Bergvall system

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The Bergvall system was a variation of the traditional knockout tournament system which was used at the 1912, 1920 and 1924 Summer Olympics. It was devised for the Olympics by Erik Bergvall, a Swedish water polo player, journalist and sports official. However a similar system had been in use for sports competitions in the United States as early as 1890 and possibly earlier. Bergvall wanted to improve on the traditional knockout method used in Olympic competitions. Believing that this was only fair in deciding the gold medal winner, Bergvall advocated separate competitions should also be held for the silver and bronze medals. Bergvall believed that teams knocked out in the early rounds of the main gold medal tournament should be given a second chance. He suggested that all the teams knocked out by the gold medal winner, including the losing finalist, should then compete in another knockout competition for the silver medal. Then all the teams that were knocked out by the gold and silver medallists would be eligible to compete in a third competition for the bronze. At the 1912, 1920 and 1924 Games, the Bergvall system was used to decide the water polo, while at the 1920 Games it was also used for the football, the ice hockey and the tug of war.[1] Although the system is fair, there are two main flaws. It requires the gold medal final to be held in the middle of the tournament instead of at the end. It also requires defeated competitors to remain ready on speculation. At the 1920 football tournament, one of the defeated semi-finalists, France declined to hang around and missed out on an opportunity to win a silver or bronze medal. Because of these flaws, the system was eventually dropped by Olympic organisers and abandoned by the NCAA in the 1930s.

Sample 1[edit]

Gold medal round[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
  Great Britain (GBR) 2  
  United States (USA) 0       Great Britain (GBR) 2  
        Belgium (BEL) 0  
          Great Britain (GBR) 2
          Netherlands (NED) 0
        Netherlands (NED) 2
        Italy (ITA) 0    
   

Silver medal round[edit]

Semifinals Final
  Belgium (BEL) 2  
  United States (USA) 0       Belgium (BEL) 0
        Netherlands (NED) 2
   

Bronze medal round[edit]

Semifinals Final
  United States (USA) 2  
  Italy (ITA) 0       United States (USA) 0
        Belgium (BEL) 2
   

Sample 2[edit]

Gold medal round[edit]

Round of 16 Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
   
        Great Britain (GBR) 9  
  Spain (ESP) 1       Spain (ESP) 0  
  Italy (ITA) 1[2]         Great Britain (GBR) 7  
          United States (USA) 2  
        United States (USA) 7  
        Greece (GRE) 0  
          Great Britain (GBR) 3
  Belgium (BEL) 11         Belgium (BEL) 2
  Switzerland (SUI) 0       Belgium (BEL) 2  
        Netherlands (NED) 1  
          Belgium (BEL) 5  
  Sweden (SWE) 11         Sweden (SWE) 3  
  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 0       Sweden (SWE) 7       
  Brazil (BRA) 5       Brazil (BRA) 3       
  France (FRA) 1  

Silver medal round[edit]

Semifinals Final
  United States (USA) 5  
  Spain (ESP) 0       United States (USA) 2
        Belgium (BEL) 7
   

Bronze medal round[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
   
        Sweden (SWE) 9  
  Netherlands (NED) 7       Netherlands (NED) 1  
  Czechoslovakia (TCH) 0         Sweden (SWE) 5
          United States (USA) 0
        United States (USA) 7
  Greece (GRE) 5       Greece (GRE) 0    
  Italy (ITA) 1  

References[edit]

  1. ^ www.la84foundation.org
  2. ^ Italy forfeited the match in extra time.