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Rugby World Cup 2015 Scheduling

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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:05 am

There has been much talk around the structure and timetable of the World Cup in 2015 in light of concerns raised around turnaround times for the Tier 2 nations between matches. Martin Sneddon who was on the organising committee for this tournament has spoken about it and made comments that in order to sort out the turnaround times the tournament would need to be extended beyond it's current length of 7 weeks.

I cannot see that being appealing or viable to the Tier 1 nations, as it would either eat further into the NH season, or would have to start earlier thereby impacting on the Tri Nations.

The problem seems very simple to rectify to me, and is caused simply by having an odd number of teams in each pool. If you have 4 teams in a pool, you need 3 matchdays to complete the game sin each pool. The options if you go with 4 teams per pool are these.

1. 4 pools of 4 teams, so 16 teams in the tournament, with the top 2 in each pool going through to the quarter finals.

2(a). 6 pools of 4 teams, so 24 teams in the tournament, with the top team in each pool and the two best runners up going through to the quarter finals.
2(b). 6 pools of 4 teams, so 24 teams in the tournament, with the top 2 teams in each pool, and the 4 best 3rd placed teams going through to a knockout round of 16 teams.

3. 8 pools of 4 teams, so 32 teams in the tournament, with the top 2 teams in each pool going through to the quarter finals.


Option 1 is clearly not consistent with the IRB aim of growing the game, and could stunt the growth of some of the Tier 2/developing nations, so would not be an option that I favour.

Option 3 would support growing the game, but if we go down to 32 in the IRB rankings we are down to Korea, who quite frankly would get completely routed and it wouldn't assist in their development at all.

For me it has to be option 2, in either of it's forms. It brings another 4 teams into the tournament thereby assisting growing the game, whilst also being able to provide fairness in relation to the scheduling of games. I would prefer option 2(a), as I think it would mean more intensity to the pool matches with the knowledge that you have to win the pool to guarantee going through.

Going on the current IRB rankings and putting teams into pools in the following way Pool A-F = Ranking 1-6, then Pool F-A + ranking 7-12, and so on, you would end up with pools as follows.

Pool A
New Zealand
Italy
Canada
Spain

Pool B
South Africa
Samoa
Georgia
Chile

Pool C
Australia
Scotland
Japan
Uruguay

Pool D
England
Tonga
Fiji
Russia

Pool E
Ireland
France
USA
Portugal

Pool F
Wales
Argentina
Romania
Namibia

So your schedule stage looks like this..

Week One
Fri - Pool A - 2 games
Sat - Pool B - 2 games
Sun - Pool C - 2 games
Mon - Pool D - 2 games
Tues - Pool E - 2 games
Weds - Pool F - 2 games
Thurs - Pool A - 2 games

Week 2
Fri - Pool B - 2 games
Sat - Pool C - 2 games
Sun - Pool D - 2 games
Mon - Pool E - 2 games
Tues - Pool F - 2 games

Week 3
Fri - Pool A - 2 games
Sat - Pool B - 2 games
Sun - Pool C - 2 games
Mon - Pool D - 2 games
Tues - Pool E - 2 games
Weds - Pool F - 2 games

This way you have the pool stages completed 19 days, with each side getting the exact same turnaround between games as the other sides in their pool. You also have a minimum 6 day turnaround, and one less game than at present for each team, which increases the chances of them being able to get their best team on the pitch for each game.

You can then give a sufficient rest to teams before the quarter finals, and still have the tournament completed within the current 7 week schedule, without adding to the risk of injury or diluting the quality of the rugby on show.

Thoughts?
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Post by AsLongAsBut100ofUs Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:23 am

Just say 'no' to Sunday games, pls?! - we need Big Euge! Braveheart

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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:25 am

I'm sure we could change the days of the week to accomodate As Wink Hug
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Post by Shifty Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:43 am

I think we should drastically expand the tournament to the same size of footballs with 8 pools of 4, with the top team in each pool going to a quarter final, the tournament would actually be the same length of time with everyone having decent rest time between games.
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Post by maestegmafia Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:49 am

I agree that increasing the size of the tournament is the best option. This also coincides with the IRB wish to expand the game and improve it at lower levels.

