA State Closed Tournament  -  4th weekend of April (singles & doubles for all ages and abilities)
  • PA Keystone State Games Tournament - 4th weekend of July (singles, doubles and Team events for all ages and abilities)
  • PA Keystone State SENIOR (ages 50+) Games Tournament - 4th weekend of July (singles and doubles events for all ages and abilities)
  • All ‘other’ USATT ‘sanctioned’ tournaments - Please go to www.usatt.org

L - RESPONSIBILITIES

Each person is responsible for cleaning up his/her own litter.  Please use the trash cans to dispose of all litter [including rest-room].  The YMCA/YWCA insists that food and drinks are not to be taken on any of the courts at ANY TIME!  One half hour before closing time and prior to leaving, each player is obliged to in-quire if help is needed to put away any barriers, nets. table(s) not being used.  All players are responsible for putting away tables and portable equipment.  The last players to leave are responsible for putting away the barriers, tables, nets, club rackets, and bulletin board and for seeing that the entire area is free of trash.  It is the responsibility of all players to report any damage caused or discovered.  Anyone damaging equipment must either pay for or repair the damage.  Examples: table top replacement - $275 per side; major top damage - $50 to $150 per side; table chip or gouge - $35 to $70; club paddle - $30; table brace - $25; barrier - $10 to $30; net or net assembly - $10 to $35.  Add $20 to repair costs for gas and travel time for two workers.  Anyone failing to repair, replace, or repay within three (3) play nights will be denied use of ALVaTTc facilities and activities until commitment is fulfilled.  This applies to all Table Tennis participants including YMCA/YWCA, ALVaTTc members, and visitors with absolutely no exceptions.  Do not attempt adjustment or repair of any equipment without supervision.

M - CLUB TOURNAMENTS

Scheduling and Start Times:  Club tournaments will usually be scheduled for one Tuesday or Friday each month, excluding July when our SportsFest tournament is scheduled. 
Doors open at 6:30pm.  All participants must be registered by 7:00pm.  Play begins at 7:15pm SHARP.  Players arriving after competition begins will be considered 'Late Arrivals' and will be placed at random (with no appropriate bracket or seeding guarantee) and will NOT be eligible for awards.  Players arriving more than one hour after 'doors open' will not be accepted. 
Fees: Standard nightly fees apply to ALL participants.  Thus *1st time walk-ins, 'Y' members, and or guests must pay the normal nightly rate.  Anyone not wishing to participate in a ‘club’ tournament and those who arrive more than one hour after the 'doors open' time will only be allowed to use tables as they become available.  When possible, Room 202 will be made available for those players just described.

Format: Both singles and doubles events will normally be played in either a round robin, or double elimination format.  If and when Point Handicap events are played, the Point Handicap System will be utilized and 'club' ratings may be evaluated/adjusted after each ‘club’ tournament.  TEAM event DETAILS: A team 'TIE' consists of two singles matches and one doubles match followed by one or two singles matches as necessary; three match wins concludes the 'TIE' - matches will be best 2 of 3 eleven point games with a round robin format  Simplistic draw sheets provided.
 
Record You Own Results: Each round robin bracket will receive a match sheet/schedule.  Place a 'W' in the box corresponding to the winners row and an 'L' in the box corresponding to the losers row.  The number of games won and lost should be placed in BOTH corresponding boxes.  For example, 3-0, 3-1, or 3-2 should be recorded for matches that are best of 5 and 2-0 or 2-1 should be recorded for the best of 3 matches in the winner boxes.  Reverse order recorded for loser is 0-3, 1-3, or 2-3 in best of 5 matches or 0-2 or 1-2 in best of 3 matches.
 
Singles: The top 10 USATT rated players will be placed in brackets A or B, seeded by ALVaTTc or USATT ratings.  The format will be round robin and all matches will be best of 5 games.  Class 'A' will play on tables # 1, # 2 and # 3.  Class 'B' will play on tables # 4, # 5 and # 6 and USATT members and all NON-USATT members will all be placed in class 'B' and the format will be round robin and all matches will be best of 3 games [unless otherwise specified].  If a bracket is not completed with USATT members, NON-USATT members will be permitted and seeded in an appropriate manner usually with either a 'known/obvious' ability level or ALVaTTc 'club' rating at the discretion of the tournament director.
 
