Throughout the past year, the IATF has been working on options for hosting IATC in 2021. The largest issue of course was the safety of throwers and spectators during COVID. Border closings and travel restrictions didn’t help. On top of that, League play has been severely impacted with many members only running limited seasons through both 2020 and 2021. We solicited feedback from members and throwers and went back to the drawing board multiple times to try to fit IATC into this year… However, we have concluded that IATC 2021 will not be possible under the current circumstances.
But… There is a plan that we want to share with you now. We have decided to host IATC in June, 2022. We have also decided that IATC will be held in June in Toronto in the years to come. Better weather, guaranteed! We are very excited to host you all again, and planning for IATC has already begun.
In light of the ongoing pandemic and in an effort to be as fair as possible, we have made a few changes to the qualification paths. These revised paths are needed in order to take COVID restrictions into account; many players were unable to throw more than one season in 2020, and 2021 has not been much better as the world continues to experience gathering restrictions, travel restrictions, and even lockdowns.
To highlight the key differences between regular qualification paths and COVID-revised qualification paths, here is a look back at how players qualified for the last IATC, held in February 2020 in Toronto.
A Look Back at IATC 2020 Qualification
For IATC 2020, held in February 2020 in Toronto, there were four qualification paths to IATC Round 1:
IATC 2020 Qualification Paths were:
1. Win a Regional tournament
2. The 70 Rule – Compete in IATF leagues and register 3 non-concurrent seasons with an average of 70 or better
3. The Top 4 Rule – Compete in IATF leagues and end the year in a league’s top 4 ranked by most Champs Points earned in one league
4. Win a Wild Card tournament
A player would only qualify by ONE path. The first way to qualify was to win a regional tournament. If a player qualifies through winning a regional tournament, they would be ineligible to qualify through any other path. First, the IATF determined who qualified via regional tournament. Then, we remove them from consideration for the other three paths. Next, we determined who qualified through the 70 Rule and removed those players from consideration from the remaining two paths. Next, we determined who qualified through the Top 4 rule. Lastly, players who had not yet qualified through any of the first three paths were eligible to throw in a Wild Card tournament. Once we knew who qualified for Round 1 in Wild Card tournaments, we notified players of their acceptance to Round 1.
A Look Back at IATC 2020 Qualification
The IATF has adapted to the pandemic by extending the timeframe of the qualification paths for IATC 2022. We have decided that all league play in 2020 and 2021 will count towards IATC 2022 qualification. 2022 league seasons that conclude before March 30, 2022 will also be eligible for qualification.
Additionally, this year the IATF introduced Premier Leagues. As you’ll see below, we have outlined the qualification path for these new leagues. The Top 8 players, ranked by Champs points, from every Premier League Season will qualify for Round 1.
We decided to make the Premier League qualification path quite broad because the Leagues are new, and players are still adapting to the new rules. We are happy to see many of our high level throwers participating in Premier Leagues this year!
Regionals and Wild Card will take place before IATC 2022; we will be announcing the timing of these tournaments in October.
In order to make IATC 2022 as fair and inclusive as possible, we will be including all league play from January 2020 – March 2022.
The four paths to qualify for IATC 2022 are as follows:
1. Win a Regional Tournament – The IATF will run Regional tournaments ahead of IATC 2022, so this path remains the same.
2. The 70 Rule – The 70 Rule remains as a qualification path; play three non-concurrent seasons during the extended timeframe
3. The Top 4 Rule – the Top 4 Rule will be relaxed this year to allow for the top 4 players, ranked by most Champs Points, from every league season to advance to IATC 2022 Round 1. This will mean that more players have the opportunity to qualify for Round 1.
3b. The Top 8 Rule – The top 8 players, ranked by Champs Points, from every Premier League season, will qualify for Round 1.
4. Wild Card Tournaments – The IATF will run Wild Card tournaments ahead of IATC 2022, so this path remains the same.
FAQs – So what does this mean for you?
Q: Why did you change the qualification path for the Top 4 Rule?
A: Because so many members were unable to host League on a regular schedule due to the pandemic. We changed the rule to make sure as many players can participate in Round 1 as possible, and won’t be left out due to circumstances beyond their control.
Q: Since there’s a bigger time period for qualifying, does that mean that more people will be competing for the 256 spots in Round 2?
A: We are opening some streams up to more people in order to be as fair as possible to all of our players. There may be more players who qualify through one of the streams. However, so many players weren’t competing in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID restrictions. Leagues were much smaller and had fewer participants than in previous years.
Q: Where and when will the Regional Tournaments be held?
A: We will announce the timing for Regionals and Wild Cards within the next few months.
Q: Where and when will Round 1 of the IATC be held?
A: Round 1 is hosted locally at every sanctioned IATF venue that ran IATF Standard or Premier leagues during the previous calendar year.
Q: Will Wild Card Tournaments also happen?
A: Yes, each local IATF venue that hosted IATF Sanctioned leagues will have the opportunity to host their own Wild Card Tournament. Wild Card dates will be announced within the next few months.