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Post by mystiroakey Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:51 am

England is the best place to grow the tournament- we will get record crowds,most tv revenue and has the infastructure to cope - if done well it could be the best thing for rugby

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Post by Cymroglan Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:56 am

If you want the sport to grow then you broaden the horizons, The tournament needs to move out from the top tier countries.

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Post by mystiroakey Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:00 am

Cymroglan wrote:If you want the sport to grow then you broaden the horizons, The tournament needs to move out from the top tier countries.

you think a new country could hold that many teams and games!!!!

it has to grow in a top tier nation first- england is the perfect place where the tourny can make big headlines and big money!(there is no better)

hopefully if it works out- we can get the WC in other countries. We cant just up the scheduling and the teams and then stick it somewhere new-- New Zealand cant even cope as it is!!!!

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Post by doctornickolas Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:03 am

I dont think there is any way you could expand the number of teams at the moment.

When you get down to 32 in the rankings you are dealing with the likes of Korea, Kazakhstan, Czech Republic and Brazil.

With all due respect we could be talking about guys getting seriously hurt and humiliated. That's before we take in to account the cost, these amateurs taking 2 months off work etc etc

It's a total no go.

Namibia are 19th in the rankings and have been beaten by 80+ points twice in the groups. That does not do them any good or expand the game at all in my opinion.

I would prefer to see 2 tournaments of 16 teams.

This is not football where the number 100 ranked team can compete physically with the team ranked 1, even if there is a difference is skill.

Rugby is, like it or not, a pretty elite sport only played by a handful of countries and outside of the top 16 there is a massive drop off. You could even argue that outside of say the top 12 there is no point.

I understand wanting to expand the game but throwing Kazakhstan in against the All Blacks is just crazy.

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Post by mystiroakey Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:06 am

doctornicklas you make a good point. The way to grow is to get other high profile tounies- continental cups on some years rather than 6n's or 3n's each year- the top teams need to play the other teams local to them more, not just the odd WC game that batters them so hard and can batter the life out of any potentiial fans or new players from the 'battered' nation

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Post by sportform Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:21 am

I posted the exact same 24 teams format, as in original post, on another thread and think it is definitely worth considering.

The only other alternatives to me were:-

a) Have a 16 team tournament with only the host, Japan, qualifying automatically. All other teams would have to go through continental qualifying like the football World Cup. That way smaller nations would get more regular games against the big boys and in there country too.

b) Keep a 20 team tournament but schedule it something like:-

Fri - Group A 2 games
Sat - Group B 2 games
Sun - Group C 2 games
Mon - Group D 2 games
Tues - rest day
Weds - Group A 2 games
Thurs - Group B 2 games
Fri - Group C 2 games...

...and so on.

That way every team would get four days between games with one eight day break for each team. The group stages here would take 24 days to complete.
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Post by lostinwales Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:24 am

The problem with any system like this with 8 from 6 pools is that the 2nd place team in the pool with- say - Namibia - is almost guaranteed to go through. Its not really that fair at all

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Post by mystiroakey Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:26 am

yep your right. theproblem is is that teams like NZ do not like playing other teams- they only really like playing the 3n's as it makes them good money. The top teams really have to stop playing the 6n's and 3n's every year- that is what is holding the sport back. I am sure rugby has a massive appeal- but its abit like a closed shop at present. If teams were forced into qualifying ,continent cups)etc , then great,BUT it comes at a cost of course - we cant keep having the big money 6n's or 3n's every year

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Post by sportform Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:33 am

mystiroakey wrote:the top teams need to play the other teams local to them more, not just the odd WC game that batters them so hard and can batter the life out of any potentiial fans or new players from the 'battered' nation

I totally agree. That is why I think only the hosts should qualify automatically. All the other nations should have to qualify like the countries do for the football world cup.

