RAL Rec Soc

Welcome to the RAL Table Tennis Club




The RAL Table Tennis Club (RAL TTC) goes back to the mid sixties when the Rutherford and Atlas Labs were establishing and developing on site.
RAL TTC is probably one of the longest surviving clubs on the RAL site and is still very active.


The club is affiliated to the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory Recreational Society (RAL RecSoc). This society looks after many aspects of all the clubs on this site, including the RecSoc buildings, lounge etc.


The RAL TT Club objectives are:

1. To promote and encourage the playing of table tennis at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

2. To organise table tennis competitions and associated functions.

3. To enter table tennis teams into local leagues.


RAL TTC membership is open to all Full, Affiliate and Associate members of the RAL RecSoc. The Club's annual membership subscription is £3. This membership fee goes towards maintaining good standard table tennis tables and other auxiliary table tennis equipment. Information on how to join is available below.

How to Join

We are a small and friendly club, keen to attract new members to play. All standards of player are welcome from complete beginners through to advanced, so why not come along and join us. Playing table tennis is a fun and sociable sport which is excellent for improving general fitness.

For all prospective new members, joining is simple.

1. All you need to do is to come along one lunchtime to the table tennis club room in building R58 and have a look around and if possible speak to the players that might be there; or maybe bring a like minded friend who is also interested in table tennis with you and bring your own bat and ball. Feel free to start playing table tennis. Switch on the flood lighting when playing and at the end of the table tennis session please switch off the flood lighting before leaving.

The idea is that potential new members can try out playing table tennis at the RAL TT club. These visits can last for a few weeks before actually joining and paying the annual club subscription.

2. Another way is to telephone anyone on the RAL TT Club committee, who can then make arrangements to meet you in the club room and to show you around and explain how the club is set up etc.

3. Fill in and return the club membership application form.

Remember you must also be a Full or Associate member of the RAL Rec Soc.

How to Join RAL Rec Soc

There are three main categories of membership of RAL Rec Soc: FULL, AFFILIATE and ASSOCIATE. Joining details can be found in this link.

Full Membership

Permanent members of RAL and those on contracts and paid by STFC (through 'RCUK Shared Services ) as well as visiting students, are eligible for Full membership.

(There is also a RETIRED membership category, for full members who retire from the Laboratory, costing just £5 as a one-off payment.)

Affiliate Membership

Permanent members of Diamond Light Source and those on contracts and paid by Diamond (through the Diamond Pay Centre)as well as visiting students, are eligible for Affiliate membership and receive full membership benefits

Other Campus Organisations are also eligible for Affiliate Membership for their Staff - Please contact Martin Rudman for more information.

Membership of the CSSC

Full and Affiliate membership of the Rec-Soc includes FULL membership to the CSSC

Membership for 2017 costs £3.95 per month. The subscription is paid via Direct Debit from your bank account.

Membership of the CSSC entitles members to participate in other CSSC sports and recreation, and the use of CSSC clubs around the country.

STFC and Diamond Staff

Please complete the form in the link below and remember to fill in the Direct Debit Mandate on the back.

The form must be printed out, completed and sent to Hayley Cavanagh in R2, D.05. Alternatively take the form to the Rec-Soc Lounge any lunchtime.

IN ALL CASES - Please do not send the form directly to CSSC as we may not be informed that you have joined!

Associate Members (For Non-STFC Staff)

Contact Hayley Smith for more information about Associate Membership

ASSOCIATE membership is available for long term visitors or students to the Laboratory and staff from other site organisations, e.g. Qudos, UKERNA, Harwell.

The cost is currently £28.00 per annum. A reduced rate is available if use is restricted to a number of months, this rate is currently set at £2.50 per month, e.g. a student on a six month placement will only pay six payments of £2.50, i.e. £15.00.

N.B. Neither the Associate nor the Retired memberships include membership of the CSSC

For evening league players please do not send the form directly to RAL Rec Soc as the RALTTC batch our Associate members for the season and submit en bloc.



Our club has an annually elected Executive Committee which runs the affairs of the club to a set procedure governed by the Club Rules with its Constitution and Annual General Meeting/Extraordinary Meeting proceedings etc. The AGM is held in June.

Within this framework our club operates on two main fronts viz. (a) Lunchtime Table Tennis and (b) Evening League Table Tennis.


The facilities we have for the RAL TT Club are all located within the RecSoc building R58, which is the building closest to the 12-metre antenna satellite dish on the south side of the RAL site. The facilities at RAL for table tennis are among the best in the Didcot & Oxford areas.

We have an excellent club room which has enough floor space for two tables with dedicated flood lighting over each table.

