The journey to becoming World No.1 has been solidified with the launch of the new ITTF Table Tennis Youth Ranking yesterday, following their approval by the ITTF Executive Committee at a meeting held last Sunday.
The newly formed WTT Youth Series, which replaces the ITTF World Junior Circuit and now complemented by the new ranking regulations, becomes the first step in the whole sport pathway that will drive today’s most promising young talent towards the pinnacle of the sport.
Divided into two tiers, WTT Youth Star Contender and WTT Youth Contender, the WTT Youth Series will form the basis of an event pyramid designed to provide youth players with the opportunity to transition into professional careers.
The ITTF Table Tennis Youth Ranking, to be published weekly, follows a similar structure to the ITTF Table Tennis World Ranking, and will see points awarded based on performance for each age category for boys’ and girls’ singles. A youth player’s ranking will comprise of the best eight results in 2021 and the best 10 results commencing in 2022. Doubles and mixed doubles rankings are now also included as part of the new regulations.
The World Youth Championships will sit atop the ITTF Table Tennis Youth Ranking with 3,000 points awarded to the winners, Under-19 WTT Youth Star Contender and WTT Youth Contender champions will collect 2,250 and 750 points respectively, with the number of points reducing for each subsequent age category.
Youth players will also have the opportunity to earn senior rankings points at WTT Youth Series events and vice versa, with points earned by youth players at the WTT Series level to be included in their ITTF Table Tennis Youth Ranking.
Portugal will host the first-ever WTT Youth Series event, with the inaugural WTT Youth Contender to take place in Vila Real from Tuesday 11 to Monday 17th May. It will be the first youth event to be held since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tiago Viegas, WTT Youth Series Manager says “The new WTT Youth Series and ranking regulations will bear witness to more inter-generational competitiveness across the age categories and provide opportunities for talented and fast-improving players to put their skills to the test against slightly older opponents.
We are looking forward to launching our first WTT Youth Series event in Portugal despite the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are very grateful for the support and commitment given to us by Vila Real and Portuguese Table Tennis Association for ensuring this event can occur safely”.
Performance at WTT Youth Contender events is crucial for players to qualify for the WTT Youth Star Contender events where USD 17,000 in prize money will be on offer.
About World Table Tennis
Successfully launched in 2021, WTT heralds a new era for professional table tennis with the new WTT Series showcasing the sport’s best and up-and-coming table tennis players in up to 34 events around the world. The WTT Series features four Grand Smashes as the pillars of the support, eight single-table, single-gender WTT Champions events, the WTT Contender Series and the season-ending WTT Cup Finals, all of which will entertain fans and inspire future generations of table tennis players. Complemented by the global WTT Youth Series, WTT creates a pathway that showcases the journey of a player from day one to World No. 1 through the ITTF Table Tennis World Rankings. For more information, please visit worldtabletennis.com.