The qualifying stage would give the smaller nations more, regular games against the bigger nations, including home games which would help generate income and interest and allow them to develop the sport in their country.
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Post by sportform Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:39 am

mystiroakey wrote:If teams were forced into qualifying ,continent cups)etc , then great,BUT it comes at a cost of course - we cant keep having the big money 6n's or 3n's every year

I posted some qualifying groups for Europe on another thread something like:-

Group A:- England, Wales, Romania, Portugal.

I suggested that the qualifiers would take place in the two years building up to the RWC. I also stated that in them two years England and Wales would normally play each other, home and away, anyway in the Six Nations and that them games could double up as qualifiers. That way England would only have an extra four games, home and away, to Romania and Portugal.
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Post by mystiroakey Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:44 am

yeah your ideas are good- they are progressive. I however have no problem knocking a 6n's down to a once every 2 year event either- how about a euro cup ever 2 years and the top(whatever) go to the world cup!

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Post by sportform Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:27 am

mystiroakey wrote:yeah your ideas are good- they are progressive. I however have no problem knocking a 6n's down to a once every 2 year event either- how about a euro cup ever 2 years and the top(whatever) go to the world cup!
Something like:-

2011 Rugby World Cup
2012 Six Nations
2013 European Championship
2014 Six Nations
2015 Rugby World Cup
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Post by blackcanelion Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:41 am

Sportsville great post.

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Post by emack2 Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:49 am

With 4 years to go it is surely possible to re-arrange schedules in playing
seasons by 2015.Who says it has to be in sept-october why not earlier?
Do you mean to say another 7 days is going to hurt anyone,especially as
all the group losers will be going home after 5 any way?

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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Oct 06, 2011 5:37 pm

sportsville wrote:
mystiroakey wrote:yeah your ideas are good- they are progressive. I however have no problem knocking a 6n's down to a once every 2 year event either- how about a euro cup ever 2 years and the top(whatever) go to the world cup!
Something like:-

2011 Rugby World Cup
2012 Six Nations
2013 European Championship
2014 Six Nations
2015 Rugby World Cup

The only difficulty I see with this is in 2013 you have the Lions. Now that is not a bad thing per se, as it would allow Eng, Wal, Ire, Sco to blood new players against some of the lesser sides such as Georgia, Romania, Portugal etc. The stumbling block is the French, who would be at full strength, and would undoubtedly hammer all before them.

If there was a way around that, then I think it's a cracking idea.
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Post by Biltong Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:09 pm

My idea of this would be to break the RWC down into two groups of 16. To be held at the same time as the primary group of 16, the secondary group can play during the midweek and the primary group during the weekends.

Webb Ellis trophy.
Pool A – NZ-ARG-SCO-FIJ
Pool B – OZ-WAL-TON-JAP
Pool C – SA-IRE-SAM-GEO
Pool D – ENG- FRA- ITA- CAN

IRB trophy
Pool A – USA – Spain – Belgium - Korea
Pool B – ROM- Chile – Morocco - Kazakhstan
Pool C – NAM – Uruguay – Hong Kong - Czech Republic
Pool D – RUS – Portugal – Moldova – Brazil

For both trophies knock out rounds work on the same basis.

Quarter finals
Winner pool A – Runner up pool B
Winner pool B – Runner up pool C
Winner pool C – Runner up pool B
Winner pool D – Runner up pool A

Semi finals
Winner semi final 1 – winner semi final 2
Winner semi final 3 – winner semi final 4

Final.

On this basis the Webb Ellis trophy is played on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

IRB trophy is played Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays

This will allow all teams to have the same number of recovery times for their next test matches and the Media moguls will get their wish to broadcast the top team on weekends and the others during the week, this will give great exposure to 32 teams but no lopsided affairs. The tournament won't have to be lengthened either.
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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:13 pm

It's an idea Biltong.

My one question is around qualification for the big tournament. Is it a closed shop, or do teams have to qualify, and if so how many?

