Rules of the Game

The man I love is an expert in many things; playing ping pong is one of them.   I recently gave him a ping pong table for his (50th) birthday.   Since it’s warmed up enough that we can play comfortably in the garage, we’ve been playing many games.  It’s everybody’s goal to beat Dad/Curt.  Only one person has accomplished this in recent history, Jessie’s 16-year old brother Adam. 

Curt, who is left-handed, starts off playing right handed.  He can win 90% of the games this way. If his opponent threatens, he switches to left-handed play and swiftly finishes the game. 

A new life goal: to beat my husband in a game of ping pong while he plays right-handed.  I am starting by just trying to improve my personal best record.  Last night I reached 15 points against him.  I think know he’s being easy on me, but he’s too much of a competitor, and has too much respect for me to “let me win”.  He was born a coach with good observation and diagnostic skills.  Along the way, he gives me pointers to help me improve my game.

In a Teaching Company tape about Sir Gawain and the Green Knight Professor Bonnie Wheeler said this about what makes a game (ludus in Latin) a game:

1.  It is played between unequal partners.
2.  A game has rules.
3.  The play is repetitive (my turn, your turn).
4.  The playground is well marked, has boundaries.
5.  The game itself must be uncertain in its outcome.
6.  The players are expected to be deadly serious about their commitment to the game.

I love a little competition in my life. 

It’s going to take a while to make #5 a reality, but it’s sure fun working while I play! 

When is the last time you played a game of ping pong?

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7 thoughts on “Rules of the Game

  1. Oh, my dad used to play VERY competitively, to where the 2 players would stand more than half a table’s length away from the table so they could really slam the ball across.  And back then, if you were “really serious” about the game, you called it “table tennis,” not ping pong!  These days I’m better at watching than playing, or I get too competitive and/or frustrated, at just about any game!  Best of luck to you in your endeavors, though πŸ™‚

  2. Growing up, we had a ping pong table in our great room.   For our girls, we had a ping pong table up for a while, but currently it is stored in the basement.  I think it’s a great pasttime. 
    As for the last time I (personally) played a game………a long time πŸ™‚
    Loved the *professor’s* description of a game.
    Busy in GA,
    Dana 

  3. We were recently given a used ping pong table. That started quite the tournament. But I tell ya, I think I surprised my boys. They had no idea about that table of which Dana speaks….in the “Great Room” (which actually didn’t exist until we were well into our teen years) So it became the challenge to beat Moma here. Didn’t take long I think the competitiveness is genetic Enjoy my two children….

  4. Hey, Carson and I have each beat Dad a while back! Back in the old days with the old table. We WILL beat him somtime soon. Tell him to watch his back. He might have an “accident” and loose vhis left arm!!!!

  5. Oooh,this brings back memories. I grew up with ping-pong; we had a table both at home and at church. Consequently, it was the only “sport” (is it considered a sport?) that I was good at in the dreaded gym class. My husband and I spent hours playing last summer at family camp~~I was a little rusty but was surprised at how quickly it all came back. Yes, a little competition is great. As long as it’s ping-pong. Not chess.

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