The introduction of a new Senior British League Premier Cup, plus important changes to rankings and competitions, come into effect from the start of the new season on August 1.
Scheduled for the weekend of June 3-4, 2023, the SBL Premier Cup will be a knockout competition held after the end of the regular season and will be one of the showpiece events on the domestic table tennis calendar.
The Premier Division will still award a Champions’ trophy, meaning this new competition will give clubs the chance to go for a ‘league and cup double’.
It will see all Premier Division clubs invited, along with Championship clubs in finishing order, up to a maximum of eight teams. Clubs will only be allowed to enter one team and seeding will be based on the regular season.
Meanwhile, the British League will be truly representative of the British Isles, as entries have been confirmed from Guernsey, Isle of Man and Jersey as well the four Home Nations.
Overall, entries to the SBL are up 16 on last season to 121 teams.
That trend is replicated in the other three British League competitions – the Veterans’ British League is up three to 91, including four in the women’s event.
The Women’s British League is six more teams, making a total of 40, while the Junior British League has six more girls’ teams (30 in total), meaning the girls’ teams will comprise 38% of the total number, up from 30%.
Elsewhere in the competitions landscape:
- County Championships will be fully on TT Leagues after last year’s pilot
- NCL/ NJL will start to transition to TT Leagues
- Online tournament entry and payment will be available for all national events, including Grands Prix, following last year’s pilot for National Championships and National Cups
- Pilots will be run for online sanctioning, entry and payment for external regulated events, such as 1* and 2* competitions
- Changes will be made to event entry regulations to reflect updates to the WADA code, including UK Anti-Doping Rules applying to all event participants for 12 months after the date of their participation
Additionally, as part of Table Tennis England’s Level The Table strategy and Competition Review, we are also looking to incorporate additional para representation at this season’s age-group National Championships in partnership with BPTT, as well as highlighting and supporting inclusive approaches for wheelchair users at national open events, including Grands Prix and regulated 1*-4* events
Rankings-wise, the ITTF override has been amended to apply to the top 75 only in Seniors, and has been removed from Cadet & Junior ranking lists
Ranking weighting has been changed for Grands Prix (1.5x to 1.75x) and SBL Championship (1.25x to 1.5x)
The ranking eligibility dates for Mark Bates Ltd Senior National Qualifiers and Senior National Championships have been aligned to provide clarity.
Ranking Guidelines have been updated to reflect changes and developments, including eligible ETTU competitions and how expunged league results are dealt with following withdrawals.
The opening season’s rankings will be released after the August ranking runs, and the 10% annual reduction will again be applied after being suspended due to covid.