Another Successful Year for Florida Table Tennis

Jena Newgarden

Brad Woodington, President of the Lakeland Table Tennis Association, and Director of the Florida Orange Blossom Table Tennis Series and the Mid-Florida Table Tennis Tour, is excited about the growth and development of the wide variety of Table Tennis activities in Florida, especially in middle Florida. The area stretching from Clearwater, Florida, on the west coast, to the Cocoa Beach, Florida area on the east coast and all the locations in between, has become a hot bed for Table Tennis.

A coalition of Table Tennis clubs have joined together to provide an excellent base for USATT sanctioned tournaments throughout the entire state of Florida and beyond. The wildly popular Florida Orange Blossom Table Tennis Series, held in beautiful Lakeland, Florida attracted almost 500 players from all over the state, several other states and international players for the four excellent tournaments held during the 2015 season.

In addition to the series, the fabulous Mid-Florida Table Tennis Tour was also held in several locations in Florida. Events were scheduled for Clearwater, Lakeland, Orlando, and Cocoa Beach, Florida with several other locations being considered for 2016. The six tour table tennis tournaments also attracted almost 500 players to the events.

Woodington has a vision to include all USATT sanctioned tournaments within the state of Florida into the tour, expanding from the middle of Florida all the way to the far north and panhandle region and also southward to Miami. Players earn Tour Points at each tournament in which they compete. The points are accumulated during the year and prizes are awarded at the end of the tour. Many players attend all the tournaments with the goal of finishing high in the standings at the end of the season.

One of the main sponsors of the Florida Orange Blossom Series and the Mid-Florida Table Tennis Tour is the great Newgy Industries. Newgy manufactures and markets an extremely popular line of Robo-Pong Table Tennis Robots and other great Table Tennis equipment. Players at all the various tournaments are acutely aware of the opportunity to win prizes donated by Newgy. Several websites highlight the accumulating Tour and Series points as the season progresses. At the end of the events, the points are totaled and special award ceremonies are held on a rotating basis at the various clubs that participate in the Tour.

Plans are now being made for the special Awards Presentation for the 2015 winners of the Tour and the Series. Woodington is also poised to begin the 2016 season and is lining up clubs throughout the state to take part in the Tour. The Lakeland Table Tennis Club will also hold the Florida Orange Blossom Series in 2016 with four USATT sanctioned tournaments already scheduled.

Woodington is optimistic that several additional clubs may join in the Mid-Florida Tour and thus the need to change the name to the Florida Table Tennis Tour instead of Mid-Florida. At any rate, Table Tennis in Florida is alive and thriving.  Players are already anxious to get started all around the state. It looks to be another exciting year for Table Tennis in Florida.

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