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Challenge Cup History

Season 14 kicks off in style with the first of three competitions this season, The Chanelf Challenge Cup. This competitions format is similar to it’s previous staging being a swiss format over four rounds with teams gaining points for a win, loss or draw. The team who finishes top will win the Cup but also a whopping 150,000gp to add to their treasury. You can see more about this competition by following this link here. But it would be a very short post if all we talked about was this years Challenge Cup competition so here we are to discuss a little more about the history of the Cup and some previous competitions featuring it.

The HDWSBBL Challenge Cup was first introduced as the PitRat Cup and was only considered a minor cup for the 2507/08 season. The cup was created to allow the newer teams to the league to participate in a simple knock-out tournament to gain more experience and a chance to win some silverware, with the likes of The Loren Rangers and Ragnar’s Swift Velocity not participating. The tournament proved a huge success and brought teams from North and South battling it out for the title. The inaugural winners of the Cup were the Karak Smashers, who beat the Loren Tornadoes in a thrilling 2-1 win.

The next competition afterwards was the Zombway Cup 2508/09. The knock-out format was repeated as the competition before with a massive sixteen teams competing for it (this time without The Loren Rangers). This competition occurred during one of the longest seasons to date with the final eventually taking place in early June, with the scheduled time of early February! Ragnar’s Swift Velocity played the Lustrian Snake Queens in another close contest, in the end the Snake Queens claimed their first title on their debut season winning 2-1.

At the end of the Zombway Cup 2508/09  problems arose as teams complained the fact that the cup should be open to all teams not just the newer ones (reports claim The Rangers were the only ones complaining about it!). The commissioners then decided that since it was a big success and the fact that there wouldn’t be a lot of newer teams next season, the HDWSBBL Challenge Cup was changed to a major championship and all teams in the HDWSBBL could enter with no restrictions. The commissioners also decided to change the format to a shorter but more competitive competition, the Swiss format, of which is the system that is used today.

The new format and new rules allowed The Loren Rangers to finally enter the competition after two seasons of sitting on the sidelines. The Pepslay Challenge 2509/10 was an action packed affair with many rivalry’s being created and settled, Star Players being killed and one of the most bloodthirsty match days in HDWSBBL history, the day of the dead. In the end The Loren Rangers were victorious despite a nervy final round match against the Innsmouth Shadows. A full review of this particular competition can be found here.

Featuring once again for the 2510/11 season new sponsors Spite hosted the Spite Challenege 2510/11 in the same format as the previous edition. The Tail Slammers lifted the title after a very tight contest which saw six teams being mathematically possible to lift the title. You can see the article explaining this here. The Slammers shocked the competition with their 3-1 over the Brimstone Flayers along with Rangers failing to win their match and also a back to back title. The Teotigua Predators, who came second in the end despite winning their match just missed out. The Swiss system brings about situations like this and can make for some interesting final match weeks.

After that competition the Cup was rested for a while until the 2514/15 season in which the Cup was picked up by the sports giants Sly Sports. The competition went way back to it’s roots with the knock-out format it previous was. The Sly Sports Challenge Cup 2514/15 was part of a deal with the league to feature a three part competition phase. Firstly the Challenge Cup competition itself, the second being the first round losers would be entered into the first inaugural Vase Championship in another straight knock-out competition to determine a champion. The final part would be a Super Cup match between the Challenge Cup winner and the Vase Championship winner to determine the undisputed champion. Although the Challenge Cup and Vase Championship were competed for, there was never a Super Cup ever made or competed for. Arkham Black Towers were the eventual champions of the Challenge Cup after beating the Oxmoor Savages 2-1 (the third time in so many weeks they faced each other as well!), this also counted towards Arkham Black Towers completing the first ever Triple Crown by winning the Championship, Conference Championship and Challenge Cup, a feat which has not been repeated since.

Despite signing a deal to host the competitions for two seasons back to back, Sly Sports decided to drop their deal for some unknown reason (rumour mills are still discussing this even now). But after a hiatus of two years they finally agreed to re-sponsor the competition to honour their agreement previously. Going back to the Swiss format the competition took another direction in which it was played during the summer before the main league competition in the winter. This proved to be a somewhat popular as it provided another chance for teams to get some match time but also more importantly some sliverware. The Sly Sports Challenge Cup 2517 featured only a handful of teams this time around but that did not stop the action and drama that occurred. The Hashut Hairy Hammers lifted their first title after not loosing a single game during the competition, with the Deadly Spawn and Arcani’s All Sparks coming second and third respectfully after loosing a match.

