Bertus de Jong 30/04/21
Just 24 hours away from the first round of games in what is now best called the league phase of the 2021 Topklasse season, it has emerged that this year’s competition will also feature a playoff finals phase in the second half of August.
Following the ten team double round-robin league phase, the top four teams will contest IPL-style playoff finals. The top two teams will be face off in a de-facto semi final, with the winner progressing to the grand final, while the third and fourth-placed teams will contest an eliminator playoff. The winner of the eliminator will then meet the loser of the first semi final to contend for the second spot in the national final.
The new format means the 2021 season will be the first iteration of the Dutch domestic 50-over competition to feature a national final since the 2016 season, when the decision was made to revert to a ten team format and scrap the best-of-three finals.
At the other end of the table, the bottom four teams will contest a similar series of playoffs to determine who takes the wooden spoon, though with no risk of relegation this season (the league is instead slated to expand to 12 teams for 2022) the lower table play-offs are effectively more of a post-season denoument, or perhaps a dress rehearsal for the relegation battle expected next year.
Topklasse Finals Schedule
Sun Aug 22: First Semi Final (1st v 2nd)
Sun Aug 22: Elimination Playoff (3rd vs 4th)
Sun Aug 29: Second Semi Final (loser SF1 vs winner EPO)
Sat Sept 4: Topklasse Final (winner SF1 vs winner SF2)
“Relegation” Playoffs Schedule
Sun Aug 22: First Playoff (7th v 8th)
Sun Aug 22: Second Playoff (9th vs 10th)
Sun Aug 29: Third Playoff (loser PO1 vs winner PO2)
Sat Sept 4: Woode Spoon Playoff (loser PO2 vs loser PO3)