Tick, tack, tick, tack.
Hearing this sound in the University Recreation Center means that it’s Thursday night and the Ferris State Table Tennis Club is practicing some healthy competition.
The sound—that of a little white plastic ball being volleyed over the net—draws eye rolls from the pick-up basketball players hoping for court space, but can catch the attention of prospective new blood to join the club.
Ferris digital media software engineering freshman Michael Buser, who plays on a table of his own at home, joined the club in late September.
“I was at the gym playing basketball when I saw the tables; they were practicing on one of the basketball courts. Everyone was mad because they were taking up court space, but I just thought it was funny,” Buser said.
Buser joined the club on the following day.
Table tennis is the most played sport in the world and has been a part of the summer Olympics since 1988. While members of the club at Ferris State don’t necessarily have Olympic aspirations, they do recognize the value of table tennis.
Leading a group of about eight regularly active members is Ferris pre-optometry junior Ryan Chrencik, who is currently the president of the Ferris State Table Tennis Club and is responsible for reviving the club from the dead.
“The club had been on probation,” Chrencik said. “I restarted the club because I wanted to get back to playing regularly and I knew others might be interested.”
Chrencik joined the club’s Facebook group during the tail end of his freshman year, but the group wasn’t active until he took the reins at the start of the fall 2015 semester.
“When I took over and tried to get the club going again, it was in a lot of debt and there were no active members,” Chrencik said. “We took advantage of Rec Fest in the beginning of the year, then collected dues from the people that signed up there to pay off the debt. After all of the debt was paid, we had just enough money left to rent space to practice.”
Now that the club has been reestablished on campus, Chrencik says the next step is to continue fundraising and building their member base and presence. Their current plan to achieve these goals is to hold a table tennis tournament within every residential hall, before inviting the winners to square off in a champion’s bracket in the Rec.
“Table tennis is not exhausting, time consuming or expensive, and it’s really fun. That’s all there is to it,” Chrencik said. “It’s for all ages yet can still be competitive, and it’s just a very universal sport.”
The table tennis club meets every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the University Recreation Center and welcomes players of all skill levels to join their ranks.