If it is a closed shop then it can't aid development of the smaller nations as they have nothing to aim for.
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Post by Biltong Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:17 pm

Ozzy, in my opinion that is the only thing therankings are good for.

We use it for no use other than a bragging tool, which means nothing, becuase teams lose rankings points in warm up matches where they aren't even playing their best squads, just look at Ireland before the RWc, they mixed and matched their team every game, the same with SA, both teams lost ranking places.

If the Unions know that your ranking depicts your pool and standing in the RWC let's say 12 months out, they won't sacrifice matches.

And then at last we have a use for the rankings.
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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:22 pm

But if it is decided solely on rankings, then it is flawed Biltong.

You can only climb the rankings really by beating teams ranked above you. If there is no officially laid down qualifying competition, the top 16 could just become a closed shop who only ever play each other thereby stopping the teams below breaking into it.
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Post by Biltong Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:26 pm

If you think about teams such as Namibia, Romania, russia and USA, there will be great motivation for them to try and develop over an 8 year period in order to compete against the nations ranked 12-16, becuase that allows them to get into the Webb ellis trophy, and the opposite for those teams just making it into the top 16, they might fall below the 16 rank, and there for miss out on the webb Ellis trophy.

From what i read namibia will now recieve something like $450 000 grant per year from the IRB, if Namibia for exampole use that money to start playing more tests against the nations closeley ranked above and below them. In fact the IRB must set out minumum requirements of how they must be exposed to international competition.
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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:37 pm

I think your last line is the point Biltong. The IRB must lay down to the Tier 1 nations that they must play matches against the likes of Namibia etc outside of the World Cups.
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Post by Biltong Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:43 pm

Ozzy, i think it can work so easily if the IRB says to each test nation that during the four year period in between world cup that each nation has to play x number of team rankied below them.

Then there won't be a "closed shop"
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Post by Ozzy3213 Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:47 pm

Absolutely, but will the IRB have the balls to stand up to the Tier 1 Unions (particularly NZ and Aus) and order them to play the Tier 2 guys.

This would certainly not appeal to Aus who have trouble filling grounds with fans for matches against Tier 1 opposition as it is.
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Post by Biltong Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:48 pm

I am pretty sure the IRB being the one dealing out the money can convince them Wink
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Post by doctornickolas Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:49 pm

I agree with most of what Biltong says here regarding 2 comps of 16.

You could offer an automatic qualification to the team winning the IRB trophy in the same way that happens for the HC.

As for other posts, there is no way on this earth that the 6 Nations teams would agree to only play that tournament every 2 years. In the same way the 3/4 Nations in the SH wouldn't agree to the same with their tournament.

Both are such a massive cash cow and fundamental to the finances of those Unions. Never going to happen.

Also is there any point in adding more international matches for qualification into an already full schedule.


Last edited by doctornickolas on Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:49 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:24 pm

Just to throw in an option 2(c), you have 4 pools of 16, but you follow the Tennis Grand Slam option of having some of the lower-ranked teams playing qualification games immediately before the "main" cup starts. So you could have 12 teams qualified, and the next 8 playing off for the 4th spot in each pool (2 qualification pools of 4 playing off with the top 2 in each going through). That would also give those teams something of a warm-up before they go into the tournament proper.



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Post by Biltong Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:26 pm

kiwi the problem is still then not enough exposure for more teams.
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:27 pm

biltongbek wrote:kiwi the problem is still then not enough exposure for more teams.
True.

How about 2(d) - 6 pools of 4 teams, top qualifier for each goes to the quarters, with the runners-up playing each other for the 2 remaining spots.
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Post by Islingtonv2 Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:48 pm

A competition of 16 will raise the standards of current tier two rugby. Imagine the incentive to improve your team in Romania and Georgia if only one of those teams was allowed a place in the world cup. Competition raises standards, its pure ecomomics. Handing out unwarranted places in world cups to the likes of Romania gives them no motivation or requirement to improve there standards, and the 60-70 point loses they then suffer does them no good.

