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Improving the handling of withdrawals

Postby gninnur karona

Whether the consequence of early draws (Liang Wenbo) or through player choice (Stephen Hendry and Ronnie O'Sullivan) late withdrawals can distort the balance of the subsequent competition. There is a simple way to ameliorate this for any form of withdrawal occurring before a competition begins, and that's to: regard the participants as being split into categories; upgrade the highest ranked player in the immediately below category to replace the player no longer competing; and repeat the process until the new player can be slotted in.

Examples of how this would work in practice.

In the current German Masters the obvious split is between seeded players (1-32) and non-seeded players. Thus when Ronnie O'Sullivan opted out of competing Noppon Saengkham (33) would replace him in the draw, and Ross Muir would take Noppon Saengkham's place. As a non-seeded player Liang Wenbo would continue to be directly replaced.

This would also work in a tiered structure albeit there would be more movement. in the UK Championship Stephen Hendry would have been replaced directly. Liang Wenbo as number 45 would have been replaced by Jamie Clarke (49). In turn Duane Jones (81) would take Jamie Clarke's place. And finally the incoming player would take Duane Jones's original place in the draw.

One clear advantage of this approach is it is manifestly fairer. By misfortune Noppon Saengkham, despite being ranked 32 of the competing players for the German Masters, thus meriting a seeded position in the draw, found himself not only in a section of the draw with Stephen Maguire but also with Jamie Clarke and Sam Craigie, not only two of the more dangerous non-seeded players but also both in good recent form.

Re: Improving the handling of withdrawals

Postby chengdufan

Sounds good to me.

You'd probably have to have a special rule if they reintroduced a tournament similar to how the UK used to be, with full seeding (1 v 128, 2 v 127 etc)
Otherwise it seems to make sense