With an eye on expanding its base, the Table Tennis Association of Kerala (TTAK) plans to start schools tournaments and also encourage schools to start coaching centres and competitions.
“The plan is to work on the grassroots-level and for this we should have more schools tournaments at the district level. The TTAK has not conducted schools tournaments in the five years it has been running the sport (in Kerala),” said Michael Mathai, the TTAK secretary.
“Now we want to include schools in a big way in our plans. We will start the process of registering schools soon.
“If schools, colleges or institutions approach us with an application, it is mandatory on our part to give them registration but if clubs which don’t have facilities for playing the sport, approach us for registration, they will turned down.”
Guidelines for uniformity
The TTAK has also laid out new guidelines to bring about uniformity in tournaments and has also raised the prize-money for State championships and State-ranking tournaments.
“We have also insisted that all players should be registered with clubs, schools will also be given club status, and when players enter tournaments they should specify which club they represent. This is as per the sports code and it will also ensure that there are no paper clubs,” said Mathai.
“Also, all players should be registered with the State association.”
Surface for tournaments
And State championships and State-ranking tournaments will now only be played on wooden floor or taraflex mats.
“We want to promote the sport but we also want to ensure that there are certain set standards. Tournaments at all levels should be played on TTFI-approved tables. As a part of promoting the sport at the schools and district-level, the wooden floor or taraflex mats rule will not be compulsory in these tournaments.”