However TV will never agree to this because it means less games and less advertising opportunities for them.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:58 pm

1. 4 pools of 4 teams, so 16 teams in the tournament, with the top 2 in each pool going through to the quarter finals.

Not keen on option 1 as it will mean that all the teams, bar four, for the 2015 tournament will already be qualified from this RWC.

2(a). 6 pools of 4 teams, so 24 teams in the tournament, with the top team in each pool and the two best runners up going through to the quarter finals.

Not too keen on this option either, as it will most likely end up with some mouthy players moaning on Twitbook that their nation would have been one of the best second place sides if they had been lucky enough to have drawn Namibia as the minnows of their group as opposed to having the USA.

2(b). 6 pools of 4 teams, so 24 teams in the tournament, with the top 2 teams in each pool, and the 4 best 3rd placed teams going through to a knockout round of 16 teams.

I think this is one of the better options as even though it will mean more games, the extra game will involve heigher quality sides, and should be more of a spectical for the fans. Also it will give the Teir 2 nations more to aim for. However it will still have the limitations for option 2(a) where if you have the worst of the minnow you have the best chances.

3. 8 pools of 4 teams, so 32 teams in the tournament, with the top 2 teams in each pool going through to the quarter finals.

Probably the fairest way of ballencing out the shedule, as it should give the lower teir teams more to compete against each other for.
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Post by Biltong Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:08 pm

Kiwireddevil wrote:
biltongbek wrote:kiwi the problem is still then not enough exposure for more teams.
True.

How about 2(d) - 6 pools of 4 teams, top qualifier for each goes to the quarters, with the runners-up playing each other for the 2 remaining spots.

to be honest i have laways hated this idea of having a number of pools that doesn't work out to an exact result. what i mean is if you have six pols then you have 6 winners, and the two "best losers" that go through may not necesarily be the two "best losers". Imagine the poor team that goes into the NZ pool, they have very little chance of making it through.

The other point to consider is if you are going to have 8 teams qualify then the seeding is apportioned in that manner.

1 and 8
2 and 7
3 and 6
4 and 5

That is how they will match up in a pool.

If you have 6 pools then it works like this.

1 and 12
2 and 11
3 and 10
4 and 9
5 and 8
6 and 7

Now replace those pools with current rankings, and you will see the team ranked 12 in this case italy who will have absolutely zero chance of being in the best two losers.

where as if you looked at this RWC they almost did qualify. the other point is the pools will be less comeptitive as well, beacuse countries ranked lwer than 16 all the way to 24 will get much bigger hidings.

I honestly believe having that second tier 16 teams compete will provide for better results, more compeitiveness and a much bigger stage for those teams.
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Rugby World Cup 2015 Scheduling Empty An idea for the next World Cup

Post by ReallyReal Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:06 am

There is no way those in power will shrink the next world cup, so how about expanding it?
Before everyone slams it, just read through my idea.
Four groups of six teams would take the same amount of time to finish the group stages as the current 4 groups of 5, yet would give everyone the same break between matches.

On Monday all 3 group 'A' games could be held, on Tuesday all 3 group 'C' matches etc. then a rest day, on Friday the next round of all 3 group 'A' etc. etc. ie 4 days play, then a rest day.
There would be no bias as every team would play 1 match every 5 days and the groups would still take about 4 weeks to finish, the top 4 from each group would automatically qualify for the next tournament, expansion of the sport would be ensured and the order of matches could be seeded to ensure (though nothing is certain) that the last couple of games in each group were the BIG ones.

Each group would be evenly seeded with 'pot 1' Australia, NZ, SA and Argentina in A, B, C, D, 'pot 2' England, France, Ireland, Wales (or whoever the 4 strongest Europeans are) in A, B, C, D, the next 4 strongest Europeans in 'pot 3', 'pot 4' being the 4 best pacific nations and everyone playing off for the other 8 places, other ideas for this seeding may be better but at least it would ensure that every group would contain a top European country, a top Southern hemisphere country, a pacific nation and an even mix of the rest.

