For the very first time in an International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) event, players will be able to review decisions made by umpires with the support of Table Tennis Review (TTR).
The TTR is to be introduced at the upcoming end-of-year showpiece event, the 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, held from Dec 12-15 in Zhengzhou, China.
Table tennis now joins a growing list of sports that has introduced video reviews. Tennis, football, badminton and cricket are among the sports that currently use a video referee to review disputed calls.
Click here for technical details on how TTR will work.
TTR will be implemented by Chinese technology firm RigourTech, selected by the ITTF following a tender process in August 2019. The TTR was also tested for three days of behind-the-scenes during the Men’s World Cup last month in Chengdu.
Should the full-scale implementation at the World Tour Grand Finals prove successful, the ITTF would be looking to ensure that TTR features at more top-tier events in 2020.
“The ITTF is constantly seeking ways to improve and modernise the sport of table tennis and we see TTR as one way of bringing about positive change, by providing a mechanism to help settle unclear cases which might have been interpreted incorrectly by umpires or the other way around; correctly interpreted by umpires but doubtful in players’ perception.”
“If we are able to reduce the human error or uncertainty, which can naturally occur in all sports, through a fair, transparent and effective system, we believe this will benefit the players, fans and officials themselves, as has been achieved in a number of sports already. In this regard, we don’t see why table tennis should be any different, said ITTF Competition Director Vicky Eleftheriade.