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tim2

World Cup Format (merged threads)

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I think Australia should play NZ 5 times and if they lose once not make the final. England should play the Cook Islands, Ireland and Scotland for the other place. Because NZ will be battle hardened, England should be given a 20 point head start in the final, 30 if Aus win all 5.

It's hard to argue with the current format after the opening long weekend! Even when we inevitably get blowouts (England will put 50 on Ire i reckon) it won't reduce the impact.

For future tournaments I'd like to see us not pair England and Aus in the group stages like we have for 4 consecutive World cups with 3 of them having it as part of the opening ceremony. Even if we only swapped NZ with one of the two, it would show increasing confidence.

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It's working well. However, I think we're in for some blowout scores in Group A.

 

I would've preferred a format whereby Australia, NZ and England were all in the same group?

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.

 

It's how other sports (you know, the ones with settled, successful and lucrative international traditions) do it.

 

That's the problem.  You've hit the nail right on the head.  We're a sport with a history of World Cups with four or five competitors, suddenly trying to triple our entry.  We need to think laterally.

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I take issue that it worked well last time. PNG got a helluva raw deal.

But I agree that this new, improved formula is just about right.

Gotta agree with you about last time's format. PNG were lambs to the slaughter. Absolutely no hope of progressing. There was just too much power in the super group and not enough for the other 6 to play for (as well as the unfairness of some sides having to back up after 3-4 days against a side with a week off). It was a terrible and short sighted format that didn't consider the other nations at all. Just a Tri Nations with a side show.

The balance is far better this time. A World Cup NEEDS quarter finals. Having seeded groups can work very well and I believe it is in this World Cup. There just needs to be a clearer qualifying process as to how they pick the seeds. At the moment it still seems very much a "well we'll put you there and you there because that'll look good. Oh, and we'll let you lot qualify automatically because you're the best looking nations for the sport." We will never be taken seriously if we keep doing that.

Clear and concise qualification and seeding processes for four years culminating in a World Cup is what will build the international game more than anything.

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PNG did get a rough draw in 2008, but that can happen.

 

There's a difference between your soccer "grupo muerto", where the best (or near best) teams in the seeding pots happen to get drawn in the same group and 2008 Group A, where one minnow is drawn into a group with the three strongest teams - not just in their seed level - but in the entire worldwide game.

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The format is working really well. We know who the big boys are in this tournament, but this format gives the others a chance to shine and experience the World Cup. The type of format we have, may well be the way forward long term too. I can't see us ever getting to a stage where we've got 16 teams all on a par with the Aussies.

What a prospect that would be though. Would make lSt night's match, look like a game of tag!

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Gotta agree with you about last time's format. PNG were lambs to the slaughter. Absolutely no hope of progressing. There was just too much power in the super group and not enough for the other 6 to play for (as well as the unfairness of some sides having to back up after 3-4 days against a side with a week off). It was a terrible and short sighted format that didn't consider the other nations at all. Just a Tri Nations with a side show.The balance is far better this time. A World Cup NEEDS quarter finals. Having seeded groups can work very well and I believe it is in this World Cup. There just needs to be a clearer qualifying process as to how they pick the seeds. At the moment it still seems very much a "well we'll put you there and you there because that'll look good. Oh, and we'll let you lot qualify automatically because you're the best looking nations for the sport." We will never be taken seriously if we keep doing that.Clear and concise qualification and seeding processes for four years culminating in a World Cup is what will build the international game more than anything.

I don't think we need to worry about being "taken seriously". Let us have confidence in our own sport. We have been unable to find the money to have regular internationals for most nations between the World Cups, so below the big 3, there is always going to be a bit of guess work.

What we had to do with this World Cup was get some excitement going, make some money, and put international footy back on the map. Every team BEFORE the World Cup started out had a realistic chance of making the quarter-finals. That has to be good for the sport. We also had to ensure that the matches in the World Cup were ones people would want to go and see. I think the way the groups have been constructed and the cross-group games arranged, then we've got that.

Wales v Italy looks rough, compared to the other cross-group games, but if Wales beat USA & Cooks, they still qualify.

It's horses for courses and we seem to have found a format that suits our international game.

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Hats off to whoever came up with the format, other sports will look in with envy

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I don't think we need to worry about being "taken seriously". Let us have confidence in our own sport. We have been unable to find the money to have regular internationals for most nations between the World Cups, so below the big 3, there is always going to be a bit of guess work.

Agree with everything else you've said but can't agree with this. Why shouldn't we worry about being taken seriously? If we want bigger sponsors and more media attention, we've got to be doing everything we can to look serious. Picking and choosing your competitors and placing them where you like isn't going to help.