Now back for good the Challenge Cup will feature at the start of a new season with the main sponsor being changed each year to avoid the complications previously with Sly Sports.

A nice trip down memory lane for a lot of fans who can remember these moments over the years. If there are any certain memories you can remember that occurred during any of the Challenge Cup competitions we would love to hear from you in the comments section. Good luck to all the teams in this seasons edition!

Stars in their eyes

Greetings Sports fans. It has been awhile since we have taken a look at the goings on in the league! Lets reverse that trend and take a look at Star players.

Believe it or not it has been 7 years since the HDWSBBL signed a contract with their agents and the NAF to allow the recognised star players to play in the league. At the time in 2511 it was a controversial decision with coaches both for and against bringing in outside help. In the end the fear that home grown stars would be ignored was overruled by the extra violence and amazing plays that stars could provide.

To celebrate we got our interns to take a look through the leagues archives and see what they could come up with.

In numbers:

  • 50 of 66 recognised stars have played at least one game in the HDWSBBL.
  • The 5 most popular stars are:
    • Morg ‘n’ Thorg (55 games)
    • Wilhelm Chaney (28 games)
    • Deeproot Strongbranch (20 games)
    • Zara the Slayer (17 games)
    • Nobbla Blackwart (15 games)
  • Star players have made 389 appearances in the league, or 297 unique matches.
  • The league has spent a total of 92,520,000 gp on Hiring Star players, that is enough for 92 NEW teams (or Gerhards bonus for writing an article – whatever happened to him?)!
    • The league has paid the top 5 stars 42,910,000 gp alone with 23,650,000 gp of that going to Morg! We know who is buying the next round!
  • The biggest impact the stars have caused is an increase in causalities – 82 to be precise. Morg is responsible for 32 of these, but it is not surprising considering he has played more games than the vast majority of HDWSBBL players!
  • No star player has ever made an interception!
  • We have no recorded deaths or injuries of stars in the league (nothing to do with their contracts forbidding it – honest) – but they have killed 11 HDWSBBL players.
    • Morg has personally claimed 3 lives, with Deeproot and Headsplitter claiming 2 each
  • Star players have been the match MVP 24 times
  • 11 Stars have played in a final, and won 18 HDWSBBL championships:
    • Morg ‘n’ Thorg – 5 Championships (New World Conference Cup, The HDWSBBL Vase, The Shield x3)
    • Eldril Sidewinder – 2 Championships (HDWSBBL Championship Cup, Old World Conference Cup)
    • Wilhelm Chaney – 2 Championships (HDWSBBL Championship Cup, New World Conference Cup)
    • Fezglitch – 2 Championship (HDWSBBL league Cup, the Shield)
    • Hack Enslash – 1 Championship (HDWSBBL Championship Cup)
    • Zara the Slayer – 1 Championship (HDWSBBL Championship Cup)
    • Setekh – 1 Championship (HDWSBBL Championship Cup)
    • Hubris Rakarth – 1 Championship (New World Conference Cup)
    • Prince Moranion – 1 Championship (Old World Conference Cup)
    • Icepelt Hammerblow – 1 Championship (Old World Conference Cup)
    • Ugroth Bolgrot – 1 Championships (The Shield)
  • The most popular season for star appearances was the 2511/12 season when the contract was signed with 64 appearances. The 2517/18 season came close with 61 games containing at least one star player. The current season (2518/19) has so far seen 25 matches with stars (out of 16 games!) – only time will tell if it will see more stars than any other season.

Who is hiring them

So, who are hiring these stars? The top 10 (ish) teams that have hired stars are:

  • Gitz ‘n’ Shigglez – 14 occasions
  • Tail Slammers – 14
  • The Riverside Rainbows – 14
  • Lightning Claws – 12
  • Chaos All-Stars11
  • Grudge Corsairs – 11
  • Arcani’s All Sparks – 11
  • The Asgard Marauders 10
  • Dark Wings of Fury – 10
  • The Wild Brunch – 10
  • Suderholm Snow Leopards – 10
  • Warpstone Wanders10

Three of the teams on the list are active this season (highlighted above) so have a chance of hiring even more! Considering the form of teams, I don’t think it will help them much….

