#rediscovered: The Final in Men’s Alternating Doubles at the 2011 German Ringtennis Ch’ships

Yesterday, I rediscovered on my hard drive two old videos that show the final in men’s alternating doubles at the 2011 German Ringtennis Championships. Christian Kämpfer and Sebastian Weber of RTG Weidenau—who won their semi-final against Timo & Rainer Hufnagel—played against Alexej Ermak and me (TSV Neubiberg), after winning our semi-final against Tobias Höfelmayr and Julian Sauck. It was the first time alternating doubles were an official competition at German championships and Alexej and me ultimately became the first to ever win that title.

In Ringtennis, two different kinds of doubles are played. The traditional way—or “free style” doubles—is played like in tennis, i.e., every player can catch and throw the ring at any time. Alternating doubles—also called “WTF1 style”—are played internationally, e.g., at world championships, and have been introduced in Germany in 2011. In alternating doubles, players have to catch and throw the ring—you already guessed it—alternately, like in table tennis.

By the way, the day after the alternating doubles final, Alexej and I also made it to the final in free style doubles. Unfortunately, we lost against Timo & Rainer Hufnagel at extra time, which was the second time in a row for me. In 2010, I lost against the same opponents, also at extra time. However, I played with ex–national coach Peter Meyer then, who had been my Ringtennis coach since 1998. Side note: It was actually the first time Peter made it to a final in the highest category at German championships.

P.S.: Thanks a lot to Roland Funk for filming the final!

1 I know, I know … But in fact, this means World Tenniquoits2 Federation, not What The Fuck 😉
2 Tenniquoits is a different word for Ringtennis.

I’m back … and I’ve been playing some Ringtennis

DM2015 Bronze Medal

It’s been quite some time since my last post, but now that my PhD thesis is almost finished (like, really, 99% finished), I’m gonna make some more time for blogging again :). For a start, I’ll write about this year’s German Championships in Ringtennis, which I played three weeks ago in Recklinghausen.

Statistically, it was my worst performance in 6 six years with only a single medal—bronze in men’s singles. The last time I secured only one medal was at the German Championships in Siegen in 2009 (an event nowadays known as “the battle in the rain”). Yet, it was probably the singles competition with the best line-up I’ve ever participated in. In the group stage, Jürgen Öttel (former national player; 3rd place in mixed doubles at last year’s World Championships) and Andre Katzberg (former national player and German champion) were eliminated! After an expected loss in the semifinal against Alexej Ermak (I also lost the semifinal at this year’s tournament in Siegen and the final in Konstanz against him), I secured a victory against the defending German champion Timo Hufnagel in the match for third place. In fact, Timo had won the last 4 championships in men’s singles (2011—2014). Therfore, I consider the bronze medal to be way more valuable than, e.g., my 2nd place in men’s singles in 2012. Considering all players’ performances over the past year, that 3rd place was really the absolute optimum for me. Ultimately, the current World Champion Fabian Ziegler became the first to also win the German Championships and hold both titles at the same time. As for the mixed doubles and doubles competitions … let’s just not talk about those 😅

Up to now, 2015 was not that bad for me when it comes to Ringtennis, despite my rather poor performance at the German Championships. I made it to the singles final at the Konstanz tournament (Alexej was simply better than me this year—never had a real chance against him) and as I explained above, the bronze medal was pretty satisfying. Also, I won the men’s doubles competitions at the tournaments in Siegen and Konstanz (with Hendrik Freitag and Jürgen Öttel). In Konstanz, we even won the final against the old and new German Champions Fabian Ziegler and Christian Herzog. Finally, I’m still no. 3 in Germany with over 1,000 ranking points overall.

Rank before +/- Name Club Points
1 (2) +1 Alexej Ermak SG Suderwich 1414
2 (5) +3 Fabian Ziegler ESG Karlsruhe 1094
3 (3) 0 Maximilian Speicher TSV Neubiberg 1061
4 (4) 0 Jürgen Öttel TSV Neubiberg 765
5 (1) -4 Timo Hufnagel TV Kieselbronn 593
6 (8) +2 Christian Herzog ESG Karlsruhe 424
7 (7) 0 Michael Kaiser TV Heddesdorf 418
8 (12) +4 Andre Katzberg RTG Weidenau 394
9 (15) +6 Sebastian Posiadly TuS Rodenbach 326
10 (10) 0 Thomas Tregel SKG Roßdorf 185
11 (6) -5 Julian Sauck SG Suderwich 158
12 (13) +1 Tobias Höfelmayr SKG Roßdorf 120
13 (14) +1 Tim Elsner TG Groß-Karben 111
14 (18) +4 Stefan Edelmann PSG Mannheim 100
15 (16) -1 Hendrik Freitag TG Groß-Karben 79
16 (9) -7 Volker Herrmann TuS Rodenbach 79
17 (17) 0 Sebastian Weber RTG Weidenau 67
18 (34) +16 Samir Issa RTG Weidenau 66
19 (31) +10 Pascal Wagener VfL Wehbach 47
20 (20) 0 Thorben Goth SG Suderwich 45

But still, 2015 is far behind last year, which was probably the best year in Ringtennis I’ve ever had, with a World Team Championship, a 3rd place in the World Singles Championships, a victory in men’s singles at the Siegen tournament (against Alexej), a South German Championship in men’s singles and a German Championship in men’s doubles (with Alexej). Let’s hope 2016 will be more like 2014 than 2015!

