The Europe Top-16 is a European table tennis tournament organized by the European Table Tennis Union (ETTU) on a yearly basis between the twelve strongest players in Europe. The tournament was first held in 1971 for both the men's and women's competition, adopting a single round-robin format. Since then, the format of the competition has undergone several changes, and a group stage format is being used now. In 2015, the number of players was changed to 16.
History and format
The tournament was first held in 1971 in Zadar, Croatia (formerly part of Yugoslavia). At the first session, twelve male players and six female players took part in the competition, and both the men's and women's competition were won by Hungarian players, namely, István Jónyer and Beatrix Kisházi.
Until 1989, each twelve players played against the other eleven players in a single round-robin format, while the player having gained the most points would be the winner.
In 1990, there was a format change. The twelve players then were divided into two groups, and players played against all the players within the same group. The first two placed players in each group would proceed to the semi-finals, with the first placed player played against the second from the alternative group. The winners played in the final, the losers played for third and fourth place.
From 2001, instead of two groups, four groups of three players were formed. The group winners played in the semi-finals to fight for places in the final.
In 2002, the format was slightly amended. The participants were again divided into four groups of three, with each played against everyone in the group. The last of each group was eliminated, while the eight remaining players competed in the knock-out system: quarter-finals, semifinals and finals.
In 2015, the number of players was changed to 16.
In each session, the players ranked 1-16 in the ranking of ETTU qualify automatically, unless the highest ranked player of the hosting country is ranked in positions 17-30, when he or she shall replace 16th ranked player in the list.
- Article 4.2 of the regulation