Table Tennis Club Handbook
You can contact USA Table Tennis at 719-866-4583, or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Table tennis is a sport that emphasizes individualism. Those who play table
tennis are often independent, think-for-themselves kind of people. Yet, it is
difficult to fully enjoy the game without the association and the comradeship
found in a group of people sharing a common interest. In the world of
organized sport, that group of players is called a "table tennis
Some clubs are formal business-like structures, and others are no more than
neighbors having fun. Some have a large membership and permanent playing site,
and others have four or five players and hope from month to month that they
can stay in the church basement.
Every club has its own special set of problems, both in organization and
operation. This manual is an effort to help you, the club organizer, come up
with some effective solutions. To assist the community-sponsored club is this
booklet's primary goal.
If in the course of your work to start and run a club you come upon any
unusual problems or successful solutions or projects, be sure to let us know
so that the information might be shared with others.
It's a challenge to start a table tennis club, but it's exciting, rewarding,
and (most of the time) fun. Be persistent in your efforts, and you will be
rewarded with a great deal of satisfaction.
- Why Start a Table
There are only four feet behind each end of the table, the ceiling is brushing
the top of your head, the lighting reminds you of a dungeon, and you've been
playing the same guy for the past year. It's time to start a table tennis
A table tennis club can provide more room to play, better lighting, more
competition, and the recognition that achievement brings. As an athletic event
and social experience, organized table tennis is hard to beat.
- Starting Membership
The first step is to find more players interested in starting a club. Some
good ways of doing this include:
-The names on the check-out cards in table tennis books at the public
-Response to posters put up at the YMCA, college union, community center,
high school, and sporting goods stores.
-The sports editor of the local newspaper. There may have been a club in
your town at one time, and he may remember some of the players.
Keep in mind that many successful clubs have started with only three or four
inexperienced players. However, the more people you can involve, the more
fun you can have.
- Putting It Together
At your first organizational meeting, a steering committee should be
established. The steering committee is a temporary group that will be
responsible for the initial development of the club with regard to:
-Finding a place to play
-Finding equipment (i.e., tables and nets)
-Establishing meeting dates and times
-Trying to find a sponsor
When the steering committee has accomplished its tasks, a meeting should be
announced to those who have shown an interest and to the general public. At
this meeting, a club name should be decided on (usually reflecting the
locality or sponsorship) and officers elected.
The club will need a president, vice president, and secretary/treasurer. Each
officer has a defined role in the club.
-Presides at all meetings of the membership or officers
-Appoints or determines all committees and chairmen
-Aids in conducting correspondence
-Makes periodic reports to the membership
-With the approval of the majority of officers, prescribes disciplinary action
-Acts as president in the absence of the president or at the president's
-Records minutes of meeting
-Prepares and distributes correspondence, notices, agendas, tournament
reports, etc., that are not specifically assigned to others
-Responsible for the safe-keeping of club funds
-Keeps an accounting of the club
It isn't vital that the club's committees be established at the election
meeting, but the president should be giving consideration to who will be
appointed as committee chairmen. The committees should then be appointed as
soon as it is practical to do so. To some people, committees are a necessary
evil. However, working on a committee can be a rewarding experience for both
the individual and the club. Committees can do the bulk of the club's work and
provide a larger number of members with the opportunity to take part in the
club's operation. Members will develop a feeling of worth and satisfaction,
thereby becoming more active and the potential leaders of the club.
Basically, there are two categories of committees: standing and special.
Standing committees are set up to handle a specific part of the club's regular
work. They have a limited term (usually the same as the officers) and a
well-defined area of responsibility. They must report regularly to the
president on their activity. For those situations that aren't covered by a
standing committee (such as a fund-raising project or a special tournament),
the president may appoint a special committee. Its term of existence will be
until the completion of the assigned work.
Standing committees appropriate for a table tennis club are:
-Maintains equipment and playing site
-Recommends repairs and new purchases
-Conducts matters pertaining to leagues and tournaments sponsored by the club
-Maintains the club ladder, team match records, etc.
-Develops membership materials (i.e., fact sheet, membership certificates,
-Acts as a welcoming committee for new members
-Conducts matters incident to intra-club activities
-Arranges for club banquets, picnics, etc.
-Works with the other committees in developing press releases
-Responsible for the writing and dissemination of press releases, posters, etc
- Selecting Committee Members
When deciding who should do what, it is important to keep in mind an
individual's personal interests and talents. Equally important is the
combination of people who can work together. Don't leave the selection of
committee members to chance - give it some hard thought.
