What to Expect at a Tournament by Pierce Scott


The first thing you should know about table tennis tournaments is there are different kinds of tournaments. Each type of tournament means different things. Here are the most common tournaments:

Open = anyone in the world can play

Closed = only a specific group of people can play (ex. Ohio Closed is a tournament for only players who live in Ohio)

Invitational = you must be invited

US Nationals = the end of the year tournament that is the championship event for this country and decides who plays on the US National Teams

US Open = tournament organized by the USA but competition from all over the world

Teams = to play in this tournament you must have a certain team (the entry form will give more details)

Doubles = you will need a partner to enter the tournament with you

You also need to know how each tournament has a certain rating BASED ON ONLY THE AMOUNT OF MONEY BEING PAID OUT. Tournaments range from 0 stars – 5 stars. USATT (USA Table Tennis) only allows two 5 star tournaments a year and those are the US Nationals and US Open. The higher the star, the more money they give out.

When you first arrive at the tournament site (or sometimes called “hall”) you need to check-in with the tournament so you do not default any matches. Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get there, check-in, warm up, check out your draws and watch any opponents you might be playing. You also need to make sure you sign the waiver (if you’re under 18 get your mom or dad to sign). After this you need to know what table you play on and what time. This information is usually posted in the draw of your event(s). If you receive a player packet it also could be in there. Player packets are very useful. They will give you free things sometimes, a list of tournament players and sometimes other things that can help you out at the tournament.

If you are coming from out of the area for a tournament or two day tournament, and booking a hotel, make sure you have a hotel fairly close to the playing center. Most tournaments will provide a tournament hotel that is close and has reduced rates for players.

Pierce Scott

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