Majority vote in favour of new Stratford and District Table Tennis Association structure
PLAYERS have overwhelmingly voted for radical changes to the Stratford and District Table Tennis Association’s league structure ahead of the new season.
Competitive play has been suspended since March 2020, and there have been concerns that some players do not yet feel ready to return.
Therefore, in a bid to kick-start the game, 88 per cent of players polled elected to replace the traditional three-a-side teams with a new two player ‘fast format’, as recommended by the sports national governing body Table Tennis England.
This has already been successfully trialled in Stratford Table Tennis Club’s own in-house competition, which was held during the early summer in strict compliance with the prevailing Covid-19 regulations.
League chairman Kevin Taylor said: “I see the new format as a turning point for the popularity of table tennis in Stratford as, along with the development work we are undertaking in local schools, it will encourage more people to take up the game and play competitively.”
These thoughts have been echoed by many experienced players, with Richard Grover saying: “One of the main reasons why people are put off playing league table tennis is the late finish, with matches often going on after 11pm, but the new format will still provide players with two singles and a doubles match.”
Ashorne’s Andy Coonan summarised the changes: “This is a new and exciting venture which, with just four players in action, provides a much safer Covid environment.
“The increased number of teams will hopefully enable the league to have two divisions, according to experience and ability, which will provide for more competitive matches.”
The new league format will be introduced for the 2021-22 campaign, which is due to commence in October, and should help stimulate the growth of table tennis in Stratford.