European Champions League (table tennis)

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European Champions League
Logo ettu ecl.jpg
Sport Table tennis
Founded 1988
No. of teams 16 (Men's)
6 (Women's)
Country ETTU members
Most recent champion(s) France AS Pontoise-Cergy TT (Men's)
Germany TTC Berlin Eastside (Women's)

European Champions League (ECL) is the seasonal table tennis competition for the highest ranked European club teams and is regarded as the most important international club competition in Europe. It is organised by the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) and replaced the European Club Cup of Champions (ECCC), the previous prominent club competition, since the 1998/99 season. Originally there is only a men competition while a women competition was introduced in the 2005/06 season. The competition starts in September and the champions are usually determined in May in recent years.

Belgian club La Villette Charleroi is the most successful club in the history of the men's competition, being the champions from 2001 to 2004 and having won the competition for five times and been the runners-up for four times, while MF Services Heerlen from Netherlands has won the league twice and been the first runners-up once, making it the most successful club in the women's competition.

History[edit]

The Men’s Champions League was first organised in the 1998/99 season, with the aim to replace the European Club Cup of Champions, the previous highest level European club competition held since 1960/61 season. In the second season (99/00), the playing system was changed. The maximum number of games had been reduced from seven to five, and the double had been cancelled, with the aim of having a better presentation in TV and more excitement for the spectators.[1] The competition came into a new era in 2005/06, when the Women's Champions League started with eight clubs and the men's league was expanded from 8 to 16 clubs, enabling a greater number of nations to participate. These changes were undertaken in the hopes of making table tennis more popular in a European level as well as motivating the coming generation.[1] However, the number of teams in the women's competition decreased from eight to six in season 09/10.

In season 10/11, because of the global financial crisis, there were just four teams entering the women's competition, a number lower than the previous year (there were six teams in season 09/10). As a result, the women's competition was suspended for one year. The men's competition was also affected, causing the number of teams decreased from 16 to 14.[2]

The women's competition resumed in season 11/12, with six teams entering the competition.[3] The number of teams in the men's competition was also restored to 16.[4]

Qualification[edit]

Only teams from any top National Leagues have the right to enter in the competition.

For the Men’s competition, the 4 semi-finalists of the previous year are automatically included in the competition. The remaining 12 places are filled by the 12 teams with the highest total number of ranking points for their three best ranked players on the current world ranking, with only one "foreign player" being considered.

For the women’s league, previous year’s two finalists would compete in the competition with the six teams with the highest total number of ranking points for their three best ranked players, also with only one "foreign player" being considered.

Moreover, there is a limitation on the number of clubs from the same nations. Not more than 4 or 3 clubs, Men’s and Women’s respectively, from the same association are entitled the right to enter in the competition. In the Men’s competition, if the semi-finalists of the previous year came from the same association and a 5th team has the highest ranking points, the ranking of the final national team championships would decide on the qualification.

Format[edit]

The league is completed in two stages. The first stage is the group round robin matches while the second stage is the straight 2-leg knock-out stage.

For the men’s league, the 16 teams are divided into four groups within which they play round robin matches. The four teams with the highest ranking points will be seeded and play in the four groups respectively. During the group stage, 2 match points are awarded for a win, 1 for a loss and 0 for a loss in a not played or unfinished match, and the ranking order is determined by the numbers of match points gained.

If two or more teams have gained the same number of match points, their relative position are determined by the results only of the matches between them, taking successively the numbers of match points, the ratios of wins to losses in individual matches, games and points, as far as it is necessary to resolve the order. Lot is used to determined the position if teams are equal in all of the above criteria.

The top two teams in each group qualified for the knock-out stage. Those eight teams would play in a single knock-out system, with quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals, to determine the winner of the competition. At any stages two legs, home and away, are played for each tie, and teams win the tie if they win both legs. If each team wins one leg, the result is determined by aggregate score first in individual matches, then in games and finally in points.

The women’s competition is held in similar format, with the exception that the six teams are divided into two groups and the two teams with the highest ranking points would be the seeds.

Playing System[edit]

The competition is played under the new Swaythling Cup system (best of 5 singles). A team consists of 3 players selected from those nominated for the event. The opposite teams play 5 single matches with the match order A v X, B v Y, C v Z, A v Y, B v X. The team match will end if one of the teams has won 3 matches.

Composition of teams[edit]

A club may nominate up to 8 players for the entire event, within which there can be a maximum of 2 foreign players. Only 1 foreign player can play in each team match and only players who have participated in at least 50% of the group matches are eligible to play the second stage. Reserve players being present in the hall would be considered as participants of the match, if confirmed on the result sheet by the referee.

Each player can only play for one club in a season. This regulation also applies to players taking part in any other team competition on national level under the authority of an ITTF member association, except commitments for their national team.