- Instructing the Committee
Each committee must have a clearly-defined area of responsibility. Try to be
certain that committees don't step on each other's toes. It is best to put
the assignments in writing and see to it that each committee member gets a
- Committee Operation
The nature of a committee calls for informality and flexibility. Forget
about parliamentary procedure. Keep the atmosphere relaxed and supportive.
The chairperson's role is that of a discussion leader. He must be careful
not to dictate or dominate the committee's activity.
A written agenda will help keep the discussion on course. A committee
secretary should be appointed to keep a detailed record of meetings.
Each committee should have one of the officers as a member. He will have
full voting rights but should not be expected to operate the committee in
the absence of the chairmen.
When there is a foundation membership and the club is meeting regularly, each
member should be inspired to attract new members. When that potential member
comes to the meeting, make him feel comfortable. Pay attention to him. Don't
be too pushy but see to it that he has an opportunity to get in on the action.
Another nice touch for the guest and new member is a club fact sheet. It
-A list of current members, addresses, and phone numbers
-A short history of the club
-Regular meeting times
-Copy of the bylaws, if any (see Sample
USATT Club Bylaws)
-Dues and any special fees
-List of events for the upcoming year
In addition to the fact sheet, you may consider having membership certificates
to present to new members.
The club president and secretary should be keeping a membership file. A simple
method is to use a 3" x 5" index card, or you may want to use a
computer data base. The information which should be included is the member's
name, address, phone number, date he joined, and birthday.
Some additional thoughts on new members:
-Call to remind them of the meeting.
-In some cases, you might offer transportation.
-Be certain he/she is introduced to other club members. Let him/her know that
he/she is an important asset to the club.
-Get his/her name into some of the club's activity stories in a club
newsletter or the city paper.
-After he/she has been to a few meetings, put him/her to work on a committee
Remember - developing membership is an ongoing activity: "The road to
success is always under construction."
- Club Regulations
Every organization needs a set of standards to which its members are expected
to adhere. Without such regulations and their enforcement, each player will
set his/her own standards of conduct and some will be unacceptable.
Here are some rules that should be considered.
-Players will conduct themselves in a sportsman-like manner.
-Loud or offensive language will not be tolerated.
-Willful damage to the club's equipment or the facility will not be tolerated.
-Members will cooperate in setting up and taking down the equipment and in
cleaning up the area before leaving.
-There will be no smoking or drinking of an alcoholic beverage at the playing
-Table tennis courtesies will be observed.
-A let will be called when a stray ball enters your court.
-No one will unnecessarily pass through a playing area in use.
-"Table hogging" will not be tolerated.
-The Laws of Table Tennis published by USATT will govern all games.
To enhance the appearance of your club (making it more attractive to potential
members), the USATT dress code should be adopted. It calls for dark or deep
pastel, solid-colored shorts and shirts and rubber-soled shoes. No tank tops
or cut-offs are permitted. Players must wear shirts.
Club bookkeeping requires a great deal of attention. While it is not
expected that the secretary/treasurer become a CPA, the lack of accurate
records can be the cause of friction among members.
The secretary/treasurer, by election, becomes the club's chief financial
officer. However, he/she should not be expected to work alone. Another
member should be appointed to assist the treasurer in record-keeping and
paying the bills. This will relieve the burden of responsibility if a
mistake is made.
There are three tools needed for the bookkeeping job. They are:
-Two-signature checking account. All bills must be paid by check. This will
provide a record of payment. The two-signature check diminishes the
opportunity for error.
-Permanently-bound, double-entry ledger book. This is used to keep a running
total of expenses and income. It should be kept up to date with each item
received and each check written.
-Large manila envelope. The envelope is used to file all bills and receipts.
No item relating to the club's finances should be thrown away.
The budgets of all clubs will vary, primarily due to the extent of the
sponsorship. However, it is important that an annual budget be developed.
The budget can be divided into two sections:
-Non-recurring expenses. These might include:
Permits (plumbing, electrical, etc.)
-Recurring expenses. These might include:
Capital expenses - Tables, nets, barriers, cleaning and
Operating expenses - Maintenance supplies, office
supplies, postage, printing costs, utilities
Estimate the amount of money needed to satisfy each of the club's expenses,
and this will give you an idea of how much income needs to be generated by
your fund-raising activities, dues, and sponsorship.
