What Is Butterfly League Table Tennis?
The Butterfly League system is comprised of four levels of leagues: Community; Competition; Elite; and Super.
Community Leagues are for recreational players with little or no organized table tennis experience. If you are familiar with the USATT rating system, most players in Community Leagues would be rated under 900. Community Leagues use a unique point-handicap system that makes most matches competitive and provides even the least experienced players in the league with the opportunity to win matches. In Community Leagues we emphasize fun, friendship, and fitness. Volunteer League Coordinators are encouraged to teach the rules, etiquette, and basics of the game. Community Leagues can be run using an informal round robin format or a more organized team format depending on the commitment level of the participants. Trophies or prizes are awarded at the end of each league. Community Leagues are the most important leagues to organize because there are an unlimited number of eligible participants and, as these recreational players develop, they become eligible to participate in higher level leagues.
Competition Leagues are for intermediate level players who, if they had a USATT rating, would be rated between 900 and 1400. Players at this level have participated in organized clubs or programs, have developed competitive skills, an understanding of basic stroke and spin technique, and can be competitive with intermediate level players without the help of a point-handicap. Competition Leagues manage to retain a friendly atmosphere and, at the same time, provide players with an exciting and challenging environment to test their skills. Competition Leagues use an organized two-person or three-person team format depending on the number of participants who register. Trophies or prizes are awarded at the end of each league. Players who finish at or near the top of the league earn the opportunity to move up to the next level of leagues.
Elite Leagues are for advanced level players with USATT ratings between 1400 and 1800. Players at the Elite League level have league and tournament experience. Most players at this level have received formal coaching or have participated in group training of some kind. Players who compete at the Elite League level usually practice two or more times each week and consider table tennis to be their main form of physical activity. Personal and team pride are at stake. The competitive environment heats up as advanced level players test their skills against opponents who take the game just as seriously as they do. Elite Leagues use an organized two-person or three-person team format depending on the number of participants who register. Trophies or prizes are awarded at the end of each league. Players who finish at or near the top of the league earn the opportunity to move up to the highest level league.
Super League is for your state or region's best players. In most states it will be for players USATT rated above 1800. These players go head-to-head, toe-to-toe, and shot-for-shot to determine who are the best players in the area. Players in the Super League compete for cash prizes and other awards usually contributed by sponsors. The Super League is the showcase league and the players who compete in it are up-and-coming juniors or adults who have made significant commitments and contributions to the sport of table tennis. Players in the lower level leagues are often motivated to develop their games just for the opportunity to participate in a future Super League.
Let's take table tennis in the United States to new heights! Help us develop as many community-based leagues as possible. We know there are thousands of recreational players looking for a way to get involved in organized table tennis. If we all stay on the same page and work to develop intra-club leagues with similar formats, broken down by playing levels, we will eventually be able to form traveling teams from each league. These traveling teams will compete against teams of similar playing levels from clubs in surrounding areas. When this system develops in a majority of states across the country, we can link-up and form a national league that is built on a solid foundation of clubs at the local, state, and regional level.
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