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International Tournaments Discuss international tournaments such as the World Juniors, Olympic hockey, and Ice Hockey World Championships, as they take place; or discuss past tournaments.

What do you think of 2010 Olympic format?

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Old
10-17-2009, 12:14 AM
  #1
Czech Your Math
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What do you think of 2010 Olympic format?

Looks like a strange format to me for next year's Olympics:

Three groups of four, instead of two groups of six

Group A- Canada, USA, Swiss, Norway
Group B- Russia, Czech, Slovakia, Latvia
Group C- Sweden, Finland, Belarus, Germany

Each team plays the other three teams in its group during the preliminary round. After this round, all teams are ranked/seeded and the top four finishers are given a bye into the quarterfinal round.

The remaining eight teams (#5-12) play in the qualification round (one game each) to get into the quarterfinals. The match-ups are determined by ranking (5 vs. 12, 6 vs. 11, 7 vs. 10, 8 vs. 9).

Once the qualification "round" is over, the quarterfinals are determined (#1 team vs. 8/9 winner, #2 vs. 7/10 winner, etc.).

This seems a rather odd format, compared to previous Olympics or the IIHF World Championships.

I don't like the change, because:

- Three games is not enough to properly rank 12 teams.
- Fans will miss a lot of potentially good games.
- The qualification round is the day before the quarterfinals, so the four teams with byes will have two days off, while the winners of qualification games will have games on consecutive days.

This is a really weak format and I'm not sure why it was changed from previous Olympics, unless they had less time to play the games. Might as well just watch the last day of qualification (each group's #1 and #2 team play each other), then the almost randomly matched qualification round, and finally the "regular" playoff format starting with quarterfinals.

This stinks so bad, Bettman must have come up with it!


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10-17-2009, 10:26 AM
  #2
rananda
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i agree, it's a terrible format and i have no idea what the iihf is thinking. also, only being able to take 23 players and no substitutions is insane. basically, the team that is lucky enough not to have any injuries will win. can you imagine a gold medal game where one of the teams is playing with 10 forwards or 5 defensemen? silly.

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10-18-2009, 07:30 AM
  #3
Mr Kanadensisk
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While this is still not the ideal format for me, it is a HUGE improvement over the format they have used in previous OG. The challenge the IIHF faces is in a two week period to maximize the number of meaningful games.

The first thing we have to acknowledge is that despite decades of trying to grow the game, there is still an enormous drop off in player talent between the top 6 or 7 teams and the rest of the world. There is always a chance a Belarus or Switzerland will catch a top team sleeping at the wheel, but for the most part I think people like to see the top teams playing head to head.

With the old system the preliminary round was nothing more than glorified exhibition games for the top six teams. At least now the preliminary round is shorter and the bye to the QF gives the games some meaning.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I don't like the change, because:

- Three games is not enough to properly rank 12 teams.
In the old system only the top 8 moved on, so ranking 9-12 didn't mean much anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I don't like the change, because:

- Fans will miss a lot of potentially good games.
In the old system each team played a minimum of 5 games and a maximum of 8, with this format the min is 4 and the max is 8, so it is not that different. Also now virtually all 8 games are meaningful, whereas before only 3 were.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
I don't like the change, because:

- The qualification round is the day before the quarterfinals, so the four teams with byes will have two days off, while the winners of qualification games will have games on consecutive days.
IMO this is more impactive than QF seeding, just one more reason why the preliminary games are now more meaningful.

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10-18-2009, 08:10 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
In the old system each team played a minimum of 5 games and a maximum of 8, with this format the min is 4 and the max is 8, so it is not that different. Also now virtually all 8 games are meaningful, whereas before only 3 were.
Not that I disagree entirely, but this point is just wrong
In the old format, you had to win games to make it to the next round, so you can't just say that only 3 games were meaningful.

It may not have been easy for the big teams to not make it to the next round, but they still had to deliver in atleast two or three games of the preliminary round.

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10-18-2009, 08:21 AM
  #5
Mr Kanadensisk
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanderson View Post
Not that I disagree entirely, but this point is just wrong
In the old format, you had to win games to make it to the next round, so you can't just say that only 3 games were meaningful.

