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Update on Return to Table Tennis Framework

Following a review of the guidance issued to all national governing bodies, we have amended our “Return to Table Tennis” Framework document. Please click HERE to download the updated framework. The main amendments are as follows:

  • Guidance on “Individual only” training
  • Guidance on “One to One” training between a participant and coach

In all cases, space and activity should be managed in accordance with the TTI ‘Return to Play’ Protocols, which has been ratified by Sport Ireland and the COVID-19 Expert Medical Group. Clubs and individuals should be aware that they may be subject to additional local, travel or jurisdictional restrictions

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Table Tennis Ireland Update on Return to Table Tennis Framework

Since the Republic of Ireland has moved to level 5 restrictions, we have been in communication with Sport Ireland in relation to the Living with COVID 19 plan and framework. These guidelines allow only individual training activities (other than for professional and elite sports). Please click HERE to download copy of our “Return to Table Tennis Framework”.

The current restrictions adopted by the Northern Ireland Executive state “private sports clubs may remain open for individual training only”. Again, there is an exception for elite sports.

Therefore, it is the policy of Table Tennis Ireland that table tennis may not be played other than individual training which is one person practicing on their own. We request that all branches, clubs and members observe this guidance.

While our head office remain closed, our staff are continuing to work from home and remain available to answer any of your queries by email.

Copy of Table Tennis Ireland News copy

Update on Table Tennis Activity

The Events Committee has decided that the competition calendar will be suspended until 2021. Gatherings of players for events continues to be suspended, no competitive tournament or league activity can take place. 

The Committee will be working with the Branches to identify suitable alternative dates for affected Provincial Opens, however the outlook into 2021 remains dynamic, and the situation may for some time continue to be unpredictable.

Subject to restrictions, the situation regarding National Squad activity and Camps will be reviewed again in November, to evaluate the possibility of some limited resumption, before the end of the year, in this area.

The Association will also be organising additional online development modules over the next number of weeks, details of which will be issued in advance.

The situation for Clubs/individuals is as per the TTI Return to Table Tennis Framework, but may also be subject to additional local, travel or jurisdictional restrictions.  Most leisure facilities will be closed in accordance with their limitations under national guidance, and the TTI Protocols or Framework do not supersede such directives.  Any table tennis ‘businesses’, open access facilities, or pay as you play facilities, are also bound by national guidance, limiting commercial activity to specific sectors/companies and categories of worker, and as such should also be closed.  Limited individual activity may take place, in accordance with general governmental guidelines, and only on condition that all necessary hygiene, distancing and facility based protective measures are taken, however all participants should err on the side of caution, subject to the limitations of the space in which they are practicing.  Players should only train or exercise in their own Club, and should not be participating in activity in different Clubs.

As previously stated within TTI Return to Play protocols, all guidance around resumption/continuation of sporting activity is provided for  volunteers and staff whose health circumstances and demographic places them at low risk of infection.  As previously advised, personal or local circumstances, conditions and facilities, including regarding higher dangers of levels of contagion and transmission, and/or the physical layout of particular premises or facilities, may be such as to indicate a longer suspension of activity for certain localities, groups and individuals, according to those specific circumstances.  Individuals, or groups, who consider themselves to be ‘at risk’ should, regarding any future return to activity, make the decision which best suits their circumstances and take the precautions they believe are most suitable for those circumstances.  Thus, the current period of restrictions may be extended by clubs or facilities, according to their circumstances.

As indicated, the situation remains unpredictable, and will be kept under ongoing review.

Copy of Table Tennis Ireland News copy

Competition/Activity Update 18 September

Table Tennis Ireland update on the latest round of restrictions issued by the Government of Ireland. On foot of guidance due to be issued today, Friday 18 September, the Senior Classification event scheduled for this weekend, 19/20 September, has been postponed.

The TTI Season Calendar, due to be issued this week, will not now be issued until a later date.  While it is hoped that most of the outline season structure can be retained, this postponement is likely to have an impact on the scheduling of the next proposed domestic events, the Junior Classification and DL Open tournaments.

Further details will follow as soon as possible regarding rescheduling and, where necessary, regarding any specific additional local guidance relating to the revision, arising from relevant government restrictions, of any TTI training and practice protocols.