- Club Dues
Membership dues are an economic necessity to most clubs. If your club is
fully sponsored and doesn't need the money, dues should still be required
for membership. When a person pays for something, he pays attention to it.
This brings up the area of free tournaments and coaching clinics - DON'T.
Always charge something, even if no more than a token fee.
To facilitate bookkeeping, the membership fee should be due once a year. New
memberships can be pro-rated. This means that the fee should be easily
divisible by 12. Some clubs collect dues semi-annually. More frequent
collection becomes a bookkeeping nightmare.
The individual membership fee for many clubs falls between $12 and $24 per
year. Family memberships are usually twice the fee for individuals. Junior
membership (usually for kids 17 years old and younger) is often one-half the
annual fee for individuals.
- Where to Play
Finding a place to play is often one of the most difficult problems to solve
in starting a table tennis club. It would be great to find a building
fulfilling the requirements listed below. However, take what you can get to
get started and keep looking for a better place.
- Facility Requirements
Low Cost - This means that you will be looking for some kind of public
building (i.e., city auditorium, school gym, or church basement). To provide
funds for rental, it may be necessary to have a small per-night playing fee
collected from each player.
Physical Attributes - The minimum floor space for each table is 25 feet long
by 13 feet wide. The ceiling should be no less than 10 feet high and
uncluttered over the playing area. Wood floors are best, tile next, and then
concrete (avoid carpet). Make arrangements to have access to a dry mop and a
wet mop to clean the floor before and after you play. A clean floor will
benefit the players, and the building proprietor will appreciate the club's
efforts in caring for the building.
Usually, you can do little to increase the lighting in a public building. It
won't hurt to ask if you can clean the fixtures and install higher wattage
bulbs. Incandescent lights are preferable over fluorescent, and all lights
should be shade if possible.
Make sure the playing site has restrooms.
Most clubs like to meet at least twice a week. Regardless of how often you
meet, regularity is imperative. A table tennis club can't be successful if
it doesn't have a regular meeting night and time that the members can rely
on and that can be promoted to the public.
- How to Find a Place
If your city has a parks and recreation department, this is the first place
to go. Frequently, the recreation director is responsible for a city
auditorium or recreational facility and may be able to help you. YMCAs,
Boy's Clubs, churches, and schools are good prospects. These organizations
usually welcome activities that are youth- and family-oriented.
It seldom occurs that a group exhausts the public building search without
finding a place to play. If that happens, don't give up. In almost any town,
there are merchants who have an upstairs room they don't use. The members
may have to do some work to get it into playing condition, but this labor
should go some distance in paying the rent. Be aware that you may also be
responsible for some utilities.
Whatever you end up with, be certain to give credit to the building
proprietor in your news releases. This creates considerable goodwill.
Good equipment adds a great deal to the attractiveness of your club. Look for
the USATT "Seal of Approval" on any piece of equipment you buy. It
is your assurance that the item meets the standards required for high caliber
A good table will have no less than a 3/4" top made of high resin
particle board painted in a dark, non-reflecting color, usually green.
Plywood tops are usually too grainy.
Whether you purchase a fold-away or a two-piece card table type is primarily
dependent upon your available storage area. Three two-piece tables can be
stored in about the same space required for one fold-away. The fold-away is
easier to set up and take down but is generally not as sturdy as the
A table with a steel apron around the perimeter on the underside of the top
is less likely to warp, and some players claim that this design plays more
"solidly" than one without.
Don't try to get by with a cheap net. Many of them are not high enough (must
be 6"), do not extend beyond the table sides (6" out from each
side), and have a space between the bracket and the end of the net. The
better nets have a tension adjustment cord running lengthwise across the
top. Make sure the brackets fit your tables.
A good net may seem expensive but is a worthwhile investment. Take a look at
several before making a purchase.
Table tennis balls vary greatly in quality. Any of the USATT- or ITTF-approved
three-star balls are good. Players are expected to provide their own balls
though the club should have some available for sale.
Club members provide their own rackets. Sandpaper-covered rackets and
rackets with no covering (plain wood) are illegal. Most top players use
rackets with pips-in smooth rubber. The club should have a few rackets
available for guests.
Barriers are of great benefit at tournaments. When properly used, they help
prevent balls from entering other courts, keep the spectators at a proper
distance, speed up play by reducing interference, and make the tournament more
enjoyable for the players.
