By Brent Hearn

The NCTTA is all about breaking barriers in table tennis, but somebody forgot to tell 21-year-old Santiago Sevilla of Lindenwood that it’s supposed to be just a figure of speech.

In a Round of 16 doubles match against Mississippi College, Sevilla went all in on a point, lost his balance, and crashed through a barrier into the neighboring field of play.

“I was trying to make a forehand flip. It was a sidespin serve, so I knew I could do it,” said Sevilla. “But I stepped  back—I did something wrong, and I just fell into the barriers.”

Luckily, Mr. Sevilla wasn’t seriously injured, but the incident did bring a temporary halt to the match.

“I did something to my finger and it started bleeding,” said Sevilla. “They told me that if I’m bleeding, I cannot keep playing, so I just got a Band-Aid and (got) cleaned up. It was not bad. It’s the rules.”

After a break in the action, Sevilla was able to continue. However, he and his partner, Ahmed Hendawi, hit a wall—a figurative one in this case, thankfully—in the form of the #2 seed, Mississippi College’s Tong Zhang and Cheng Li. They fell to MC in straight games.

Check out the action in video here:

Note: There are several important lessons to be learned from this video:

  1. If someone says that table tennis is not a contact sport, they don’t know what they’re talking about.

  2. While as a journalist you sometimes have to dig and scratch to get a story, every now and then you just get lucky. I could have been shooting it at any one of the three dozen tables in the arena, but I ended up being in precisely the right place at exactly the right time.

  3. No matter why you’re shooting footage, just say no to vertical video. My excuse: This was a super-quick Snapchat video I was going to share with a friend to give her a sample of some of the ladies’ action at the Championships. Still, I should know better. I offer my humble apologies, my fellow table tennis enthusiasts. Rookie move.

The 2016 TMS College Table Tennis Championships is hosted by the National Collegiate Table Tennis Association and the Round Rock CVB and is one of the premier table tennis tournaments in North America featuring 6 events: Men’s and Women’s Singles and Doubles, and Men’s/Coed Teams, Women’s Teams.  The event is sponsored by TMS International, Gerflor, Double Fish, and Joola.

Players and spectators alike will enjoy a jam-packed weekend of table tennis at the TMS College Table Tennis Championships. The event starts Friday March 25th and continues through Sunday March 27th at the Round Rock Sports Center


The National Collegiate Table Tennis Association (NCTTA) is a non-profit organization established exclusively for promoting the sport of table tennis at the college level. As the national governing body for college table tennis in the United States and Canada, NCTTA organizes intercollegiate competition throughout North America.

About USA Table Tennis

Headquartered in Colorado Springs, USATT is the national organizing body for table tennis in the United States, serving 9,000+ members and nearly 300 clubs. USATT sanctions 200+ events a year including the US Open and US Nationals. USATT is affiliated with the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), as well as the United States Olympic Committee (USOC).