Surfers Vote To Change CT Competition Format In 2019
Gossip Girl reveals what the surfers unanimously decided.
According to notes from the WSL/World Professional Surfers (WPS)* meeting this past October, Championship Tour surfers have voted unanimously to change the WSL’s competition format.
Here’s what it looks like (for the men**):
In Round 1, there will still be 12 three-man heats. Instead of the top single surfer in each heat advancing directly to Round 3, surfers who place first and second will skip Round 2 and go directly into Round 3.
Surfers who placed third in Round 1 (12 surfers in total) will surf in four three-man Round 2 heats, from which only the third place surfer will be eliminated (four surfers in total). With two Rounds completed, there will still be 32 surfers left in the draw.
Round 3 will consist of 16 two-man heats which are single-elimination.
Round 4 will consist of eight two-man heats which are also single-elimination.
This trend continues until there are only two surfers remaining – the “final”.
So what are the major takeaways?
1. The new format will not add or subtract any time from current CT competitions. The Men’s CT currently needs 47 heats to finish an event. With the new system, they’ll also need 47. One of the WSL’s biggest issues (both financially and fan engagement-wise) is the unreasonable duration of CT events (five days minimum to run a combined men’s/women’s event). With this in mind, it’s surprising that they didn’t use this re-formatting opportunity to lop some hours off the spread. But maybe that’s because…
2. The surfers want a higher chance of survival in early rounds. With only four eliminations after the first two rounds of competition (in comparison to the current number of eliminations at that point: 12), it’s clear that the surfers – who proposed this format change – want more chances to “stay alive” in CT events. According to the WPS, this is to ensure that every surfer gets the opportunity to compete in optimal conditions. In reality, if the WSL had less heats to run, they wouldn’t be forced to throw people out in such poor conditions on a regular basis. But nobody likes losing, so if the surfers have the ability to earn themselves an easier Round 3 berth through a simple vote (while not adding any time to the current event structure), of course they’re gonna take it.
3. There will be a better-defined path to the final. The current competition model, which has Round 4 as a three-man heat, makes very little sense to the lay viewer. By creating a system that begets 16 two-man heats, which can be whittled down to one clear final in a linear fashion, is much more logical to comprehend. In this way, the surfers have objectively improved upon the current CT format.
Because a majority of CT surfers (27) were in the room to vote on this initiative, and because all voted in favor of the format change, this new system will officially be implemented in 2019.
And what do you think of that?
*The WPS is the Surfers’ Union, led by CT surfers Ace Buchan and Sage Erickson.
** The women’s system is identical but with half the number of competitors/heats
Unlocked: ‘Toasted,’ By Caity Simmers
Your favorite surfer directs, edits, and stars in her first feature film.
More Dane Reynolds Than You Can Stomach In One Serving
Chapter 11 TV is everything surf media needs.
Kanoa Igarashi On Concussions, Goose Chases, Title Visions, The Three Types Of Surfers CT’ers Encounter In The Water, And More
A candid and wide-ranging conversation with 2022 World #5.
Can Small-Scale Investors Buy Into Wave Pools?
Say you got $10k and a dream — what can you do?
An Early Pipeline Exit For Stephanie Gilmore Amidst GenZ Glory
Day Two of the 2023 CT season was a clear notice that the kids are…
Hand-Shaping, Glassing, And Finishing ’70s-Inspired Displacement Hulls Will Not Make You Rich
Profile: Tristan Mausse of Fantastic Acid is in it for all the right reasons.
Hassling, Head-Dips, and Broken Apple Watches
The 2023 CT is underway. Here's what happened on Day One of the Billabong Pro…
Stephanie Gilmore And Filipe Toledo Are The 2022 Stab Surfers Of The Year
Caity and Hughie take Best Juniors, “NOZ VID” wins best film, and Ho and Pringle…
Red Bulls, Crypto Bears, Former’s Six-Figure Fish, Tyler’s Multi-Millions And More
A brief catalog of the latest surf industry news and whispers.
“Definitely The First Time I’ve Gone Surfing Via Plane”
Parker Coffin, Harrison Roach, and friends tear through NZ on Roark's most well-rounded surf trip…
Pipe Preview: This Year Feels Different
With John and Gabs healthy — and the arrival of the femme next-gen — here’s…
WSL Tells Competitors: ‘You Better Like Them Apples’
Will mandating competitors to wear Apple Watches make the 2023 tour more or less engaging?
Stab Surfer of the Year: John John Florence, Italo Ferreira, Balaram Stack, Rolo Montes, and Shaun Manners
Day 9: "You can't do better than his year last year." - John John Florence
Full Moon Surfs, Impassable Puddles, And A Few Nights Spent Sleeping In A WSL Commentary Booth
A reader-submitted collection of nonconformist surf stories.
Kael Walsh Now Owns A Bitcoin, And Watched One Crypto Video
He’s officially your Stab Edit Of The Year champion.
Carissa Moore And Finn McGill Are Your 2023 Vans Triple Crown Of Surfing Champions
They both pocket $50k and tickets to this year’s Vans Pipe Masters.