The Top ten hiring races are:

  • Halfling – 42 stars hired
  • Skaven – 41
  • Human – 30
  • Norse – 29
  • Dark Elf – 23
  • Goblin – 22
  • Chaos Pact – 20
  • Necromantic – 19
  • Underworld – 18
  • Chaos – 17

Over the past seven years all races have hired at least one star player for a match!

Are they worth it?

So are stars worth it? From raw statistics  – no! On average they underperform per match with their HDWSBBL counterparts. Even special plays such as Deeproot scoring a Touchdown has been replicated by a Treeman in the league before (can anybody name said Treeman in the comments)?

However they are invaluable for making sure a team has a full roster on the pitch, and the fans they bring with them to the stadiums. For that they will always be worth it.

Ideally we would provide a detailed breakdown of if hiring a star increases your chances of winning, but we had to le the interns go home and see their families.

Nothing brings this more to life than the 11 star players who are HDWSBBL Champions! Originally star players were banned from finals but, like all rules, that was nothing a bribe or two could not change! Since then 5 stars have played in the final and won the HDWSBBL Championship itself. Would those teams have won the championship without help? That is still being debated in taverns across the old world to this day!

Whats next?

It does not look like Star players are going anywhere soon. Since their introduction the league has seen amazing growth and the stars have provided amazing memories for the teams. They are a helping hand when teams are desperate, and they allow HDWSBBL talent to make a name for themselves and take down a legend (and boy do they try)!

Sorry folks, it looks like Morg isn’t going anywhere soon!

On the Horizon it looks like even more stars are on the way as more legends make their return to the pitch. Once the HDWSBBL has worked out the arrangements with their agents we will let you know!

2514/15 Sly Sports Challenge Cup Returns

That’s right sports fans, the HDWSBBL Challenge cup is returning this week after a long absence since 2511! The tournament will be returning back to it’s roots and will be contested as a straight knock-out tournament and a special bonus for the teams who loose during the first round. So we take a look back at the history of this Cup, the competitions, the champions and a little look at some of the matches that took place.

Straight from the Challenge Cup Championship page:

The cup was created to allow the newer teams to the league to participate in a simple knock-out tournament to gain more experience and a chance to win some silverware. The tournament proved a huge success and brought teams from North and South battle it out for the title. At the end of the tournament and the 2507/08 season problems arised as teams complained the fact that the cup should be open to all teams not just the newer ones. The board then decided that since it was a big success and the fact that there wouldn’t be a lot of newer teams next season, the HDWSBBL Challenge Cup was born. This is now a major championship and all teams in the HDWSBBL can enter. The final always takes place in the HDWSBBL stadium.

This Championship Cup is unique in that it takes its name from the sponsor. Initially it was Sponsored by the PitRat bar (produced by NetSlay) but was later sponsored by Zombway (“Eat Flesh”) & also sports broadcaster Sly Sports.

And a little bit of triva as well:

  • This Championship had a three seasons break from 2511-2514. The cup returned in the 2514-15 season as, The Sly Sports Challenge Cup 2514-15.
  • To date, no team has ever retained this Championship Cup, and no team has ever won this Championship twice.

2507/08 – The PitRat Cup (Knock-out Format)

The first ever Challenge Cup tournament was played in 2507, a year after the inaugural start of the HDWSBBL. The amount of teams who had entered the league had risen from 4 to 10, among these teams were The Loren Rangers, Ragnar’s Swift Velocity and Middenhein Manhunters who were founding members of the league. However in this tournament the two Championship winners from 2506/07 were not invited to enter this tournament. This opened the door to the “rookies” of the league at a shot to win gold, and they certainly put on a good show. Biggest shock of the competition came when the Middenhein Manhunters, who were tipped to win the tournament, lost in a thrilling 3-0 drubbing to the Loren Tornadoes (who were at the time calling themselfs the Uphill Gardeners). In the end the eventual winners were the Karak Smashers who went on to beat the Loren Rangers in the Legaue final that season to become the first HDWSBBL double Championship Winner and deny the Rangers of a back to back league title.

