You may be aware of the recent emails sent by Table Tennis England (TTE) to all registered players, to explain and justify their recent decision to dispense with the services of TT365.
TT365 are the independent company that provide the League Manager software and website which we have used to run our league in Reading for the last 7 years - and it has been well received by our members. Several Clubs are also using this software to manage their own player membership.
TT365 also produced the current Player Registration system which TTE have also decided to replace with something else.
As League Registrations Secretary and Website Coordinator for RDTTA for all of that time, I know how much RDTTA now rely on the various features of the TT365 League Manager & website software and how well used it is by all of you – the Reading website ranks in the top 10 most visited TT365 websites in the country!
So the decision by TTE not to renew their current agreement with TT365 has come as a shock and will have significant implications, not least that TT365 (the company) could well close. Not only would this mean we no longer had use of their software, but our website would disappear and we would lose all historic data held on TT365 (all match results, tables, averages, rankings & everything else on our website) – this would also apply to all clubs in our league that currently use TT365 for their management of their club membership and club website.
TTE and TT365 have had a public argument about this decision, the “facts” behind it and the impact it’s likely to have on local leagues. Both organisations have released statements setting out their positions.
In their statements TTE have made various promises about their new software, but I am not at all confident they will be able to deliver a working system in time for next season. I say this because I have asked TTE to provide some detail of what functionality their new membership and league management systems will provide by the start of next season, but all they could say was “the software will be fit for purpose". Other leagues asking similar questions have been told by TTE “the new system will have a minimum specification of the current system”, whatever that means. The TTE tool is only just starting development so although it may offer new functionality in the future, initially it is unlikely to include many of the sophisticated features of the current TT365 software.
TTE have said their new website & league management system will be a modified version of the SportPad facility which is used by some Universities, but only two universities currently use this and having looked at the Sheffield University site it seems very simplistic. You can view a demo of the SportPad system here: leeds.university.sportpad
Despite TTE making claims to the contrary, there has been no attempt by TTE to discuss the transfer of the historic data held by TT365 to TTE's proposed new website.
Meanwhile, TT365 have come up with an alternative proposal which would allow that company and the software it has produced to continue to be available to the leagues that pay for it. This option will require separate funding which amounts to £7 per player (£4 for juniors), paid either by individual members or by their local league. To off-set this cost a proposal is being put to the TTE AGM to reduce the player membership fee by £7, which would cover the “additional” cost of the TT365 software.
TT365 need to know whether there is enough support throughout the country to make their proposal viable – and they need to make a decision based on this by 17th May.
Only if TT365 achieve their target of 15,000 players across all leagues throughout England agreeing to pay their proposed subscription will TT365 survive and their software keep going.
The RDTTA Committee discussed this a few days ago. Having received unanimous support for TT365 and their software from the Club Secretaries and Committee members RDTTA have committed their support TT365.
On 20th May TT365 will assess the support they have and announce whether there is enough for them to continue.
If they do not have sufficient support they will have no choice but to give notice to their employees and TT365 would then stop operating in summer 2019 ... and on 1st August 2019 this website would simply disappear.
But if TT365 have sufficient support they will continue as per their proposal and the next step will be to see what happens at the TTE AGM.
Table Tennis England AGM
The Table Tennis England AGM will be held on Saturday 29th June. A motion has been put forward by several leagues to reduce the annual TTE subscription from £16 to £9, with the reduction of £7 then being available for members to pay TT365 to support the continued provision of their system.
I am sure this will be discussed at the RDTTA AGM on 5th June, but in the meantime if you have any comments or queries about this please email email@example.com
RDTTA League Registrations Secretary
RDTTA Website Coordinator