Chesterfield Table Tennis League, as part of a new Be TT project, decided to consult with local clubs and teams with the idea of trying a new competition format.
The consensus was to run a new pairs summer league with a novel handicapping system.
With two divisions of five teams each and positional play-offs between the two leagues, each match consisted of four singles and one doubles.
But it was the handicapping system which made for some great matches. Each player was given a handicap based on the senior division they had played in during the season just finished. Possible handicaps were: 0, 2, 4 and 6.
The diﬀerence in handicap between the two players involved in a match provides the starting position and each time a player wins a set, two points are added to the handicap of the losing player for the following set (at least one player always starts from 0).
To handicap a doubles match, add the two handicaps of the players involved, halve that value, then round up to the nearest even number.
Jake Meikle from the Chesterfield league, the competition organiser, said: “Thirty-one people in total took part, feedback was good, especially regarding the handicapping system.
“The handicap system was based on a system previously used by Matlock Summer League, so we can’t take credit for that!”
Volunteer Carol Jones added: “One example of the new teams paired Tim, a really strong senior league player, with Aiden who is eight years old!
“The whole competition had some really close matches due to the handicapping system.”
The league was also one of the first to use the TT Leagues to administer the league, with fixtures, results, tables and averages all online on the new platform which was introduced by Table Tennis England this summer.
Mark Willerton, Table Tennis England development and volunteering officer, said: “It’s great to see a table tennis league willing to try something new and embrace the new TT Leagues system.”