Table Tennis Review to be implemented at 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals
For the very first time in an ITTF event, players will be able to review decisions made by umpires with the support of Table Tennis Review (TTR), to be introduced at the upcoming end-of-year showpiece event, the 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals, held between 12th - 15th December in Zhengzhou, China. With the help of highly accurate ball tracking technology, it will be possible to have a point replayed instantly and reviewed by a video match official, who will have the authority to overturn the original decision based on the evidence. 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 and which has already conducted three successful days of behind-the-scenes tests at the 2019 ITTF Men's World Cup between 29th November - 1st December in Chengdu, China.
Should the full-scale implementation at the ITTF World Tour Grand Finals prove successful, the ITTF will 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 Vicky Eleftheriade, ITTF Competition Director.
"It is an honour for RigourTech to be part of this project to provide the ITTF with the support to implement the TTR system. Table Tennis poses a new challenge for us in ball tracking technology, but I believe that through the trials held at the ITTF Men's World Cup and ITTF World Tour Grand Finals we will be able to usher in a new era for the sport," explained Michael Pan, CEO of Beijing Rigour Technology Co., Ltd. (RigourTech).