Table Tennis state championships return to East Falls this weekend
The commonwealth's preeminent ping-pong players will compete in East Falls during Saturday and Sunday's 2014 Pennsylvania Table Tennis State Championships.
For the second consecutive year, the event will be hosted by the Trolley Car Table Tennis Club, which is located in the Falls Center, 3300 Henry Ave.
An estimated 100 people "from Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Erie, all across Pennsylvania," competed at last year's championships, said Ken Weinstein, Northwest Philadelphia developer and business owner who founded the non-profit, all-volunteer club three and a half years ago.
Located at what was then called the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis Center for its first six months, the Trolley Car club came 10 years after the city's previous table-tennis club, the Waterfront Table Tennis Club near the Ben Franklin Bridge, had closed.
"There was a demand for it in Philadelphia. At any given time, there are 25 to 30 people here playing, everybody from experienced to basement players," said Weinstein of founding the club which has expanded to 11 tables and is open seven days a week.
"You come in here, and it looks like the U.N.," he continued. "All ages, income levels, races and religions who otherwise would not come together are here."
On Saturday and Sunday, the club will host 17 different events, eight of which represent state-championship competitions.
There are competitions for unrated players and various tiers divided by age, gender, singles or doubles and players' USA Table Tennis Association ratings.
Only Pennsylvania residents who are USATT members are eligible to compete.
The open singles and doubles competitions will be held, respectively, at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday.
Play starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday.