Masters Test Series - Format
hearing quite a bit of discussion amongst players and officials
about the finals of the current series. Well, more to the point,
about qualifying for the finals of the current series.
This series will see each Nation playing each of the others 3
times. In most other similar sporting competitions, these games
would be called the "qualifying games". That is, qualifying
for the finals. Not so in this tournament--each Nation qualified
for the finals just by showing up.
of what happens in the preliminary games, all four Nations will
be playing in the semi-finals.
support for this arrangement, and opposition. Here's a brief summary
of what we've heard:
In favour of the current arrangement:
- All teams
have come a long way to Perth (it is rather a long way from
anywhere else in the world) and deserve to be in the finals.
- You get
more games this way, and that's good for the spectators (we
will resist asking the obvious question and/or making the obvious
observation here . . . )
- You get
more finals games, and therefore more exciting and serious games
of a different system:
system makes preliminary games less important than if a place
in the finals had to be earned.
system encourages teams to cruise to the finals. While we are
not suggesting teams will do this, the system is such that there
is strong incentive for teams to take it easy leading up to
the finals. This could save wear-and-tear on players of course,
and with each team playing 9 preliminary games over 6 days,
that is definitely an issue. Of course, if each team only played
each other twice, with the top two playing off for the title,
wear-and-tear is addressed in a different way.
really sure which is best, but talking to players the most common
complaint was that they played too many games, especially considering
all teams made the finals anyway. The extra games were therefore
seen to be superfluous, increasing the risk of injury for no gain
other than the playing of "extra" games.
when dealing with "older" players, this is an issue
that deserves consideration for future tournaments.
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