Previously, the GoobNet Agency for Reintroducing Relegation to Recreational Game Hierarchies has assisted Major League Soccer, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, and even the National Collegiate Athletic Association reorganise their sporting competitions into more reasonable formats that include promotion of the best teams into higher divisions and relegation of the worst teams into lower divisions. Today we face our greatest challenge yet.
That’s right: curling.
The Men’s and Women’s World Curling Tours are annual serieses of curling bonspiels held in autumn and winter. Purses can be as high as CA$100,000 for the four Grand Slam events [World Cup, Canadian Open, National, Players Championship for men; Curlers Corner Classic, Women’s Curling Classic, Players Championship for women]. However, teams are not arranged into divisions; the competition is basically a free for all. Luckily, we can fix that.
Under the GoobNet Agency for Reintroducing Relegation to Recreational Game Hierarchies’ plan, next season is a transitional year. The current rules remain, and at the end of the season, all teams that are registered with the World Curling Tour are allocated to a division.
The World Curling Tour currently shows 625 registered men’s teams and 363 registered women’s teams in its Order of Merit tables. Assuming the total number of participants does not change significantly within the next year, we will thus arrange the men’s teams into four divisions and the women’s into two.
Each division is comprised of 128 teams, save for the lowest division for each gender that will have all remaining teams. Teams are assigned to divisions based on their Order of Merit placements, so that teams ranked first to 128th join the First Division, teams 129th to 256th join the Second Division, and so on.
Starting with the 2013-4 season, most bonspiels will be open only to teams from a particular division, and the Grand Slam events will be open only to First Division teams. But some bonspiels may choose to invite teams from multiple divisions. This gives the lower division teams the opportunity to advance up the table quickly, as the event’s strength of field multiplier will be much higher than in their normal competitions.
At the start of the following season, promotion and relegation bonspiels will be held with the bottom twelve teams in each division and the top twelve teams in the next lower division based upon the previous season’s results. These will be round robin events in pools that each contain three teams from the higher division and three from the lower. The top three teams in each pool will play in the higher division in the new season, and the bottom three teams will play in the lower division. These bonspiels will be held before any other World Curling Tour events.
As teams join or leave the tour, the divisions adjust accordingly. New teams enter in the lowest division. For each team that declines to reregister for the new season, the top team in the next lower division is promoted automatically. Thus, for instance, if five teams from the First Division exit, the top five teams in the Second Division earn promotion automatically, and the teams ranked sixth through seventeenth compete in the Second Division promotion bonspiel.
Thus, all divisions contain 128 teams with the exception of the lowest division, which will always contain between 128 and 256 teams. If membership falls below 128 teams, it will be merged with the next higher division; if it expands above 256 teams, the top 128 teams will remain, and a new division will be formed underneath it for the remaining teams.
The World Curling Tour will not be permitted to give the divisions names that do not correspond to their position within the ladder. We normally ban the attachment of sponsors’ names to the divisions, but seeing as how the World Curling Tour itself has a sponsor’s name attached, that stone has already entered the house.
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