Some bats and balls are usually available in the cupboard, however most participants find it beneficial to bring their own table tennis bat which they are more familiar with, and to bring some balls in case there are not enough around. Players are recommended to bring sports shoes to get a better grip while playing and avoid leaving marks or dirt on the floor.

We also use the larger Sports Hall in the evening. This room also has dedicated flood lighting and is used mainly for league matches. It is booked out to our club to cover for scheduled match nights etc. The match table is meant for league use only.

R58 has a lounge. Male and female changing rooms with shower facilities are located in the amenities building next door.

Lunchtime Table Tennis

Essentially all the table tennis club facilities are available to all club members who wish to play table tennis in the lunch period. Lunchtime table tennis is great fun, a pleasant way to keep fit and it can reduce stress. Lunchtime table tennis at RAL runs all through the year, though it is often too hot in July and August.

Lunchtime table tennis is run informally depending what the participants want and how many come to a particular session. Typically, we would play singles and stay on the table for two games then let the next player have two games, this way it works out like a round robin approach to games which ensures that everyone has a go and meets different players. It can have a competitive edge if you want it to or at other times it could be stroke play practice etc. However, if the club room was crowded then we would go for playing doubles.

We also run box leagues which can be played at lunchtimes if wanted. See box league section below for more information.

Table tennis is a very skilful sport at the highest level. However, all standards of player from complete beginners through to the various levels in local table tennis league divisions are welcome. So it does not matter what standard you are, you are most welcome. You will be surprised how well your playing skills will improve with practice. If you wanted to develop your playing skills further you could consider playing evening league table tennis.

Box League

The main objective of the league is to provide social exchange between players of similar standard. All standards are catered for from beginners to experienced players.

Further details are available or contact the League Organiser -

Hiten Patel, Diamond Light Source, Room 1.187(Z12), Ext 8930, Hiten.Patel@Diamond.ac.uk

Evening League Table Tennis

The RAL TT Club has been entering teams into the local leagues continuously since the mid sixties. Didcot & District Table Tennis Association league is the main league we enter. We also enter the Oxford & District Table Tennis Association league when we have the appropriate players. Both are affiliated to the Table Tennis England. Our teams are made up from Full RecSoc Members and Associate Members from outside RAL.

Table Tennis is a winter sport so the league fixtures season runs from September until April. A team consists of 3 players which are picked usually from a larger squad of say 4 or 5 players registered for that team. These additional players cover when arrangements clash or for sickness etc.; it also caters for those players who want to play occasionally for the team.

There are usually 10 to 12 teams in a division; each team plays home and away. This means about 22 evening league matches are played throughout the season. The league also runs two handicap competitions (optional) and tournaments, which means a few more matches may be played.

The committee runs the evening league side of our club and individual team captains run the teams. Therefore, for those interested players who would like to take part in more serious table tennis play, then evening league maybe the answer. It has the best of both worlds, it has that competitive edge, yet it also has a friendly and sociable side. It is a way of meeting a network of new friends.

The Club would like to thank the RAL Rec Soc for providing funds to:
Enter teams in the local leagues.



Club Organisation

The Club Rules are available here

Executive Committee 
Chairman: Tom Griffin R3, Room 1.21, Ext 5305,
Treasurer: Anders Markvardsen R2, Room 1.12, Ext 5137,
Secretary: Brian Wyborn R1, Room 1.01, Ext 5589,
Members: Tim Pett 20, St Amand Drive, Abingdon, OX14 5RQ Tel: 01235-526033,
Ron Liquorish 15 Paddock Close, Charlton Heights OX12 7EQ Tel: 01235-771637,
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Evening League Secretary
Brian Wyborn 8, Stevenson Drive, Abingdon, OX14 1SN Tel: 01235-532455,
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Club AGM 2017

The RAL Table Tennis Club AGM will be  held on Monday 26th June 2017.

The draft AGM 2015 minutes are now available.


Trophies 2016/2017

The club is pleased to announce that:


  • RAL A ( Karl Bushell, Neil Hurford,  Chris Smith  and Chris Lansley  ) were winners of the DDTTA Division 1.

  • Tom Griffin was runner up in the DDTTA Closed Hard Bat competition 

Table Tennis Coaching Videos, DVDs and Robot

The club has purchased several coaching videos and DVDs namely
'Learning to Play the Game'
'Advanced Stroke Play'
'Playing with Pimples'
'Pimples Technique'.

We have also purchased a TT robot to help club members practice strokes.

If you wish to borrow any of these please they are in the locked cupboard in the TT room. All paid up club members will be given the code. Please enter your loan in the book provided and return as soon as you have finished with it.