The Statement of the Executive Committee Nr. 4/2007

Date: 1st November 2007

World Championship 2007

The Executive Committee has decided to release this document concerning the World Championship held in Moscow in June. We know about the long delay but this has no effect on the things what happened during the tournament. And maybe the delay is even better because nobody should have "hot-heads" now.

The World Championship was awaited to be the greatest tournament in the world ever because the Russian organizers introduced a few news for the Championship. A really big and nice venue (ice-skating stadium), prize money and advertising the tournament in the streets of Moscow and so on. All this were very nice and new for table hockey.

The fact is that it was the most notable tournament in the history of table hockey. The organizers prepared the great venue and everything around the tournament really nice. But they did not avoid some mistakes and problems. The Executive Committee hopes that the organizers know about the problems now and they would change a few things if organizing the tournament once again.

Technical Commission and ITHF Championships

The problems which happened in Moscow will probably cause a few changes in the Tournament Rules document ( The Technical Commission should get more in contact with the organizers of the Championship before the tournament in the future in order to check everything is really ready for the tournament running without any big complications.

The main tasks for the Technical Commission at the next World / European Championships:

-          prepare and manage the seeding process at the tournament;

-          chose and introduce all members of the Referee Committee for the tournament. All participants of the tournament should know and see the members of the Referee Committee;

-          prepare and manage the time schedule of the tournament according to the known / estimated number of participants;

-          check the software which is planned to be used for keeping the results during the tournament.

Violation of rules at World Championship 2007

The reason for releasing this document is not the review of the World Championship. The reason is to solve the violation of the valid rules which was made during the World Championship. Two main problems were:

1)      Dmitry Soloviev standing inside the playing zone during play-off matches although he had no right to be there. He also seriously threatened Petter Bengtsson without any relevant reason.

2)      The organizers were not following the valid rule 3.4 from the Tournament Rules document:

"... The organizers must ensure that no participant will be bothered during the tournament by other players, or by the audience. Players can ask for sufficient free space around them and around the table especially during the play-off matches. The organizers must ensure that the audience will not disturb the players in any way, including loud talking or yelling. ..." 

Decisions of Executive Committee

Punishment of Dmitry Soloviev

Dmitry Soloviev as a member of the Referee Committee at the World Championship 2007 broke the rule announced by the organizers. It was announced that nobody but the players and the score keeper is allowed to enter the playing zones with obvious borders. The only exception could be the referee IF HE IS CALLED BY THE PLAYERS to decide the match officially. In addition Dmitry Soloviev used not acceptable behaviour towards Petter Bengtsson.

The Executive Committee has decided that Dmitry Soloviev cannot become a member of the Referee Committee at the tournaments sanctioned by the ITHF till 1st August 2009.

The Executive Committee has the right to announce this punishment because the Executive Committee decides the structure of the Referee Committee at all ITHF sanctioned tournaments.

Audience behaviour during World Championship

The valid rules give the organizers of the tournaments the duty of ensuring that no participant is bothered by the audience. The Executive Committee has noticed that players were bothered during their play-off matches in Moscow. The problem is that the players did not follow the valid rules to solve the problem. The Tournament Rules, point 4.4 say:

"4.4 Making a complaint to the committee of referees

Any player can submit a complaint to any member of the tournament’s committee of referees (committee). ..."

The Referee Committee is not allowed to enter any match and solve any problem until the referee is called by the players. No referee was called by any participant during play-off matches in Moscow.

It means there were made two mistakes in Moscow. First was made by the organizers who allowed bothering of the players by the audience. Second mistake was made by the players who did not use the valid rules to solve the problem they had.

The conclusion is that no punishment can be awarded in this case. The Executive Committee can only recommend a slight change of the Tournament Rules document. The members of the Referee Committee should be allowed to act even without being asked by the players in the case of helping the players to solve any problematic situations.

The future ITHF sanctioned tournaments

The Executive Committee recognizes the problems between players and the audience at the tournaments. The situation at the Swedish Masters 2007 was not good and the same was at the World Championship.

The Tournaments Rules were not valid at the Swedish Masters 2007 yet and that is why the Executive Committee could not review the tournament after its finish much. The Swedish Masters were organized using the rules valid for the Swedish tournaments only.

The World Championship was organized using the valid Tournament Rules document. The tournament showed that neither the organizers neither the players know and use the document properly.

The Executive Committee hopes on a better situation at the future tournaments. Keeping the rules both from players and the organizers is the most important thing for the WTHT tournaments and the ITHF Championships.

The Executive Committee warns the organizers of all WTHT tournaments that it is possible to take away the WTHT status of any tournament if any violation of the valid rules occurs from the organizers of the tournament.

The Executive Committee welcomes the idea coming from Sweden to use yellow and red cards at the tournaments. The meaning of the cards would be the same as in football/soccer. The cards could be applied by the Referee Committee to both players and organizers for any violating the rules or unsportsmanlike behaviour (which is of course also the violation of the rules). The yellow and red cards can be used immediately because they do not create any new rules. They just serve to keep the current valid rules.

Behaviour of audience during tournaments

The following points are not any new rules. They just explain how the Executive Committee expounds the current valid rules for the case any unclearness exists. The valid rules say that the organizers must ensure that the players are not bothered by the audience. The Executive Committee would like to give instructions how to apply this strict rule.

The complicated question how the audience can behave during the matches has to be always answered according to the wish of players. If any player wishes the audience to be quiet during the match the organizers must ensure the audience is quiet. If any problem occurs when solving this situation the player must always ask a member of the Referee Committee to solve the situation. The Referee Committee can decide to break the match immediately and wait till the problem is solved.

The audience is allowed to cheer the goals when the puck is inside the goal cage until a new face-off is made. This rule is the same as tennis – audience can “live” when the ball is not in the game.

The audience must always respect the playing zone and cannot enter it if the zone is set. The same is of course valid for the organizers and the referees (unless the referee is asked to be the official referee of the match).

Publishing WTHT tournaments results

The Executive Committee asks all the WTHT tournaments organizers to publish the results as soon as possible. To know the results when the WTHT tournament is finished is the most important for the ITHF. It is important not only because of the updates of the WTHT ranking and the World Ranking.

WTHT tournaments are the highest series of table hockey tournaments in the world and they should be promoted as much as possible. The promotion should be done both before the tournament and after the tournament. It is of course the most important thing to know the results when creating any document for media after the tournament.

The Executive Committee would like to ask all the WTHT organizers to publish the tournaments results till Monday midnight (local time) after the tournament. This adjustment will be suggested as a change of the Tournament Rules document at the next Delegates’ Conference.

World Ranking official national contacts

The Executive Committee reminds its previous declaration:

“The Executive Committee has decided that each ITHF member is RESPONSIBLE for the accuracy of results sent to the World Ranking from its country. 

The Executive Committee asks all the ITHF members to announce the official contacts for entering results into the World Ranking. Results sent to the World Ranking from the series of tournaments which were not approved by this official national contact will be marked as the Level 5 World Ranking tournaments.” (

The deadline for announcing the official contacts is set to 1st December. Any results sent to the World Ranking without approving by the official contact will be marked as the Level 5 World Ranking tournament.

Every ITHF member can announce more than one official contact. Every contact person could be responsible for the different region if needed.



Signed by:

The Executive Committee members