Table Tennis Tourney

Table Tennis appears to be just as popular here in Naperville as it was when it started in 19th century Britain.

More than 100 local residents spent their Saturday competing in a tournament at River Woods Elementary School.

The Naperville Table Tennis Club served up the event.

“It’s fast. It’s fun,” said Mike Justice, member of the Naperville Table Tennis Club. “Any age can play.”

The tournament consists of single elimination matches. First to score 11 points wins the game. Players must win by 2 points. Best out of 5 games wins the match. Lose even one match and you’re out.

Naperville resident John Brandt joined the club two years ago. He offers one piece of advice for beginners and intermediate players alike.

“”It’s good to find someone a ill better than you to practice with,” said Brandt. “You don’t get better playing w/ people that are worse so it’s good to seek out someone that can help you learn.”

As for Barbare Willson – who’s playing in the tournament for her seventh year in a row – she has her own technique. “They call me a human backboard,” she said. “I just sort of stick my paddle out and somehow it gets over the net.”

Also called “Ping Pong” for the sound that the ball makes as it hits the table, for many it’s more than just a simple game.

“It gets your heart going [and] gets your adrenaline going, especially when you’re competing,” said Willson.

“It’s a great cardiovascular workout,” said Brandt. “And I think it actually helps keep you sharp mentally as well.”

In addition to the tournament, the club welcomes any new members to join them on Sunday nights. For more information, visit www.napervilletennisclub.com.

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