Roger Federer’s 2014 official schedule

Tennis season 2014 is on! As usual the new year has arrived to Australia some hours earlier than most of the remainder of the world and also as usual the new tennis season as a first Ausi flavor.

In this article we reproduce the first version of Roger Federer official schedule released by December the 28th in his official site and we can find some surprises there. The first is precisely at the beginning of the schedule: it will the RF first time at the Brisbane International (ATP 250) and he will be playing both single and doubles matches (pairing with Mahut – they have already won the first draw early on at the 31st December).

Federer will also be returning to Miami after its absence in 2013 and is committed to return to Basel (remember that Basel was a late addition to Roger schedule in 2013).

No trip to Rotterdam (present in the first 2013 schedule), to Hamburg or Gstaad are currently scheduled, places where Roger Federer ended up playing in last year’s season.

Will Federer build on the better end of 2013 season or will he keep the natural decline of an aging champion? And what will be the influence of the new couch (Stefan Edberg)?  These are just some of many points of interest in an always exciting game.

Roger has released his schedule for the 2014 season:



30. December 2013 – 05. January 2014
Australian Open 13. – 26. January
Dubai     24. February – 01. March
Indian Wells 03. – 16. March
Miami 17. – 30. March
Madrid 05. – 11. May
Rome 12. – 18. May
Roland Garros 26. May – 08. June
Halle 09. – 15. June
Wimbledon 23. June – 06. July
Toronto 04. – 10. August
Cincinnati 11. – 17. August
US Open 25. August – 07. September
Shanghai 06. – 12. October
Basel 18. – 26. October
Paris 27. October – 02. November

Dakar 2014 – Full Race Calendar and Features

The 2014 Dakar Rally is about to begin, with the 1st stage commencing next January 5th.

This year’s edition will cover Bolivia’s territory for the first time and will have relevant differences in stage’s organization.


five special stages have been marked out on completely separate routes, with motorcycles and quad bikes on one hand and cars and trucks on the other. Overall, the ‘separation’ includes around 2,000 kilometres of timed sections, covering more than 40% of the distance

In sporting terms, this has the double advantage of taking motorcycle and quad riders onto more technical and narrower tracks during some stages, while enabling the leaders of the car race to ‘hit the trail’ without using the tracks left by the two-wheelers.

This is also a decisive advantage in terms of safety, as separating the routes eliminates all situations requiring careful overtaking. The benefit is even greater given that the stages in question are essentially in the first part of the rally, when there are many vehicles on the track.”

The full stage calendar is the following:

05-01-2014 Rosario San Luis
06-01-2014 San Luis San Rafael
07-01-2014 San Rafael San Juan
08-01-2014 San Juan Chilecito
09-01-2014 Chilecito Tucumán
10-01-2014 Tucumán Salta
11-01-2014 Rest day
12-01-2014 Salta Salta/Uyuni
13-01-2014 Salta/Uyuni Calama
14-01-2014 Calama Iquique
15-01-2014 Iquique Antofagasta
16-01-2014 Antofagasta El Salvador
17-01-2014 El Salvador La Serena
18-01-2014 La Serena Valparaíso

Stéphane Peterhansel (winner of last year’s edition), Nasser-al-Attiyah, and Nani Roma (4th in 2013) – the three leaders of the X-Raid team – are all strong candidates to win the 2014 Dakar.  They will be again on the wheels of Mini.

Super Athletes – Nasser Al-Attiyah: Dakar Winner and Olympic Medalist in Skeet Shooting

Peterhansel has an amazing record of 11 Dakar Rally wins in 21 participations, the first 6 on Bikes and the other 5 on cars. So this year he can match his bike and cars wins!

Other strong contestants are Giniel de Villiers (Toyota, last year’s runner-up) and Carlos Sainz (Buggy), as well as Robby Gordon (Hummer).

Portuguese driver Carlos Sousa – 6th last year – will bear number 306 driving for Team Great Wall and should be again within Top 10 as he already did 9 times. His best place was 4th in the 2003 edition held in the African desert.

On Bikes – Frenchman and winner of last year edition – Cyril Despres (Yahama) – , Spaniard Marc Coma (KTM), Portuguese Rúben Faria (KTM, last year’s runner-up) and Chilean Francisco ‘Chaleco’ Lopez (KTM, 3rd in 2013) are the favourites. Despres has won the Rally 5 times and finished other 5 times in a podium place (4 of them as runner-up).

Biathlon 2013/2014 – Season starts this weekend: Full Season Calendar

The 2013/2014 Biathlon World Championship starts this weekend in Ostersund, Sweden.

