The Sandy Koufax of ping-pong
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The Sandy Koufax of ping-pong

Eleven-year-old table-tennis ace from Long Island sits out major match rather than play on Shabbat

Estee Ackerman withdrew from the US national table tennis championships after being scheduled for a match on a Friday evening. (Photo credit: CC BY/Zimpenfish via Flickr.com)
Estee Ackerman withdrew from the US national table tennis championships after being scheduled for a match on a Friday evening. (Photo credit: CC BY/Zimpenfish via Flickr.com)

JTA — An 11-year-old New York girl was disqualified from the 2012 US national table tennis championships when she opted not to play her final match, which fell on Shabbat.

Estee Ackerman of Long Island told the New York Post that “ping-pong is important to me, but my religion of Judaism is also very important to me.”

Ackerman, who is ranked fourth nationally in the 8-to-11 age bracket, did not play in the match that fell on the evening of Dec. 21, a Friday night. She told the Post that the unfortunate scheduling was “disappointing” after she trained six months for the tournament.

Some 800 players participated in the five-day event in Las Vegas. Ackerman said she does not blame event organizers for the scheduling conflict.

She told the newspaper that she hopes one day to represent the United States in table tennis at the Olympics.

Ackerman routinely beats players in their 20s and 30s, according to the Post.

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