A new form of table tennis has been launched by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) on the eve of the Rio Olympics.

Table Tennis X (TTX) is described as “fun, cool and edgy” and can be played anywhere there is a table.

With a bigger and heavier to suit outdoor play and simplified rackets with less spin, the big feature of TTX is timed matches – it comprises three two-minute sets instead of first to 11 points.

There are also special “winners” and “wild cards” which enable players to score more points.

The ITTF believes the new timed format will amplify the excitement of conventional table tennis by reducing the skills gap between participants and increasing the variety and unpredictability of gameplay.

ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT said: “This is the table tennis revolution that the world has been waiting for. TTX is for the young and young at heart and takes table tennis to you, instead of you having to come to table tennis.

“The ITTF believes that this can perfectly complement our professional table tennis game, as it connects the hobby player that plays with their mates at home to a viable competition format which is designed around having fun. Pick up your bat and go play some TTX.

“It was also a perfect moment for our sport which has been criticized for too many changes in recent years. Here we can do many new things, experiment with cool new ideas and at the same time, allow some time for our professional game to adapt to the recent changes.”

The new format has its own website – click here – and the ITTF will announce a TTX event series in the coming months.

The basic rules of TTX
The basic rules of TTX