The complete race schedule is the following:

Date Start time (CET) Distance Discipline Category
24.11. 15:30 2×6+2×7.5 km Relay Mixed Start List / Results
27.11. 17:15 15 km Individual Women Start List / Results
28.11. 17:15 20 km Individual Men Start List / Results
29.11. 17:45 7.5 km Sprint Women Start List / Results
30.11. 15:15 10 km Sprint Men Start List / Results
01.12. 11:30 10 km Pursuit Women Start List / Results
01.12. 13:30 12.5 km Pursuit Men Start List / Results

The remaining season events will be the following:

You can use the link below to automatically export events’ calendar to your outlook.
[+] Export Events to Outlook

Date Event Location Nationality
22.11. – 01.12.2013 E.ON IBU World Cup 1 Oestersund
03.12. – 08.12.2013 E.ON IBU World Cup 2 Hochfilzen
09.12. – 15.12.2013 E.ON IBU World Cup 3 Annecy-Le Grand Bornand
01.01. – 05.01.2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 4 Oberhof
06.01. – 12.01.2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 5 Ruhpolding
13.01. – 19.01.2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 6 Antholz-Anterselva
03.03. – 09.03.2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 7 Pokljuka
10.03. – 16.03.2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 8 Kontiolahti
17.03. – 23.03.2014 E.ON IBU World Cup 9 Oslo Holmenkollen

And you may want to follow this season in a bit more informed manner by checking our previous posts:

Biathlon – In what it consists and what are its origins?

Biathlon Relays – How it works in terms of shooting?

Biathlon’s Individual Event – What is it and what matters most?

Biathlon’s Mass Start Event – What is it and what matters most?

Biathlon’s Pursuit Event – What is it and what matters most?

FIFA Ranking 1 Week Before Release and Possible Pots for World Cup 2014

imagesFIFA will update in a week (November 28th) its national teams’ country ranking, but upon using the simulator available on FIFA’s Website one can already know which will be the Top 20 Nations.

Before that you may want to recall how this ranking works.

The new ranking to be disclosed next week will be the following:

Rank Country Points Change Since Previous Ranking
1 Spain 1507 =
2 Germany 1318 =
3 Argentina 1251 =
4 Colombia 1200 =
5 Portugal 1172 9
6 Uruguay 1132 =
7 Italy 1120 1
8 Switzerland 1113 -1
9 Netherlands 1106 -1
10 Brazil 1102 1
11 Belgium 1098 -6
12 Greece 1055 3
13 England 1041 -3
14 USA 1019 -1
15 Chile 1014 -3
17 Croatia 971 2
17 Côte d’Ivoire 918 =
18 Ukraine 907 2
19 France 893 2
20 Mexico 892 4

No changes in Top4 and Portugal is now Top5.

Portugal and Mexico are the best moving up teams.

Belgium, Chile and England are in spite the worst.

Brazil gets back to Top10.

This ranking however won’t matter to define Top seeded countries for next December 6th’s  2014 World Cup draw.

Top seeded teams were defined upon the October ranking and are the following: Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium, Uruguay, Switzerland,

The other 3 pots are not yet defined but speculates they will be composed as follows:

Pot 2 (CONCACAF, Asia)

Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, USA, Australia, Iran, Japan, South Korea.

Pot 3 (South America, Africa + lowest-ranked European team)

Chile, Ecuador, Algeria, Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, France

Pot 4 (Europe)

Bosnia-Herzegovinia, England, Italy, Russia, Netherlands, Portugal, Croatia, Greece.

If you want to know more about other important rankings, such as the UEFA’s teams and countries ones, you can check our previous posts.

UEFA Country Ranking

UEFA Team Ranking

Soccer – UEFA’s Team Ranking: A Calculation to define Top Seed Clubs

NFL 2013/2014 Full Calendar and Game Rules

untitledThe American Football National League (NFL) regular season started last September 5th with current Super Bowl holders Ravens losing to Broncos (27-49). Week 2 will close today at 08:40 PM ET or 01:40 AM CET with Bengals hosting Steelers.

The full calendar for the regular season that will continue until November 28th – including game’s schedule – can be checked on NFL’s Website in:

The Playoffs will be held between January 4-19th 2014 to decide the 2 teams that will enter the 47th Super Bowl.

Access rules to Playoffs were posted by us before and they stay valid for this season.

The Super Bowl will take place February 2nd, 2014 in New Orleans, home of the ‘Saints’ that won the 2 games they’ve played till now.

In the meanwhile you may want to recall the origins of the game,

American Football – In what it consists and what are its origins?

and how touchdowns can be scored!

American Football – Touchdown!


A Referee per Team, Goalkeeper Everywhere, no Penalty and Corner kicks, Substitutions and Cards: Is this Football? It was…

imagesCAYMGI21If we take a long perspective of the evolution of Football Laws of the game one may get rather surprised.

And what if you team could choose its own personal referee and the Goalkeeper could handle the ball with his hands in the entire pitch?

And tape instead of a crossbar in the goal?

And if no penalty kicks exist because a gentleman would never deliberately commit a foul?

And no substitutions?

And a referee without yellow or red cards? (this one is not so old).

And in the present we are talking about things like Hawkeyes!

Brazil World Cup 2014 – Goal Line Technology Will be Used

Take a look at the table and draw your own smile imagining a game under such rules!

