Coaching Between Points Will Be Allowed In 2016

Coaching between points will be allowed in 2016
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New rules have been announced during the 2015 World Championships held in Suzhou, China. The Board of Directors met during the tournament to analyse some aspects of the sport and informed two changes in the rules, one of them is coaching between matches. The rule, suggested by the German Federation, will be allowed since 2016.

ITTF - World Championships aren't only a chance for player to win a world title, but also for Table Tennis officials and experts to discuss about the sport. The Board of Directors met during the tournament and announced some good news and also new rules

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) became the largest International Federation. After Suzhou 2015, ITTF shared the first place with the Volleybal International Federation (FIVB) with 220 members, but now the International Federation reached 222 members with the arrival of Sao Tome & Prince and South Sudan. 

The second news is the afiliation agreement between the Asian Table Tennis Union and ITTF. This agreement will allow a better co-operation in areas such as marketing and development. 

The Board of Directors also announced two rule changes: one is related to nationalty changes and the another with coaching. Currently U-15 players, who change nationality, have to wait three years to represent their new country. The Swiss Federation proposed that these players wait only one year, if they haven't competed for their previous country. The proposal was passed unanimously by the board. 

The second rule is related to coaching between points. The German Federation proposed to allow coaches to coach between points. This rule was already tested during 2011-12 Bundesliga and got positive results. ITTF informed that this rule change was passed after some detailed debate and will come into play from 1 October 2016, after the Olympic and Paralympics. 

The last rule change is probably the most interesting for table tennis fans, because this will cause some tactics changes and there will be doubts about how this is going to be applied and jugded by the umpires. 

Not more details about this rule change have been given so far, but we can imagine that it will be very similar to what the Bundesliga applied during season 2011-12. Back then we also informed about this rule and these were the things allowed and not allowed by this rule: 

  • Nor the coach or any other person in the bench can talk instructions while a point is being played.
  • If the player answers the coach every 2 points it'll be considered dialogue.
  • People in the bench, other than the coach, can't give verbal or visual instructions between rallies.
  • It's no longer allowed for coach or people in the bench to give instructions after 1st and 3rd set.
  • Players won't have drink break after 1st and 3rd set. In the side change on 5th set they won't be allowed to change their objects from the boxes at the side of referees either.
  • The player can't go next to his coach to receive instrucciones, for example by kicking de ball on his direction to go and pick it up.
  • A coach can't give instructions or talk to the opponent.
  • If the coach is not in the bench, no other person can give instructions between rallies. 
This rule change didn't cause a big impact on players and during matches, but it wasn't applied in the next seasons. How do you think that this will work in international tournaments? 

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Did You Know?

The 1st WTTC was held in 1926, but China made their first appearance in 1953

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