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TABLE TENNIS

Table Tennis X takes to the beach to attract players

Following the success of sports including football, volleyball and handball, table tennis is the latest sport to build its future on sand.

Table Tennis X takes to the beach to attract players
Dean Mouhtaropoulos Getty Images

Table tennis authorities on Thursday announced plans to promote a new form of the game for amateurs featuring larger, heavier balls so it can be played outside, including the beach.

Dubbed "Table Tennis X", or "TTX", the new concept's more wind-resistant balls are intended to help widen the range of possible playing situations, and thus the sport's appeal.

"TTX is a sport for all ages to be played anytime, anywhere," International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) President Thomas Weikert said in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the Olympic Games.

Alternative equipment also will include simplified paddles to reduce spin.

The professional game will stick with existing equipment. Table tennis joins other sports in announcing new initiatives to draw younger generations of fans.

Badminton's governing body last month said it was considering staging beach events, following a route already successfully taken by sports like volleyball and football.