It may not have been easy for the big teams to not make it to the next round, but they still had to deliver in atleast two or three games of the preliminary round.
In the last OG the US made it to the QF round with a record of 1 - 3 - 1.

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10-18-2009, 01:09 PM
  #6
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The format sucks. The worst part is that everybody goes through after the meaningless 1st round.

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10-18-2009, 01:37 PM
  #7
Mr Kanadensisk
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I'm sure everyone's dream format will be different, here's mine.

-8 team tournament
-preliminary round, each team plays each other once
-top four teams qualify for semi finals
-bronze awarded to SF loser who finished highest in prelim round
-SF winners play for gold

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has their own version that could fit in the 2 week OG..

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10-18-2009, 06:15 PM
  #8
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The thing that pisses me off the most is the "23-men-no-substitutions" rule. That is just crazy.

As for the format, I don't mind it that much.

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10-18-2009, 07:08 PM
  #9
Mr Kanadensisk
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
The thing that pisses me off the most is the "23-men-no-substitutions" rule. That is just crazy.
Agreed, if anything I would do completely the opposite, unlimited substitutions. As long as the guys are eligible then who cares what players suit up for their country. Some countries may want to adjust their line ups depending on who they are playing.

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10-18-2009, 07:16 PM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I'm sure everyone's dream format will be different, here's mine.

-8 team tournament
-preliminary round, each team plays each other once
-top four teams qualify for semi finals
-bronze awarded to SF loser who finished highest in prelim round
-SF winners play for gold

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has their own version that could fit in the 2 week OG..

with only 8 teams, how would the qualifications for olympic hockey tournament go? as far as who can compete and who cant?

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10-19-2009, 01:11 AM
  #11
Alessandro Seren Rosso
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I'm sure everyone's dream format will be different, here's mine.

-8 team tournament
-preliminary round, each team plays each other once
-top four teams qualify for semi finals
-bronze awarded to SF loser who finished highest in prelim round
-SF winners play for gold

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has their own version that could fit in the 2 week OG..
An olympic medal awarded without a competition? For the god's love...

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10-19-2009, 03:57 AM
  #12
stv11
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Stupid format, what's the point of having a round robin if every single team goes to the playoffs? The 2006 format was perfect for such a tournament, a meaningful first round and then the playoff teams were treated equally, no bye even for the top seeds.

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10-19-2009, 04:48 AM
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xunearthhxcx View Post
with only 8 teams, how would the qualifications for olympic hockey tournament go? as far as who can compete and who cant?
The top six spots based on IIHF ranking and I would hold a qualification tournament in the summer before the OG to determine the 7th and 8th spot.

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10-19-2009, 04:53 AM
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessandro Seren Rosso View Post
An olympic medal awarded without a competition? For the god's love...
But there is competition, it makes doing well in the preliminaries all that more important. I'll never understand the point of calling back two losers to have one last game to see who is third best, you certainly don't see any leagues doing that. Personally I could care less about who finishes 3rd or 2nd, either you win or you don't. I can kind of see giving the top three finishers in a race a medal, but the idea of a bronze medal game is ridiculous.


Last edited by Mr Kanadensisk: 10-19-2009 at 04:59 AM.
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10-20-2009, 02:27 AM
  #15
Czech Your Math
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I'm sure everyone's dream format will be different, here's mine.

-8 team tournament
-preliminary round, each team plays each other once
-top four teams qualify for semi finals
-bronze awarded to SF loser who finished highest in prelim round
-SF winners play for gold

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has their own version that could fit in the 2 week OG..
The previous format of two groups of six, with eight teams going to the playoff round seemed about as balance and fair as possible given time constraints.

What about something similar to the World Championships? Four groups of four, with the groups combined into two groups for the next round, except keeping the top two in each group instead of top three:

First round- Groups A/B/C/D, four teams each, three games each

Second round- Group E (A1,A2,B1,B2) and Group F (C1,C2,D1,D2), each play two more games against new teams in their group

QF- E1 vs. F4, E2 vs. F3, etc.

