Who can play ?

Players of all ages and abilities are welcome. Our current players include ages 8 to 80, students, teachers, lawyers, doctors, factory workers, artists - you name it. As an internationally popular sport you can make new friends from many countries of Europe Asia Africa and Latin America as well as native-born New Englanders of course too. Youth are welcome to participate at our discretion based on appropriate behavior and sincere interest in learning to play. Young children may not be 'dropped- off' without special permission from the club director.

Where do the clubs meet ?

NETTA Connecticut Table Tennis Clubs are currently operating in Fairfield and Middletown Connecticut, within 30 minutes from most of Connecticut's population . ** See the club'Homepage'at WWW.Members.tripod.com/Netta_CT/ for directions** OR E-mail me at nettadave(removethis)@yahoo.com or Call our recorded club-info message number for times and limited directions at: (203)660-1363 (NEW # (June 2008))  My cell phone is   (203) 668-1945 new number after JUNE 2008 but please use it only for urgent calls such as if you are lost and need help on your way to the club or please call the cell number after 8pm on weeknights or after noon on weekends. But the club-info number, (203)660-1363 (NEW # JUNE 2008)  is always available to confirm our times and locations.

What about other locations ?

Additional sites may be added in Connecticut in the future - I can provide the tables if a suitable and affordable location is available, especially near Danbury, Waterbury, New London, New Haven or maybe Hartford. If you live in one of these potential club locations, please visit the current club locations, and express interest in having a club near you by e-mails to me at nettadave@yahoo.com . I'll save your e-address and consider it a 'vote' for your city as the next potential club location.

NETTA offers 'open playing sessions'. What does that mean?

These are 3 or 4 hour times when we set up 6 to 12 professional tables in a large well lit Gymnasium. While we occasionally organize tournaments or special events, usually players pair off informally for practice matches or 20 minute practice times with partners of their own choosing. Typically you can play with up to 5 or more different partners during a session. Even when we have a large crowd, (20 or 25 players) you'll play more than you sit and we'll make sure everyone gets their turns. And between matches you can make friends and learn from watching or talking to some of the best (and friendliest) players in southern New England.

I don't know anyone there yet -How do I know who to play with - ?

Our players range from unrated beginners and 'school or neighborhood champs' 'fresh out of the basement' to USATT rated tournament players from "0700 to 2300". If you don't know your level yet you can watch play on 8-12 tables and 'ask for the winner' on the table where both players seem to be closest to your level. There are so many different skill levels in our sport and our club that to maximize everyone's enjoyment of the club it is important to respect these differences. For example, don't regularly ask for winners on a table where you aren't competitive. Unrated ? Ask Dave or one of our 'regulars' which players are unrated or also new to the club. Rated ? / Ask us who is rated near you. As players get to know you you'll develop a group of regular partners and rivals.

What does it cost to play ?

Current fees (Jan 2005) are $7.00 per player  with 'regulars' (more than twice monthly) asked to pay $20 for 3 sessions to cut down on handling of money. Please bring the correct amount and 'sign-in' and pay on arrival if possible. Rates are subject to change but will always be a 'bargain' considering our tournament quality tables & facilities and compared to other activities or sports. 

Do I need to bring anything else ?

We have some 'loaner' paddles for new players. 
If you become a regular we expect you'll get and bring your own racket which can be purchased from the club director (recommended) or wherever you choose.
 Balls and other accessories are also available at the club.

Should I buy a new racket before I come the first time?

Not really - I can provide expert advice and either loan you a racket or sell you a new custom made racket.
Unfortunately, sporting goods stores rarely sell first-rate rackets, even though they often sell 'starter' rackets made by 'name brand' companies. 'Mail-Order' companies can't show you the rackets and take the time needed to be sure you get a racket you'll be happy with.

What does a 'decent' racket cost ?

The range is typically from $60 to $120 and up for an excellent racket suitable for weekly club play. 
Cheaper rackets are fine for home or infrequent 'social' or club play, but if you decide to play on a weekly basis at a club you will quickly 'outgrow' the typical racket from a discount or sporting goods store. We can loan you the cheaper rackets for occasional play or let you try a 'better' racket so you can feel the difference before you buy one. We can usually provide a better Pro quality racket for less than Mail order companies and your purchase helps support Connecticut Table Tennis - unlike mail-order purchases.

How do I dress ?

