The North American Table Tennis Tour announced today that the 2014 Grand Final has been sanctioned as a 5-star tournament by the USATT, the governing body of the sport. This will be the first 5-star tournament in the United States in addition to the U.S. Open, the U.S. Nationals, and the National Collegiate Championships.
The Grand Final will take place Feb. 7-8, 2015, at the Westchester Table Tennis Center, in Pleasantville, NY. It will feature the top 16 finishers from the 2014 Tour. Prizes will total more than $10,000, with $3,500 for first. The players will receive free lodging, meals, and local transportation for the duration of the event, and out-of-town players will receive an airfare subsidy.
"We are thrilled to have a 5-star tournament in our facility," said Will Shortz, the crossword editor of the New York Times and the owner of the Westchester Table Tennis Center." We intend to make this a memorable, first-class event for both the competitors and spectators."
Started in 2013, the North American Tour has grown in one year from 15 to 25 tournaments in six states from coast to coast. Players have to finish among the top eight competitors in the open event at any participating tournament to earn Tour points. At the end of the year the 16 players with the most Tour points will be invited to the Grand Final.
The 2014 North American Tour has attracted top overseas players from China, Taiwan, Germany, Croatia, Switzerland, France, Bulgaria, Monaco, the Caribbean, and elsewhere. It creates a much needed competition platform for players in North America. "Training quality in the U.S. is catching up with the world. However, players need more high-level competition in order for them to reach the next level," said Zhou Xin, former Chinese National team member and now a full-time coach in Milpitas, the winner of the 2012 USATT Coach of the Year.
Current Leaderboard of the 2014 North American Tour: http://www.battf.com/2014_NA_Tour/Ranks.htm
2014 North American Tour Tournament List: http://www.battf.com/2014_NA_Tour/
The 2014 North American Tour is made possible by all participating tournaments as well as WGSigma Systems, Habitera, Joola USA, and Newgy.Media Contacts:
• Bruce Liu (Calif.), firstname.lastname@example.org, 408-887-3410
• Irene Silbert (N.Y.), email@example.com, 914-741-0738