Doubles: The top 5 USATT or ALVaTTc rated teams will be placed in bracket 'A'.  The format will be round robin and all matches will be best of 5 games.  Class 'A' will play on tables # 1 and # 3.  All other USATT members, NON-USATT members and 'late arrivals' will be placed in Class 'B'.  The format will be round robin and all matches will be best of three 3 games [unless otherwise specified].  Class 'B' will play on # 4 and # 6.  If a bracket is not completed with USATT members, teams comprised of BOTH USATT members and NON-USATT members will be permitted and seeded in an appropriate manner at the discretion of the tournament director.  Doubles teams can be prearranged, or on 'Club' tournament night OR designated by person[s] in charge.  YOUR prerogative!
*Note that on nights when doubles events are being held, ONLY tables # 2 and # 5 may be used as a practice table (for up to 15 minutes at a time) provided that those practising give respectful consideration to those playing doubles matches.
Awards:  Awards presented may vary and are at ‘the Committees’ discretion.  'Late Arrivals' will not be eligible for awards.

All times, activities, venues, formats and dates subject to change with or without prior notice.

N - CELL PHONES

Players are requested to turn cell phones OFF during play hours.  ‘If’ EMERGENCY or work ‘on call’ is required, utilize the vibrate option and answer/response is to be made OUTSIDE of play area.  NOTE: During USATT/ITTF ‘sanctioned’ tournaments, a ringing cell phone is an ‘AUTOMATIC’ RED CARD (includes NON participants).

O - COACHING

‘Private’ lessons for individuals or small groups are available 'OFF SITE’ with USATT ‘Certified’ Coaches with separate/additional fees.  For added information/details/specifics, please contact alvattc@gmail.com or alvattc@alvattc.org.

P - ROBOT

Robot use (when time/space allows) is in TWELVE minute segments.  The user must clean/wipe and return all balls to the receptacle while practising and when finished.  The robot is to be used only with the assistance of a KNOWLEDGEABLE member.  The limit for use is three (3) twelve minute periods ‘per night’ and supervision is required at all times.

Q - PROTOCOL for SUGGESTIONS/REQUESTS

1/ Any submission of suggestions for changes or improvements must NOT/NEVER be given to the 'Y' desk persons nor any other 'Y' personnel
2/ Submit suggestions for changes or improvements in writing, with the date, your signature and contact information ONLY to ALVaTTc 'Committee' members, e.g., Lee Chasen, Ron Albrightt, Andrew Snyder, Ms. Anita Fazakas, Fred Kistler, Feng Liu, Ms. Noga Nir-Kistler, etc.
3/ Your submission in turn will be discretely reviewed by the ALVaTTc 'Committee'
4/ 'If' approved by the ALVaTTc 'Committee', your submission will be formally submitted to the appropriate YMCA/YWCA 'powers that be'
OR,
you may follow our standard past ALVaTTc 'Committee' approved Guidelines that state:
These guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive.  Suggestions for changes or improvements to be considered at the quarterly ALVaTTc committee meetings, must be e-mailed to: alvattc@alvattc.org to the attention of Ms. Katrina Katz.   Any situations arising which are not addressed above, will be resolved in fairness and the spirit of friendship.

Revised 1/9/2013  
Updated 8/20/2015

 
SURVEY Q's & A's  
                                                    10/7/2016

All topics and issues were carefully read, reviewed, then relayed with confidentiality and discretion and answered with the utmost ability via a quorum of knowledgeable members of the ALVaTTc 'Committee'. Please see editor comments following.
               Ms. Katrina Katz


