Create league system to qualify for knockout tournament
Comments about this discussion:
Normally the tournament is structured so we start with a group stage and then move on to a knockout stage. During this years unicon the competition was split in 3 leagues played on 3 different days. For the two teams I was leading the main consideration about which day to play was around how it would fit with other competitions, not which day would have the right level of play for us. At the same time playing 2x10 minutes in preliminary rounds means some games end up with one team being 10 goals ahead of the other which is not fun for either team.
I would propose making a league system like in the German league, where teams can sign up for a day (or multiple days) they want to play and be matched with teams around their level. Based on how teams match up individually the best 8 or 16 teams can be selected for a knockout tournament in the end.
I'm thinking that for events where there's a lot of overlap between competitions this can allow a bit more flexibility for teams to choose when they want to play as well as allow teams to mostly meet other teams around their level. It's a bit sad when there's too much of a difference between teams.
This isn't really a discussion for rulebook committee as it is a discussion about tournament draws which we don't enforce as it's too dependent on time available/number of teams etc however I am keen for discussion on the subjecy for any future hockey directors to take part in.
I think we definitely have an issue with teams not being pooled correctly. I honestly think that could largely be fixed by having each team send a 5 minute video to the tournament director of the team playing (surely one person from each team can handle a phone and YouTube/Google drive upload). For most tournament directors looking at even 2 minutes of footage would have been enough to grade teams more effectively for a tournament (does the team only consist of 7 year old kids? Do they all chase the ball? Do they have any passing or trapping skills etc).
I think correct seeding of the solves almost every issue.
I'm not sure if a seeding tournament could work. Unicon 18 in Spain had 45 teams, we had to run pools in the B tournament Because it's impossible to have everyone play each other. So if you had a seeding tournament you'd still end up guessing which teams were better for each pool.
I think a feasible option would be to start hockey round robins 2 days before unicon opening ceremony and only put finals and semis during the regular period. And perhaps just hire the hall for other days throughout the two weeks for scratch games. The way you don't have to worry about having hockey clash with your other events, people can play more hockey throughout the rest of the 2 weeks (want a match up with a team that wasn't in your pool? no problem) and it makes it more attractive for serious hockey players who only want to play to turn up to unicon.
Unicon Spain had 45 teams x 5 players x $300 unicon registration = $67,500. We should be able to afford extra hall hire.
Probably true. I can say for my teams that unicon was the first time we played together as those teams and that's how we typically do it – sending a video would be hard for us. Renting the gym for longer would solve the issue of teams having enough time to play.
If there was a league system that would calculate an elo score, not all teams would have to play each other (that's the German system). Depending on how the competition would be run you would just go down to the gym and register to play and play some teams that would be roughly similar in level. It should probably be a new set of rules and it would require some software to keep track of how everyone is doing.
There would be a bunch of stuff to look at – like, how many games would you have to play to qualify, is there a limit to how many games a team should be able to play, how would we deal with it if no team plays multiple days (so the level could be normalized across game days), etc. It would however also allow the teams who're just there for hockey to play a lot more games :D
As far as I was aware the Australian league was modeled off the German system but in terms of how the Australian league works I cant think of how it would work for a pre-seeding competition at unicon unless we already knew how good each team was, which comes back to the original problem of not knowing how good each team is.
I'd need to see a working example of how this works as at the moment even not playing each team having 45 teams in unicon I am unsure of how we could feasibly run an entire pre-seeding comp AND a knockout comp.
I think this would be pretty difficult to enforce.
Magnus, I'm unsure how your proposal would work during a Unicon, as there are many time constraints, individuals participating in many different events etc. As Steve mentioned, tournament rules aren't a topic of the IUF Rulebook (as long as it, of course, meets the requirements). Time and structure of a tournament are not universal, as one Unicon may have a different amount of total time/teams to another; therefore, we leave it to the Hockey Director of the tournament to choose whichever best fits.
However, I do think we should have some form of structure that a Hockey Director should follow for a Unicon. E.g. how teams are pooled into groups - I believe this should be done at random, either with a random 'team' generator, or a draw at the start of a Unicon. Teams should not be able to choose which group they play against in their league.
I wasn't at the Unicon in South Korea; however, the league system at a Unicon is always based on difficulty. With the 'A-League' being the hardest league (whoever wins this, wins overall), the 'B-League' being the league for the teams who aren't at the quality of the 'A-League', meaning if you win the 'B-League', you come overall one place behind the placing of the team who placed last in the 'A-League', and the other leagues progressively decreasing in difficulty for the teams. As registering a team for a league stands, it is assumed the team have some previous knowledge on the difficulty of each league and place themselves/the Hockey Director places them appropriately. As discussed above, this issue should be addressed.
In my opinion, adjusting the times of a hockey competition outside of the typical Unicon structure would not agree with many people. I know a lot of people already have issues booking holiday. As Steve proposed, a video may work. If a team is playing together for the first time at a Unicon, they should not be in the A-League and are assumed to be less experienced/playing for fun. In this case, they are usually placed in a lower league.