How about a 'Gold Exempt' Lottery?
This is just an idea in its nascent stages, but maybe it could become somthing.
The tournaments are bitching about not being guaranteed the star players. WHich in turn means they are risking a lot of money and may not have the maquee players needed to realize a profitable return.
My idea is this. Have the Gold Exempt players, in rank order, choose the tournaments they want to play in. Only they're limited in certain ways. Like they HAVE to take four Tier Is, three Tier II's etc. Only up to ten or twelve tournaments. If they miss one because of injury, they HAVE to make it up by playing in another even in the next three months or so, at the same level. So if you miss Zurich, you don't HAVE to play Moscow, you can wait around for Toray Pan Pacific or Charleston.
These would be their 'Mandatory Committment' tournaments
It would be along the lines of a players draft in basketball, only the players would draft the tournaments. It wouldn't PREVENT the players from playing more than that. But once three players had committed to a tournament, it would go 'off the board', and would not be available for mandatory committment. I suppose the 'Super Tier I's should probably get an extra 'mandatory' player.
The end result would be that each Tier I tournament would have a certain number of guaranteed Gold Exempt players (as they are supposed to under the current system) but the odds of those players showing up rise, because the players would make the choice. Maybe a Tier I should be guaranteed SIX gold Exempt players. The number isn't important.
It might even be a good idea to create 'Platinum Exempt' class. Players who the tournament organizers know are money-in-the-bank if they turn up. Two of those players, I guess they're might be six or seven of them, honestly, would have to show at each Tier I. It doesn't mean they CAN'T play more. But some two out of a group that's probably Venus, Serena, Kim, Justine, Jenn, Lindsay and Amelie would have to commit to each and every Tier I. Each Tier II would be guaranteed one of them. (Hmmm .. need a bigger group for that) You'd have to give them something above and beyond what the Gold Exempt players get.
The idea is to spread out the drawing cards, so running a tournament isn't such a financial risk.
I think its an idea with possibilities, though I may have explained it badly.
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Not blind. Not uninformed. We are party to atrocities. But the response of the world after 9/11 is worth noting. Even our most dire enemies offered aid. We should all be so lucky.