Defining meaningful competitions
With a grant from the Canada Games Council and the support from Sport for Life, Table Tennis Canada was tasked to define “meaningful competitions.” Technical Development Manager Marles Martins started right away to analyze the data from the 2019 Canada Winter Games and provide a conclusion and recommendation for future events.
Since the onset of this project, the overall feeling was that Table Tennis had a pretty good system in place. This hypothesis was confirmed after in-depth analysis.
The Table Tennis events at CWG Red Deer were composed of meaningful competitions. The format of the competition allows the athletes to perform in stages against players with the rating levels in an initial stage promoting the best rates of meaningful competitions according to the adopted criteria. It allows movement up and down the stages of competitive tiers allowing teams with lower rating points to play against teams with higher rating points progressively. Although at this stage the rates of a meaningful competition decrease a bit, it’s still important for the developmental aspects for the teams with lower rating points. And there is also the fact that some athletes (even if they are not the best) want to compete against the best athletes (establishing a benchmark) to compare themselves and see how they can improve.
But there is room for improvement for further editions by making sure that the developmental aspect of the games will be the motivating factor to change the composition of teams to equalize the level between the top 3-4 seeded teams in relation to the next tier. This can be done by adopting a cap system where the top ranked teams can send just one player with a certain allocated number of rating points, forcing the rest of the team to be composed by developing athletes.