The Effect of Competition Expansion on the Volume and Distribution of Travel for Super Rugby Teams

Australian Government Publishing Service
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sporting Traditions, 2017, 34 (2), pp. 77 - 88
Issue Date:
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This article examines the effect of the expansion of an international sporting competition on the volume and distribution of travel required by competing teams. The Super Rugby competition has involved various incremental iterations, starting with 10 teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. In 2016, three new teams were added to the competition, one each from South Africa, Argentina and Japan. Even prior to this expansion, the competition was unique in world sport, comprising teams from three widely dispersed countries competing in weekly, high intensity matches over a playing season lasting up to five months. The article provides evidence of the change in travel demands, both in terms of overall volume of travel for the season, as well as the distribution of travel within season, following this recent expansion. Not unexpectedly, the expansion of the competition has substantially increased the overall volume teams are required to travel, although this increase was not uniform across the competition. Despite some teams travelling more, the distribution of travel has become more even and consistent throughout the season.
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