Why won’t they win?

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Tonight is the final of the FFA Cup, and it’s also the inspiring event for my first post about football.

Football is such an amazing, inclusive, world-wide sport. I love it. But way too often I am confronted by someone who knows nothing about football. That annoys me, I need to educate people about The World Game.

I’ll start by teaching you competition formats. I am forced to explain this to a lot of people, and I even tried explaining it to a dog once. That didn’t work, but I hope this simple explanation does.

There are three main types of competitions, League, Cup and Group to Knockout.

League competitions involve a set amount of teams each season, usually 10 to 20. Each team plays every other team at their home ground, and the opposing team’s home ground. In the English league they have 20 teams, meaning each team plays 38 games. To decide the winner they use a points system, a team gets three points for a win, one point for a draw and no points for a loss. The winner is the team with the most points.

Cup competitions can have unlimited teams enter. Over 100 teams enter the English FA Cup. But in Cup competitions if a team loses, they’re out. There are no points, the winner is the team that wins all their matches.

Group to Knockout competitions are a combination of the two formats above. They start with teams in groups of four. The four teams play each other and the points system is used to decide first, second, third and fourth. First and second move on to a knockout format which decides the winner. This was the format for the recent FIFA Wold Cup in Brazil, and for the upcoming Asian Cup in January.

Other competitions are a variation on these three formats. Like Australia’s A-League. But the FFA Cup is a Cup competition. So, I can say that I am confident that Sydney FC will not win the FFA Cup this year. The final is between Adelaide United and Perth Glory.

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