Chelmsford Table Tennis League - Returning to Play Update on 3 August 2020

Background Information

The Chelmsford League is following the guidelines for returning to play that is issued by Table Tennis England (TTE). Full details of this guidance can be found on the TTE website at

TTE guidelines give 5 stages of fully returning to play. Stage 2 – Return of Club Activity has recently been implemented and Stage 3 – Preparing to Return to Competitive Table Tennis was implemented late last week. Stage 4 is the actual return of Competitive Table Tennis and this is scheduled to start no earlier than 1 September 2020.

It should be noted that all of these plans are subject to the general Government guidelines on Covid-19 staying as they currently are. As we have seen over the last few days, there may be increased local or national precautions taken to deal with spikes in infections, and therefore if any of these affect table tennis, our plans may have to change.

Summary of current plans for 2020/21 Season

  1. We aim to recommence competitive table tennis from Monday 21/09/20
  2. The 2020/21 Season will be split into two halves – pre and post-Christmas 2020, with separate League tournaments being run in each half. This is being done to allow players who don't wish to return to playing at the moment to still have the opportunity to play competitive table tennis after Christmas when, hopefully, some of the risks of Covid-19 will have diminished.
  3. The format of the pre-Christmas competition will broadly follow that used for Summer Leagues and will not be based on the finishing positions of teams in the 2019/20 Season.
  4. As mentioned above, we are anticipating that a considerable number of our members will not be comfortable returning to play in September 2020 and therefore the number of teams and players for the first half of the season will be less than normal.
  5. Once we have details of the teams and players wishing to play from September 2020 we will form these teams into Divisions based on the playing strength of the squads entered.
  6. The pre-Christmas tournament will be an event in its own right – we will not be playing for the usual League trophies although medals will be awarded for the winners and runner-up from each division.
  7. The format of matches will be 9 singles only (Teams of 3 players). Doubles play is not currently permitted and we are not anticipating that this will change before the New Year.
  8. There will be no cup competitions before Christmas and, unfortunately, we will be unable to complete the 2019/20 Cup Competitions as, except for the Handicap Cup, these involve 3 doubles matches which cannot be played at the moment.
  9. We will review the Covid-19 situation in November 2020 and start making plans for the League competition that will operate post-Christmas.
  10. The review in November 2020 will also look at whether any cup competitions can be played and also whether the 2021 Individual Tournament can take place and, if so, in what form. If the Individual Tournament goes ahead then it will be deferred until April / May 2021 to allow sufficient time for it to be organised.

What Happens Next?

  1. Details of the registration procedures and deadlines for the pre-Christmas competition will be sent to Club Secretaries within the next couple of weeks. Deadlines for the return of entry forms will be included with this information but the registration deadline is likely to be around 31 August 2020 to allow the Leagues to be formed and fixtures generated in time for our target start date of Monday 21 September 2020.
  2. There will be no team registration fees with player registration fees remaining at the same level as last season - £7 for adults and £3.50 for juniors. Payment of this fee will entitle members to play in either or both of the pre and post Christmas League tournaments.
  3. As part of a Club’s application to enter teams in this tournament evidence will have to be provided to the League of the Club venues’ compliance with Covid-19 guidelines issued by TTE and also of any other guidelines issued by TTE in the coming weeks regarding Returning to Competitive Play.
  4. Many Clubs will already have carried out Covid-19 Risk Assessments for their venues to allow their Club Members to return for practice or coaching sessions. So the only additional work will relate to new TTE guidelines for Returning to Competitive play. Further information about this will follow on the TTE and the Chelmsford League website when this becomes available.
  5. We would recommend that Clubs start finding out the intentions of their players concerning playing in the pre-Christmas League starting in September 2020 so that they are ready to complete the registration forms when these are available in mid-August 2020.

2020 League AGM

We intend to hold a virtual AGM before the start of the 2020/21 Season. Further details about the AGM will follow shortly.


I would be more than happy to deal with any queries from League Members either myself or by referring this on to the appropriate League Committee Member. Please feel free to email me to This is an unprecedented situation and our priority is to re-commence competitive table tennis, for those wishing to play, in safe environments, and as quickly as possible.

David Porter
Chelmsford & District Table Tennis League

Author: via Chelmsford Table Tennis League
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