Quarter Final Semi Final Final
Best of Bands 0
Loren Torenados 6
Loren Torenados 3
Middenhein Manhunters 0
Loren Torenados 1
Karak Smashers 2
Tutsbone Re-United 0
Middenhein Manhunters 3
Drackwald Deadheads 3
Strickland Slammers 1
Drackwald Deadheads 1
Karak Smashers 2
Karak Smashers 4
Ankle Biters 0

 

2508/09 – Zombway Cup (Knock-out Format)

The 2508/09 season saw the league boost to a massive 17 teams, which was a new league record of registered teams. Previous winners Karak Smashers were out but the Loren Rangers, Middenhein Manhunters and Ragnar’s Swift Velocity were still about for the third season in a row. The only other returning team were the old Tutsbones Re-united who were knocked out last year by the Middenhein Manhunters 3-0. Contraversy came once again this year as the Loren Rangers were once again denied entering due to the uneven amount of teams, they would once more sit out and watch. Rumours were that a substantial amount of bribes were received by the HDWSBBL board, an investigation into every team who played in the competition found no evidence. Highlight match was a 5-1 victory for Ragnar’s Swift Velocity who beat the Preverse Maidens of Torture. The match was taken over by an unknown coach who stepped up to manage the team when the real coach of the PMT suddenly dissapeared without trace. It was a bloody affair and Velocity booked their place into the final. They would eventually loose to newcomers the Lustrian Snake Queens who claimed their first Championship in a 2-1 victory. This season also saw the debut of many of the leagues greatest teams and fan favourites such as Karond Kar Coarsairs, Tail Slammers, Beaumont Blitzers, The Innsmouth Shadows and Wee Tree Fellows. Later this season the Corsairs won both the League Cup and the Championship Cup making them the second Double Championship Winner.

Third Round Quarter Final Semi Final Final
Beaumont Blitzers 3
Middenhein Manhunters 2
Beaumont Blitzers 2
Ragnars Swift Velocity 4
Ragnars Swift Velocity 5
Perverse Maidens of Torture 1
Ragnars Swift Velocity 1
Lustrian Snake Queens 2
Ragnars Swift Velocity 4
We Tree Fellows 0
Karond Kar Corsairs 3
Tail Slammers 2
Karond Kar Corsairs 1
Perverse Maidens of Torture 2
Perverse Maidens of Torture 2
Thunder Hammers 1
The Innsmouth Shadows 2
Seductors 0
The Innsmouth Shadows 0
Mc Cauligh Reavers 3
Mc Cauligh Reavers 1
Lustrian Snake Queens 3
Mc Cauligh Reavers 2
The Man Eaters 1
Tutsbone Re-United 0
The Wolf Pack 1
The Wolf Pack 2
Lustrian Snake Queens 3
Lustrian Snake Queens 2
Brimstone Deadheads 0

 

 

2509/10 – The Pepslay Challenge (Swiss Format)

With the league once again reaching a new record of registered teams, the HDWSBBL board decided that the entire league needs to be entered into the Cup. They decided, as the amount of teams this year was an even number, to run the competition in a swiss style over four matches with the team who has the most points after four matches being proclaimed champion. With all teams, including the Loren Rangers this season, entering it was all to play for. There were too many great matches to pick out during this tournament, example include the Loren Rangers beating the Man-Eaters 7-0 but loosing star man Elison Crownstar, Karond Kar Corsairs ripping apart RSV 4-1,  The Innsmouth Shadows climing their way up the table slowly to almost claim the title alongside newcomers for that season and now league legends Teotigua Predators, and many more. It was exciting and the ratings shot through the roof. In the end a 2-2 draw with the Innsmouth Shadows gave the Loren Rangers the title, and their first Championship for almost three years.