A suitable barrier is a large roll of single-faced corrugated paper that can
be snaked around the courts. Barriers should be between 30" and 36"
high and a dark or deep pastel color.
- Where to Buy
Several department and catalog stores carry tables suitable for club use.
With table tennis growing in popularity more and more, sporting goods stores
are stocking the better quality rackets and balls.
USATT's official magazine, Table Tennis Today, regularly publishes an
approved equipment list and has many dealer ads from which equipment can be
ordered by mail.
- Intra-Club Activities
In addition to unstructured play at the regular meetings, the club should have
some activities that promote regular attendance. Consideration should also be
given to developing an activity that allows the less-skilled players to
compete against the better players. If you don't, the less-skilled player is
likely to get bored and drop out.
- Playing Activities
For this activity, some special materials are needed. They are:
-Metal-rimmed round key tags big enough to put a player's name on.
-Small screw-in type cup hooks - one for each member and a few extra.
-A piece of plywood large enough to position the key tags on it in a
On the board, lay out a large triangle with enough room for the tags to hang
freely from the cup hooks. Screw the hooks into the board. Write each club
member's name on a tag and place them on the hooks in the order of playing
strength, with the best player at the top. It helps if the hooks are
0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0
While the rules may vary to suit specific club situations, here is a set
that has worked for other clubs.
-You may challenge only on _________ night
-You may issue only two challenges per night
-You may not refuse a challenge
-You may challenge only the two players in attendance that occupy the two
posts above and closest to your own
-Movement of rankings is as follows: If the challenged player wins, ranking
is not affected. If the challenger wins, he moves to the post of the losing
player. The losing player is moved one post below his pre-match position.
Players in between these two positions are necessarily moved one post down.
Grand Prix Round Robin
This is an activity that lets the developing players play against the better
players in tournament competition.
The procedure is to set up three or four monthly one-day tournaments. Each
tournament will be two flights of round-robins. For the first flight,
players are divided into groups of four or five with each group having one
top player, one advance intermediate, one intermediate, and one beginner.
Each of the first groups compete.
The second flight will be groups made up of the top two or three finishers
and groups of the bottom two or three finishers. This allows the players to
compete against opponents of their own strength.
Inexpensive awards should be given to the top eight players of each monthly
"Grand prix" points can be awarded each player according to his
finish in the monthly tournament - the first-place finisher receiving one
point, the second place finisher getting two points, etc. At the end of the
tournament series, the player with the fewest points is the grand champion.
- Team Matches
The club can be divided into three-man teams, with each team composed of
three levels of players. In each team tie, you can play three singles and
two doubles matches.
You may want to set a time limit on how long this activity is to run so that
if one team is dominating, you can change teams around and run the event
One of the benefits of this activity is that the better player on the team
often takes an interest in helping his teammates acquire better skills.
- Coaching Clinics
If you're lucky enough to have an experienced player join the club, he/she
should be encouraged to conduct a couple of junior coaching clinics. USATT
maintains a list of certified coaches and will help you find one in your area.
- Social Activities
Non-playing activities should also be a part of the club's program.
Socializing in a non-competitive atmosphere with the members and their
families goes a long way to building a strong organization.
Club Picnic - Frequently, a club's activity declines in the summer months. A
summertime picnic is a great way to get members together. Each family can be
responsible for a certain kind of food. The club might provide the hot dogs
and drinks. Some recreational equipment (such as horseshoe, Frisbees, etc.)
should be available.
Awards Banquet - Towards the end of the playing season, your club may want
to have a dinner and at that time recognize those who have made
contributions of time and money to the club - both club members and outside
sponsors. An easy way to do this is to have a carry-in affair with the club
providing the drinks.
Community Involvement - Your club might get involved with an anti-litter
campaign, plant trees in the park, provide entertainment at a nursing home
or day care center, collect funds for a charitable organization, or
participate in some other activity that benefits the community. This kind o
effort will help cement the club's relationship with the community.
More - Swim parties, "softball Sunday", and other non-table tennis
activities are especially attractive to the junior players and will help
build the club's membership if properly promoted.
- Inter-Club Activities
As the club develops, you should investigate the possibility of competing
against another club in your area. This will provide more varied competition
and help create esprit de corps. USATT maintains a list of affiliated clubs
and will mail one to you upon request.
A good publicity program is essential to your club for expansion of
membership, securing and maintaining sponsorship, fund-raising, and community
goodwill. The basic function of public relations is communication, and a
well-structured publicity program for your club's events will serve to
effectively communicate these activities to the general public.
