Table tennis tournaments are more popular in Asia and Europe than in any other continent, but they are fast gaining the much-needed attention in the United States and other parts of the world. The most important competitions are:
World Table Tennis Championships
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This tournament was first held in 1926 and has been contested every two years since 1957. This tournament consists of five individual events: men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles.
The rules changed in 1957 where the tournament was held every two years until 1999.
Until 1999, all seven events, five individual and two teams, were contested in the same competition.
The format was revised in 1999, and only individual contests were contested. The ITTF established the current model, which includes two types of championships.
Now, the competition alternates between the World Table Tennis Championships and the World Team Table Tennis Championships every year.
Table Tennis World Cup
Since 1980, this tournament has been held annually. Women’s singles and team competitions were added in 1996 and 1990 respectively.
World Cups for Men and Women – So far, all the matches have been best of seven, with three stages.
The four participants from Latin America, Africa, Oceania, and North America are grouped together to compete with all other members. The winner of this group advances to the first stage with the remaining 15 players.
The first stage (group stage) pools together the 16 players into four groups, with each group’s members playing with each other. The ranks of each player are used to divide them into groups. Players ranked 1, 2, 3, and 4 are pooled in groups A, B, C, and D, accordingly. The remaining players are divided into groups based on their respective ranking.
The Knockout or 2nd stage – The quarter-finals and semis are usually knockout rounds. The winner of the quarter-finals advances to the semi-finals, and the semi-final winner advances to the final.
Quarter Finals – The four quarter-final matches (Q1, Q2, Q3, and Q4) are organized according to the final groups and 1st Stage standings as follows: A1 vs. B2, B1 vs. A2, C1 vs. D2, and D1 vs. C2.
Semi-finals – These matches are between the winners of Q1 and Q2, and between the winners of Q3 and Q4.
Winners of the two semis advance to the finals, while losers of the semis battle for the bronze (third place).
Table tennis was first included in the Olympics calendar in 1988. It was first played by both men and women in singles and doubles formats.
The Chinese have traditionally dominated table tennis at the Olympics. In only 28 competitions, they’ve won a total of 24 gold medals.
ITTF World Tour
This event was first held in 1996 under the name ITTF pro tour, however the name was changed in 2011 to ITTF World Tour and is one of the biggest table tennis tournaments mentioned on Vwin sports article.
Men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, and men’s and women’s under 21 matches are among the six categories in this competition.
There is a unique point system for this competition. The players with the most points may be invited to compete in the ITTF world tour grand finals.