We are pleased to announce that local 1* competitions can restart under new conditions, but unfortunately the first weekend of the Junior British League (JBL) is the latest event to be cancelled as a result of the pandemic.
The Table Tennis England Board has agreed that 1* competition can restart immediately, under new conditions and strictly in line with current Government guidance.
In response to member queries and evolving Government advice, the decision has been taken to permit limited reintroduction of sanctioned competition at Stage 4 of the ‘ready to return pathway’, which was reached on September 1.
This is for sanctioned 1* events only, within restrictions and requirements that Board have agreed as a de facto extension to regulations for this purpose. The guidelines can be seen here and are attached at the bottom of this article and include mandatory requirements such as:
- Maximum competition floor capacity
- Maximum building capacity
- Staggered arrival/ scheduling
- Player sanctions for hygiene infringements
The Government’s ‘bubble of 6’ remains in place at the current time, so tournament organisers will still need to ensure that sanctioned 1* events take place within this restriction. It is vital that organisers follow our Ready to Return guidance to ensure that venues are Covid-secure.
It is hoped this will be an invaluable step in allowing clubs to reintroduce local competition – and to get players playing again – whilst still ensuring to our best ability that play and playing environments remain appropriate and safe for participants.
We are constantly reviewing whether or not competitions can resume, while ensuring we are adhering to guidelines for the safety of all our members.
Other sanctioned events (2*, 3*, 4* etc) and national events at similar level (such as ELCC, NCL, NJL) will continue to sit at Stage 5 of the ready to return pathway. These events are not able to take place until Stage 5 is reached. Ranking points are suspended for 1* events until Stage 5 is reached.
Whilst the timeframe for moving to Stage 5 continues to depend on DCMS and Government guidance and directives, the Table Tennis England Board has not issued a blanket cancellation and expects that organisers will now set their own cancellation/confirmation deadlines relative to the event date.
Many tournament organisers have already taken this approach, and this now enables them to set appropriate timeframes at their own discretion.
Table Tennis England is happy to offer advice and support to Tournament Organisers, and you can see the timeframe and approach for national events by clicking here.
Meanwhile, weekend one of the JBL was due to take place at Derby Arena on November 7-8 but has joined the opening Women’s and Veterans’ British League weekends on the list of cancelled events.
The decision has been made eight weeks before the competition, in line with the Table Tennis England coronavirus cancellation policy.
The divisions for JBL have been reconfigured to a size and format which will enable each division to be played to final positions over the remaining scheduled weekend on 27-28 February.