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Post by Ozzy3213 Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:08 am

I'm going to merge this with the existing thread on the next World Cup. OK
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Post by ReallyReal Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:11 am

OOPS I didn't notice this thread thumbsup for moving my post.

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:11 am

ReallyReal - the problem with that is the TV scheduling, and the hosts fans will not be best pleased with having to see their team playing midweek etc.
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Post by ReallyReal Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:20 am

I understand concerns about tv scheduling, but back-to-back-to-back games fit all schedules and I think that giving every nation a level playing field (pardon the pun) with regards to breaks between matches is far more important, especially after Fuimaono-Sapolus rather misguided even if truthful at heart comments.
As for the fans of the home nation, I'd expect them to turn out in high numbers even if the games started at 1am on a Wednesday, not that I'm advocating that kind of schedule Wink .

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Post by ScarletSpiderman Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:26 am

ReallyReal - What i meant is, using this RWC as an example, people have had to either take a day off work, record, or miss the matches their nation has played midweek, as they fall during the normal working hours. Fortunately it is only the odd match here or there. If the RWC were structured the way that you suggested then it would mean that more time would have to be taken off work.

I appreciate that Eliota had his reasons for his outburst about the scheduling, but he then had an outburst after the SA game too. I have a feeling that even if the matches were on the same day he would have moaned that Samoa played third on week one, and then first on week two, meaning they had lets rest time.
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Post by sportform Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:01 am

biltongbek wrote:I honestly believe having that second tier 16 teams compete will provide for better results, more compeitiveness and a much bigger stage for those teams.

The probably is the smaller nations don't get to play the bigger nations enough. Take away the world cup and the games are sparse. If you had proper qualifying tournaments for all teams then the smaller nations will play the bigger nations more often, home and away. The extra income/ revenue they get for these games will help them develop the sport in their country.

Imagine a European qualifying group like England, Wales, Russia, Spain.

Now Russia and Spain will have four more games against bigger nations including having England and Wales play in their country. This will boost interest in the sport and revenues through gate receipt, merchandise, television rights which can then invest in in rugby in their country.
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Post by sportform Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:09 am

biltongbek wrote:My idea of this would be to break the RWC down into two groups of 16. To be held at the same time as the primary group of 16, the secondary group can play during the midweek and the primary group during the weekends.

I'm not sure there would a good enough interested in who is the 17th best team in the world. The smaller teams need to play the bigger teams more, not less.
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Post by sportform Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:40 am

doctornickolas wrote:
Also is there any point in adding more international matches for qualification into an already full schedule.

The trouble is most of the international matches outside the world cup are between 10 nations. This needs splitting up.

Do England really need to play Australia, South Africa & New Zealand every year? Did England really need to play Wales (twice) and Ireland in friendlies before the World Cup? With better planning they perhaps could have played something like Canada at Twickenham and then Samoa and Australia in Australia before the RWC.

Here are England's 'friendlies' in recent years

2011 Wales (twice) & Ireland
2010 Australia (three times), New Zealand, Australia, South Africa & Samoa
2009 Argentina (three times), Australia & New Zealand
2008 New Zealand (three times), Australia, South Africa & Pacific Islands (?)
2007 France (twice), South Africa (twice) & Wales

Now surely you don't need to play the same teams multiple times in one year? That would free up nine fixtures straight away. England played 6N teams six times in RWC warm up games in 2007 & 2011 (combined). Do they really need to play Wales, France & Ireland outside the 6N & RWC?

That would be 15 games over 5 years that could be freed up for England to play other nations such as Canada, Georgia, Tonga, Fiji, Japan etc. (Away games would be better from a smaller nations perspective).

In 5 years England have only played one game, outside the RWC, against a non 'big 10' team and 49 games against the 'big 10' teams

If the IRB wants to spread the game and have a far more competitive RWC then the 'closed shop' needs to be broken up.
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