Singles – Sectional Explanation

Singles – Sectional Explanation

One of the most common questions I am asked by people surrounding Championship Singles, is “Why is the first round Sectional?” or something along those lines.

When I entered my first Singles competition, I was none the wiser. I thought it was just so people could get their monies worth by having the chance to play more than a single game in an otherwise knockout draw style.

When you inspect the reasons closer, it makes complete sense. Most clubs adopt this format around Australia. And although slightly confusing as it is the only format that adds sectional to its draw, we will show you why!

In the case of the Men’s Championship Pairs for 2024, we have 18 entrants. This means that if Round 1 was a normal knockout styled tournament, we would require a total of 9 rinks. This would mean we have two options – either stagger the games to start at different times so everyone gets to play on grass, or start them at the same time with a couple of games on carpet. Both options are not really feasible, especially the second. It would mean that some teams would play their first games on carpet and the rest of the draw on grass – which can be seen as a disadvantage and against our Club rules for Championships. The rule basically reading “If you start a Championship on a playing surface, you continue to play this surface throughout the Championship” – that is to say unless there is extenuating circumstances that require deviation.

So green availability is the major factor in the Sectional reasoning.

The second, is marker availability. 18 players would require a further 9 markers for the games. And let’s be honest, who wants to give up their Sunday afternoon at the start of the NRL season and miss watching the Bulldogs take another loss? So having 3 people in each section reduces the overall need to acquire markers for the multitude of games.

I hope this explains why Round 1 is Sectional. It is something I would have liked to have known a while back and has always interested me as to why a lot of clubs do it.