First of all, this was not a pingpong tournament.
“Yeah, it’s unfortunate. A lot of people are like, ‘Oh, I’ve played pingpong,’” says Willie Leparulo, tournament director for the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association. “I don’t say the P-word very often. They don’t know that table tennis is the correct word. … I mean, this is an Olympic sport.”
The NCTTA Championship brought some of the best players in the world to Round Rock over the weekend.
Leparulo should know. He once played in it while a student at Florida State.
“I’m dating myself, 1999-2000,” he says. “If I played now, I wouldn’t even make it on my team. The level has gone up dramatically. You can’t be the ‘Hey-I’m-a-pretty-athletic-recreational’ player and make it to the championships. You’ve got to dedicate the time.”