Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, safe return to play is extremely important. The wellbeing of our athletes, coaches, umpires, administrators, volunteers and all the families involved is the ultimate goal. Restrictions and rules for public gathering vary from region to region inside our country. This scenario makes it for a very difficult way to come up with a competition format that would not break social distancing rules. And the situation evolves as Canada braces for the deals with the fallout of the second wave of the Pandemic. This competition format will allow players to compete safely inside their own region. Crossing borders and isolation will not be necessary since the eligible athletes will play against a small group of athletes from the same region – if local government pandemic policies allows it.
We will be running the event with a small group of athletes composed of 5 athletes representing 5 different nationwide teams. Each team will have 1 athlete from each of our 13 Provinces and Territories. 65 athletes will be playing this tier.
Our inspiration for the 5 teams is simple, the 5 Olympic Games Rings representing the colours blue, yellow, red, black and green. Although playing inside their own region, the athletes will represent one of the 5 colours, not the athlete’s club or Province/Territory.
Following the Canadian Sport movement for a better integration of gender equality, Table Tennis Canada supports this initiative by making sure that the small group of 5 athletes will be composed by a minimum of 2 players per gender whenever possible. Our goal is to provide meaningful competitions for all participants. This is achieved when the outcome of a match between two athletes is not predictable, avoiding blowouts and/or easy wins. With that in mind, the small group of 5 athletes selected by the province/territory shall have similar ratings points in the Canadian Ranking System.
To increase the size, range and flexibility of the league, next editions would present a tier system where divisions will be used to reach more athletes and participation. These divisions will have the potential to accommodate a greater number of athletes as we move towards the grassroots level of our sport.
“Despite of the adversity that we face, we are finding safe and creative ways to adapt to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and bring some joy to the Table Tennis family! This is a mini bubble competition that has the potential to engage safely many of our Table Tennis enthusiasts, no matter the age, gender or skill level!” – Marles Martins, Technical Development Manager Table Tennis Canada
COVID-19 REGULATIONS FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING
Table Tennis Canada encourages all participants to take in consideration available Club Risk Assessment Tool guidelines as well as regional governmental guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants.
For more information check out the prospectus HERE.
The goal is to create a competition format that could easily be implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic, but continues even after. This should make it possible for all Provinces and Territories to join together in one team, bringing our sport closer together and opening opportunities for live streaming, exciting matches and a new league system. We are excited!!!
If you have any questions about the event, please reach out to the Technical Development Manager, Marles Martins.