FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Competitive table tennis has reached a new level in the Summit City. A new-to-the-area kind of business opened over the weekend, offering ping pong tables for those wanting to sharpen their skills or just to have fun.
Founded by table tennis player Lee Seibold, Whack-A-Ball offers six tables that can be used for games or can be setup for practice with a ball machine or other equipment.
“Table tennis to me has been the most challenging sport because there are so many aspects to it that is difficult – speed, spin, placement, different types of players,” Seibold explained. “For me it’s been the most fun and you can play it your whole life, so it’s been a passion of mine.”
The business is staff during afternoons and early evenings, but was designed with 24/7 access for members even if employees are not on site.
“I knew I wanted to start a place that that people could come anytime they wanted to, to not only play but train and get better,” Seibold explained.
A vending machine greets guests in the lobby, offering paddles and other gear for sale. Table tennis players then pass a 24 hour emergency station, a way to get help without having staff in the building, before entering the main room. Color changing lights line the walls of the big room, along with posters of professional ping pong players.
Lessons are offered at a cost, but coaches on site are available for tips when asked.
“Most people play in bars, at home and at Christmas, stuff like that,” Coach Jake Bianski told WANE 15. “But once you get into it you realize that the spin, and the serves… it’s just a whole nother level.”
The business is staffed Monday to Wednesday 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Thursday 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Friday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday 1:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
A 24-hour pass is available for $10 per player. Monthly passes are available for single players at $30 and $50 for a family.
More information is available on the Whack-A-Ball website: https://whack-a-ball.com/