- European Cup (athletics)
The European Cup (formally known as the Bruno Zauli Cup) first took place in
Stuttgart(men) and Kassel(women), Germanyin 1965. Initially the competition was a bi-annual event (tri-annual once), however since 1993, it now takes place once every year. It was announced that 2008 would be the final year of the cup, with a new ' European Team Championships' replacing it from 2009onwards.
The main idea of the cup, developed by Bruno Zauli, president of the European Committee of the
International Association of Athletics Federations, was to create a competition for all European athletics federations, in which they would face each other in track and field events. Although Zauli died just a few months before the launch of the first event, the competition has gone from strength to strength.
The competition has always had different leagues that countries must progress up the leagues. For the first twenty years, there were different groups (leagues) that took place at different times. Smaller nations, like
Luxembourgand Switzerland, would take place in preliminary rounds, before larger countries, for example Great Britainand France, would join in the semi-finals. The top two countries from three semi-finals would make it into the final.
This formula was fairly successful, however by 1983 the amount of competitions that athletes were expected to compete in, made it extremely difficult for countries to send their best team to each event. The format of the cup had to be changed, so each country in the whole cup competed on the same day.
The top league was named 'The Super League' and contained 8 male teams, and 8 female teams. The male and female teams are separate teams, which means that the female team of one country could get relegated, however their male conterparts would stay in the Super League, as long as they have enough points. Below the 'Super League' are a 'First' and 'Second' League. These contain other European countries that are not quite good enough to make the finals.
In 2009, the competition will take its new format. There will be four leagues, which will consist of 20 events for men and 20 for women. The Super League and the First League will have 12 teams each, while the Second League and the Third League 8 and 14 respectively. Team scores will be calculated by combination of men and women's points.
coring system and relegation
Countries score points for their performance in each race/event. The winning athlete will receive 8 points for their country. This then carries on so second will get 7 points, third 6 points and so on and so forth. If an athlete does not finish the race, however, or is disqualified, their country will receive no points for that event.
The Male and Female team with the most points is declared the winner. The four winning teams from the 'Super League' (two male and two female) will go on to compete as individual countries in the
IAAF World Cup in Athletics.
The lowest scoring male, and the lowest scoring female teams in the 'Spar League' will get relegated down into the 'First League'. These will be replaced by the highest scoring male and female teams from the 'First League'. This process will be repeated for relegation/promotion from the second to the first league. This system allows countries to progress, and for a wider range of athletes to compete against opposition they may not normally face.
League positions in 2009
The leagues for the 2009 competition were formed by combination of each country's men and women's performances in 2008. As the teams are 46, the winning team received 46 points, the second 45 and so on. The new leagues are:cite web|url=http://www.european-athletics.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6434&Itemid=2 |title=Overall Qualification Ranking 2008 |publisher=European Athletics |language=English |accessdate=2008-06-26]
* [http://www.rfea.es/competi/malaga2006/eng/maineng.htm Málaga 2006 Official Website]
* [http://www.eurosport.co.uk/athletics/european-cup-malaga/2006/calendar.shtml Málaga 2006 Schedule]
* [http://www.european-athletics.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=98&Itemid=3 European Cup Memories]
* [http://www.european-athletics.org/files/ecsp/spar_bulletin.pdf Bulletin for 2007 event (pdf)]
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