Table Tennis is Changing its International Competition Structure

in Sports Talk Social3 months ago

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.

(Source: Youtube)

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 ?

However, today morning I read couple of articles on #sportstalk criticising Qatar as the hub of the sports. Though in a different context @sports.guy55 raised some concerns which can be read here.

However, another user @bozz.sports went step further and criticised Qatar as he claims 10000 human lives were lost during the construction activity of the sports complexes and stadiums.

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.

TT RAcket Colours.jpg

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.

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I love table tennis. We don't see much of it here in the US, at least on television. Too many other sports taking up the airwaves. It has always been a fun game to play though. One of the local kids who is playing in the NBA now has a father that was a high end world table tennis player. Not sure that adds anything to your story but....it make me think of it. :-) Good write up. I didn't know that about the paddle color changes. Those paddles look pretty cool.

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@gimmetricks1 you really have a great sense of sports journalistic writing. I appreciate your points, very well articulated.

Hey @teapassion thanks as usual. I guess you are the first one who comment on posts immediately. I have only you as my follower on this platform. Its quite difficult to get the followers and people to read the good content.

There have been a lot of discussion around changing ITTF to World Championship and Other tournaments to Grand smash. Not sure how is it going to help the players really.