Who determines the time at which a sporting event will be held?

The timing of sporting events

The dates and the actual time that an event is played can be integral to any sporting event. In most cases the decision as to when an event will take place rests with the body in control of the event.

For example when looking at the football World Cup the actual timing of the matches will be set at three different times on a daily basis by the governing body, FIFA.

These timings will be set in stone before the event, meaning that there will be no change in the actual times of matches.

How will FIFA make the decision on timing?

This decision will be made by FIFA taking into account a variety of factors such as:

  • The time zone of the country holding the event
  • Any security concerns
  • The broadcast of certain matches such as the final

For which match will FIFA arguably be able to change the original timing?

During the World Cup matches are played continually every day meaning that there is very little scope to change the original schedules timing of a match.

However, the timing of the final is something which could potentially be subject to change.

For what reason would this be changed?

There could be a variety of reasons cited to necessitate a change in this manner with the most likely being some form of security concern. If for example the police feel the safety of supporters may be guaranteed by playing the match at an earlier time then this may be taken into consideration.

However, the final decision will always rest with the governing body.

Are other major sporting events as rigid in timing as the World Cup?

The World Cup schedule needs to be set in stone due to the nature of the tournament meaning there is little scope for change.

However, an event such as the Olympic Games may be able to switch the days of certain events. The reason for this is due to the nature of the Olympics it is made up of a number of different events so if one was moved it wouldn’t necessarily affect the schedule for the rest of the event.

Why would the timing of an Olympic event be moved?

Many of the events contained during an Olympic Games will be played within the Olympic arenas meaning that they have no effect on the outside world. However, this is not the case in relation to certain events which may have an effect on the city hosting the games. In relation to these events the government of the country or city may wish to have the timing of the event changed.

When would this occur?

Recently the mayor of London has stated his desire to have the marathon event during the 2012 Olympic Games moved from a weekday to a weekend.

Why is this the case?

The reason for this requested change is that when the marathon is held in London it will be done throughout much of the city and will require closure of many of the roads.

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For more information on:

  • Which body is charged with making this change?
  • Can any other bodies have an influence over the timing of a sporting event?
  • The Police
  • What would be the reason for this request?
  • The broadcaster of the event
  • Is there any reason why the Premier League may decide to move the scheduling of the match themselves?