The ITTF have launched their Table Tennis X format in Rio ©ITTF

The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) have launched Table Tennis X (TTX) at a beach in Rio de Janeiro as they look to attract more young people to the sport.

Launched to coincide with the start of the Olympic Games, the ITTF claim the format could be played in a variety of locations, including beaches and city centres, rather than staged inside.

Among the differences in TTX from conventional table tennis are that the ball is bigger and heavier, something aimed to suit outdoor play.

Simplified rackets with less spin and the ability to score more points through winners and wild cards have also been highlighted as differences.

A further change will see matches played in three two minute sets, instead of the first player to score 11 points.

"This is the table tennis revolution that the world has been waiting for," said Thomas Weikert, the ITTF President.

"TTX is for the young and young at heart and takes table tennis to you, instead of you having to come to table tennis.

"The ITTF believes that this can perfectly complement our professional table tennis game, as it connects the hobby player that plays with their mates at home to a viable competition format which is designed around having fun.

"Pick up your bat and go play some TTX."

The ITTF claim the format will appeal to young people and encourage them to take up the sport, while also helping to reduce the skill gap between players.

It is also hoped that it will encourage greater variety and unpredictability.

It will also the ITTF to experiment with other formats, it is claimed. 

A TTX event series is expected to be announced in the coming months.

“It was a perfect moment for our sport which has been internally criticised for too many changes in recent years,” said Weikert.

"Here we can do many new things, experiment with cool new ideas and at the same time, allow some time for our professional game to adapt to the recent changes."