There was no way to know when I arrived that I would be part of a rare event in table tennis. I would put it on the same level as a triple play, a shot from half court, or a Hail Mary touchdown. I was one of five players playing in the same group at the AGTTA Tuesday night league. When the smoke cleared, each of us had won two matches. Each of us had lost two matches. We could all say that we had won. We were after all, tied for first place. I don’t think anybody really felt that way. Somehow, after sorting through games, points, and a possible coin flip, a table winner did emerge. The table winner only picked up two rating points. Further down the list, someone picked up twenty eight points. I know it was a five way tie, but I’m trusting the details to the league software and the handwriting of my opponents. Games that end in ties have been described as, “about like kissing your sister.” There is something unsatisfying about a match with no winner.
Still, any competition that involves five players winning exactly half of the time had to be pretty interesting. I’m sure each of us could give a fascinating account of how the night played out. Here’s my version.
Player A – Joe 1942 – As the highest rated player, a split decision really feels like a loss. The player with the most points, has everything to lose, and little to gain from wins over lower rated players. While Joe did not play badly, he was not at the top of his game.
Player B – Jon 1792 – I get off to a great start, winning my first two matches. I’m continuing to struggle with closing out close matches. Players tend to adjust to my game, resulting in really difficult fifth games, and occasional easy wins in the first game.
Player C – Medha 1792 – She’s young. She’s fast, and she attacks. All she lacks is experience.
Player D – Andrew 1776 – Andrew is a fierce competitor. His game is very dependent on getting in his attack first. When he does, he usually wins.
Player E – Abi 1747 – Abi’s losses came against the unconventional players. He likes to play fast, but quick blocks seemed to catch him by surprise.
Overall, I enjoyed the exhausting, exhilarating, frustrating night. Every match was tough, and everybody had their moments. Oh well. You win some; you lose some.