(Colorado Springs, CO – June 1st, 2020) – USA Table Tennis (“USATT”), the National Governing Body for the sport of table tennis, today announced that the organization will lift the current suspension on sanctioned tournament play effective June 30, 2020. USATT will also reopen access to the organization’s league rating system to those leagues managed or operated USATT Member Clubs on June 30.
Under a newly instituted USATT policy, sanction requests for tournaments scheduled after June 30 will be considered for approval provided that, in addition to submitting the standard Sanction Request Form, the tournament director provides written confirmation of compliance with all local, state and federal regulations controlling permissible gatherings and athletic activities and submits an acceptable operational plan, establishing the safety precautions that will be instituted for tournament participants and patrons. These new requirements for sanction requests are considered temporary and will stay in play only as long as necessary to ensure the safety of tournament participants and patrons due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“USATT believes it is important to begin the process of returning to the regular activities that are so important to the fabric of our country – and that includes athletic events such as table tennis tournaments,” said Chief Executive Officer Virginia Sung. “At the same time, we believe that all tournament directors and host member clubs should proceed with the necessary caution and care to ensure to the best of our ability the safety and well-being of our members, athletes and patrons. This includes compliance with all applicable local, state, and federal regulations, as well as developing an operational safety plan that is focused on creating a safe environment in the tournament venue for all. USATT is prepared to work with our sanctioning coordinators, tournament directors, and host member clubs to properly re-start sanctioned tournament play while attaining the highest level of safety possible for our members, participants, patrons, and supporters.”
Under the new tournament sanctioning policy, the tournament director will be required to submit a Declaration of Compliance with local, state and federal regulations, which will include an affirmative representation that athletic tournament activity of the type presented by a table tennis tournament is permitted in that jurisdiction. The tournament director will also be required to submit an operational safety plan, which will be reviewed and approved by USATT headquarters. This policy applies to all tournament sanctions that were approved prior to the suspension of sanctioned tournament play due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as all new requests for tournament sanction approval.
Tournament Directors are encouraged to contact USATT’s Athlete Protection Officer, Mark Thompson (Mark.Thompson@usatt.org) to obtain the tournament operational safety checklist, which is intended to serve as a guide for formulating an acceptable operational plan tailored for each particular tournament, venue and jurisdiction.
After the submission of their Declaration of Compliance and approval of the operational safety plan, tournament directors will then submit a Sanction Request Form to their Regional Sanctioning Coordinator for consideration, review and approval in accordance with long-standing USATT policy.
USATT is prepared to begin considering tournament sanction requests at this time, but it is important to note that no tournament sanctions will be issued for play prior to June 30, 2020. Questions regarding this new sanctioning policy should be directed to Mark Thompson at USATT headquarters.
USATT postponed the 2020 US National Table Tennis Championships, which were originally scheduled for early July at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is now expected that the 2020 US Nationals will be held in December at Mandalay Bay. Further information and details regarding US Nationals are expected to be released by USATT in the immediate future.