1/ Miscellaneous Questions & Answers -

Q - Why don't a lot of new players return?
A - A few dislike the rules set forth primarily evolving around safety issues, however the majority are mistakenly overwhelmed with the talent/abilities on display, not realizing that our club is actually normal as they have no concept of what higher levels are available and the differences between basement 'ping-pong' and Table Tennis.  True enthusiasts/aficionados ALWAYS return.
Q - Why do some ALVaTTc players think they are too good to play newbies?
A - Human nature as those players are under the self deception that they are better than they really are.  An old Hungarian adage 'if they were 1/2 as good as they think they are, they'd be twice as good as they are'.  Also, they may not realize that may be construed as discrimination.
Q - Is it necessary for those in charge to soundly reprimand players regarding safety?
A - Prior to playing at the 'Y', all are emphatically told about the safety factors and format. They may not comprehend that if they end up in the hospital due to a safety infraction, all players will be jeopardized as we will lose availability to the facilities (See # 2 safety below).
Q - Why can't we have additional play nights?
A - The 'Y' is booked solid.
Q - I just want play to have fun,
A - All that follow our 'Guidelines' DO have fun - those NOT [some habitually] following our 'Guidelines' have the tendency to take the fun out of it for those in charge and fellow players.
Q - Why must we pay?
A - Table Tennis at the 'Y' is a rental. We contribute over $3,000.00 annually.  If we don't pay, we don't play!  We use any extra monies to upgrade equipment and donate to the 'Y',... or invest.
Q - Why must we play in the basement occasionally?
A - We are at the 'Y's mercy.  If they need the auditorium, they graciously allow us another area.
Q - Why are there so many rules?
A - The 'Y' is in control and all rules set forth in our 'Guidelines' are a combination of the 'Y' and our personal trial and error situations that have arisen in ALVaTTc's over 40+ years experience.
Q - Why do some players play doubles only?
A - It is every players prerogative to play singles and/or doubles, however, we have a clause in our 'Guidelines' Section 'E' that stipulates how/when the the doubles agenda can be in effect.
Q - How do I become a USATT member?
A - Fred has the required forms and players receive a discount by joining via ALVaTTc.
Q - Why don't all players begin serve on the side with back facing the wall to eliminate confusion of who served first?
A - Some players [psychologically] prefer to either serve first, receive or a particular end, especially in doubles.  USATT rules [Laws of TT  2.13.1] stipulate the winner of toss has the choice to receive, serve or particular end.  As the ALVaTTc is a 40+ year USATT member, not a 'ping-pong' club, and the majority are members that compete in tournaments throughout the WORLD, therefore it is wise, practical, logical and prudent for them to follow all rules.
Q - Why do a few specific players always arrive late and leave early?
A - Possibly either job related or family situations or both, or, simply that they are only interested in personal play time having no concern for whomever does the chores of setup and take-down.

2/ Safety - 
Table Tennis continues to exist at the Allentown YMWCA because ALVaTTc must have an insurance policy (Travelers) in conjunction with the USATT insurance policy.  In year 2008, following the FIFTH Table Tennis participant hospitalization due to a safety infraction, the Allentown YMWCA informed ALVaTTc that 'if there is only ONE more occurrence of Table Tennis participant hospitalization due to disregard of safety standards, the Allentown YMWCA will be forced to TERMINATE all Table Tennis activities'This is the # 1 reason that SAFETY is our TOP PRIORITY and MUST be tightly enforced.  It is the responsibility of ALL/EVERY ALVaTTc player to advise/remind new persons pertaining to safety issues and safety policies.

3/ Treasurer/Coordinator -
Although time consuming and a commitment, ALVaTTc is always looking forward to anyone offering to 'take over' either category which entails TOTAL reliability and dependability to:
a/ collect funds nightly
b/ make bank deposits
c/ organize and help run tournaments including organizing volunteers
d/ write checks for rental, equipment, etc.
e/ repair equipment
f/ order and store equipment
g/ file monthly reports to the YMWCA
h/ maintain daily monetary/attendance records
i/ file insurance request and USATT renewals
j/ forward updates, info, etc. to Thomas & Toni B to relay to our club mailing list
NOTE:
There were few pro and con comments regarding Fred.  From some comments, and from past experience, 'Fred is the glue that has kept Table Tennis active in the Lehigh Valley for 45 years'.  From the comments of players that know him for a lengthy time and a direct quote from one player sums it up -
"Fred is extremely knowledgeable, altruistic and amicable......
BUT
he does have an absolutely ZERO tolerance for individuals that fail to:
  • use common sense
  • adhere to safety procedures
  • read and apply provided pertinent information 
  • ask questions when they already know the answers"

4/ 'Club' tournaments -
(Sent as a separate issue to
club 'regulars' and ALVaTTc 'Committee' members)
Only three replies = minimal interest = future plans TBD per requests

EDITORS [unsolicited] comment -
99% of 'comments' presented were in a positive vein and club productive and from my viewpoint, it appears that many players do NOT either read or adhere to the 'Guidelines'.
Quite surprisingly to a non Table Tennis player as myself, was the fact that with the many questions and comments, NOT ONE person offered to be of assistance in any manner.
          Ms. Katrina Katz