Spectators at the Mark Bates Ltd National Championships will have noticed a few changes designed to improve their experience of our flagship event.

The biggest change is the live scoring system, licensed from the ITTF, which relays to courtside monitors and TV screens around the venue and also feeds directly into real-time score updates on our website.

In addition, there is more flexible seating, offering spectators the chance to view the action from either end or from side-on, and with no dividing curtain between the two playing halls.

A number of smaller changes, including improved signage outside the venue, have also been implemented.

The changes are in response to feedback from spectators, players and officials at last year’s event.

Neil Rogers, Table Tennis England’s Head of Competitions and Events, said: “We took into account the feedback we received after last year’s event to come up with a list of recommendations to put into action this year.

“Foremost among those was having a results system for live scoring and in-venue information displays to provide up-to-date and easy-to-understand details of who is playing on what court, and when – and also to push those details to the website.

“As part of our longer-term aspiration to host more international events, we agreed with the ITTF that we would license their system which is used at world events.

“We took the decision to invest in this and the ITTF competitions manager Dimos Messinis is at the event to help us implement it.

“The key aim is that spectators, players and people away from the venue can all tap into a dynamic, live scoring system.

“The other big change is in the seating, which is based on feedback that some spectators highly value side-on seating, while end-on seating is highly valued by others. Therefore, where possible, both options will be provided, particularly on the showcourt.”