Table Tennis England is asking for the views of members on the domestic implications of a change in youth categories by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).
The world governing body has agreed changes to the eligibility for youth events which will see the Junior category extended from under-18 to under-19.
The change will apply to the World Youth Championships and to the world junior circuit which is being revamped under the new World Table Tennis (WTT) banner.
The newly created WTT Youth Contenders and WTT Youth Star Contenders tournaments will feature various age groups – the full ‘menu’ of possible sub-categories will include U11, U13 and a new U17 category, in addition to the main categories of Cadet/U15 and Junior/U19.
The European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) is expected to follow suit, and will consider a similar change to the European Youth Championships at an Extraordinary Congress meeting next month. The ETTU Youth Championships currently comprises Cadet and Junior events.
Table Tennis England is considering what this possible change could mean at domestic level, and how to best serve the interests of our membership.
In principle, domestic table tennis would mirror the international set-up, in line with the Mission 2025 strategy which reads: “Our domestic competition structure will replicate international standards.”
Any such change would be applied accordingly to Table Tennis England membership, national squads, competitions, rankings and regulations.
If you would like to share your views on a possible change, please email Neil Rogers, Head of Competition & Events, by Friday 12th February.
It is not anticipated at this stage that the Table Tennis England age qualification year, which runs from 1st August to 31st July, might also change, although this issue may be considered further as part of the Competition Review.