The future of European Teams Championships highlighted the agenda
European Table Tennis Union Extraordinary Congress
The European Table Tennis Union Extraordinary Congress staged on the occasion of the LIEBHERR 2017 ITTF World Championships in Germany's city of Dusseldorf was held yesterday in the fully packed meeting hall in the Messe Dusseldorf.
ETTU President Ronald KRAMER welcomed delegates and guests before he presented his report.
"The reports shows that we are on the right track, not only in organising and marketing department but especially in the field of development. Our program, launched three years ago is now in full swing. We are very happy to be where we are now. However, we will be more happy if the national federations will show more interest in organising our future events," said President KRAMER.
DTTB President Michael GEIGER welcomed guests in Germany.
"We are playing the championships in the huge Dusseldorf fair but this give us the chance to offer the enough space for all our activities, for practice, for competitions public sports and meetings such is this one here. We organised the last Championships in 2012 and from that time the number of players decreased, but the Championships become much bigger with more interest from the TV and media and big challenge regarding sports presentation," said President GEIGER.
ITTF President Thomas WEIKERT also addressed to the members of the Congress.
"I am not speaking as a German, but as a ITTF President, however I cannot hide the fact that I feel proud by the work of the organisers. The venue and the playing conditions in the city, which is the sports centre of Germany, are excellent I heard nothing but compliments for the job well done."
The Vice-President for Finances Dorte DARFELT reported a surplus for the financial year 2016 and positive perspectives for 2017. Marketing income has risen in recent years.
Deputy President Ivo-Goran MUNIVRANA presented the Development 2017 Program.
"We started in 2014 and in last three years 500 children passed our evaluation. From that time 28 were selected, some of them did not succeeded to keep up with the program, but good news are that we have very talented newcomers. Also we are proud that Under 18 Program is also successful. Talented youngsters were in Japan, next destination is Singapore and before World Junior Championships both, Japan and Singapore will be our guests and they will work with our team. Also we are working very hard in the field of further education of our coaches and we can talk of nothing but success thanks to very hard work of our Development Manager Neven CEGNAR.”
Applause followed Deputy President’s report.
ETTU Vice President Heike AHLERT presented the platform for the proposal of the Future look of the European Team Championships. The European Team Champions after 2017 will start in February 2018, starting with two stages of group matches. Home matches have the potential to promote table tennis at local, regional and national level in all European countries: they will all be European Championship matches. Unlike the present situation, In principle all participating associations can become the European Champion!
"The final stage of the European Team Championships with this new format with 12, 16 or 24 teams, will then be played in only one place."
The first stage can have two alternatives.
"Supposing 16 teams will play in the final round, all associations will be drawn into 10 groups of 4-5 associations and play matches for deciding which 15 teams will finally join the host and Team EC Championship in its final stage. In 16 teams will be 10 winners and through further knock out matches 5 or 4 runner ups."
Second alternative for the first stage is: the associations will be drawn in 2 types of groups according to their results in the last Team EC, for example the TOP 21 associations from Team Champion in Luxembourg will be drawn to groups of 3 teams (A-groups) with round robin matches home and away (4 matches per team).
All other associations will be drawn into 7 groups of 3-4 teams with home and away matches (B-groups). These groups can also decide to play their matches in another way (all teams meet at one place during a weekend for example).
Mrs AHLERT got applause for her presentation. During the discussions much support was found for the home and away matches in the first two stages. Of course a number of technical matters will have to be solved, but the Congress showed great support for the general ideas.
The debate will be followed by a questionnaire to all associations, after which the Executive Board will present its final proposal to the Congress in September in Luxembourg.
André HARTMANN and Camille GONDERINGER from the Luxembourg Table Tennis Association then presented the start of preparation of the European Championships in September 2017.
Finally the Congress took note of the declaration by the Belgian delegation, that they did not agree with the letter from the Executive Board about the ITTF Presidential elections that was sent to all ITTF member associations a week ago.