Team Pld W D L TF TA TD CF CA CD PTS
The Loren Rangers 4 3 1 0 16 5 11 4 15 -11 100
The Innsmouth Shadows 4 3 1 0 10 5 5 12 5 7 100
Teotigua Predators 4 3 1 0 9 4 5 2 5 -3 100
Karond Kar Corsairs 4 3 0 1 11 6 5 4 8 -4 90
Drackwald Deadheads 4 2 1 1 8 5 3 5 1 4 70
The Man Eaters 4 2 1 1 5 8 -3 9 3 6 70
Tail Slammers 4 2 0 2 9 6 3 3 16 -13 60
Grappler Flesh Grinders 4 2 0 2 7 7 0 12 6 6 60
Atrocity Exhibition 4 2 0 2 5 5 0 5 2 3 60
The Tutsbone Jackles 4 1 2 1 4 5 -1 6 6 0 50
The Bile Blitzers 4 1 1 2 6 7 -1 4 7 -3 40
Valhallen Vixen’s 4 1 1 2 5 7 -2 4 6 -2 40
Ragnars Swift Velocity 4 1 1 2 7 10 -3 12 6 6 40
Mc Cauligh Reavers 4 1 1 2 4 7 -3 1 3 -2 40
Beaumont Blitzers 4 1 0 3 7 9 -2 8 1 7 30
We Tree Fellows 4 0 2 2 4 8 -4 1 4 -3 20
Orcland Cleavers 4 0 2 2 3 8 -5 6 1 5 20
Ruskin Arms Bar Flys 4 0 1 3 1 9 -8 0 3 -3 10

 

 

2510/11 – Spite Challenge (Swiss Format & Last time the Championship was held)

This was the last time that the Challenge cup was contested in the HDWSBBL. The format was the same from the previous year and expectations were very high for several of the teams who competed in this. The Loren Rangers were hot favourites as Karond Kar Corsairs were not registered this season. The Innsmouth Shadows and Teotigua Predators were highly praised and expected to reach the top. Ragnar’s Swift Velocity were not registered this season but the Middenhein Manhunter were. However it was the Tail Slammers who came out on top winning by only ten points over the Teotigua Predators and twenty over the Loren Rangers who needed to win their match to retain the title. The Tail Slammers who were once credited as the worse team two seasons, having the shield named after them, won their own shield and then came on to win their first Major Championship. This would be the last time that this Championship would be contested. Many of the leagues legends would depart the league and open the doors up to many new teams. The HDWSBBL board changed the entire league format, many of the Championship Cups and a total re branding which has still proved very successful.

Team Pld W D L TF TA TD CF CA CD PTS
Tail Slammers 4 3 1 0 12 8 4 11 4 7 100
Teotigua Predators 4 3 0 1 12 8 4 5 11 -6 90
Lustria Leapers 4 2 2 0 11 5 6 6 4 2 80
The Loren Rangers 4 2 2 0 14 8 6 3 4 -1 80
Middenhein Manhunters 4 2 1 1 14 12 2 6 5 1 70
Brimstone Flayers 4 2 0 2 9 8 1 5 10 -5 60
Orcland Cleavers 4 2 0 2 3 6 -3 10 2 8 60
Grunhelm Gemcutters 4 1 2 1 6 4 2 6 2 4 50
The Innsmouth Shadows 4 1 2 1 4 4 0 6 5 1 50
We Tree Fellows 4 1 1 2 14 12 2 7 7 0 40
Whereinthehellarewe Tribe 4 1 0 3 6 11 -5 8 8 0 30
Damage Inc 4 1 0 3 4 11 -7 5 5 0 30
The Brewers 4 0 2 2 3 11 -8 5 11 -6 20
The Tutsbone Jackles 4 0 1 3 1 5 -4 3 8 -5 10

2514/15 – The Sly Sports Challenge Cup (Knock-out Format and it’s Return)

So with the HDWSBBL finally bringing the Challenge Cup back they did have to reshuffle the league format, however this has opened up the oppotunites for teams to win more Championships. With the first round knocked out teams heading into the newly created HDWSBBL Vase Competition this season will surely shape up to be one of the bests.

 

HDWSBBL Challenge Cup Winners

And finally just a quick table showing you the previous winners of this Championship Cup:

Team Wins
Tail Slammers 1
Lustrian Snake Queens 1
The Loren Rangers 1
Karak Smashers 1

 

With the first round taking place this week I wish all the teams the best of luck and hope that you achieve your goals and of course please comment about your most memorable Challenge Cup moment, we would love to hear from you.

– Basco Headpatch

HDWSBBL - Did You Know

Knuckle Sandwich Anyone?

The most casualties to be inflicted by a single team were the Strickland Slammers against the Best of Bands in a North Division League game. They managed to maim and mangle 10 of the Bands players but luckily for the lizards they didn’t kill a single one, much to the dismay of the Strickland fans.

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