Monday 4 May 2015

New Coaching Rule is A Strange Move by ITTF

A new coaching rule has arisen as a result of the board meeting by ITTF prior to the World Championships and will be implemented in October 2016. The coaching rule will allow coaching in between points. Not much detail has been released about how far the rule goes, but you can only assume it means that all side coaching will become legal. The rule has been trialled in a couple of leagues in Europe, notably the German league.

Coaching between points to be legalised October 2016
I don't know how many other people feel about that but I think it takes away an element of professionalism from the sport. To have coaches on the sidelines constantly able to give tips and advice to their players when they come near the barriers or walk to pick up the ball doesn't really sound good to me. We don't need a greater involvement from coaches in matches, there is enough already. This rule will push some more dependence on coaches to help win matches and possibly involve on  occasions, more interference by coaches during matches.

This is an individual sport and the player should have to develop the necessary skills to hold their own during each set at least. This is why table tennis becomes intellectually stimulating and challenging, tactics are constantly updating and changing. We don't want puppets out there at the table with their coaches shouting commands between points.

This is, as with most political things, a matter of opinion. I feel it is not really going to produce much benefit for the sport. I'm not saying it will completely ruin the sport, but I don't see it as a necessary change to the rules. I'm very interested to hear what other people think of this change, especially reasons why it may be of value to include in the rules.

Coaching between points is currently considered an offence, punishable by yellow or eventually red card and removal from the vicinity of the playing area. So you have to ask really, why would this suddenly become ok?

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  1. Really worried about the future of Table Tennis at the moment, they seem to be making decisions without consulting the life blood of the sport (the players) and we're losing player base because of it.

    1. What's more concerning is that we have an athletes commission to represent us and these decisions are still being passed!

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  2. Hello - I am a member of the athletes' commission that voted at the Board of Directors meeting in favor of this rule change. As this rule change is creating some concern, I plan to create a detailed explanation and rationale behind this introduction. Please like the ITTF Athletes Commission page on facebook, as this is our only way to disseminate information to the greater group of athletes and I will have something up in the next few days. We also look for feedback from athletes through this page. Ashu Jain.

    1. Done. Thanks Ashu. I have been speaking to German league players also about their experience with the rule trial. Have added you on Facebook for any queries I have for future posts so I can get more information for my posts. Thanks.

  3. This is a move in the wrong direction. We already have between game coaching and one time-out per player allowed. That is enough. Players need to think for themselves and focus without all the added distractions. Between point coaching is not allowed in most other sports. This could become a circus, a shouting match between coaches. There have been enough rule changes already, and some not for the good of the sport. Please stop!

  4. Hi! I am a professional table tennis coach. I am trying to picture the new rule in practice.
    I am asking myself a lot of questions in purpose to see this new rule in action.
    When a coach will give advises to a player during a match:
    - when a player is passing near the coach's bench?
    - when a player is near the table just before his own service?
    - when a player is ready to receive the service of the opponent ?
    - when there is a rally being played?
    Except the moments when the player is near the coach's bench (I did it a lot of times) I can not imagine the coaches will be allowed to give advices to the players.

    Will the coaches be allowed to speak loudly or quietly? Who will judge if the coach was speaking loudly or quietly? It will introduce many controversies . I know quiet coaches but also many very aggressive coaches who can not stop to speak!!
    This very aspect can provoke many ''ugly moments'' during matches and can ''kill'' real table tennis competition and sport's spirit.

    And what about the intellectual development of the very players? Table tennis is considered intellectual sport when mental abilities are one of the most important factors in the game. Table tennis is becoming more physical but not let to disappear this very important factor from our sport.

    Probably we could continue to write more arguments.
    In my opinion this new rule is not a good idea. The games are already short. There is opportunities for the players and coaches to take time during play.
    There is enough moments during matches when coaches can speak to theirs players.
    At the end: I do not see a necessity to introduce this new rule.

    All the best

  5. Well I think I saw an Asian games badminton match where the coach was constantly coaching players from nearby so I think this has been done in other sports so should not be a big deal in this sports

  6. The Lunatics have taken over the Asylum. It is just plain moronic. We went to 11 point to speed the matches up. A slower and heavier ball extends the length of the rallies, coaching between points extends it again. Now those who have no heart or understanding of why we play this game for our sport are messing it up again. Why is it that people with no experience of the professional and amateur, seek to make such stupid decisions, while the rest of us have to suffer this non-democratic dictatorship. Michael Gadal states in his book that it should be the players who win or loose, not the coaches, and would get rid of coaching altogether if he could. The follow of the games will be lost and yet another distraction introduced into our wonderful sport.

  7. Yup, this seems to be an unnecessary move. A well-established sport should be left alone with all its cemented rules.

    However, that's the complete opposite with people. I think they will try to explain that sports, like humans, need to evolve and change, but that's different. Change isn't easy, even for humans. That's why we got all these emerging services like counselling, coaching, etc to help people introduce change in their lives, specifically positive ones.


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