As the new season gets into full swing, our membership team are busy dealing with renewals and getting to grips with a new, improved rankings system, as Membership & Ranking Manager Justine Campbell explains.
Less than three weeks into the new season, almost 8,500 players have already renewed their Table Tennis England membership.
About 5,000 have done that online, more than 1,000 through their league or club, and we’re taking the rest over the phone.
We had 28,000 members last year, and we hope that number is going to grow, so we’ve got quite a long way to go. Many people will renew in September as the local leagues get into full swing.
We’re here to help members with those renewals and any other queries about their membership, but that’s not the only part of our job.
We do licence and membership checks for tournament organisers to see if people have valid membership or the right level of membership to enter a competition.
And then there is the biggest part of our role – the results and rankings. Last year we had about 650 tournaments in total and we entered about 85,000 results.
I’ve just started entering the results from the first Grand Prix in Liverpool, and there are 600 results from that competition. It means we’ve got to have an extreme eye for detail and we’ve got to have patience, and there’s some element of detective work – you sometimes have to track down a result or figure out what is actually written on a result sheet.
As well as Liverpool, we’ve also had the DONIC Legends event, which has 2-300 sets of results, and the Junior British League at Grantham, which generated 200. Then there are 40 or so from the Commonwealth Games.
They will all form part of our first ranking run of the new season, which will be out about September 3rd.
We believe our members will really see the benefits of our new rankings system, which runs alongside the current membership season from August 1st to July 31st.
For a start, it’s a lot easier to achieve a rating now – if you are zero-rated, it only takes four matches, one of which has to be a win.
Members can also see their own results on Table Tennis 365 – it’s a fantastic benefit of membership because they can see their up-to-date record at any point in the year. This feature will be available from the beginning of September.
It’s also a really good tool that will help us a lot. While we obviously aim not to make mistakes, they can happen, but at least members will be able to see their own audit trail and then raise an enquiry if they believe there is an error.
We can now rectify errors straight away and backdate them so the ranking calculations are all adjusted. In previous years the ratings could only be changed from the time of proving the error. We charge £5 to investigate an error, which is refunded if the error is proved.
So all in all, we’ve got a lot to keep us busy and a lot of responsibility for making sure everything is done correctly. That helps our members to enjoy playing table tennis, which is after all what it’s all about.
September 1st, 2014