Personally, I have been a great fan of the game of Pingpong. Though not regularly, but whenever i get time from my busy schedule i keep track of this game and the players in this game. Though I am late, there are some interesting changes in the World Championships. I am posting the important changes.
This year would be a great year for the International Table Tennis Events. The International Table Tennis Federation events would now be called as the World Championships.
Change in Competition Name
This was long overdue. When most of the global games had their World Championships, the game of Pingpong always lacked the marketing gimmicks. Now to address this fact, this season will be re-branded as the World Table Tennis.
Change in Structure
At the top of the WTT pyramid are up to four brand-new Grand Smash events, intended to be table tennis' answer to the tennis Grand Slams or golf majors. They will see up to 64 men and women in the main draw, 24 men's and women's doubles teams, and 16 mixed doubles pairings in each event.
Change in Locations
There are three primary hubs created across the world, where these competitions or the grand slam events would be held. These three hubs are China, Middle East and Europe. Doha is the hot destination for the Table Tennis competitions as always.
Now, here is a real point. Having the hub in Europe and China is understandable, but the reason of hosting the Table Tennis competitions in Middle East is quite abnormal. There are no players from this region nor the fans follow the game of pingpong in this area. Doha or Qatar, are they really advancing in any sports in world ?
Change in Color of Rubbers
But the biggest change comes in the colours. Traditionally, the rubbers of the table tennis rackets were of only two colours i.e. Red and Black. However, the re-branding exercise has resulted into the change of colours of the racket rubbers.
Now the rubbers could be of any colour in addition to the black rubber. It could be Green, Yellow, Pink and Blue. I am naming only four because these were confirmed as of now.
Though the colors may be added once the Tokyo Olympics even is completed. The Olympics which was to take place in the year 2020 has now been postponed to 2021. More colors are expected to be covered based on the comparison of the color of the ball and the reflection of the rubber color as the primary considerations.
According to the ITTF, China later withdrawn from the Middle East Hub siting the health conditions.
Change in the game rules
All matches would be Best of Five Sets instead of Seven until the competition reaches the semi finals. However, main draw singles in Semi finals and finals are expected to be Best of Seven games.