After four years, Ultimate Table Tennis will return for its fourth season and is scheduled to be held at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune from July 13 to 30. The franchise-based league will be conducted under the auspices of the International Table Tennis Federation, as informed by the organisers.
Bengaluru Smashers, led by 2018 Commonwealth Games medallist Manika Batra, is the newest team in the league.
Here’s what you need to know about the returning league, including the format, live broadcast, and squads:
All six teams have been placed in a single group and will play each other once, in a league fixture called a ‘tie’.
A tie comprises five matches – men’s singles, women’s singles, mixed doubles, men’s singles, women’s singles, in that order.
One match is made up of three games and therefore, each tie will consist of 15 games in total.
Each game shall have players competing with each other to score 11 points first, meaning in the event that scores are level at 10-all, then the 11th point will be a Golden Point and shall decide the winner.
In UTT, winners of a tie is decided on the number of games won, not by matches won. The team to win eight of the 15 games across five matches wins the tie.
In the League stage, that runs from July 13 to 27, franchises will play all five matches (15 games in total) in a tie irrespective of whether either franchise has already won the required eight games.
The top four teams in the table will qualify for the semi-finals stage where the first placed franchise in the will play the fourth-placed franchise, and the second placed team will play the third-placed franchise.
The standings in the league stage will be decided based on the number games won by teams. In case of a draw, the number matches won between the two teams will be used to break the deadlock followed by number of ties won in the League Stage and number of matches won in the league stage.
In the knockout stages, the team to win eight games first will be declared the winner. Teams will not be required to play all five matches in a tie unless required.
No player can play more than two matches in a tie, including the mixed doubles match. No player can play more than one singles match in a tie. However, the same player can play the mixed doubles.
You can read the tournament rules here.
Here are the six teams that are competing in the fourth edition.
Coaches: Sachin Shetty, Vesna Ojstersek
Players: Manika Batra, Kirill Gerassimenko, Sanil Shetty, Natalia Bajor, Poymantee Baisya and Jeet Chandra.
Coaches: Somnath Ghosh, Jorg Bitzigeio
Players: Achanta Sharath Kamal, Yangzi Liu, Benedikt Duda, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Payas Jain and Prapti Sen
Coaches: Elena Timina, Parag Agrawal
Players: Suthasini Sawettabut, Harmeet Desai, Alvaro Robles, T Reeth Rishya, Krittwika Sinha Roy and Anthony Amalraj
Dabang Delhi TTC
Coaches: Slobodan Grujic, A Muralidhara Rao
Players: Sathiyan Gnanasekaran, Sreeja Akula, Barbora Balazova, Ayhika Mukherjee, Anirban Ghosh and Jon Persson
Puneri Paltan Table Tennis
Coaches: N Ravichandran, Zoltan Batorfi
Players: Omar Assar, Manush Shah, Archana Kamath, Snehit SFR, Anusha Kutumbale and Hana Matelova
U Mumba TT
Coaches: Anshul Garg, Francisco Santos
Players: Manav Thakkar, Lily Zhang, Aruna Quadri, Diya Chitale, Mouma Das and Sudhanshu Grover
Where to watch
There will be one tie played every day from July 13, with the final being held on July 30. All matches will start at 7:30pm IST.
All matches will be broadcast on Sports 18 and Sports 18 Khel. The matches will also be streamed live on Jio Cinema.