PROMOTION OF TABLE TENNIS BY WAYS OF PING-PONG 
DIPLOMACY AND COLLEGE WOMEN SCHOLARSHIP
Unlike bad histories, good histories should be repeated.  I 
am referring to the Ping-Pong Diplomacy 50 years ago.  In 
1971, it caused a surge in table tennis popularity in 
America.  And I seized the opportunity to organize an 
intramural tournament at Columbia University.  I wound 
up playing the final against Alice Greene, an Olympian 
and a beautiful girl.  After defeating her, her dad Hal 
Greene suggested that we make it a double elimination, 
to accommodate the unexpected presence of a large 
crowd of spectators, who showed up for this surprising 
"battle of the sexes".
I accepted, but somehow lost my previous desire to win, 
for obvious reasons.  I lost the first re-match and then 
from 20-17, I lost the second, deciding one, also.  And 
sure enough, table tennis made its first headline in the 
school newspaper with a half-page picture of Alice's 
perfect forehand on the front page! 
So, with the excitement of communist ping-pong players 
coming to visit the White House and to play in the United 
Nations, along with our own lovely new ping-pong 
champion, Alice Greene, we went to the Dean of 
Intramural Affairs and the physical education department 
simultaneously, and got, respectively, the entire 4th floor 
of the student union as the home of our newly formed 
ping-pong club and six tables to go with it.
We were now able to organize the "First Ivy-League 
Intercollegiate Table Tennis Championship", that 
included power houses, MIT and RPI.  And we upset MIT 
to make another news in the college ping-pong 
community.  After this coup, ping-pong was here to stay 
in American colleges, that, to this date, has expanded to 
200 colleges.
Well, the 50th anniversary of Ping-pong Diplomacy is here 
again.  And America's new leader in table tennis is now a 
woman, Virginia Sung.  With blessing from the Gender 
Equity Division of the NCAA, we are only one step away 
from setting up the most effective mean for advancing 
American table tennis. That is the "NCAA Table Tennis 
Scholarship for Women".  
The recent winning of the 2019 U.S. Open's Women's 
Single by Lily Zhang, who had to break through the clean 
sweep of all other titles by the Japanese team, could be 
thought as firing the first shot of a bright future of 
American women table tennis.  And it is just like my own 
win of the 75+ age group has added impetus to my 
writing this proposal.
It would also be worthwhile to mention that my win 
would be just another win, if not for the fact that I won it 
with my newly developed style of ping-pong, that I 
named Pongfu, or ping-pong kungfu.  I designed it as a 
stabbing fencing style, as opposed to today's knife 
cutting style of shake-hand players and the short-range 
sparring styles of the penholders.  My long-term hope is 
that it would be more suitable for the physically weaker 
but mentally quicker women.  A good friend, Eva Jeler, a 
German national coach, has encouraged me on by calling 
it "the third way of playing ping-pong".
Virginia Sung has given an initial nod when I first 
mentioned the Ping-Pong Diplomacy plan to her during 
the U.S. Open.  She then suggested me to write a formal 
proposal on it.  So, here it is:
In order to make the next Ping-pong Diplomacy news-
worthy, mainly for the eyes of college deans, we need to 
switch our previous counterpart, China, to North Korea.  
So, I need to contact the ping-pong community in North 
Korea to see if they are interested.  As things stand, their 
government now has the policy of forbidding American 
tourists to visit North Korea.  Therefore, we might need 
to follow footsteps of our leader Donald Trump and 
make the U.S. Olympics Team also be exempted to step 
on North Korea soil.
The idea is to get the U.S. team to be invited to visit 
North Korea right after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.  Based 
on that, we could re-invite the North Korea Team to 
come to both the 2020 U.S. Open and the 2021 World 
Championship, which, coincidentally and for the first 
time in history, will be held in America's Houston, Texas.
Once we secured an invitation from North Korea, we 
should also start make arrangement for American 
colleges to extend invitations to the North Korean team 
in their U.S. tour.  This will serve as a prelude to 
proposing the table-tennis scholarships for women to the 
college deans.
It is hoped that such scholarships would motivate the 
high school to initiate ping-pong programs, which should 
trickle down to junior high and elementary schools. All 
these would also energize the ping-pong parents, who 
are typically also academically minded.    Making ping-
pong an integral part of the academics is how the Asian 
countries have been able to produce the best players in 
the world.  However, our American colleges turn out to 
have the best facilities to do that.
Note that I did not touch the scholarships for men.  
That's because there are too much competitions for male 
talents in other professional sports.  In my view, if tennis 
can make to the No.1 sport for women in America, table 
tennis should have an even better chance.  And I do 
know something about tennis.  
Due to my daughter's lack of quickness, I resorted to let 
her play tennis and invented a new tennis style for her.  
It's a two-handed style on all three sides - forehand, 
backhand and the serve, and it all happened, a 
generation before Monica Seles proved the superiority of 
the two-handed style.  Anyway, my daughter ended up 
being awarded the "Player of the Year" twice in North 
California and went on to help University of California, 
Davis, win the, NCAA-II World Championship. 
However, since my sport is table tennis, I tried to use my 
tennis experience to help promote table tennis.  This was 
when I saw so many college girls tried so hard to make 
into the schools' varsity tennis team but failed to make it, 
I decided to write to a dozen or so coaches of women 
tennis in the various colleges, to see if they would let 
ping-pong piggyback on their well-organized tennis 
programs. Our ping-pong teams would take all the girls 
they didn't want.  This was way back in the late 1980's, 
but there were still some takers to my proposals.  One 
coach from Hawaii remarked: "This is revolutionish!".  
This time around, let's see if table tennis could stand on 
its own merit.
Our goal is to reverse the ratio of men players to that of 
women, from 10 to 1, to 1 to 10 in America.  This might 
just allow women to reach parity with men on the courts.  
Such an accomplishment, like the "Battle of The Sexes" 
between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, which 
overnight changed women tennis players' image in term 
of athleticism and thus has meteorically raised the prize 
moneys and TV rating of women tennis players.  Our 
coed ping-pong should do better.  So much so, table 
tennis will replace tennis as the No.1 sport for women in 
America.