by Wade Townsend
Graded tests that will certify the ability of table tennis amateurs and enthusiasts will soon be part of the Chinese education system.
The certifications have been developed by Shanghai University of Sport with guidance from the Shanghai Education Commission.
Aimed at six to 17 year olds, each level has four test components that are scored out of 25. The components will encompass different strokes, consistency, placement and speed.
To ensure the consistency of the test, a ball machine will be used.
“Through the establishment of grading standards, sports enthusiasts can quantify their specialty. The introduction will also allow the various sports projects to have a basis of scientific exercise, with precision grading.” Chen Yiping, Vice-Chairman of the China Table Tennis Association
Other sports and artistic pursuits such as piano already having graded systems in place, it seems like a smart move. In particular it will provide new athletes with clear attainable goals when they first take up the sport.
With children having easier access to other sports, there is growing concern about the possible future decline of table tennis in China. The aim is that the graded system will mobilise young table tennis players.