There will be an updated format for the end-of-year final tournament in Berlin this year, and an updated name too: The European Combat Championships 2020. The new name reflects that the 2020 event will have two qualification processes and three competitions.
As normal, there's the Race Rankings 2020, known as the "Race To Berlin", based on the 2020 season's tournament results. This is open for everyone, and invitations will go out to the top eight jugglers living in Europe to come to Berlin on a Saturday at the end of November for the European Open Combat Championship 2020.
Invites for the second competition, and for an all-expenses-paid trip to Berlin, will go out to the top eight women combat jugglers living in Europe. The new Women's Race Rankings 2020 will reflect their participation in normal tournaments, as well as their top results from any women-only Fight Night tournaments they may want to organise at juggling conventions or other events. This eight player final tournament is the European Women's Combat Championship 2020.
The third tournament, to finish off the event, will be a team combat knockout. Each team will feature one participant from the open invite list and one from the women-only invite list.
There will be an optional wildcard invite for a ninth juggler in both races if appropriate. Results and rankings points from women-only tournaments will not count towards the Open Race Rankings. If a woman qualifies for both single player tournaments, she can choose to take part in both or just one, and extra players needed for the team combat tournament will be selected on the day. There will be other updates to the tournament rules and qualification processes as needed throughout the year.
The purpose of the Fight Night Combat website and rankings, from the very start, has always been to encourage more people to organise more fun and fair tournaments, resulting in more opportunities for jugglers to take part and improve at combat juggling. From 2012 to 2019 the tournament calendar has grown from four tournaments per year to 60 tournaments per year. However, in more than 300 tournaments across eight years, there have only been three female winners, there are only 176 women out of 1600 players in the results database, and no woman has come close to qualifying for the previous end-of-year finals events.
This updated championship format and qualification process is to encourage people to organise combat tournaments that are specifically welcoming to female jugglers. Some women will only want to take part in the open tournaments, and that's just fine. However, it's understandable that many women, who would otherwise be interested in taking part in Fight Night tournaments, aren't enthusiastic about combat sessions that mostly consist of getting dunked on by 190cm sweaty men. We are hoping to create some events where it is easier for women jugglers to find enjoyment, find motivation to improve their skills, and to see if a distinct style of combat might develop.
For clarity, normal Fight Night Combat tournaments are not now "men's tournaments" but "open tournaments". No change of name or terminology is needed, as it is assumed that they will be open to all players regardless of gender, ability, or any other factor.
Stay tuned for updates in the coming months!
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