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Table tennis tweak

Philip Hackett

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There will be a new structure when the National Table Tennis Championships begin at the Table Tennis Centre, Nursery Drive, St Michael in a couple weeks.
The popular men’s Islandwide event will be replaced by a rated tournament in five categories: beginners, under-1499, 1500 to 1699, 1700-1999 and 2000 plus.
The ratings are consistent with those used in the United States and adopted for the Caribbean Regional Table Tennis Championships in the Dominican Republic last month.
In another major change, a Premier League category will be added to the “B” class, Intermediate and “A’ class sections that have been in existence for decades. The Premier League will accommodate the top 16 ranked players.
“We took the opportunity to rationalize the format for the classifieds because it has become clear that the “A” class and the Islandwide classifications produced largely the same results,” president of the Barbados Table Tennis Association Lieutenant Colonel Trevor Browne told the SUNDAY SUN.
“We also found that the competition was drawn out over a long time, with too many meaningless matches between highly rated and lower level players.
“The new format will focus on competition between more closely ranked players, with less predictable results. We believe that this will significantly increase interest and reduce the overall time to complete the competition.”
Browne admitted that the committee may need to make adjustments to the qualifying standards for the Premier League to replace top-ranked players who may be unavailable to compete.
Registration for the 2012 National Championships has started and will end on Wednesday, September 19. The draw will take place at the Table Tennis Centre the following day at 6:30 p.m.
Apart from the classified events and the rated tournament, there will be a women’s open and a veteran’s tournament divided into novice, 50-59 and 60-plus categories.