Your first objective is to establish the public identity of your club and
explain what its programs accomplish. The community must be made aware that
the table tennis club provides a needed service. Here are some ideas you can
-Table tennis is a family sport.
-Kids that are too short, slow, or skinny for school sports have the same need
for competitive play as the four-year letterman, and your club can provide
that need. Table tennis is a sport in which size is of minor importance.
-Girls can compete on equal footing with boys.
-You can play regardless of the weather.
-Table tennis is a great eye/hand coordinator and is an excellent supplement
to other sports.
-Table tennis is inexpensive and most of all FUN.
Your table tennis club can fill a recreation void that exists in every
community. You know it and I know it, but you and I can't run the club by
ourselves. Let's go out and tell the world how great table tennis is!
- What Media?
Seldom will one media do the job. Take a look around to see what is
-Bank's message board
-Exhibitions at the shopping center
-Recreation department activity catalog
-Direct mail to other racket clubs
-Enclosure with bank or phone statements
-Restaurant table "tent" notices
Stretch your imagination, be creative, but most of all be repetitious. If
your story is worth telling once, it's worth telling ten times.
- Mechanics of Publicity
Logo - One of the club's first efforts should be to develop a club logo.
Keep it simple and uncluttered. You might sponsor a logo contest. Use the
logo on all publicity releases, posters, and entry forms.
Director - Your club should have a publicity committee chairman or
"public relations director". His first job is to develop a list of
the area's editors and broadcasters. Then determine by an advance telephone
call the least busy day and time to talk with them. It is best to meet with
them before you need their help.
Write down each contact's name, title, phone number, mailing address, when
you met them, copy deadline, and any other pertinent information.
The other tools needed for the promotion job are:
Guidelines for preparing copy for the newspaper.
Membership roster with the names spelled correctly.
A program of important events and special projects for the upcoming
A datebook to notate deadlines and publicity plans.
A scrapbook of activities and their promotion as the year
- What is News?
Often the Public Relations person must create news. In a table tennis club,
there is a lot of material to work with: club elections, new projects,
special guests or speakers, a social or entertainment program, coaching
clinics, exhibitions, benefits, competition with other clubs, and
tournaments. It's important that when developing a story, you should think
first of your goals. Do you want to attract new members, bring players and
spectators to a tournament, or promote a fund-raising project? Then write
the story in the direction of your goal.
- Writing a News Release
Remember: Who, what when, where, why. Try to get all of these points in the
first sentence or two of the story. Then fill in the details with the
following paragraphs. Each succeeding paragraph should be of declining
importance - the "inverted pyramid". This allows the editor to
easily cut from the bottom of the story if his space is limited.
Use short words. Write short sentences. Write short paragraphs. Be brief.
Usually two double-spaced typewritten pages will get the job done. Forget
about adjectives. Spell out numbers from one to ten, and use numerals from
11 up. Never begin a sentence with a numeral. Check all names, dates, times,
and places for accuracy.
Keep in mind that a news story is not a free advertisement. Don't leave a
number for the sale of tickets. Don't menton door prizes, raffles, or
lotteries in newspapers that travel in the mail as this is prohibited by
- How to Prepare Copy
For your story to receive proper attention from the editor, the copy must be
prepared in a professional manner. Use plain white 8 1/2" x 11"
paper or your club letterhead. Don't use onionskin or erasable paper.
Side margins of 1 1/2" are standard, and you should start typing the
copy one-third of the way down the first page. The editor needs this space
for a headline and instructions to the printer. At the top of the first page
in the upper left-hand corner, list the name of the club. Beneath that, list
your name, address, and phone number. This information can be single-spaced.
Type the copy double-spaced, and use only one side of the paper. Indent each
paragraph five spaces, and always end each page with a complete sentence or
paragraph. When more than one page is needed, write "More" at the
bottom of the first page and each succeeding page except the last. On the
bottom of the final page, type "######" to indicate the end of
your story. At the top of each new page, write the club name. In the upper
right-hand corner, indicated "Page 2 of 2", etc. Drop down one
inch below this heading and continue the story.
If you use any unusual names, people, or places, type (sic) after them to
indicate that the spelling is correct. Paper clip the pages together - never
use a staple. If it is practical, you should hand carry the release to the
Raising money for equipment, tournaments, or other club projects is a major
task. At the same time, it can be a very satisfying activity involving your
entire membership. The first job in fund-raising is to sell your cause. A
regular publicity program is an important part of your fund-raising activity.
