Sunday 5 April 2020

Coronaplague and sporting integrity

I want to take a brief second out of this ongoing sim to have a quick mention for a situation that's occurred to me earlier today. It's to do with the World Matchplay. Now at the moment, that's still scheduled to run as planned in late July - let's suppose for a moment that coronaplague dies down to the level where the event can run, even if it's behind closed doors. This creates a bit of a problem - players will have had the expectation that they'd have, per the original schedule, something between 18 and 20 Pro Tour events and ten European Tour events counting towards the Pro Tour rankings.

This is a problem in that there's no real way they can reschedule everything that should have been played before the Matchplay before the Matchplay - they've already shifted two of the three cancelled European Tours to after the Matchplay's scheduled to be held, and there's six Pro Tours that have been cancelled and yet to be rescheduled, either because they should have been held already, or they have been shifted back by a moved European Tour landing in the weekend it should have been held. This problem's likely going to get worse before it gets better, I see no realistic way that they can hold Austria and Hungary early next month, so the only real question is what can they do about this?

There's a couple of options. The most sensible thing to do would be to push the Matchplay back. I think they have to cancel the Champions League and have the Matchplay finish on that weekend. You'd have to cancel the Queensland exbo, and shift the Pro Tour events that were on that weekend, but the former's unranked collateral damage and the latter can be moved forward a week to when they're in New Zealand and there's nothing domestically.

The other option is that they have to stack stack stack the schedule once they're actually able to play. They can either try to book out Barnsley for a whole week and play catch up, or shift some of the Challenge Tour to a future date and use the fact that they can fit 32 boards to accelerate the Pro Tour events by doing so. No idea if they can do this in Barnsley, in which case they've got to probably think about doing this as well. You're probably going to need to use the weekends for the European Tour, so having things midweek more than they are at the moment is probably a necessity.

The point is that you don't want to fuck over players that have had a decent start to this season by shifting too many events after the Matchplay that would have counted towards qualification that otherwise won't. It's a tricky one, no doubt, but they've got to be careful about this.

As an aside, how the hell, given the nature of the event, is the World Cup still scheduled? Can they cancel that already so I can get a refund?

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