At the IDMMRD last weekend we ran into a problem Saturday-evening we had not anticipated. Actually one of the teams asked questions about it.
Let me explain; The event was to be held with twelve teams, but at the very latest possible moments, one of the teams had to cancel due to family circumstances. Only eleven teams and a format for a two grouped round robin with six teams each. The RC decided - after he spoke about this to umpire team - to go ahead and give the five teams in group two a scoring against the one who didn't attend. They would have a win each.
For all intense and purposes we thought that would be no problem, and it wasn't for the winners. But it became a problem for teams sailing for places 7 to 11. In order to let each pair sail of for place 7 or 8, 9 or 10, and 11 or 12, the teams were placed in an order according to their result in the round robin.
Team X in group two was placed fifth with one point against the not attending team and Team Y in group one was placed sixth with one point against another sailing team. Therefore Team X was placed 10th and Team Y 11th.
" Surely it is not fair to be placed lower then a team who hasn't "earned" points against a competitor who was attending" :One of the teams asked us Saturday evening.....
Good point. But what to do about it? The round robins were sailed, we didn't want to upset the whole shooting match, we had sailed for places in the quarter finals and all....
Leif (CU) came up with a good solution. Instead of sailing for individual places (7 or 8, 9 or 10 etc) we would complete the round robin between the five competing teams. They would be scored with only those points they had sailed in the first round robin against the others in that group of five and would only sail against the team in the other group. Thus completing a round robin. That meant 6 matches (instead of 3) but we had perfect weather and we had time to do it.
Perfect! Also because the imbalance of sailing one less match in group 2 was fixed as well. Group 2 Teams had to sail three times each, Group 1 teams twice.
You can argue that only the winner is important, but for Match Racing each point you can get to add to your ranking, is a point. And they all felt they rather sail for it then be scored based on not attending teams.
All in all a good lesson in format. Oh, and in the discussions surrounding this, I also learned most teams prefer to sail a full round robin then go to quarter finals, semi finals etc...