Secondly, the project must give something in return for a contribution.
Before you start an activity ask:
-How much money are you trying to raise?
-What is your available manpower?
Each project must have a dollar goal that is attainable. This gives the
members something to strive for and, when achieved, a feeling of
accomplishment. How many people that are willing to work may determine the
kind of project you have. If an "idea clinic" is held in which the
members participate in choosing the project, they will be more willing to work
Consider carefully when you are going to hold your event. Be certain that it
doesn't conflict with other community activity. Also consider when your
workers are available. Perhaps you can coordinate your event with another
During the course of a fund-raising project, be sure that the workers receive
recognition for their efforts. Mailings, phone calls of encouragement, and
progress reports will stimulate their interest. Remember too that workers
enjoy seeing publicity for the cause they're working for.
-Whatever your money rasing project, run it like a business.
-Keep accurate records.
-Publicize the activity.
-Use regular business forms for billing.
-Be dependable - do what you say you will.
-If you take merchant donations, give a receipt.
-Keep a file of benefactors.
-Determine how many members will help with the project.
-Figure costs and profits closely.
-Hold an "idea clinic" and let members participate in planning the
- Legal Primer
If you follow these recommendations, you will minimize the possibility of any
legal problems with your fund-raising project. Before beginning the project,
check with the appropriate government officials to see if there are any
restrictions to the activity.
-Board of health for food booths
-Police department for sidewalk obstructions
-City attorney for lotteries or raffles
-Secretary of state for sales tax questions
-State attorney for lotteries or raffles
-IRS regional director to obtain a tax-deductible ruling
Keep in mind that regulations governing club activities vary from one
community to another. Generally, any game of chance (raffles, door prizes,
etc.) falls into the category of a lottery. Before using the phrase
"contributions may be deducted from income tax", obtain a ruling
from your district director of revenue.
- How Not to Ask for Money
-Not asking - It would be great that in working hard at making your club a
good one, folks would take notice and make a contribution. They won't.
-Not asking family and friends - Didn't grandma buy the most Girl Scout
-Beating around the bush - Don't hem and haw and hint at what you want. Tell
your story outright with your outstretched hand.
-Being dishonest - Tell the truth about what you are doing and why your club
needs the money.
-Begging, apologizing, or demanding - People need to be convinced that you
believe in your club and that their contribution is not a charity or
obligation but rather a privilege.
-Not knowing the financial side of your club - When you ask for money, you
should know how it is going to be used and how it has been used in the past.
-Punting on the third down - Don't give up. The fourth person or the fourth
pitch to the same person just might do the trick. People admire persistence.
-Taking "yes" for an answer - Chances are that if they gave once,
they'll give again.
- Final Note on Fund-Raising
When the project is completed, each worker should receive a personally
written "thank you" from the club president and project chairman.
One of the rewards of organized club activity is the recognition that comes
from competitive play - the table tennis tournament. Whether the tournament is
on the club level or a multi-state regional, it requires the planning and work
of many hands.
USATT publishes a Tournament Handbook that is a virtual encyclopedia of
information on tournament organization and operation.
- Types of Tournaments
Tournaments are classified as open, closed, or invitational. Open
tournaments allow any player to participate. A closed tournament is limited
to players in a specific geographical area or organization. An invitational
tournament is when the participants are chosen by the tournament committee
and invited to play. Club and city championships are "closed"
- Tournament Season
Junior eligibility and other USATT age requirements are based on a July 1 to
June 30 year. For example, if you have a "17 Years Old and Under"
event in your city tournament and a player signs up whose 18th birthday is
on July 2, the rule allows him to play. If his birthday is June 30, he is
not eligible to play. July 1 is the cut-off date.
- Entry Fees
The entry fees should be set to cover the cost of running the tournament;
however, they should be kept as low as possible. The fees for the youth
events are usually about a third of the adult entry fees. Finding a sponsor
for the tournament or just the trophies will keep the fees low and let the
club show a profit.
For club and most closed tournaments, trophies are the appropriate award.
Trophies are usually given to the top three finishers in singles competition
and the top two teams in doubles. You may find a sponsor who is willing to
provide gifts instead of trophies. While this is fine for the adult players,
it may be disastrous for the juniors. Receiving an award that has monetary
value for competitive play may jeopardize their eligibility for school, AAU,
Junior Olympics, and Olympic-sponsored events. Take no chances - trophies,
medals, ribbons, or certificates for the kids.