This would take sixteen days without having any back to back games, which might require them to start a day or two early, as I believe hockey has in past Olympics?

If you like rewarding top teams with byes, then I could see this working:

Two groups of five teams each, four prelim games.

Top team in each group gets a bye into the SF. Second and third teams play each other in QF. (SF= 1A vs. 2B/3A winner, 1B vs. 2A/3B winner).

Finally, saying that the bronze medal game should not be played, because it is meaningless... that is just so wrong in every way!


Last edited by Czech Your Math: 10-20-2009 at 02:34 AM. Reason: bronze game
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10-20-2009, 04:11 AM
  #16
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Originally Posted by stv11 View Post
Stupid format, what's the point of having a round robin if every single team goes to the playoffs? The 2006 format was perfect for such a tournament, a meaningful first round and then the playoff teams were treated equally, no bye even for the top seeds.
Yes, 2006 format was the best. Except I'd cut it down from 12 total teams to 10 (2 groups of five). I thought 8 games in 12 days might have been too much hockey in too short of time for optimal performance. Of course you want to see what teams can 'gut it out' but you also want them playing at their best.

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10-20-2009, 06:51 AM
  #17
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
This would take sixteen days without having any back to back games, which might require them to start a day or two early, as I believe hockey has in past Olympics?
The Games last 16 days.

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10-20-2009, 03:38 PM
  #18
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
But there is competition, it makes doing well in the preliminaries all that more important. I'll never understand the point of calling back two losers to have one last game to see who is third best, you certainly don't see any leagues doing that. Personally I could care less about who finishes 3rd or 2nd, either you win or you don't. I can kind of see giving the top three finishers in a race a medal, but the idea of a bronze medal game is ridiculous.
How Canadian. Wait, I distinctly remember Shanahan expressing his regret about losing the bronze medal game in Nagano and saying "In retrospect, any medal is better than no medal at all." So maybe it's not so "Canadian" after all.

I'm all for keeping the bronze medal game. Nothing ridiculous about it. What is ridiculous is your idea of just 8 teams participating. If that was the case, we would have never seen the 21st Century's "Miracle on Ice" (Belarus beating Sweden). Or Switzerland beating Canada for that matter.

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10-20-2009, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
Finally, saying that the bronze medal game should not be played, because it is meaningless... that is just so wrong in every way!
Whatever. I'll watch it, like I always have.

And to all those fans of the 2006 format: remember who won gold? The team that DELIBERATELY lost in the first round.

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10-20-2009, 06:14 PM
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Whatever. I'll watch it, like I always have.
Perhaps it wasn't clear that I see no point in eliminating the bronze medal game, only Kanadensisk wanted to do so.

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10-20-2009, 09:54 PM
  #21
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Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
How Canadian. Wait, I distinctly remember Shanahan expressing his regret about losing the bronze medal game in Nagano and saying "In retrospect, any medal is better than no medal at all." So maybe it's not so "Canadian" after all.
I don't think I'm alone in saying that most North Americans could care less about the bronze medal game, including the players. I hope that on an intellectual level you would realize that once you start rewarding the losers it's completely arbitrary where you stop. Maybe it would be nice if they made brass and aluminum medals for the 4th and 5th place team, then less people would go home with their feelings hurt. But hey, if third place floats your boat...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sentinel View Post
I'm all for keeping the bronze medal game. Nothing ridiculous about it. What is ridiculous is your idea of just 8 teams participating. If that was the case, we would have never seen the 21st Century's "Miracle on Ice" (Belarus beating Sweden). Or Switzerland beating Canada for that matter.
And thanks to Sweden falling asleep in the QF fans were rewarded with thrilling SF and bronze medal games involving the powerhouse Belarusians. Let's face it, less teams means better quality hockey.


Last edited by Mr Kanadensisk: 10-20-2009 at 10:57 PM.
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10-20-2009, 10:12 PM
  #22
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Originally Posted by Czech Your Math View Post
The previous format of two groups of six, with eight teams going to the playoff round seemed about as balance and fair as possible given time constraints.

