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The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is the governing body for all national table tennis associations. Led by representatives of Germanymarker, Hungarymarker, and Englandmarker, the International Table Tennis Federation ( ) was founded in 1926, the founding members being Austriamarker, Czechoslovakiamarker, Denmarkmarker, England, Germany, Hungary, Indiamarker, Swedenmarker and Wales. The first international tournament was held in January 1926 in Berlinmarker. Austria, Germany, Hungary and Sweden were charter members.

The role of the ITTF includes overseeing rules and regulations and seeking technological improvement for the sport of table tennis. The ITTF runs numerous international competitions, including the Table Tennis World Championships that has continued since 1926.

Toward the end of 2000, the ITTF instituted several rules changes aimed at making table tennis more viable as a televised spectator sport. The older 38 mm balls were officially replaced by 40 mm balls. This increased the ball’s air resistance and effectively slowed down the game. By that time, players had begun increasing the thickness of the fast sponge layer on their paddles, which made the game excessively fast, and difficult to watch on television.

On February 29 2008, the ITTF announced several rules changes after an ITTF Executive Meeting in Guangzhoumarker, Chinamarker with regards to a player's eligibility to play for a new association. The Olympic eligibility of registered players for the 2008 Summer Olympics was not affected and was not applied retroactively. The new ruling is to encourage associations to develop their own players.

There are currently 207 member organizations associated with the ITTF. The seat of the ITTF is in Lausannemarker, Switzerlandmarker. The current president of the ITTF is Adham Sharara, a Canadianmarker.

Role in diplomacy

Unlike the organizations for more popular sports, the ITTF tends to recognize teams from generally unrecognized governing bodies for disputed territory. For example, it currently recognizes the Table Tennis Federation of Kosovo even though Kosovomarker is excluded from most other sports. It recognized the People's Republic of Chinamarker in the 1970s and allowed some basic diplomacy which lead to an opening for U.S. President Richard Nixon, called "Ping Pong Diplomacy".


Player Eligibility

A player is eligible to play for his association by registering with the ITTF. If the player chooses to play for a new association, he shall register with the ITTF, through the new association.

  • The player shall not represent the new association before.
  • The player will be eligible to play for the new association after three, five, seven years after the date of registration, if the player is under the age of 15, 18, 21 respectively
  • If the player is 21 years of age or older, he will not be registered with the ITTF and not be eligible to represent a new association at World Title events.

Service and point system

The table tennis point system is reduced from a 21 to an 11 point scoring system. This was intended to make games more fast-paced and exciting. The ITTF also changed the rules on service to prevent a player from hiding the ball during service, in order to increase the average length of rallies and to reduce the server’s advantage. Today, the game changes from time to time mainly to improve on the excitement for television viewers. In August 2008, ITTF officially banned the use of speed glue. Speed glue had allowed players to achieve greater spin and speed in their shots.

You may not strike the ball out of the air. The ball has to bounce on the opponents side to be returned.

Contests (Main Draw)

  • Men's Singles
  • Women's Singles
  • Men's Doubles
  • Women's Doubles
  • Mixed Doubles

Men's Singles Contest

The men's singles contest consists of two male players playing against each other.

Current Men's Singles Competition

Women's Singles Contest

The women's singles contest consists of two female players playing against each other.

Current Women's Singles Competition

Men's Doubles Contest

The men's doubles contest consists of two pairs of male players (total of 4) playing against each other.

Current Men's Doubles Competition

The 2007 World Table Tennis Championship is currently held in Zagrebmarker between May 21 to May 27, 2007Current champions in the Men's Mixed Doubles Semifinals are:

Women's Doubles Contest

The women's doubles contest consists of two pairs of female players (total of 4) playing against each other.

Current Women's Doubles Competition

Mixed Doubles Contest

The mixed doubles contest consists of two pairs of mixed players (total of 2 women, 2 men) playing against each other.

Current Mixed Doubles Competition


  1. New Rule in Favour of the Development of Table Tennis
  2. International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF)

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