European Champions League (table tennis)
|No. of teams||16 (Men's)
| Pontoise-Cergy (Men's)
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 was only a men's competition; a women's 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 Linz AG Froschberg from Austria has won the league twice and been the runners-up twice, making it the most successful club in the women's competition.
- 1 History
- 2 Qualification
- 3 Format
- 4 Playing system
- 5 Composition of teams
- 6 Finals
- 7 Statistics
- 8 References
- 9 External links
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 on TV and more excitement for the spectators. 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. 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 to decrease from 16 to 14.
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, the previous year’s two finalists 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.
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 determine 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.
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
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 the national level under the authority of an ITTF member association, except commitments for their national team.
Men’s Champions League
Women’s Champions League
|2005/2006||Sterilgarda Castel Goffredo||3:2
|2006/2007||Sterilgarda Castel Goffredo||3:2
|MF Services Heerlen|
|2007/2008||MF Services Heerlen||3:1
Kroppach unavailable to play
|2008/2009||Linz AG Froschberg||2:3
|2009/2010||MF Services Heerlen||3:1
|Linz AG Froschberg|
|2012/2013||Linz AG Froschberg||3:1
|Linz AG Froschberg|
Performance by club
Men's Champions League
Women's Champions League
Performance by nation
Men's Champions League
|Germany||6||5||Borussia Düsseldorf (4), TTV RE-BAU Gönnern (2)||TTC Zugbrücke Grenzau (2), Borussia Düsseldorf (2), TTC Liebherr Ochsenhausen (1)|
|Belgium||5||4||Royal Villette Charleroi (5)||Royal Villette Charleroi (4)|
|Russia||3||3||GAZPROM Fakel Orenburg (3)||GAZPROM Fakel Orenburg (2), UMMC Ekaterinburg (1)|
|France||3||1||Caen Tennis de Table Club (1), AS Pontoise Cergy (2)||Chartres ASTT (1)|
|Austria||1||4||SVS Niederösterreich (1)||SVS Niederösterreich (4)|
Women's Champions League
|Germany||3||3||TTC Berlin Eastside (3)||Müllermilch Langweid (1), FSV Kroppach (2)|
|Austria||2||4||Linz AG Froschberg (2)||Linz AG Froschberg (3), SVS Strock (1)|
|Netherlands||2||1||MF Services Heerlen (2)||MF Services Heerlen (1)|
|Italy||2||Sterilgarda TT Castelgoffredo (2)|
|Turkey||1||1||Fenerbahçe (1)||Fenerbahçe (1)|
|Hungary||1||Budaörsi SC (1)|
- Short history of Men's Champions League
- ETTU suspended Women’s European Champions League
- Women’s ECL is back: Austrian ambitions
- The draw for 2011-2012 Men’s European Champions League
- Miletic, Alex (30 May 2014). "Karlsson gives the crown to Pontoise". European Table Tennis Union. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
- Owing to the global financial crisis, only four teams entered the competition. As too few teams participated, the women's competition was suspended for a year.