Table Tennis Review at work during the 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals ©ITTF

Table Tennis Review (TTR) technology will be implemented at the sport's major events in 2020, including the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

The decision was taken by the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Executive Committee at its first meeting of the year in Delhi, India.

It follows the introduction of TTR at the 2019 ITTF World Tour Grand Finals in Chinese city Zhengzhou, where players are said to have left positive feedback about the opportunity to use technology to review the original decisions of umpires.

The ITTF Executive Committee has also vowed to work to deliver the best possible product, such as reducing the time spent between the players' calls to review and final decisions.

"With the tech trend already so prominent in sports, we felt it was important to implement a new technology that will ensure a fair competition for all the athletes, empowering them to challenge any decision made by the umpire," ITTF chief executive Steve Dainton said.

"The benefits of using the TTR system are very positive and we can actually talk about an evolution of the sport of table tennis.

"We received very positive feedback from the players and anticipate a major improvement in terms of the viewers' experience going forwards."

Among other decisions taken by the ITTF Executive Committee was to enable multiple host cities at future World Team Table Tennis Championships events.

The ITTF is in discussions with the Chinese Table Tennis Association about staging the 2022 World Team Table Tennis Championships finals - the first under the new format - across multiple cities in the country.

It is claimed this will enable greater television coverage of more matches during the competition, as well as increased fan engagement over multiple host cities across China, as witnessed in other major sports events, such as the FIFA and International Basketball Federation World Cups.

ITTF President Thomas Weikert led the Executive Committee meeting ©Richard Kalocsai/ITTF
ITTF President Thomas Weikert led the Executive Committee meeting ©Richard Kalocsai/ITTF

The Executive Committee has also decided to put forward the idea of holding an extraordinary general meeting towards the end of 2020, to vote on the future "Home of Table Tennis" and good governance review.

This will be at the ITTF Annual General Meeting (AGM), taking place in South Korean city Busan on March 23, during the 2020 World Team Table Tennis Championships.

This would allow national associations to vote on matters which require their input as per the ITTF Constitution, at the most appropriate time, avoiding inevitable delays by waiting until the AGM of the following year.

For the "Home of Table Tennis", the ITTF is seeking interest from cities around the world to become the future headquarters in order to centralise the world governing body's workforce and drive the growth of the sp;ort.

The good governance review, meanwhile, is aimed at "aligning the ITTF Constitution with the modern standards upheld by other well-established International Federations".

"The ITTF has done a lot to be compliant with good governance regulations," ITTF President Thomas Weikert said.

"In order to fulfil all the written and non-written criteria, it is always necessary to continuously work on these rules for the benefit of our clean sport."

Anil Khanna, the senior vice-president of the Indian Olympic Association, and Dhanraj Choudhary, advisor of the Table Tennis Federation of India, welcomed the ITTF Executive Committee members to Delhi in order to discuss the progress of table tennis in India and worldwide.

"The ITTF Executive Committee is pleased to be present in India, for the first time in many years," Weikert added.

"The Table Tennis Federation of India is putting a lot of effort towards the future development of the sport and we appreciate the remarkable performances and success of the Indian players at international level.

"The ITTF is looking forward to seeing more international table tennis events in India."

The next ITTF Executive Committee meeting is scheduled for Busan on March 21.