fifa world cup 2022 round robin fixtures

We just had an amazing FIFA world cup 2022, which was conducted in the league cum knockout format. Let us see why this tournament format has become the most popular format for all levels of sports events from grass roots to premium events like the world cup.

First, what is a league cum knockout (for the really naive sports fan)?

In this format teams are divided into various groups of ideally 3 or 4. Each team plays with the other teams within the same group. This stage is called the league or round robin stage. The overall winner (or winners) from each group will proceed to the next stage of the tournament. There will usually be groups of 2,4,8,16 etc.. so that the winners from the knockout stage will come in powers (exponents of 2), and they will easily fit into what is called a ‘bracket’ in the knockout stage. The knockout stage will progressively reduce to 4 semifinalists and 2 finalists.

So why is league cum knockout a better format?

Player point of view:

  • There are at least a few matches to play: Let us say the player or team had a bad day and lost the very first match. If the tournament were a straight knockout elimination format, then its all over for the poor team or player.
  • It gives them an opportunity to know the competition better: During the league stages, the teams or players get to know their opponents and their own strengths and weaknesses during the league matches. It gives them an opportunity to experiment and improve at later stages of the tournament

Audience/Sponsor point of view:

  • More engagement and excitement: There is more engagement and excitement when their favourite teams/players take on challenge after challenge. The audience are anticipating how their team is going to get better with each game.
  • More sponsor time: If it were a one or two day event, there is only a little window that the sponsors get. In league cum knockout format, the sponsors have more time to showcase their offerings.

Organizer’s point of view:

  • Tournament complexity: Actually the tournament complexity is increased for the organizer and is more effort to manage than a pure knockout tournament. However, with the advent of seamless tournament management systems like What’s Score, the organizer’s job is made easy with just a few clicks of the mouse.
  • Increased cost of organizing: Obviously due to longer duration, organizer’s have to consider more costs towards court time, referee time and other arrangement expenses. However, this additional cost might be justified with more players, audience and sponsors preferring to participate in league cum knockout events.

League cum knockout in What’s Score

In What’s Score the organizer simply needs to add two stages of the tournament. The first stage will be labelled as a ‘Round Robin’ and the organizer will create multiple groups and arrange the teams into various groups. The second stage is labelled as ‘Knockout’ and the organizer will select the winner(s) from each group and drop them into the knockout. All this in just a few mouse clicks!

Reach out to us and book a FREE demo if you want help in setting up a league cum knockout tournament.