The format we've got at present is perfect, but we need to consider the seeding process properly to take the next step. Everyone deserves a fair crack of the whip in sport, and for that to happen they need to know what it is they're playing for. At present, 12 countries didn't have anything to consider between now and the WC.

I don't take the money excuse either. It's nothing to do with money and everything to do with the club game not wanting to have a break in play to allow it to happen.

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Wales v Italy looks rough, compared to the other cross-group games, but if Wales beat USA & Cooks, they still qualify.

 

 

Not necessarily.

 

Although I actually think that the Group C teams will win all the cross-group games.

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MARTYN SADLER explains his input into the format of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Ah well, if I don't blow my own trumpet, then no one else will.

On the Totalrl.com website forum, a thread has been opened praising the format of the World Cup, and hailing whoever thought of it as "a genius".

When praise of that order is being handed out, who wouldn't want to take some of the credit? In fact the person who first put the idea of the current World Cup format into the minds of the organisers was me.

Looking back at my email record, I sent an email to RFL CEO Nigel Wood on 27 August 2009, after he had asked for my advice about the World Cup, as follows:

On the World Cup, just a couple of thoughts:

Pools A and B, four nations in each, selected from Australia, England, NZ, PNG, France, Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, with three to qualify from each group, would give some very competitive matches.

Pools C and D, four nations in each, selected from Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Lebanon, Russia, USA, Jamaica, Serbia, South Africa, Cook Islands (8 from 10), with one to qualify from each pool, would also give some competitive games, enabling us to avoid walkovers like Australia v Russia, and it would give the Home Nations the chance to win some games and build up momentum.

 

I think it will be very important to attract entries from a wide geographical area. Given the licence system we have adopted for Super League, I wonder about a licence system for selecting World Cup nations, judging them on potential strength and any other criteria we might think relevant (potential support, domestic competitions, etc).

 

In my view, if we don't get countries like Russia and even Lebanon into the next tournament, they will switch to the other code, and I think their presence here would add a hell of a lot.  To start with, the presence of the Lebanese would almost automatically ensure that the tournament would be covered by Al Jazeera in the Middle East, and it would give us unprecedented coverage in that region.

 

You mentioned a cost figure of £250,000 per competing nation, but, with the time we have available, I would be amazed if we couldn't generate sufficient revenue to make a massive profit with the structure I have suggested.

 

I then had a meeting with Nigel on 21 September 2009, at which he said that the maximum number of teams in the World Cup would probably be 12. He thought the RLIF would be reluctant to go above that figure.

I emailed him again the day after that meeting:

 

Good to meet yesterday for what I thought was a very good discussion.

It struck me afterwards that the biggest problem facing the 2013 World Cup is what happened in 2000. We shouldn't go for 16 clubs because that's what we did in 2000 and it didn't work too well.

As we know, there are several reasons why it didn't work well, and we don't need to go over them again.

But I'm confident that the RFL is in an infinitely stronger position as an organisation than it was back then. And the gist of my argument is that if we stick to 12 nations the tournament will probably be an Australasian and British Isles competition, whereas with 16 teams it can become a genuine World Cup, with teams from all the continents. The sales pitch to sponsors, the media and the fans will be much easier in the latter case.

The opportunity is too good to be missed.

I'm glad to say the RLIF went with more than 12, but not 16, which I still think would have been a better option, particularly if the Lebanese team could have been included.

Looking at my original email I see that I suggested that Tonga, rather than Ireland, should be in the leading two groups. Last night's game at Rochdale demonstrated that the Irish are probably over-matched at this level. It's also interesting to see that at the time Italy were not on the horizon.

The really key thing, though, is that those discussions were taking place in 2009, giving lots of time to prepare for the tournament, which is crucial to its success.

Rugby League rarely plans four years ahead.

We can now see what happens when it does.

MARTYN SADLER is the editor of LEAGUE EXPRESS, for which he writes a weekly 'Talking Rugby League' column.

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Check out an article I have just published on this site.

 

http://www.totalrl.com/how-the-world-cup-format-was-created/

Well done on keeping the evidence!

The main thing between now and 2017 is how we close the gap further between all the sides. We also have to accept a certain amount of the "heritage" factor, but we need to use the success of heritage sides to build the game in those countries.

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Whilst I agree with the rest of your points, I think that having only one team from a group of 4 qualfying is too harsh, teh group would be over after the first round of matches.