Only Non-Marking appropriate shoes are required, but comfortable athletic type clothing is also recommended. Shorts and a sport shirt or T-shirt are most comfortable and common, particularly in the summer. But other than the safe shoes, don't worry about it during your first visit - this isn't a fashion show ! 
(Please don't wear t-shirts with offensive language or 'adult' themes/images)

Who can play - do you have to be a 'young athletic person' ? (Medical concerns)

Our players are of all ages, sizes and shapes. 
Depending on your skill level and physical condition table tennis can be a casual 'low-impact" game, or a fast-paced physically demanding  sport. 
Consult your doctor if you have any illness or question about your fitness to play
, and take it easy if you haven't been active for awhile. Please wear a medical bracelet and/or advise the club director if you have any serious medical condition you think we should know about in case of emergency such as Diabetes, Epilepsy, Heart Disease etc.
 We reserve the right to limit your participation if we have concerns about your safety, but if we don't do so, we are not assuming the personal responsibility you should exercise to decide if you shouldn't be playing for medical reasons.

How do you 'get good' at Table Tennis ?

Join in with us and have a little patience and you can't help but learn - we were all beginners at one time! Videotapes, and Lessons are helpful and available at the club, but most learning is gradual - watch, listen, ask questions play and enjoy ! Personal lessons can be arranged with club Pro Dave starting at $20 (35 min) and usually including use of the Newgy Robot ball machine.


ANY special Rules I should know about for club play ?

Aside from learning the official rules of table tennis (ask questions!), a few main club rules should be remembered:

#1 Don't walk behind or near any table where players are playing (wait between points).
Skilled players may suddenly move 5 or 10 feet either from side to side or back 'to the barriers' (court dividers) to play a shot - so don't risk injury or distraction. They can retrieve your ball 'between' points.

#2 Don't create distractions.
Silence, like a Golf or Chess tournament isn't required, but avoid shouting , unnecessary talking to anyone while they play, or loud or prolonged conversations at or near the tables which is distracting.

#3 Respect the equipment and other players
- including consideration of others who are waiting for a table or a partner near their skill level to play with. Don't be a 'table-hog' when others are waiting, or leave a player near your skill level as 'odd man out' when he doesn't have other suitable partners at his level. Also don't hit/kick or otherwise abuse tables or barriers - they are expensive to replace !

#4 The club director may set rules for participation and use of tables based on the situation
- the number, interests and skill levels of players present or expected. Regardless of any stated rules, players are encouraged to consider others in sharing our table tennis club.

#5 Playing time is shared - players can't expect to play 100% of the time
when others are waiting. Matches or practice time should usually last 20 to 40 minutes (total with each partner) especially when others are waiting for a table or to change playing partners. Our goal is that you be able to play 2/3rds of the time you are here on busy nights.

#6 Coaching and equipment are available from the club director.
aid coaching, equipment sales, or any other sales or promotional activities or distribution of ANY materials or solicitation of contact information from players is prohibited without advanced/expressed permission from the club director.
RealTabletennis, Connecticut Table Tennis, (or CT TT Assoc.) Middletown TT and Fairfield TT and related logos and webpages, photos or content are copyrighted /service-trademarks

#7 Scheduled club hours are often extended for an extra 1/2 hour or hour during sessions with a large turnout, especially on weekends. Please don't assume this though, and arrive late expecting us to always run past 'posted' scheduled hours, this is connected with player participation and cooperation as outlined below.

#8 Players are also expected to sign-in and pay at the beginning of the session, or as soon as the club director is available after their arrival.

#9 All players are expected to assist with equipment setup and/or tear-down.
Specifically, players arriving during the first hour of play are expected to pitch-in and help with set-up.
Players present near (or especially playing after) 'posted' closing times are expected to assist with tear-down and storage of our equipment, especially if they didn't assist with setup.
Cooperation with this benefits everyone and, along with player turn-out has a bearing on availability of 'bonus-time' after scheduled hours for the group and the individual privilege to play beyond 'official' closing hours.

Do you play year-round or only in the winter?

Since some of our players take vacations or don't play in the summer, we may have a somewhat smaller turnout (maybe two thirds of our average winter nightly crowd), but we usually continue to play on a weekly basis, though we may adjust the number of playing days.
Currently (2005) Fairfield & Middletown BOTH now have air-conditioning
Typically, some unrated and lower rated 'casual' players take the summer off from playing, so the selection of these players as potential opponents/partners is greater when the weather is cooler though youth and College students with more time to play sometimes make up the difference. But don't let this keep you away - the 'better' players are more likely to respect your commitment and determination and 'hit some' with you if the see that you play regularly, year-round, and some unrated student players come more frequently during the summer when school's out. (last updated on Sept 9 2007)


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