Ukrainian sport in the conditions of the pandemic: Setka Cup about tournament organisation

In 2020 spectators were deprived of shows and athletes were seriously limited in the ability to play their favourite sports, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus and related measures have severely affected the world of professional sports not to mention semi-professional or amateur. However, the interest of viewers remains, which means that the industry also needs to adapt to new conditions.   

One of the favourite games of Ukrainians — table tennis (TT) is now saving the whole sports industry. According to Liam Pitchford, one of the leaders of the UK Olympic Table Tennis Team, table tennis is an ideal activity during the quarantine.

What about the audience? Among the limitations, it is quite difficult to accommodate a huge number of people who want to watch the game. Online broadcasts are the only solution.  


Several organizations are involved in the development of table tennis in Ukraine. One of them is the Ukrainian Table Tennis Federation of (UTTF), founded during the Soviet Union, in 1957. And at the end of 2020, as UNIAN reports, the Ukrainian Table Tennis Association (UTTA) was created, which also set a goal to unite professional players and amateurs.


Setka Cup, as a fairly young platform for the development of tennis in Ukraine, turned out to be the readiest for the limitations of 2020. Today the table tennis community of the platform already consists of more than 550 rated players and 5,000 fans. The platform has its locations in Kyiv, Dnipro and Lviv with a total area of ​​2,730 sq.m. that meet international requirements. 

All Setka Cup table tennis tournaments were initially customized to the online format: there are no spectators, there is a broadcast on YouTube, and there are two players and one referee in the room, who operates a digital scoreboard. This allows players to fully focus on the game and minimize the influence of external factors. 


Before a tournament starts, the following initiatives are pursued: temperature screening, aseptic surface treatment and other requirements for sanitary and epidemiological standards. The corresponding regulations are presented on the official website of the Setka Cup.

The organizer of Setka Cup tournaments, Denis Kalachevsky, notes the following: “We have been organizing tournaments in Ukraine for 3 years now, covering sports events in our media. We have more than 500 rated players, among them: Dmitry Pisar — the top Ukrainian rating among men and a member of the Ukrainian national team. Also with us are athletes playing in Western European clubs: Alexey Rybka, Valeria Stepanovskaya, Mikhail Mosyuk. They are in demand in Europe and set high requirements for locations in Ukraine — which we in turn provide. Our gaming locations have high-quality lighting, ventilation systems, professional flooring, modern tables and equipment”.

As a result, in 2020 Setka Cup, adhering to all quarantine measures according to the recommendations of the Ministry of Health, held 50,000+ matches and 2 open all-Ukrainian Setka Cup OPEN tournaments, which influenced the maintenance of the industry.