League Reform April 2006

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Hattrick.png This is an official Hattrick Editorial originally published in 2005-12-05 11:00:00.

Hattrick has grown tremendously over the last couple of years. This is very cool, of course. However, the larger leagues are now suffering from some problems caused by the league system not widening after the 7th division level. We are now changing the league structure. There will be more teams per division level (but still only 8 teams per series!) in the lower divisions. At the same time, we are making a one-time removal of ownerless teams.

Why?
Hattrick's current league structure could be described as "bottle shaped". The reason we chose this structure, a couple of years ago, was capacity/performance constraints. Over the years, thanks to programme optimizations and server purchases, we have a much better capacity today. And now the time has come to design a league system structure that can handle larger countries better than the old system.
The new system will have a base that broadens. The table below will show you what we mean.
Some of the things we will achieve with the new system
  • Less "dead" teams, as abandoned teams further up the league system will not have to sink so long to reach the "bottom" where it can be replaced.
  • Shorter waiting lists in the most fast growing and large leagues as we can add up to 32768 new teams in a go, while before we could only add new 8192 teams at a time.
  • Newbies will have a realistic chance to reach the top within a realistic time frame, even as the game keeps growing. For instance, in order to accomodate 80.000 users in a single league, the old structure would require 15 division levels while the new structure only requires 10 division levels.
The new league system
After next season, that is, in April 2006, we will reorganize the league system. The new league system will be identical to the old one for division levels 1-7. But from the 8th division level and down, there will be more teams per division level, as the following chart shows:
Teams in division level
Div. ... Old system ... New system
1 8 8
2 32 32
3 128 128
4 512 512
5 2048 2048
6 8192 8192
7 8192 8192
8 8192 16384
9 8192 16384
10 8192 32768
11 8192 32768
One-time removal of ownerless teams
Since the new league system will make it necessary to disturb the normal promotion/demotion next season, we want to take the opportunity to make a one-time cleanup of ownerless teams as well. All ownerless teams will be demoted to the lowest division level after next season and their places taken by regular teams, based on a ranking system.
The ranking system is only used for league promotion. It is just a way of showing your series position compared to other series. All teams are ranked like using these criteria:
  1. Division level
  2. Position in series
  3. Points in series
  4. Goal difference
  5. Goals
  6. Coin toss
We underline that this cleanup is a one-time event that will not be repeated in the subsequent seasons. We do believe it would be very confusing if we repeatedly did this because then you could never know if, for instance, a 2nd place in a series means promotion or not. Since next season will have that confusion and uncertainty anyway, we think it is a good time for a cleanup as well. But once the new system has settled down, we do not want that messy situation to return every season.
Can a demoted team get promoted back up again?
Yes. Demoted teams may be promoted back up to their previous division level again, if there is enough empty places in the division levels above them.
So, what will happen at the end of next season?
At the end of next season (and after the qualification matches) there will be a one-time reorganisation of all leagues. First of all, all regular promotion (including promotion/demotion from qualifiers) will take place as normal. Secondly, all ownerless teams throughout the entire league system will be demoted to the lowest division. Next, a couple of teams will be promoted to fill the empty places that are then being made free by the demotion of the ownerless teams. This promotion will be based on a ranking position that will be shown throughout the season. Since the new league system is more compact than the old one in the lower division levels, there will be a lot of "extra promotion" if you are in the 9th division or lower.
How can I see my rank?
Your rank will be updated weekly. This will give you a clue if you have a chance to get one of the "extra promotion slots" available after next season.
Will there still be only 8 teams per series
YES. We will not change that.