The entry blank is your tournament information sheet and entry form. it is the basic advertisement for the tournament and must be sufficiently complete to answer the normal questions a player might ask. Entry blanks for large tournaments should be mailed four to five weeks prior to the event. For city and club tournaments, you should expect to take the entries up to one-half hour prior to the event.
Entry Blank Information
- Date and time of the tournament.
- Where it will be held.
- Name of the sponsor and club.
- The statement "Only USATT-approved equipment will be used".
- Qualifications for entrants; i.e., membership and age requirements.
- Clothing requirements - USATT dress code.
- The words "All USATT rules will apply".
- Entry deadline.
- Name and phone number of the tournament director.
The format of a tournament or tournament events can be single elimination, double elimination, round-robin, or a combination of these formats.
Single Elimination - This format is the simplest to set up and run. It has the fewest number of matches for a given number of entries. it is the most common format for championship and class singles events when there is a large number of players. Preliminary matches should be two out of three. Semi-finals and finals should be three out of five.
Double Elimination - This is a good format when there is insufficient information for seeding players and you don't have too many entries. Matches should be two out of three, including the finals.
Round-Robin - This format provides maximum play and is practical when there are few entries or when it is used as one stage of an event such as the semi-finals of a single- or double-elimination event. Round-robins are popular among players and should be used as often as possible for junior, women's, and novice events. All matches in a round-robin should be two out of three.
Combinations - A round-robin followed by single elimination for semi-finals and finals is appropriate for most events when round-robin play is desired but there are too many entries for a full round-robin. You could also have a single elimination down to the last four players and then a round-robin.
There are a number of events that players have come to expect when going to a tournament; however, it is your tournament and you can add or subtract as it fits your needs. Here is a list of popular events:
- Championship or Open Singles
- Class "A" (Advanced Intermediate Players)
- Class "B" (Intermediate Players)
- Novice (Beginners)
- Women's Singles
- 17 Years and Under Singles
- 15 Years and Under Singles
- 13 Years and Under Singles
- 11 Years and Under Singles
- Championship or Open Doubles
- Class "A" Doubles
- Mixed Doubles
- Junior Doubles
The draw, or seeding, is one of the most important elements of a successful tournament. The two principal purposes of the draw are to systematically select and separate the top players and separate as much as possible players from the same area. In round-robin events, seeding is normally limited to one or two players into each of the groups.
After the draw is posted, no change can be made without the consent of all players affected by any proposed change. Once play has begun in an event, no change can be made in the draw of that event.
Final Note on Entry Form
There are three publications that you should secure and review prior to organizing and running a tournament:
- ITTF Match Officials Handbook
- USATT Tournament Guide
- USATT Laws of Table Tennis