Now Riks' Top Table is a slight twist on a theme of the ever popular Top Table ;-)... and if you haven't played that here is a quick introduction, Top Table is a timed game, where all players finish their games at the same time, games are normally up to 7, 9 or 11 points and many players can be involved playing.
When getting started you need to designate one table at the end of a row as Top Table with two players to a table. All the games start at the same time and the winner of the first game to finish shouts “Top Table”.
All play on the other tables stops, even if the game have not ended and if you are leading you go up to the next table towards Top Table and if you are loosing you go the other way. If the score is level, one additional point is played to decide the winner. 
Winners on the top table stays where they are. Losers on the bottom table stays where they are, unless there are additional players waiting to start, in which case the loser comes off the table and a new player comes on. Play re-commences as soon as players get to their ‘new’ table.
... and Riks' Top Table
Now Riks' Top Table works on the same principle but the goals and rules change each time. All games are up to 7 unless otherwise specified (we'll get to that in a second) and I always start with Top Table Doubles and tweak some partnerships by either moving players or adding handicaps. If two people have been playing and they are in the same team or the same club, keep them together but give them a handicap, its helps to build a bond between them as the season progresses for them.
Play the Doubles as you would, up to 7 (keeps things ticking along) and when this is over the winners of the Doubles Top Table become the first two players in the singles.... on the bottom table, keep going all the way so that the partnership who lost on the last table are now on Top Table and think about a handicap if needed (Think tactics as the game could finish at any time, all players need to ensure they are always in the lead). Watch how hard they fight to stay as close as they can to the top table.
Now Riks' Top Table is an ever changing game and it's up to you to keep it quick and moving, here are some of the things that I do as we go along:
• Forehands Only
• Backands Only
• Alternate Shots
• Any shot but only in the quadrants down the line
• Any shot but only in the quadrants that are cross court
• Only Forehands from the backhand quadrant
• Pushing only
• Serve with the forehand, every other shot is a backhand
• Serve with the backhand, every other shot is a forehand
• Play a normal game but you have to win the point in 5 shots of your serve.
• Change the point and make games first to 3 or 5
I also ask who has the ball at the table and then decide to either let them keep it or give it away, this is then 1 point sudden death, winner goes up, loser goes down, these are great when you see a good player play a less good player give the service to the right player and they have a chance to win one point... if they do wait till after the evening has finished and see their face when they are walking out... also don't hesitate to do these one after another, everyone loves the intensity.
The other thing I do is when the players have fought their way to the Top Table, I always start apologising that I have made a terrible error and its totally my fault but actually Top Table was at the other end (for them) after all... right where they started BUT watch them fight to get back there again.
Always think about #clapclap as well. In my sessions I will clap twice... everyone know that whatever you are doing its bat on the table, sit down, stand up, pick bat up and carry on...DON'T LOOSE THE NEXT POINT...
Be great to hear any other suggestion to add to the list for Top Table... and yes David, you can call it Daves' Top Table..
Drop me an email at: or contact me on any of my Social feeds with any suggestions and thoughts and Ill keep the list updated...
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