2014 World Cup Tournament Format

2014 World Cup on DISHFor people accustomed to straightforward elimination-style playoffs, the World Cup tournament can seem like a bewildering affair.

It’s actually not that complicated. The important thing to remember is that World Cup play is divided into two stages – a group stage and an elimination stage.

All 32 World Cup teams are divided into eight groups of four teams each. The United States, for example, is in Group G with Germany, Portugal and Ghana. During the group stage (sometimes called the first round), each team will play one game against the others in their group, round-robin style, for points. A win is worth three points, and a draw is one point.

The two teams in each group with the greatest number of points advance to the elimination stage — also called the knockout stage.

From here it’s a standard lose-and-you’re-out style tournament, beginning with a round of 16 (sometimes called the second round) followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final. There is also a third-place match between teams that lost in the semi-finals.

Round-robin group tournaments followed by elimination rounds — pretty simple, right? And of course, you can see it all on DISH!