- Entry Blank
The entry blank is your tournament information sheet and entry form. it is the
basic advertisement for the tournament and must be sufficiently complete to
answer the normal questions a player might ask. Entry blanks for large
tournaments should be mailed four to five weeks prior to the event. For city
and club tournaments, you should expect to take the entries up to one-half
hour prior to the event.
Entry Blank Information
-Date and time of the tournament.
-Where it will be held.
-Name of the sponsor and club.
-The statement "Only USATT-approved equipment will be used".
-Qualifications for entrants; i.e., membership and age requirements.
-Clothing requirements - USATT dress code.
-The words "All USATT rules will apply".
-Name and phone number of the tournament director.
- Tournament Format
The format of a tournament or tournament events can be single elimination,
double elimination, round-robin, or a combination of these formats.
Single Elimination - This format is the simplest to set up and run. It has
the fewest number of matches for a given number of entries. it is the most
common format for championship and class singles events when there is a
large number of players. Preliminary matches should be two out of three.
Semi-finals and finals should be three out of five.
Double Elimination - This is a good format when there is insufficient
information for seeding players and you don't have too many entries. Matches
should be two out of three, including the finals.
Round-Robin - This format provides maximum play and is practical when there
are few entries or when it is used as one stage of an event such as the
semi-finals of a single- or double-elimination event. Round-robins are
popular among players and should be used as often as possible for junior,
women's, and novice events. All matches in a round-robin should be two out
Combinations - A round-robin followed by single elimination for semi-finals
and finals is appropriate for most events when round-robin play is desired
but there are too many entries for a full round-robin. You could also have a
single elimination down to the last four players and then a round-robin.
There are a number of events that players have come to expect when going to a
tournament; however, it is your tournament and you can add or subtract as it
fits your needs. Here is a list of popular events:
-Championship or Open Singles
-Class "A" (Advanced Intermediate Players)
-Class "B" (Intermediate Players)
-17 Years and Under Singles
-15 Years and Under Singles
-13 Years and Under Singles
-11 Years and Under Singles
-Championship or Open Doubles
-Class "A" Doubles
The draw, or seeding, is one of the most important elements of a successful
tournament. The two principal purposes of the draw are to systematically
select and separate the top players and separate as much as possible players
from the same area. In round-robin events, seeding is normally limited to
one or two players into each of the groups.
After the draw is posted, no change can be made without the consent of all
players affected by any proposed change. Once play has begun in an event, no
change can be made in the draw of that event.
- Final Note on Entry Form
There are three publications that you should secure and review prior to
organizing and running a tournament:
-ITTF Match Officials Handbook
-USATT Tournament Guide
-USATT Laws of Table Tennis
- USA Table Tennis
Organized in 1933 and headquartered at the U. S. Olympic Training Center in
Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA Table Tennis is the sport's national governing
body. USATT is dedicated to the advancement of the game, benefiting players,
tournament directors, and clubs. USATT is responsible for:
-Publishing a periodic magazine - Table Tennis Today
-National championship annually
-International "open" championship annually
-National sports festival tournament
-Sending a U.S. team to the World Championships
-Sending a U.S. team to the Pan American Games
-Sending a U.S. team to the Olympics
-Conducting training camps for players and coaches
-Developing materials for instruction and tournament/club operation
Club Affiliation Benefits
When a club affiliates with USATT, it becomes eligible for the following
-Free subscription to USA Table Tennis Magazine
-Club insurance. Contact USATT for details.
-Placement on the national mailing list to receive tournament notices and
-Club may hold "sanctioned" tournaments with the approval of the
-Club may retain 15% of fees paid for individual and family memberships in the
-Recognition of your club by USATT, including a Certificate of Affiliation
-Club resource manuals, including:
*Official USATT Handbook
-Subscription to USA Table Tennis Magazine, USATT's national magazine
-Retention of 15% of all fees collected for individual USATT memberships
-Notification of many area and regional tournaments
-Club membership cards for each player
-USATT program updates and new materials
-Other materials at the USATT
Club Programs Page
Club Affiliation Request
Please enclose $50 Affiliation Fee.
Recommendation: Cut & Paste the form below to a word-processing program.
Playing Site Address*
*Unless otherwise requested, this is the information which will appear in
No. of Club Membership Cards Needed:________________________________________