Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What's the UK Tour all about?

I've been asked a few times what this UK tour is all about. Open and Women's Tour 2 took place this weekend in Cardiff. The results are here.

Pictured Above: Clapham's cooldown run at Tour 2 after winning over Chevron.

In many sport leagues, the concept of relegation and promotion are used to move teams up and down between levels of competition. One of the advantages is that teams at the bottom are competing to stay up instead of tanking it for a high draft pick.

In many North American leagues, the choice is to maintain a set number of teams in a league and use a drafting system and sometimes a salary capping system to maintain similar competition levels between teams.

The Ultimate UK Tour is a series of tournaments that act like little mini seasons where teams are promoted and relegated to the A, B, and C Tour from Tour event to Tour event. EAch team is allocated so many points depending on their final standing at each Tour event. At the end of the Tour, the team with the most allocated points is crowned the season champion.

The tour events are followed by a UK Nationals. This Nationals is like a Cup event similar to Football's (European) Champions League, or in this case, it is more like the FA cup where the top 32 UK teams (regardless of what Tour level they are at) has a chance to win it all in a 32 team bracket. Next, the European championship sets the top teams from the UK and elsewhere in a European Championship for winner takes all.

It's an interesting format to play in that is made possible by the small size of the country and the closeness to many other countries. In the Tour events, you do see the same teams repeatedly, simply because you are tightly matched to your competitive level, but I think that's a good thing.