It remains critical that all clubs and members continue to adhere as closely as possible to the TTI ‘Return to Table Tennis – Club/Training Environment’ Protocols, as well as to updated guidance and direction provided by the Board, including, inter alia;

  • the necessity for the lead Coach/Committee member to take the lead on maintaining hygiene standards in the club environment, rather than leaving it to players; 
  • the necessity, other than in a squad setting, to restrict players from playing multiple sessions across different time slots on the same day, mixing among different groups of players; and
  • the necessity, other than in a controlled National Squad or Regional Squad setting, to prohibit players from playing or training in more than one Club or training location or among players from multiple Clubs.

It is critical for the reputation of the sport that all members, and specifically the responsible ‘COVID-19 Officer’ in each Club or Squad, take responsibility for implementing the protocols and guidelines.

The TTI Protocols and additional Board guidance, as well as existing ‘Phase 2’ or other local restrictions, remain in place for all clubs and provinces throughout the island of Ireland.  Additional limits will now also generally apply to clubs based in Dublin, in line with the ‘Phase 3’ restrictions announced by the Government of Ireland.  Clubs, coaches, responsible Committee and players should update themselves on TTI protocols and general DoH/HSE guidelines; on the restriction levels contained within ‘Phase 2’ or their equivalent; and, where appropriate, on the new limits and restrictions contained within ‘Phase 3’ of the ‘Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021’ Plan.

Copy of Table Tennis Ireland News

Events Update 17 September

TTI continues to monitor and consider relevant COVID-19 developments, announcements and restrictions, and continues to engage with Sport Ireland regarding ongoing and proposed sporting activities.  The Association continues to plan for the Senior Classification event this (19/20 September) weekend, however the situation is constantly evolving.  Further information will follow, as soon as possible, regarding any confirmed details, and/or regarding any necessary changes to the scheduling or format of the event.

Copy of Table Tennis Ireland News

Return to Play Update

Please click HERE to download the “Return to Table Tennis – Club/Training Environment: COVID-19 Responses & Protocols”

The Board takes this opportunity to thank the Management Committee and office team for their invaluable work in this area over the last several weeks. Whilst there are positive indications regarding ‘return to play’, the Board and Management Committee continue to believe that a cautious approach should be adopted.

Therefore, National and Provincial Squad activity may recommence. However, inter-club activity, training, or competition, is not encouraged. Indeed it is discouraged. This is to reduce the risk of cross contamination. It is, therefore, recommended that members not travel between clubs and clubs should not allow non-members access to their facilities. 

Where such movement is unavoidable, or in an official National/Provincial Squad context permitted, all necessary protocols as laid out in the ‘Protocols’ document should be followed.

When return to play in a club/training environment recommences, individuals and clubs are responsible for assessing their own circumstances and risks. Some members may choose not to return until later than the general population.

While competitions and league play remain suspended for now, planning for their recommencement has begun. The Management and Events Committees are continuing to monitor the situation and are considering a return to competition in late August, possibly with the deferred 2020 National Championships.  We hope this can be achieved, but of course, nothing is certain, particularly given the recent news on Covid-19 increasing in the younger population.

The Board notes and welcomes the recent permission granted by Sport NI for a limited return to play, in a club/training environment, for clubs based in Northern Ireland.

Further updates will be posted as information becomes available.

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COVID-19 Statement from the Board of Directors

Over the last few weeks the Board of Table Tennis Ireland has discussed the evolving situation with COVID-19. The Board has established a sub-committee which has been considering the appropriate response to ensure the health of our staff, members and those attending our events.

The approach adopted by TTI is to take the official advice of government public health experts.

Last night, the official advice was upgraded to ‘enhanced containment measures’ and to ‘limit social interactions.’

Therefore, TTI has decided to adopt the following policy with immediate effect, until further notice:

All events* under the auspices of TTI and its branches are suspended indefinitely
All TTI international trips to events abroad are suspended indefinitely
Branches are directed to cancel all events which have been booked and to notify Leagues and other associations in their areas of this policy.
TTI strongly advises affiliated clubs to cease all activity. However, should clubs decide to continue operating, they must take all necessary steps to reduce the risk of transmission as advised by local health authorities.
TTI strongly advises all affiliated Associations (for example, Leagues, School, Intervarsity, Veteran associations etc.) to cease activity immediately. However, should Associations decide to continue operating, they must take all necessary steps to reduce the risk of transmission as advised by local health authorities.

At this time, it is important that everyone involved in Table Tennis in Ireland cooperates with this decision. An advisory committee including Branches and the Management Committee has been established and will hold regular meetings to deal with any issues that arise and to allow the Board sub-committee to consult with the membership in an efficient manner.

On Behalf of the Board of Table Tennis Ireland

* Events means tournaments, league matches, training etc i.e. any time there are a group of people gathered together for table tennis purposes