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Notes on schedule

There has been questions about the structure of the schedule. Below is some reasoning relating to organizers' reasoning of current game format.

Reasoning behind current schedule

There was e-mail exchange where another tournament structure that did not have juniors and ladies series overlapping was proposed. It is referred below as 'Latvian system'. The lines after link are the answer of Finnish Table Hockey Associaton to the proposed 'Latvian system' vs. the current format seen on schedule page.

FTHA's comments:

As we looked at possible schedules for the world championships, we saw that to have a reasonable schedule we should play the tournament in four days. This was ruled out by ITHF Executive Committee, so we fitted the schedule into three days.

ITHF Executive Committee also stated following: "The majority in ITHF EC is also meaning that players can choose between ladies and junior/veteran."

On looking at the schedule we took into account the majority of players instead of single players. That means we favored open series over all other series as it contains most of the players.

After looking at complaints from previous tournament schedules, we decided to adjust schedule to be very straightforward. Thus we wish to play all series in very clear order instead of splitting events on many days if possible. And definitely we wished that each stage of a selected tournament is played in one session instead of splitting stages around some other tournament like in European championships.

In the suggested 'Latvian system' ladies would play on Saturday starting at 08.00 and ending at 22.30. That is a long day 16 hours and 30 minutes. If a player does play also in other series she will not have but a small break during the day (12 hours 15 minutes of playing time).

Therefore we have ladies, juniors and veterans played completely on Friday (maximum playing time 10 hours, a lot, but still less, though affects most good players).

That also allows us to have the open team played fully on Saturday and last but not least, Sunday is kept fully for open series. For the major event (open individual) there is a good warm up with open team's on Saturday, which will make the open individual series' games better. It also allows players to 'wake up' for series instead of deciding the whole tournament between 9 and 10 in morning ('Latvian system's' first open individual games at that time), when some players may still feel tired.

Also on the issue of favoring majority of the players, we feel that open individual series should be played in four phases: group stage, intermediate groups, final groups and playoffs. That is different from Hungary where the open individual was played in three phases.

As the groups in first stage tend to be a bit uneven, we feel that there is need for intermediate groups to avoid unfair 'killer groups' eliminating some players already in group stage while their overall level would generally qualify them for intermediate groups and later even to final groups. The additional stage makes the open individual tournament more fair and sportive, as there are more games to deicde the placements of players. The luck-factor is reduced. Also more players get meet each other, which is part of the fun of travelling abroad to international tournaments.

This fairness is also thought into provisional playing formats of other competitions. In Hungary the veteran team competition was played (according to schedule) in 2,5 hours. We have added one hour to have flexibilty for various amounts of teams and to avoid delays. In theory two five team groups in veterans could be played in 86 minutes (3 matches x (5+2minutes) x 6 opposing teams; in Hungary there was 90 minutes scheduled for this), but in reality that is impossible and will cause delays. And all delays to announced schedule always create irritation among other players that are forced to wait. We might also have to go for six team groups as number of veterans is increasing. Also additional time for playoffs allows three round playoffs (8 teams; or 6 teams) which make the structure more reasonable. Same reasoning applies to ladies' and juniors' tournaments.

There is also one question in 'Latvian system': there is no Open Team competition, but instead Men's Team competition. For example Denmark would likely like to have Anette Engel playing in Open individual and Estonia has Maria Saveljeva. In the 'Latvian system' they would have to make a choice between team competitions, if we keep the 'big' team competition open for all genders.

Also in 'Latvian system' lady player could be in ladies team playoffs at the same time as she should play open individual playoffs. She might also have to play junior team playoffs as the same time as lady individual playoffs. So there are theoretical overlaps in this model as well.

Also for the Latvian ladies qualification to juniors & ladies, it definitely seems possible according to Latvian ranking points.

We know this is not the best solution for Maria (or Ilze), but we hope that you understand that we are trying to make a schedule that works best for most of the players.

In summary: we favor clear schedule that is beneficial for majority of players.