The recent addition of knock-out and handicap competition formats has resulted in another important step forward in the continuing development of TT Leagues. These new formats were introduced at the beginning of September, and local leagues around the country are already using them to set-up their knock-out and handicap competitions for the new season.
Most local leagues run a handicap competition and many also run Divisional Cup competitions. These new formats allow Leagues to run these competitions in TT Leagues and display all the detailed results on their website in exactly the same way as they do for their main league competition.
The new knock-out formats provide a range of options to cover the wide-range of approaches used by different leagues. Functionality is provided to “re-draw” the matches after each round (ie following an “FA Cup-style” draw) or for the matches to be determined by the order of the matches in the previous round (ie following a “tournament” or “Wimbledon-style” draw).
Likewise, there are various options within the handicap format that are tuned to the needs of leagues. In most “points-based” team handicap competitions, all the games are played – irrespective of a player already having won a majority of the games. Through the “Play All” option, TT Leagues allows handicap matches to consist of 2,3,4 or 5 games – with all the games being played. 11-up and 21-up formats can both be selected and there is the option to finish a game once one player reaches 11 or 21 points – a two-point margin not being required.
A range of training materials has been provided to support League Admins in implementing the new formats. There are two video demonstrations – one for each new format. These provide an overview of the new functionality that is now available. These are supplemented by a video tutorial which provides a step-by-step guide to enable Admins to implement the new formats. The main emphasis is on creating the fixture lists. All three videos are available on the TT Leagues page on the Table Tennis England website:
Neil Hurford of the TT Leagues Project Teams said – “Our focus within the TT Leagues Project Team is on providing the functionality that Leagues require in order to manage their competitions. It was clear from the feedback from Leagues that they wanted to be able to manage Divisional Cup and Handicap competitions within TT Leagues. We expected this to be a challenging development, and so it has proved. But the formats we have released this month will provide a basis for running a much wider range of competitions. It is good to see Leagues already using the new formats, and the feedback already provided will feed into the next stage of development.”
Tom Purcell, League Secretary of the Liverpool League said – “I have already set up our Divisional Cup competition in TT Leagues using the new formats. The training material that has been provided was very helpful. We look forward to being able to provide the detailed results for our Cup competitions in the same way that we do for our main League competition.”
Jo Keay-Blyth of Table Tennis England said – “The development of these new formats fits with our plans to widening the scope of TT Leagues. Local leagues are already asking if the formats can be developed so that they can run their tournaments using TT Leagues. This is something we are keen to progress and if you have any further development ideas then please email us and we will include for discussion in our future development project meetings.”
These new competition formats build on the continuous development of TT Leagues since it was launched in August 2019. At that time, the focus was on providing a league management system for local leagues. In the post-pandemic period, the scope of TT Leagues has been extended to cover a full range of national competitions. TT Leagues was adopted by both British League and County Championships in 2021/22. Application to National Cadet League/National Junior League competitions followed in 2022/23. This was the first time that league management software had been used in county championships and NCL/NJL competitions. The rapid availability of detailed results for all these competitions has been much appreciated by players. All three competitions are again being run in TT Leagues this season.