Table Tennis – Tournaments

Table tennis tournaments are famous in Asia and Europe. Nowadays, they are gaining more popularity in the United States as well. The most important tournaments are −

World Table Tennis Championships

This competition was initially held in the year 1926 but then was held biennially since 1957. Five individual events together make this tournament – Men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, mixed doubles.

Table Tennis World Cup

This is an annually held competition since 1980. Women’s singles were introduced in the year 1996 and team competitions in 1990.

Men’s and Women’s World Cups − All the matches so far were best of 7 in which they have 3 stages.

The Preliminary Stage – Intercontinental Cup − The four representatives from Latin America, Africa, Oceania and North America compete with all the members of the group on a group basis. The winner of this group joins the remaining 15 players in the 1st stage.

The 1st Stage or Group Stage − The 16 players are divided into 4 groups, in a way that all the members of a group is playing with each other. Division into groups is based on ranks of that particular player. The players holding rank 1, 2, 3, 4 are placed in group A, B, C, D respectively. The rest of the players are placed in different groups based on their ranking.

The 2nd Stage (Knockout) − The quarterfinals and semi-finals are knock-out rounds. The winner of quarterfinals goes in the semi-finals and the winner of semi-finals enters the final.

Quarter Finals − Four quarter final matches (Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4) are arranged in accordance to both the final groups and the rankings in the 1st Stage. Q1 to Q4 are as follows − A1 vs. B2, B1 vs. A2, C1 vs. D2 and D1 vs. C2.

Semi-finals − These matches are among the winner of Q1 and winner of Q2, and winner of Q3 vs. winner of Q4.

The finals are played by winners of semi-finals, and the ones who didn’t win the semis compete for the next position.


Table tennis was introduced in Olympics in the year 1988. It was initially played in the form of singles and double by both men and women.

In table tennis, Olympics has always been dominated by Chinese. They’ve won 24 gold medals and in just 28 events.

ITTF World Tour

This tournament was introduced in the year 1996, known as ITTF pro tour, but was changed in the year 2011.

This tournament is played under six categories − Men’s and Women’s doubles, Men’s and Women’s Singles and Men’s and Women’s under 21 matches.

This tournament has its own point system. The players gaining most number of points might be invited to the ITTF world tour grand finals.

Famous Trophies

Trophies are awarded to winners of each individual game, which should be returned for next championship.

  • Swaythling Cup for Men’s Team − ITTF first President donated this in 1926.

  • Iran Cup for Men’s Doubles − At the 1947 World Championships, this award was presented for the first time.

  • St. Bride Vase for Men’s Singles − C.Corti Woodcockin 1929 donated this award, in London.

  • Corbillon Cup for Women’s Team − In 1933 Marcel Corbillonin donated Corbillon Cup.

  • W.J. Pope Trophy for Women’s Doubles − General Secretary of The ITTF W.J. Pope in 1948 donated Pope Trophy.

  • Heydusek Cup for Mixed Doubles − Donated by Zdenek Heydusekin 1948.