EBU Knockout competitions
We didn't touch on these at all at the Eastbourne meeting, but numbers, as with other competitions, have been in gradual decline for some time.
The feedback I get as the organiser of these competitions is that reasons for the decline specific to knockout competitions include:
(a) increasing difficulty in arranging matches; and
(b) increasing difficulty in travelling, exacerbated by the fact that the decline in numbers means that it is more likely that teams have to travel further in early rounds.
There may be other reasons: at Eastbourne the point was made that in general the top players are still coming, so that whilst numbers have declined, the average strength of the field has gone up significantly, and it is the middle-ranking players that we used to see in droves at Brighton who have stopped coming, possibly because they don't want just to be cannon-fodder. The same may apply to knockouts.
We would be very glad to hear from people who have played in knockouts in the past and either no longer do so, or are contemplating no longer doing so, as to why this is.
We would also be glad to know if there are any aspects of the way in which the competitions are organised which makes players less likely to enter, or any changes which would make them more likely to do so..
EBU Competitions Administrator / Laws & Ethics Secretary