Tournament mode at Tecball WCS sign now

Dear ladies and gentleman,

Having participated in this years Tecball WCS I have to say it was one of the best tournaments I have ever been to. The organization, location and the international flair were outstanding.

However, there was one major drawback: The system by which the main events were run was not based on a valid ranking system, but on random qualification rounds. I decided to address this problem because rumours are that the four remaining World Championship Series events are to be run in the same way.

The problem was that players had to face either weak opponents, or strong opponents, or a mix of both. So if a strong team had to play against several strong opponents they placed low in the ranking list, while another team may have had only weak opponents and thus placed very high. This means that strong and weak teams were distributed quite evenly in the rankings the exact opposite of a qualification rounds intended function.

The real problem started in the single KO where the results from the qualifications were used for the seeding of the teams. Some of the best teams had to compete against each other in the first elimination round, something which should not happen in a serious sports competition.

One example: In Open Doubles, the team which placed first in the qualification rounds had to compete against the top team in the ITSF ranking in the second round of elimination. After witnessing this, none of the players were taking the qualifications seriously anymore. I talked to a lot of the players who competed in Open Singles. Nearly everyone who had an easy qualification round lost at least one game on purpose in order not to place first in the ranking system!

I hope you agree with me when I say that this is not an acceptable state of affairs at one of the biggest ITSF tournaments in the world. Players felt like they were participating in a lottery rather than in a competitive event. The truly competitive matches started in the single elimination rounds, so if you lost your first match there you only had one competitive match during the whole day!

As a player, I would prefer participating in tournaments using a double KO system. (This could be modified, so that the winners bracket would generate the two finalists and the losers bracket would determine final positions up to 3rd place. This would allow for scheduled matches and finals to be played without the finals being delayed by long chains of matches in the losers bracket.) If qualification rounds are to be used, they should be based on the Swiss system, which produces a much more accurate ranking after a few rounds of qualification.

I understand that the current system can be handled with nearly no effort from the tournament directors. But for the players who seek the high competition of a World Championship Series it is nearly unacceptable. I also understand that, with the qualification rounds, rookie teams have a guaranteed number of games, whether they win or lose. But in Open Singles and Open Doubles, that should not be the focus of interest. The objective of those disciplines should be to create the best possible surroundings for a high level sports competition.

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Kelly ChapmanBy:
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