More than 200 countries are a part of the International Table Tennis Federation (or ITTF as it’s called) and it is this body that oversees the hosting and organisation of table tennis (or ping pong) tournaments all over the world. Get the latest table tennis tournament list, schedule and dates for the current year below.
ITTF Tournament Structure & Tiers
The ITTF organises a bunch of top table tennis tournaments under what is called the ITTF World Tour.
In recent times, the ITTF World Tour is divided into two different tiers; the top tier called the World Tour Platinum. Each of the tiers have six tournaments played throughout the season. The table tennis season begins in January.
At the end of the season of these tournaments, players with the most points feature in the season-ending ITTF World Tour Grand Finals.
Each of the aforementioned tournaments consists of seven different categories of events; men’s and women’s singles, men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles and under-21 men’s and women’s singles. Points and rankings for each of these categories are allocated separately and accrued over the year.
There is a third tier of table tennis competitions which is now played as a separate tour – the ITTF Challenge Series. In 2019, an extra layer of ping pong tournaments were added to this by the name of the ITTF Challenge Plus. 13 tournaments were scheduled to be played in the 2020 Challenge Series.
To go with table tennis tournaments under these various tiers, players also participate in the Olympics every four years, World Championships, the World Cup and as mentioned above, the World Tour Grand Finals.
How Many Points do Table Tennis Title Winners Get?
Each of these tournaments offer different points to the participants.
The Olympics and World Championships, for instance, award 3000 points apiece to the winner while the World Cup and World Tour Grand Finals is worth 2550 points to the player winning it.
Similarly, players lifting the trophy at the top tier of the ITTF Tour, the Platinum tournaments, win 2250 points, while those at the World Tour are awarded 1800 for winning titles.
The ITTF Challenge Plus winner gets 1100 points and it’s further lower for the title winners of the ITTF Challenge title winners. Players in each of these tournaments, get awarded points at every stage of the competition, from the first round of the tournament to the title-decider.
This is repeated across the different categories of events; men’s and women’s singles, doubles, mixed doubles and other junior events. The rankings for each of these categories is differently done and the ITTF publishes a separate rank for all of this categories.
What’s the Table Tennis Tournament Schedule for 2020?
As mentioned earlier, table tennis tournaments are divided into different tiers with the World Tour Platinum competitions leading the way, followed by World Tour tournaments. There’s obviously the World Championships and World Tour Grand Finals other than the table tennis competitions on the Challenge tour which also has the Challenge Plus tournaments.
Find the latest table tennis tournaments schedule and dates below for all the competitions to be played in 2020. These tournaments are arranged by their start date for the current year and belong to one or the tier of ITTF competitions as can be seen from the last column.
Also, please note some of the tournaments might be cancelled because of the outbreak of the coronavirus while others like the World Team Table Tennis Championships were postponed and this table tennis schedule for 2020 is subject to changes as a result.
|January 28-February 2||German Open||World Tour Platinum|
|February 4-8||Spanish Open||Challenge|
|February 12-16||Portugal Open||Challenge Plus|
|February 18-23||Hungarian Open||World Tour|
|March 3-8||Qatar Open||World Tour Platinum|
|March 11-15||Oman Open||Challenge Plus|
|March 11-15||Polish Open||Challenge|
|April 1-5||Italian Open||Challenge|
|April 21-26||Japan Open||World Tour Platinum|
|April 22-26||Slovenia Open||Challenge|
|April 28-May 2||Croatia Open||Challenge|
|April 29-May 3||Thailand Open||Challenge|
|May 5-10||Hong Kong Open||World Tour|
|May 12-17||China Open||World Tour Platinum|
|June 3-7||Belarus Open||Challenge Plus|
|June 16-21||Korea Open||World Tour|
|June 21-28||World Team Table Tennis Championships||World Team Table Tennis Championships|
|June 23-28||Australian Open||World Tour Platinum|
|August 18-22||Nigeria Open||Challenge Plus|
|August 25-30||Czech Open||World Tour|
|September 1-6||Bulgaria Open||World Tour|
|September 9-13||Pyongyang Open||Challenge Plus|
|October 27-31||Belgium Open||Challenge Plus|
|November 3-8||Swedish Open||World Tour|
|November 10-15||Austrian Open||World Tour Platinum|
|December 1-5||North American Open||Challenge Plus|
|December 12-15||Grand Finals||Grand Finals|
Table Tennis World Cup
Held every two years, the Table Tennis World Cup is hosted separately for the men’s and women’s singles events. They are hosted every year.
The doubles events were held in 1990 and 1992 but scrapped after that. The team events were cancelled following the 1995 edition but resumed in 2007 and are held every alternate, odd year.
20 players qualified for the men’s World Cup of 2019, with the competition played in Chengdu, China. 12 of those had to play pre-tournament qualifiers with eight making it to the first round along with the eight who had directly qualified for round one.
Following that, there was a straight knock-out right up to the final and the top-seeded Fan Zhendong of China won the men’s singles title. Similarly, Liu Shiwen won the women’s singles title.
Table Tennis at Olympics
The first ever edition of the Olympics which hosted table tennis as one of its sports was the Seoul Games in 1988. The format and the events have undergone changes over the years and the 2020 Olympics at Tokyo – before it was shifted to 2021 – was expected to have five events including the men’s and women’s singles, mixed doubles and men’s and women’s team events.
Here’s all information you need to have about table tennis at the Olympics.
World Veterans Table Tennis Championships
The ITTF also organises what is called the Veterans competition or the World Veterans Table Tennis Championships where players feature in the over 40, 50, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 and 85 categories.
This is played every two years with the 2018 edition of this tournament having been hosted by Las Vegas and Bordeaux set to host the 2020 version in the second week of June.
Given the health benefits associated with table tennis, it is not surprising to see scores of players participate at these veterans championships every competition.
How Does the ITTF Ranking Work?
Players accumulate points from all the tournaments they participate in, with each win accounting for some points. However, the best eight tournaments from the past 12 months are taken into account while adding points to a player’s tally and points accrued from the competitions before this 12-month period are removed from the player’s tally.
For the Olympics, points are removed from a player tally gradually, i.e. 25% each year. So, a player winning the men’s singles trophy in 2016 will get 3000 points but only 2250 points will remain in his tally 12 months later, 1500 after two years and 750 after three years.
Similarly, for events which are played every two years, 50% of the points are removed after 12 months of the tournament ending.
Rankings are released at the end of every month while players who haven’t played competitive table tennis for more than 24 months get knocked out of the rankings unless injured or pregnant.