Oh Hardbat Classic Where Art Thou?

It’s probably too late to see another Las Vegas Hardbat Classic in July from the folks at Bud Light, who last year sponsored Table Tennis’ biggest ever prize along with a huge national competition plus a very fine Las Vegas style tournament and parties.     But rumor has it that there might be one in Miami this year – perhaps in the fall.

Gossima, the Table Tennis blog, suggested Miami may be the next venue about six weeks ago http://www.gossima.info/2010/02/hardbat-classic-2010.html.   However I’ve heard nothing since even after contacting the Hardbat Classic via Twitter, Killerspin (a sponsor last year), and the tournament director by email.

If Bud is going to host this great touranment again I hope they’ll consider doing more with social media – at the very least keeping folks posted better about what’s going on.    I think a lot of potential buzz was missed last year because the tournament details were almost impossible to find online until late in the process.   In fact many probably didn’t find out until they watched the finals on ESPN months after the event.

Table Tennis is a “cool” sport everybody knows and plays, and Bud’s idea of pushing it into a new type of competitive realm with paddle and play restrictions is great – even for “real” tournament play where the paddles and play is both too good and too fast to ever attract a huge American TV audience.

Bud please bring on the Hardbat Classic!

Hardbat Classic Website

Hardbat Classic on Twitter

Hardbat Classic on Facebook

Joe Duck Hardbat Classic Coverage


6 thoughts on “Oh Hardbat Classic Where Art Thou?

  1. “Wherefore” JD.

    O Hard-bat Classic, wherefore art thou?
    wherefore means “for what purpose”, or why, really–not just where. That said, let’s here it for the fast table tennis with old school sandpaper paddles, not only the super-padded, tame pingpong–

    • Takes a certain kind of ignorance to berate someone for their use of an archaic word – wherefore – and then botch “Let’s here it” in the very next sentence. If you’re going to be the grammar police, the least you can do is proofread your own spelling/grammar. That said, does anyone think that there will actually be a Hardbat Classic this (or any) year? Weren’t there far fewer (like, by almost half) competitors than they had planned for? Wasn’t there a lot of crabbing about the handicaps? Some televised rude behavior by top players who lost matches? Then some kind of protest after the fact about inappropriate ratings for the finals? Could this just have been a one-shot experiment with the table tennis crowd shooting themselves in the foot once again as far as popularity and public acceptance? Would you want to sponsor another one of these things with the payback the the companies involved did/didn’t get? Just looking for feedback.

  2. Horatiox thanks for the correction. My literary sophistication comes from …. films, leading to much confusion.

    Now, I do have a beef with your characterization of “tame pingpong” though. The sponge rubber (the latest iteration is called “Tenergy” by Butterfly and it’s remarkable in terms of speed, spin, and COST at over $50 … per sheet.

    Tenergy (and similar rubber) is so fast that it’s hurting the game in terms of making it hard to follow the ball on TV and against advanced players, and you’d be surprised what happens if a sandpaper guy plays a sponge guy. I’m pretty good with both, but I sure would not want to bring a sandpaper pong knife to a sponge pong gunfight.

  3. “I think a lot of potential buzz was missed last year because the tournament details were almost impossible to find online until late in the process. In fact many probably didn’t find out until they watched the finals on ESPN months after the event.”


  4. Was the Hardbat Classic only a media stunt ? Will Budweiser, Killerspin and the other sponsors still being interested in hardbat in the future, or will they turn to something else ? No recent update on the HB Classic website, no tournament in 2010, certainly no hardbat on ESPN, this is rather worrying…

    • Francis it was a “stunt” in the sense of hype and fun, but I think their intention was to continue and like you I am really disappointed. However you can’t blame Bud if “we”, the pong folks and distributors, didn’t respect or promote this enough and with only a few exceptions I have seen little buzz. I think I’m one of the few bloggers who covered this tournament (at my own expense after *winning* the local tournament because our local distributor was too cheap to sponsor the full tournament costs!).

      The problem in my view was with the promotion, which was handled by an agency that did not understand Table Tennis. This was a GREAT opportunity to enlist the fairly large community of table tennis clubs around the country get involved with the MASSIVE community of casual players in the even MORE MASSIVE community of bar folks. However very few real players even knew of this tournament until it was over, and bloggers like me who did were confused by low, inadequate information and promotion and could not do much to spread the word.

      This was a great potential viral event that was handled like a big ticket prize fight. That would have been OK at the end maybe, but not at the beginning when they needed to let the word spread among the folks who everybody would love to watch – club players around the country.

      (more coming soon)

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