Finals[edit]

Men’s Champions League[edit]

Year Champions Score Runner-up
1998/1999 France Caen Tennis de Table Club 3:4
4:3
(20:18)
Germany Borussia Düsseldorf
1999/2000 Germany Borussia Düsseldorf 3:0
3:0
Austria SVS Niederösterreich
2000/2001 Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi 3:0
3:2
Austria SVS Niederösterreich
2001/2002 Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi 3:2
3:1
Austria SVS Niederösterreich
2002/2003 Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi 3:1
3:2
Germany TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau
2003/2004 Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi 3:1
3:1
Germany TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau
2004/2005 Germany TTV RE-BAU Gönnern 1:3
3:1
(18:13)
Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi
2005/2006 Germany TTV RE-BAU Gönnern 2:3
3:1
Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi
2006/2007 Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi 3:1
3:2
Austria SVS Niederösterreich
2007/2008 Austria SVS Niederösterreich 3:0
3:2
Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi
2008/2009 Germany Borussia Düsseldorf 2:3
3:0
Germany Liebherr Ochsenhausen
2009/2010 Germany Borussia Düsseldorf 1:3
3:0
Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi
2010/2011 Germany Borussia Düsseldorf 3:0
1:3
Russia GAZPROM Fakel Orenburg
2011/2012 Russia TTC Gazprom Orenburg 3:0
3:2
Russia UMMC Ekaterinburg
2012/2013 Russia TTC Gazprom Orenburg 3:1
1:3
(315:311)
France Chartres ASTT
2013/2014[5] France AS Pontoise-Cergy TT 3:1
1:3
(18:16)
Russia TTC Gazprom Orenburg

Women’s Champions League[edit]

Year Champions Score Runner-up
2005/2006 Italy Sterilgarda TT Castelgoffredo 3:2
3:2
Germany Müllermilch Langweid
2006/2007 Italy Sterilgarda TT Castelgoffredo 3:2
3:2
Netherlands MF Services Heerlen
2007/2008 Netherlands MF Services Heerlen 3:1
Kroppach unavailable to play
Germany FSV Kroppach
2008/2009 Austria Linz AG Froschberg 2:3
3:1
Germany FSV Kroppach
2009/2010 Netherlands MF Services Heerlen 3:1
3:0
Austria Linz AG Froschberg
2010/2011 Cancelled[6]
2011/2012 Germany TTC Berlin Eastside 3:2
2:3
(19–18)
Austria SVS Ströck
2012/2013 Austria Linz AG Froschberg 3:1
3:2
Hungary Budaörsi SC
2013/2014 Germany TTC Berlin Eastside 3:2
3:0
Turkey Fenerbahçe

Statistics[edit]

Performance by club[edit]

Men's Champions League[edit]

Club Winners Runners-up Years won Years runner-up
Belgium Royal Villette Charleroi
5
4
2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007
2005, 2006, 2008, 2010
Germany Borussia Düsseldorf 4 1 2000, 2009, 2010, 2011 1999
Russia GAZPROM Fakel Orenburg 2 2 2012, 2013 2011, 2014
Germany TTV RE-BAU Gönnern 2 2005, 2006
Austria SVS Niederösterreich 1 4 2008 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007
France Caen Tennis de Table Club 1 1999
France AS Pontoise Cergy 1 2014
Germany TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau 2 2003, 2004
Germany TTC Liebherr Ochsenhausen 1 2009
Russia UMMC Ekaterinburg 1 2012
France Chartres ASTT 1 2013

Women's Champions League[edit]

Club Winners Runners-up Years won Years runner-up
Netherlands MF Services Heerlen 2 1 2007, 2010 2006
Austria Linz AG Froschberg 2 1 2009, 2013 2010
Italy Sterilgarda TT Castelgoffredo 2 2005, 2006
Germany TTC Berlin Eastside 2 2012, 2014
Germany FSV Kroppach 2 2008, 2009
Germany Müllermilch Langweid 1 2006
Austria SVS Ströck 1 2012
Hungary Budaörsi SC 1 2013
Turkey Fenerbahçe 1 2014

Performance by nation[edit]

Men's Champions League[edit]

Nation Winners Runners-Up Winning Clubs Runners-Up
Germany Germany 6 4 Borussia Düsseldorf (4), TTV RE-BAU Gönnern (2) TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau (2), Borussia Düsseldorf (1), TTC Liebherr Ochsenhausen (1)
Belgium Belgium 5 4 Royal Villette Charleroi (5) Royal Villette Charleroi (4)
Russia Russia 2 3 GAZPROM Fakel Orenburg (2) GAZPROM Fakel Orenburg (2), UMMC Ekaterinburg (1)
France France 2 1 Caen Tennis de Table Club (1), AS Pontoise Cergy (1) Chartres ASTT (1)
Austria Austria 1 4 SVS Niederösterreich (1) SVS Niederösterreich (4)

Women's Champions League[edit]

Nation Winners Runners-Up Winning Clubs Runners-Up
Germany Germany 2 3 TTC Berlin Eastside (2) Müllermilch Langweid (1), FSV Kroppach (2)
Austria Austria 2 2 Linz AG Froschberg (2) Linz AG Froschberg (1), SVS Strock (1)
Netherlands Netherlands 2 1 MF Services Heerlen (2) MF Services Heerlen (1)
Italy Italy 2 Sterilgarda TT Castelgoffredo (2)
Turkey Turkey 1 Fenerbahçe (1)
Hungary Hungary 1 Budaörsi SC (1)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Short history of Men's Champions League
  2. ^ ETTU suspended Women’s European Champions League
  3. ^ Women’s ECL is back: Austrian ambitions
  4. ^ The draw for 2011-2012 Men’s European Champions League
  5. ^ Miletic, Alex (30 May 2014). "Karlsson gives the crown to Pontoise". European Table Tennis Union. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  6. ^ Owing to the global financial crisis, only four teams entered the competition. As too few teams participate, the women's competition was suspended for a year.

External links[edit]