by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager
Such is the basic format but there is greater detail which makes the tournament intriguing.
Each team comprises two male players from India, two from foreign shores and the same number with regards to women; there is gender equality.
Overall a total of seven matches comprise a tie. The draw made, matters start with Women’s Singles followed by Men’s Singles; for Team ‘A’ the female player is from India, the male from foreign shores, for Team ‘B’ it is the reverse situation. Mixed Doubles, in which for each pair an Indian player must partner a foreign player, is next on the agenda. Women’s Singles and Men’s Singles matches in which the foreign players compete against each other ensues. Matters conclude with a reversal of the first two matches, Men’s Singles followed by Women’s Singles; for Team ‘A’ the male player is from India, the female is from foreign lands, for Team ‘B’ it is the converse.
However, the coaches making their selections must be astute; no player may compete in more than two matches in any tie. Furthermore, in the first stage no player may be in action in more than seven singles matches.
An individual match is three games and all three games are played; thus each tie comprises 21 games. Each game counts as one point towards the overall team score to determine which teams qualify for the semi-finals. It is only in the semi-finals and final where when one team reaches 11 games that the tie stops.
Also, if any game, the score reaches 10-all, just one point, the golden point is played.
In order to create competition, teams were selected by a draft system; each of the team owners were, in a pre-determined sequence, able to make their first choices, then in a different sequence, the second choice and so forth. Each team has one foreign and one Indian coach, the foreign coach being the head coach.
Notably, the multi-ball system will be used, a player has 10 minutes to complete the service action and the only opportunity for towelling in each game is after one player has reached five points. The gap between each game is 45 seconds, between each match three minutes.
Three cities are featured, Pune from Thursday 14th to Tuesday 19th June; New Delhi from Wednesday 20th to Monday 25th June, Kolkata from Tuesday 26th June to Sunday 1st July.
CEAT Ultimate League powered by Kellogg’s: Composition of Teams
CEAT Ultimate League powered by Kellogg’s: Schedule
CEAT Ultimate League powered by Kellogg’s: Order of Play