2007 Alaska Teams Table Tennis Tournament

Team Table Tennis a Success!

Sunday, January 14, 2007, gave birth to the first Alaska Teams Table Tennis Tournament in the UAF Patty Center. Two events lured eighteen players to take on the Olympic Team format challenge. The 2008 Olympics in Beijing China will use this 3 player team format to determine the Olympic Champions. Teams challenge each other to a TIE which consists of five matches, four singles matches and one doubles match. Each player plays in two matches to contribute to the team total. The team winning three of the five matches wins the TIE.

Because of the diverse table tennis skill levels in Alaska, a twist was added to the tournament to attempt to level the playing field. Each player used either their USATT rating or an estimated playing level rating. After comparing the ratings, the higher rated player started with a negative point for every 50 rating points difference. This system proved to be successful in giving the match a competitive flavor regardless of the rating difference.

The higher rated players still prevailed in 78% of the matches. However, lower rated player were able to pull off a few upsets. The double team of Jerry Smith and Diann Darnall took three games straight from the Anchorage team of Andy Hutzel and Karl Augestad to capture the only doubles upset of the day. In singles matches Todd Woodhouse defeated higher ranked Mark Wade. Andy Hutzel also defeated Mark Wade. Jerry Smith was victorious over Rod Orr. Doug Smith defeated Diann Darnall. Shannon O'Neill defeated Jerry Smith. Lloyd Hilling defeated Ken Risse. Doug Smith defeated Ken Risse. Eric Cavalho defeated Andy Hutzel. Diann Darnall edged out Mark Wade, and Alan Hoover defeat top ranked player Haitham Salman.

Ninety-seven games were played in the first event, with 12 players competing on four teams. The Anchorage team of Haitham Salman, Karl Augestad, and Andy Hutzel took first place by winning all their TIES. Second place with a record of 3-1 was the Fairbanks team of Mark Wade, Alan Hoover and Arun Venkatasubramanian. Third place was captured by Anchorage/Fairbanks combined team of Todd Woodhouse, Rod Orr and Doug Smith. Fourth place went to the Fairbanks team of Jerry Smith, Ken Risse and Diann Darnall.

Winning first place in the random draw teams event was Doug Smith, Arun Venkatasubramanian and Eric Cavalho. Second place went to the team of Alan Hoover, Chirk Chu and Ken Risse. Third place went to Todd Woodhouse, Lloyd Hilling and Diann Darnall. Fourth place was won by Andy Hutzel and Shannon O'Neill.

It was great having the top Alaskans in the same tournament. Thank you, Andy Hutzel for getting the ball rolling on this tournament. Hopefully the point system will catch on and continue to grow the sport of Table Tennis in Alaska.

Tournament Photos

Alan Hoover
Alan's fan club
Alan Hoover and Todd Woodhouse
Anchorage Trio
Andy Hutzel and Eric Cavalho
Andy, Karl, Todd and Rod
Arun Venkatasubramanian and Karl Augestad
Diann Darnall and Alan Hoover
Doug Smith and Diann Darnall
Haitham Salman and Arun Venkatasubramanian
Jerry, Ken, Arun and Alan
Jerry Smith and Rod Orr
Ken Risse
Linda and Rod Orr
Lloyd Hilling and Ken Risse
Maida and Jerry
Mark Wade and Haitham Salman
Shannon O'Neill