Olympics 2018: Too Clever By Half


Environment. Pyeongchang-gun. Slovakia – Egypt – 3:2. 49th minute. Just Peter KERESNEK scored the winning goal. Photo: Reuters

What’s wrong with the format of the hockey tournament of the Olympics.

Modern Olympic hockey tournament is not only a hell of a race in six or seven games in twelve days. It is also probably the weirdest format ever been at major international competitions in this sport. Not believe? Remember history
:

One thousand nine hundred twenty – 7 teams from the quarter-finals, one team started from semi-finals;

One thousand nine hundred twenty four – 8 teams, two groups with 4 teams, the top two are in the final group (4 teams);

One thousand nine hundred twenty eight – 11 teams, three groups of 3-4 teams, four best teams are in the final group.

One thousand nine hundred thirty two – 4 teams, round-Robin tournament;

One thousand nine hundred thirty six 15 teams, four groups of 3-4 teams, the top two advance to the second group stage (8 teams), and then the top two go to the final group (4 teams);

One thousand nine hundred forty eight, One thousand nine hundred fifty two – 9 teams, round-Robin tournament;

One thousand nine hundred fifty six 10 teams, three groups of 3-4 teams, the top two are in the final group (6 teams);

One thousand nine hundred sixty – 9 teams, three groups of 3 teams, the top two are in the final group (6 teams);

One thousand nine hundred sixty four, One thousand nine hundred sixty eight, One thousand nine hundred seventy two, One thousand nine hundred seventy six – 6 or 8 teams, round-Robin tournament;

One thousand nine hundred eighty, One thousand nine hundred eighty four – 12 teams, two groups of 6 teams, top two go to the final group (4 teams);

One thousand nine hundred eighty eight – 12 teams, two groups of 6 teams, the top three are in the final group (6 teams);

One thousand nine hundred ninety two, One thousand nine hundred ninety four – 12 teams, two groups of 6 teams, top four teams go the quarter-finals;

One thousand nine hundred ninety eight, Two thousand two – 14 teams, preliminary round two groups of 4 teams, the best of each group go to the final round where two groups of 4 teams. All 8 teams into the quarterfinals;

Two thousand six – 12 teams, two groups of 6 teams, top four teams go the quarter-finals.

For almost the centenary history of the IOC was imagining almost all possible formats: with the playoffs and without, with one, two and three group stages, with the preliminary round. More than three-four tournaments, the same option was not delayed. But before Vancouver was invented something new – the revolutionary, but not in a good way.

The number of teams in the final tournament remains the same: twelve. But instead of a simple and clear “two six” and the quarter-finals appeared a different format. Now groups two and three each played for four teams. An odd number of quartets does not allow the usual way to organize the mesh of the playoffs, so the IOC went the other way.

After the traditional group stage is the “seed” of all 12 teams. The criteria for seeding are as follows: in the group, the number of points, difference in goals. Thus, the group winners will get numbers from first to third, second place, from fourth to sixth, and so on. A grid is built on the Cup part.

The first four numbers of “seed” (the group winners plus the best second team) directly into the quarterfinals, all the other eight teams (Yes, nobody!) play in the 1/8 finals. Mesh of the quarter-finals looks like this (the numbers of “seeding”): 1 – 8/9, 2 – 7/10, 3 – 6/11, 4 – 5/12. In the semi-finals will play the winners of the first and fourth pairs. On closer examination format is not so confusing, but to the public, which is not something that hockey, and sports watches every two years during the Olympics, it seems to be shit-kicking.

Why to invent a Bicycle? And was it worth it?

On closer examination format is not so confusing, but to the public, which is not something that hockey, and sports watches every two years during the Olympics, it seems to be shit-kicking. Why to invent a Bicycle? And was it worth it?

There is only one plus of the new format: the unpredictability that kills (though not always) the ability to chose their opponent for the playoffs. We will remember 2006. Then before the last two matches of the first round, which took place at the same time, the Swedes were able to take their group in second or third place. The first option is deduced in the quarterfinals to Canada, the second in Switzerland. The Swedes, without thinking twice, “gave” the game of Slovakia (0:3, the difference shots 17-31) – and then after a light start to the playoffs became Olympic Champions. Now, when the grid may change after each new result, the chance to cheat and not to miss became smaller.

But this dubious advantage only. The obvious negative aspect of this format, the complete absence of the factor “knockout game” in the first part of the tournament. The fight for the quarterfinals is probably interesting, but for the top teams almost never a problem to play an extra match with the outsider.

And what to do by outsiders? Play at your pleasure. To get into the top four is virtually impossible, and constantly changing mesh does not guarantee that even having won one victory in the group, the team will not receive the qualification of the conditional in Finland or Sweden.

Yes, at the Olympics we will see as many as 12 matches of the playoffs (which is great), but first, in the best case half of them will not end an easy win for the favorite, and secondly, the value of the group stage is almost completely killed. Before Vancouver the IOC just too clever by half.

Paul KLIMOVITSKY, sport express

Group B

SLOVAKIA – EGYPT – 3:2 (2:2, 0:0, 1:0)

Naked: Gavrikov – 1 (Voynov, Shirokov), 2:54 – 0:1. Whims – 1 (Gusev), 4:08 – 0:2. Olecki – 1 (Granak), 16:05 – 1:2. Bakosh – 1, 17:55 – 2:2. Ceresna – 1 (Bal., Hascak, Bakosh), 48:30 – 3:2.

Goalkeepers: Konrad – Koshechkin (58:49 – 59:00, 59:06).

Throws: 19 (4+8+7) – 22 (8+9+5).

Fine: 12 – 10.

Judiciary: Iverson (Canada), Rantala (Finland).

14 Feb. Pyeongchang-gun. LA “Gangneung-si”. 4025 viewers.

USA – SLOVENIA – 2:3 (1:0, 1:0, 0:2, 0:1)

Naked: O’neill – 1 (Roy, Donato), 17:44 – 1:0. Greenway – 1 (O’neill, Sanguinetti), 32:57 – 2:0. Urbas – 1 (Gregorc, Vidmar), 45:49 – 2:1. Murschak – 1 (Gregorc, W├Ârlitz), 58:23 – 2:2. Murschak – 2 (Ticar, Urbas), 60:38 – 2:3.

Goalkeepers: Zapolski – Crosell.

Throws: 36 (11+13+12+0) – 25 (3+9+11+2).

Fine: 6 – 6.

Judiciary: Grzybek (Czech Republic), Salonen (Finland).

14 Feb. Pyeongchang-gun. LA “Quandon”. 3348 spectators.

Remained match. February 16: USA – Slovakia, the United Arab Republic – Slovenia. 17 Feb: UAR – USA, Slovenia – Slovakia.

Group A

February 15: Czech Republic – Korea, Switzerland, Canada. February 17: Canada – Czech Republic, Korea and Switzerland. February 18: Canada – Korea, Czech Republic and Switzerland.

Group C

February 15: Finland – Germany, Norway – Sweden. February 16: Finland – Norway, Sweden – Germany. 18 Feb. Germany – Norway, Sweden – Finladia.

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