This article was published in our bimonthly satire issue: The Zircon.
Silence Dogood— Staff Writer
As of Monday, Dordt has a new sport on the scene: table-tennis.
Dordt’s table tennis—affectionately termed “ping-pong,” according to some players—club applied and has been accepted into the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA).
As members of the NCTTA, players on the Dordt team will play against other schools around the nation and be included in a national ranking of NCTTA member schools.
While the NCTTA is not part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), officials from both organizations state that table tennis is expected to become an official collegiate sport within the next few months.
“It’s about time Dordt’s table tennis club became recognized as being on the next level,” Athletic Director Ross Douma said in an interview Tuesday morning. “They’re incredibly talented.”
Since the official acknowledgement of Dordt’s table tennis club as a sport, the team will now be recruiting from incoming freshman and current students. Several scholarships between $5,000 to $10,000 will also be offered to top players.
The table tennis club will begin competing in the 2018-19 school year, with a chance at the championships in the spring of 2019. Training will begin immediately in order to bring club members up to professional level.
“This is fantastic,” table tennis player and freshman N.E. Bode said in response to the announcement. “It’s going to be a great experience and allow us to become even better.”
Practice is held on Friday nights in the Grille area from 7:30 to 9:00pm, but dedicated members often continue the training regimens until 10 or 11.
Table tennis is a grueling sport and requires a high calorie intake. Many players keep their energy up by eating grilled cheese or pizza and sipping soda between games from the nearby Grille.
With the advancement of the club from a hobby team to official Dordt representatives in the ranks of table tennis players nation-wide, the membership roster is expected to grow. After a larger team and national prestige has been established, petitions are expected to come before Student Symposium to install six permanent Olympic-level tables in the Campus Center. Discussions are already ongoing regarding how to obtain professional-quality balls and paddles.
Practice times are open to any students who might happen to follow the sounds of ping-pong balls echoing throughout the Campus Center. The table tennis team is encouraging all Dordt students to join them as the team gears up to serve into the world of college sports.