11-year-old Ping-pong standout skips match for Shabbat

(JTA) — An 11-year-old New York girl was disqualified from the 2012 U.S. National Table Tennis Championships when she opted not to play her final match, which fell on Shabbat.

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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 is ranked 4th nationally in the 8-to-11 age bracket, though she routinely beats players in their 20s and 30s, according to the Post.

The national championships were held in Las Vegas last month. Ackerman did not play in the match that fell out on the evening of Dec. 21, a Friday night. She told the Post that the unfortunate scheduling was “disappointing” after training for the last six month for the tournament.

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

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

 

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