Unfortunately, the US is not known for its world-class table tennis. But it is known for its world-class universities, and sports are a part of most universities to some degree. In the US, college sports are critical for many sports, with football and basketball the clearest examples of this. Is it possible for our sport to use the university network to improve our sport? To some, not only is it possible, it is necessary.
A league of 200 teams is fairly large, but in many ways the NCTTA league is still small. The nationwide staff (all volunteers) is trained one by one. Budget is a constant concern. School teams struggle to be seen as real sports in the eyes of their athletic departments. Even so, in a country that is considered a table tennis backwater, we might have one of the best collegiate leagues in the world.
In the ITTF team rankings, the Brazilian Men's team is ranked #14, while the US Men's team is ranked #48. With that in mind, consider this Brazilian article, which can be found in its original Portuguese here. English translation by Jorge Vanegas.
We may not be the major leagues, but it's a positive when a player from another country says we're doing something right.
The strongest table tennis countries generally have professional or semi-pro leagues on a foundation of extensive recreational leagues. Leagues aren't a big part of the picture in the US. You can decide if there's a conclusion to be drawn from that.
NCTTA competition takes place in both the fall and the spring. If you're connected to a college in some way - staff, student, parent, etc. - I hope you can help us grow by participating or helping form a team. Playing on a college team might be the most fun you can have in the sport. And whether or not you're not a college student, we welcome volunteers in many capacities.