What about something similar to the World Championships? Four groups of four, with the groups combined into two groups for the next round, except keeping the top two in each group instead of top three:

First round- Groups A/B/C/D, four teams each, three games each

Second round- Group E (A1,A2,B1,B2) and Group F (C1,C2,D1,D2), each play two more games against new teams in their group

QF- E1 vs. F4, E2 vs. F3, etc.

This would take sixteen days without having any back to back games, which might require them to start a day or two early, as I believe hockey has in past Olympics?

If you like rewarding top teams with byes, then I could see this working:

Two groups of five teams each, four prelim games.

Top team in each group gets a bye into the SF. Second and third teams play each other in QF. (SF= 1A vs. 2B/3A winner, 1B vs. 2A/3B winner).

Finally, saying that the bronze medal game should not be played, because it is meaningless... that is just so wrong in every way!
The problem that I see is that no matter how you structure the preliminary rounds, if you have eight teams make it to the QF, the preliminary rounds are basically meaningless to the top 6 or 7 teams. The reality is that no matter what, the top six teams can play at half speed and still easily qualify for the QF, the drop off in player talent between the top 6 or 7 and the rest is just that huge. There is always the chance of a single game upset, but with 12 teams in such a short tournament you are dedicating a lot of your games to matches with non-competitive teams in the hope of an upset.

That's why I would rather see an eight team tournament, with only SF and final playoff games. This way it actually means something for a developing hockey nation to qualify for the OG, there are more head to head games with the top teams, and a prelim round that means something because only half the teams make the playoffs.

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10-21-2009, 12:04 AM
  #23
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Originally Posted by Mr Kanadensisk View Post
I don't think I'm alone in saying that most North Americans could care less about the bronze medal game, including the players. I hope that on an intellectual level you would realize that once you start rewarding the losers it's completely arbitrary where you stop. Maybe it would be nice if they made brass and aluminum medals for the 4th and 5th place team, then less people would go home with their feelings hurt. But hey, if third place floats your boat...

If not caring is indeed the case, it’s a black mark on those teams/players more so than any flawed tournament format.

Yes, everybody would rather be playing for gold; but if a player is lucky enough to wear his country’s colours at Olympics he damn well better have the honour, integrity and dignity to give his best effort no matter how meaningful/insignificant the game.
If your players take issue with this, I’d be questioning whether they deserve to be at the Olympics rather than complaining about a bronze medal game that they might ‘not care’ about.

Or perhaps they do care and it’s just an excuse for losing.

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10-21-2009, 01:48 AM
  #24
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I like the three round-robin games. That's the way it was done in 1998 and 2002. In those years, it meant more time for these teams to practice - a big issue in a short tournament where players have minimal experience playing with each other.

With the five round-robin games in seven days in 2006, there was little time for practice, and I think it showed in the quality of hockey. (Which wasn't as good as 2002). Finland was the one team that showed me chemistry and cohesion - strong team play - throughout the tournament.

How will they determine the fourth team to get a bye out of the round-robin? The best GF-GA among the three second place teams? I don't like it. It means that a team like the U.S. could go nuts against Norway.

I wouldn't mind a 10-team tournament. We can do without Latvia and Norway. Belarus and Germany are good enough that they belong. They're competitive. (The Swiss and Slovakia also belong).

You're never going to have a perfect format in a short best-on-best tournament. No matter the system, you're going to have somebody crying foul. I like the three pools of four, but beyond that, I'm reserving judgment.

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10-21-2009, 06:07 AM
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zine View Post
If not caring is indeed the case, it’s a black mark on those teams/players more so than any flawed tournament format.

Yes, everybody would rather be playing for gold; but if a player is lucky enough to wear his country’s colours at Olympics he damn well better have the honour, integrity and dignity to give his best effort no matter how meaningful/insignificant the game.
If your players take issue with this, I’d be questioning whether they deserve to be at the Olympics rather than complaining about a bronze medal game that they might ‘not care’ about.

Or perhaps they do care and it’s just an excuse for losing.
And now our ultra nationalist Zine decides who has honour, integrity and dignity worthy of being at the Olympics. Dude, you have an unhealthy obsession with Russia, and an equally unhealthy hate for Canada, get a life.

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