From the USATT club regulations – Every organization needs a set of standards to which its members are expected to adhere. Without such regulations and their enforcement, each player will set his/her own standards of conduct and some will be unacceptable. “Table hogging” will not be tolerated.
Not tolerating table hogging is listed as a rule that should be considered. You should also consider banning smoking, getting drunk, and being a bad sport. It’s interesting that of the very few guidelines that USATT encourages, “table hogging” seems to be just as big a problem as loud or offensive language or inappropriate clothing. Personally, I’m willing to tolerate a little drunkenness or revealing clothing, as long as players wouldn’t monopolize tables. If you are thinking that your club doesn’t have this problem, you might check the mirror for a swine snout.
Every club I’ve ever been to has some method for challenging – and hogging tables. Signing up to play, making a reservation, kicking somebody off, time limits, clip boards, signage, whiteboards, chalkboards, winner stays on, loser sits for an hour, drawing lots, threatening, ignoring, and “warming up” endlessly are all common. Sadly, all methods to halt hogging are eventually doomed to fail. As USATT points out – Enforcement of the rules is just as important as the rules themselves.
The table tennis program at Rhodes Jordan Community Center doesn’t really have any rules. No one is officially in charge. Table hogging hasn’t been a problem until recently. With eight tables, it looks like rules start to become important once twenty or more players show up. So, I made a sign; and I’ll pretend to have some authority to enforce rules, even though we don’t have any. It will be up to the players to make an attempt to make it work with the number of tables we have. We could use more tables and more time to play. Until that happens, we can’t be pigs.