Pick Your Team & Make Your Predictions: The Global Champions League Is Show Jumping’s Own March Madness
Monday’s announcement of the new team line-up signaled that the Global Champions League drought is finally over. The start of the 2018 season is only five days away!
For the next nine months, this innovative show jumping series brings fans together to enjoy equestrian events through the lens of mainstream fandom.
While show jumping has yet to achieve the same level of global exposure and support in comparison to sports such as tennis or car racing – a frustrating reality that Erin Gilmore noted in Noelle Floyd.com’s initial coverage of the GCL’s inaugural debut in Miami Beach in 2016 – the Global Champions League is a step towards bringing fans and participants into the sport.
The League is based on fundamental components akin to that of formula one racing, club soccer, American football, baseball, and basketball. All the essential ingredients are there to excite traditional sports fans: globally inclusive teams are stacked with heavy-hitting players as well as talented young athletes, complete with rankings, team jerseys, gear, trades, strategy, and rivalry.
Read more about the GCL’s objective to bring in elements of mainstream sports in “Lofty Goals, The Global Champions League’s Mainstream Sport Ambitions”, as published in Issue 4 of NOELLE FLOYD Magazine.
Part of the entertainment value of a sporting event, aside from the event atmosphere, is the understanding of the rules themselves. Being able to simply explain how the sport actually works may be the most crucial key to the spectator experience. So, old and new GCL nerds, unite! Brush up on the League rules for 2018 [because there have been some changes] before the action starts in Mexico on March 22nd.
#GCL2018 by the numbers:
- 19 Teams
- 16 Events
- 1 Playoff
- This year a guaranteed overall season prize purse of €35 million will be paid out to the world’s best individual and team riders
- 90% of athletes (excluding the U25 competitors) in the GCL are ranked in the top 250 in the world
- 25 out of the World Top 30 riders are participating
- 25% of the total athletes taking part in the GCL this season are 25 years of age and younger.
Exciting new additions you don’t want to miss:
Hold up – there’s a new team playoff format! €12 million will be offered at the GCL Super Cup at the GC Prague Play Offs which will take place at the Czech capital, December 13th – 16th. Only 16 teams will qualify for the playoffs. That same weekend a ‘team quarter-final’, a ‘team semi-final’ and a ‘team final’ will be organized.
“Our mission is to continue innovating and growing show jumping towards an ever more healthy and sustainable future like other sports in the modern era. That is what we have been about from the beginning to make sure the sport keeps moving ahead in the interests of riders, fans, owners, sponsors and media,” said Jan Tops, co-founder of the Global Champions League and President of the Longines Global Champions Tour.
Additionally, the Longines Global Champions Super Grand Prix invites every individual LGCT Grand Prix winner.
P.S. It’s also the first and only indoor event on the LGCT/GCL schedule
2017 LGCT Champion and rider for the this year’s Montreal Diamonds team, Harrie Smolders said, “It’s something totally new, but I think it’s going to be really exciting. And it’s something that I must say, the Global is renewing our sport while also respecting the heritage. They keep the same values.”
There’s no better time to create a fantasy draft than now! Who will you be rooting for?
- Star Power on Starting Grid for 2018 GCL Championship Race [Global Champions League]
- Global Champions League to Introduce Indoor Event & Team Playoffs in 2018 [Noelle Floyd.com]
- What It’s Really Like Riding in the Global Champions League [Noelle Floyd.com]