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Odisha to host Senior Nationals after 12 years




New Delhi, March 12: Odisha will host the 80th Senior National Table Tennis Championships, most probably at Cuttack, after a gap of 12 years. The state had hosted the event in 2001 and in 2006.


The decision to allot the event to Odisha was taken during the 81st AGM of the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI), held at Gurugram yesterday.


The other decision the house approved was the national calendar for all five zonals, Inter-Institutional Championships, Cadet & Sub-Junior Nationals as well as Junior & Youth Nationals, taking into consideration Team India’s participation in various international events, including the Asian Games in August.


The AGM also decided to continue with the existing ranking system for all categories sans men and women. It was decided that at any given point of time, seven tournaments will form basis for finalising the ranking points in the two sections.  


On players’ transfer policy, the house unanimously approved the decision of the technical committee which recommended that all transfers would take place before the beginning of the season either from states to institutions or vice-versa.  Players have been advised to opt for any one of the two—to play for state or institution—before the season-opener. In other words, once a player chooses to play for one of the two, he or she would not be allowed to shift until the end of the season.


The shifting of dates and venues in the last season came up for discussion and it was unanimously decided that henceforth a penalty Rs. 5 lakh (Nationals), Rs. 3 lakh (Institutional) and Rs. 2 lakh (zonals) would be imposed on the host association/institution to compensate for loss incurred by state associations and players towards their travel and room booking, etc.


Meanwhile, the Airports Authority of India has decided to host the Institutional championships in 2018 and TTFI allotted the event to it. AAI has given time to confirm about the choice of venue soon.


With requests pouring in from players of all hues to participate in international events at their own cost, TTFI has taken a cautious decision to restrict entries in all categories. Only a player who figures among the top 16 national ranking or that comes within 150 in world ranking are eligible to route entries through state associations.


The AGM also decided that TTFI will only facilitate sending entries and help players get invitations. Beyond that, it will be the responsibility of the players and parents to procure visa and book hotel accommodation, etc.


In a major departure, the AGM sternly warned state associations that any offending state associations, particularly those that continue to send entries of players with two dates of births, will be penalised. In future, if such a case comes to the notice of the competition department, the entire team of the state in that category will be debarred for the season. And, for any repeat offence, the state affiliate concerned will be banned for one year.


TTFI also decided to revive conducting National Umpires’ exam every year from 2018.