Less interest in MCR tournaments?
- Published on Thursday, 08 December 2011 16:06
- Written by Adrie van Geffen
AMSTERDAM - Halfway the year 2011 the Mahjong News editors had the impression that the numbers of participants of tournaments were decreasing. Now that the last MCR tournament of 2011 with a MERS rating has been played (the White Dragon Tournament at Dunáujváros, Hungary), Mahjong News thought it was time to dig into the data.
The figures in this article are based on the excellent EMA website. We started with the first OEMC held in Nijmegen, the Netherlands in 2005 up till the 107th tournament held in Hungary in December 2011.
Over the years, both the number of tournaments as the number of participants increased - up to 2011. While two more tournaments were played, there were just over 100 less participants than the year before, a decline of about 7%.
Mahjong News had the impression that the decrease of participants originated in less interest to pass country borders, but the stats prove that local players (from the same country where the tournament is held) also show less interest.
There can be numerous reasons for this decrease. Not only the expense - participating in a mahjong tournament can be costly - but also the feeling of ‘been there, done that’ has been expressed, and at the same time new faces in the mahjong world are not as eager to join tournaments as the pioneers. Moreover, the tournaments in the Netherlands - and in Holland, there are quite a few mahjong players - have been split in two classes:
competition and recreation. The number of the latter ones are not implied in the EMA statistics.
Yet another reason may be found in the booming of Riichi in 2011. Are the former pioneers in MCR seeking new thrills by playing the Japanese version?
Tina Christensen, president of the European Mahjong Association (EMA) comments: I don't think it's a dramatic decrease, but still worth taking note of. “2010 saw the huge WMC and 2011 had no big MCR tournament in Paris; these two facts accounts for a lot of the difference.
“I also think that an increase in riichi tournaments has an impact. Players who play both rule sets divide their time between them, giving a relative decrease for MCR.”
Mahjong News is curious about impressions of their readers. Feel free to comment.