2014 in Review: World and German Champion!

Now that 2014 is almost over and there are only some league matches left, let’s have a look at my past year in Ringtennis. All in all, it was a way better year than 2013. First, my fellow teammates of TSV Neubiberg-Ottobrunn and I came in second place in the German premier league (Bundesliga), only losing to the defending champions of SG Suderwich. This was my best result in the national league since 2011, when I myself played for Suderwich and we beat PSG Mannheim in the final.

World Champion!

In March, I participated in the 3rd World Championships as one of the team captains of the German national team. That awesome event was held in Vereeniging, South Africa. After an 11th place in 2006 and a 4th place in 2010, I finally managed to win a medal in the men’s singles competition, beating German champion Timo Hufnagel in the match for 3rd place. Yet, the highlight was of course our victory in the team competition, securing a 10–10 against South Africa after losing the first four games of the match. I guess I’ve posted enough about that previously 😉

After the World Cup, I played the open Ringtennis tournament in Siegen (Krönchenturnier), where I came in first place in men’s singles, beating my teammate and good friend Alexej Ermak in the final. Together, we also won the men’s doubles competition. These victories mean a lot to me, as the Siegen tournament was the first Ringtennis tournament I ever participated in (back in 1999) and until this year, I could never manage to win it.

German Champion!

German ranking at the end of 2014Finally, Alexej and I also won the German Championships in men’s doubles (free style) in September in Kieselbronn. This was the only discipline I had never won before at German championships, so my record is now more or less complete. Actually, 2014 was the first year in which I became both, a world and German champion. At the end of this year I will also be the number 1 in the German singles ranking for the first time in … well, I honestly don’t know how many years, but it has been some time. This also means that I’m somehow at the same time the Philipp Lahm and the Novak Đoković of Ringtennis1 😉

To bring this article to a conclusion, an interesting figure at the end: This year, I’ve travelled at least 97 hours (lower bound estimate) to play Ringtennis at the national league finals, one training camp, two open tournaments, two national championships and one World Championship. Let’s see what will happen next year …

1Disclaimer: Please don’t take seriously!

Back at the Top

Timo Hufnagel (back) vs. myself
Timo Hufnagel (back) vs. myself

Following my victories at the Siegen Tournament and the South German Championships, I’m back at the top of the German ranking after almost two years. All five men that played for Germany at the World Team Championships (which are also the top 5 of the ranking) participated in the men’s singles competition at the South German Championships, which were held in Karlsruhe (the “birthplace of German Ringtennis”). I beat the reigning world champion Fabian Ziegler in the group stage before winning against 6-time German champion Timo Hufnagel (43–41) in a very close semifinal. In the final, I beat Fabian again with a score of 41–28. The top four players of the competition (myself, Fabian, my doubles partner Alexej Ermak, and Timo) qualify for the German Championships.

The next tournament will be held at Lake Constance the coming weekend. The event will also include an international test match against the national Ringtennis team of Belarus.

Rank before +/- Name Club Points
1 (2) +1 Maximilian Speicher VfL 1901 e.V. Wehbach 1629
2 (1) -1 Timo Hufnagel TV Pforzheim 1379
3 (3) 0 Fabian Ziegler ESG Karlsruhe 913
4 (5) +1 Alexej Ermak TSV Neubiberg 910
5 (4) -1 Julian Sauck SG Suderwich 754
6 (6) 0 Sascha Schneider TV Heddesdorf 385
7 (8) +1 Michael Kaiser RTG Weidenau 317
8 (7) -1 Christian Kämpfer RTG Weidenau 266
9 (16) +7 Thomas Tregel SKG Roßdorf 147
10 (9) -1 Fabio Spagnino TuS Rodenbach 147
11 (10) -1 Andre Katzberg RTG Weidenau 146
12 (11) -1 Tobias Höfelmayr SKG Roßdorf 144
13 (12) -1 Jürgen Öttel TSV Mimmenhausen 143
14 (13) -1 Christian Herzog ESG Karlsruhe 143
15 (14) -1 Walter Amon SKG Roßdorf 143
16 (18) +2 Marcel Rockenfeller TuS Rodenbach 91
17 (25) +8 Volker Herrmann TuS Rodenbach 71
18 (17) -1 Sebastian Weber RTG Weidenau 61
19 (19) +1 Tim Flender RTG Weidenau 57
20 (20) 0 Udo Heger DJK St. Ingbert 44