rescheduling

Ryder Cup
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Golf, Super Bowl show precedent for reshuffling calendar

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The 2001 Ryder Cup was scheduled for Sept. 28-30 of that year. In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, that Ryder Cup was postponed to 2002.

But just as the Tokyo Olympics will still be called Tokyo 2020, that Ryder Cup is, in many references, still the 2001 competition. Signage at The Belfry said “1927-2001.”  U.S. captain Curtis Strange refused to reconsider his wild-card picks a year later and noted that the team’s gear still said “2001.”

Most importantly, the trophy was embossed with the year “2001.”

Instead of doubling up on Ryder Cups in back-to-back years, the competition shifted to even-numbered years, and future Ryder Cups bore the names of the year in which they were actually played.

The Presidents Cup, previously played in even-numbered years, shifted to odd years, starting with 2003.

Changes like these are inevitable following the postponement of the 2020 Olympics. Odd-numbered years are full of world championships in many Olympic sports, and holding the Olympics in 2021 raises the question of whether to push back to 2022 or find some other way to reschedule or recognize world champions.

Another major event rescheduled after Sept. 11 was Super Bowl XXXVI, originally scheduled for Jan. 27 in New Orleans. With the NFL schedule interrupted by the attacks, the league opted to push the championship game back a week.

Fortunately for the NFL, the National Auto Dealers Association was willing to switch the dates of its convention in the Superdome in exchange for financial considerations and free ads during the game.

Major League Baseball, which doesn’t rely on booking a neutral site in advance, simply pushed the 2001 World Series into November.

Major League Soccer scrubbed the last week of its regular season and proceeded directly to the playoffs in order to hold the MLS Cup final, then held at a neutral site, on its original date of Oct. 21.

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