It's easy enough to accelerate the programmes for groups C & D to fit in the extra playoff:

1st Weekend: first round for all

Following Thursday/Friday: 2nd round for C & D

2nd Weekend: 2nd round for groups A &B

Following Tuesday/Wednesday 3rd round for C & D

3rd Weekend: 3rd Weekend for A&B (fri/sat), play-offs for C&D (sunday/monday)

4th Weekend: QF

Fair point, although I wasn't saying it was a bad idea, just questioning where it would fit in. My only concern is that they'd be burnt out come the quarters and get murdered by the winners of groups A and B who have played less (and in all likeliness would be two from Aus/Eng/NZ). Not like they'd need more of an advantage!

But given the choice between your version and the version where only one would go through (effectively ending the chances of the side that loses in week one), I'd probably pick yours. After reading Martyn's take on having 16 nations (potential extra TV coverage in new markets), I'd agree the more the merrier.

With better build-up competitions, the next WC could be even bigger. But we've got to start planning now!

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Not necessarily.

Although I actually think that the Group C teams will win all the cross-group games.

The only potential flaw with this format. Again, avoidable with better seeding competitions running up to the tournament to determine which group you're in.

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From Twitter and (I hope!) tongue in cheek: "The @RLWC2013 format is a joke. Should be two groups of 7 then half way split into 3 groups 2 of 5 and 1 of 4. Then a playoff" :biggrin:

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The only potential flaw with this format. Again, avoidable with better seeding competitions running up to the tournament to determine which group you're in.

 

No - I disagree. It has minimum impact on the head-to-head games. I'd be gutted if I was a player and beat the other two teams in the group, yet lost out because another team had an easier cross-group game.

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From Twitter and (I hope!) tongue in cheek: "The @RLWC2013 format is a joke. Should be two groups of 7 then half way split into 3 groups 2 of 5 and 1 of 4. Then a playoff" :biggrin:

 

:laugh:

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No - I disagree. It has minimum impact on the head-to-head games. I'd be gutted if I was a player and beat the other two teams in the group, yet lost out because another team had an easier cross-group game.

I'm confused. What do you mean?

You've said it has minimum impact, but then say that if you were a player you'd be gutted if it happened? Surely that would be an impact?

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One way to avoid the big nations being in the same group would be to have it this way:

Group A: England, Ireland, Fiji

Group B: Australia, Papua New Guinea, France

Group C: New Zealand, Wales, Samoa, USA

Group D: Tonga, Italy, Cook Islands, Scotland

Two go through from each group.

England and Australia play each other in a cross group game. Ireland and France. Fiji and PNG.

The groups appear even, but you still get that big opening game. And at the same time it doesn't effectively end the WC for loser of the other game in Group A (Ireland are effectively out now as they won't beat Aus or Eng).

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I'm confused. What do you mean?

You've said it has minimum impact, but then say that if you were a player you'd be gutted if it happened? Surely that would be an impact?

 

All the cross group games being won by teams from the  same group has minimal impact.

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If it was 4 groups of 4, then the seeding across the groups could be more even. The 'big three' plus the next best of the rest would head their respective groups etc. and nobody (apart from RL fans) could accuse the RWC of being contrived.

Two qualify from each group, meaning (probably) the top seed (and big crowd draw) plus one other, which would make each group a real dogfight for qualification. And if one of the top-seeded teams doesn't make it? Sensation! Headlines! Publicity!

With the quality of teams in this WC that is the way we should go next time. The reason the current systems in place is because of the big mis matches in previous WC.

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Whoever came up with the format for the World Cup is a genius.

Considering how much stick it got at the time, it has worked out well over 2 cups now. I hope if we increase to 16 that they retain the main element of ensuring competitive group games. You could easily add 2 more lower ranked teams to the C/D groups and still have the same 3+3+1+1 qualification.

This format has blown the ponderous qualification groups in Cricket and RU out of the water. Soccer gets away with it because the teams are more evenly matched in the first place, and good coaching helps lesser teams keep the scores down.

Not a fan of it at all. Why can't we just be like other WCs and have four pools. Blowout happens in cricket and union but its not a big issue at all for them.

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One way to avoid the big nations being in the same group would be to have it this way:

Group A: England, Ireland, Fiji

Group B: Australia, Papua New Guinea, France

Group C: New Zealand, Wales, Samoa, USA

Group D: Tonga, Italy, Cook Islands, Scotland

Two go through from each group.

England and Australia play each other in a cross group game. Ireland and France. Fiji and PNG.

The groups appear even, but you still get that big opening game. And at the same time it doesn't effectively end the WC for loser of the other game in Group A (Ireland are effectively out now as they won't beat Aus or Eng).

I have to say, that looks about perfect for a 14 team comp - I think the current setup is pretty good, but that tops it.

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