Drumbeat of the DTTB: The table tennis season is cancelled

Table tennis brain and heart

Reason vs. heart: Did the officials of the DTTB make the right decision ?

Tabletennis season in Germany cancelled:

Probably we would never have thought that such a scenario would ever happen in our active career… The current corona-crisis, however, is the trigger for one of the most historic decisions in table tennis. Since the foundation of the DTTB on November 8th, 1925 there have been few events that have caused so much excitement when a decision was made:

The German Table Tennis Federation decided on April 1st, 2020 (and no, it is not an April Fool’s joke) that the 2019/2020 season will be cancelled and that the last table status now also represents the valid final table. Just as we as players, coaches and officials did not foresee this scenario; neither did the rules of the association. The decision can therefore not be justified completely on the basis of paragraphs. This shows us that the corona virus requires special decisions not only in politics and economy but also in table tennis.

First of all this decision should be a real relief for many clubs.The clubs, players and coaches now have a better planning security and can prepare better for the next season. Especially in the highest leagues of the german association with paid players it is very important to know in which league or even with which team size the team will play next year. Existences are also linked to this decision. A prominent team that has already announced its withdrawal from the 1st Women’s Bundesliga is TuS Bad Driburg.

The economic uncertainty of the clubs therefore has a major impact on the change of players and coaches within Germany and Europe. We will therefore monitor the news and changes even more closely in the coming weeks and months.

The consequences of the decision are certainly anything but fair and just. Teams that have played fewer matches will be massively disadvantaged. The question we have therefore asked ourselves is: would there be a fair solution for everyone? Our answer was: No. Those responsible were forced to make a generally valid decision that would represent the interests of the clubs, players and coaches. We also respect the decision and have great respect for the courage of this decision.

But we also asked ourselves another question: What would have been the fairest solution? For this purpose mytischtennis.de has started a survey: The results of the current state (04/05/2020), you can find here:

Table tennis voting Corona

A particular point of criticism of the solution adopted was that the sometimes very unequal number of games played was not taken into account. It is logical that a team with more games can also tend to have more points.

This decision also “surprised” us at first and we found it extremely strange. However, the betting rules have shed some light on the matter.  There it is regulated that:

  1. games played must be scored.
  2. a cancellation or an extension of the season is not allowed.

Now, we are not legal experts. However, it seems that this solution is the most unassailable of all solutions according to officials, lawyers and the betting regulations. Here we gladly refer to the DTTB’s statement on this topic:

https://www.tischtennis.de/news/corona-krise-fragen-und-antworten-zu-den-hintergruenden-der-regelung-fuer-den-mannschaftsspielbetrieb.html

We can only appeal urgently to accept this decision as it is. However unfair the decision may be in individual cases: With calls for protest or boycott we only harm ourselves and our sport. It is imperative to accept the decisions without amendment. This is the only way to ensure that our beloved sport can soon run smoothly again in “normal” tracks. Again we can refer to a blog article from myTischtennis, which takes a stand on this topic:

https://www.mytischtennis.de/public/blog/14572/blog–nicht-die-beste-loesung-fuer-die-groesstmoegliche-mehrheit/

Apart from the negative views, there might even be opportunities for table tennis in general and for clubs: It seems that table tennis is currently enjoying great popularity in the hobby area “at home”. Possibly there might even be a potential for future membership recruitment. Therefore we try to see the positive in the current situation and to seize new chances.

We also want to look at the situation from a different perspective: Other sports such as football are much harder hit than we are in table tennis. We should be aware of that right now. In football, we are talking about amounts in the three-digit millions and more than 100,000 jobs in Germany alone. This shows that the scale is much greater there. So in table tennis we have luck in misfortune.

But one thing is for sure: The longer the forced recess lasts, the more you look forward to it when it starts again.

But now to you: How do you see the effects of the corona-virus? You are welcome to leave us your opinions about the decisions in the comments. We would be happy about that!

Warmest regards

Your team from Sauer&Tröger

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