Year Fact Features
1863 First Football Rulebook Rewritten Cambridge Rules
1863 Offside law Any player in front of the ball was offside, like in today’s Rugby
1866 Offside law Three-player rule – an attacker would be called offside if positioned in front of the third-last defender
1869 Goal-Kicks Introduction  
1872 Corner-Kicks Introduction  
Until 1872 Two umpires, one per team, were being employed to whom each side could appeal The referee, at first, stood on the touch-line keeping time and was ‘referred’ to if the umpires could not agree
1875 Crossbar Introduction Tape (imagine) was used before
1878 Whistle Introduction A referee uses it for the 1st time
1882 International Football Association Board (IFAB) Foundation  
1886 1st meeting of IFAB  
1891 Penalty-Kicks Introduction First know as the ‘the kick of death’, not taken from a spot (like today) but anywhere along a 12-yard line before 1902
1891 Referee For the 1st time a single person had the powers to send players off as well as give penalties and free-kicks without listening to appeals. The two umpires became linesmen, or ‘assistant referees’ as they are called today
1891 Goal net Introduction Full make-up of the goal as it is today
1902 Penalty-Kicks as today For fouls committed in an area 18 yards from the goal line and 44 yards wide, which created both the penalty box and penalty spot. Another box ‘goal area’, commonly called the ‘six-yard-box’, six yards long and 20 wide, replaced a semi circle in the goalmouth.
1904 FIFA’s Foundation  
1912 Goalkeepers forbidden from handling the ball outside the penalty area  
1913 FIFA becomes a member of IFAB  
1920 Offsides from throw-ins were banned  
1925 Amendment of the offside rule from three to two players.  
1958 Substitutions introduction But only for an injured goalkeeper and one other injured player.
1970 Red and yellow cards are introduced
To indicate a caution or an expulsion (used for the first time in the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico)
1990 Offside law The advantage was given to the attacking team. If the attacker was in line with the penultimate defender, he was considered onside
1990 Denying an opponent a clear goal-scoring opportunity (know as the ‘Professional foul’) became a sending-off offence
1992 Goalkeepers forbidden from handing back-passes  
1994 Technical area Introduction   
1995 Fourth official Introduction  
1998 Fierce tackle from behind Became a red-card offence


Biathlon – In what it consists and what are its origins?

No, it has nothing to do with swimming, cycling and running (Triathlon) or just cycling and running (Duathlon). Biathlon is a Winter Olympic Sport which combines cross country skiing with precision target shooting. It is a combination of alternating skiing and rifle shooting abilities that requires balance between shooting accuracy and skiing skills and stamina.

Biathletes have to carry the rifle (which weighs a minimum of 3.5 Kg and fires 22mm bullets) on their back while skiing. Several combinations exist of race types and lengths, shooting positions (prone or standing) and penalties for missing shots. The 5 targets to be hit at each round stand at 50 metres and have the size of an orange – 11.5 cm diameter (for the prone and more stable shooting position the target is smaller inner circle – 4.5 cm).

Biathlon was originated in northern european countries mainly due to borderline guards and military patrols that need to move on harsh and extreme conditions and be armed to carry on their duties. The first competition deemed to be similar to modern Biathlon was held in Norway in the 18th century.

Overtime, after being just a demonstration sport in several Winter Olympic Games, it gained acknowledgment and finally the first Olympic Biathlon competitions were held in 1960 in Squaw Valley, California (USA). So, next time do not confuse it with triathlon or even duathlon. By the way, Biathlon’s seasons usually start in November and last till March. You can watch the 2012-2013 World Cup Events live on Eurosport, we will try to continue providing you relevant insights about this more and more popular sport.

American Football – In what it consists and what are its origins?

American football is a game that involves two teams of eleven players in which the objective is to score points by advancing the ball (which indeed is spherical egg-shaped as in Rugby or Australian Football) into the opposing team’s end zone. This could be achieved by running with the ball or by throwing it to a teammate. The most important points can be scored by carrying the ball over the opponent’s goal line or by catching a pass thrown over that goal line (these two moves are called a ‘Touch Down’). Kicking the ball through the opponent’s goal posts or tackling an opposing ball carrier in his own end zone also grants points.

American football had its inspiration in early types of association football and rugby football, these later also considered as predecessors of soccer. American Football resulted from several major divergences from rugby football, most notably the rule changes instituted by Walter Camp, considered the “Father of Football”. For Instance, in Rugby only hand back or lateral passes are allowed which does not occurs in American Football.

In the United States, there are several forms of American football, each of them played under slightly different rules. However, the most famous and highest level league is the one where professional football is played under the rules defined by the National Football League (NFL).

The origin of professional football goes back to 1892 in a game that opposed Allegheny Athletic Association against the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. The first professional league was formed in 1902, but it was only in 1920 that the American Professional Football Association was formed. The first game was played in Dayton, Ohio on October 3, 1920 with the host Triangles defeating the Columbus Panhandles 14–0. The league changed its name to NFL two years later.

The 2012/2013 NFL started last September 5th with the game between Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants. The Cowboys won 24-17. In future posts we will depict the rules of American Football within the context of play moves occurring in forthcoming games. Stay tuned for great Touch Downs.

Alpine Skiing – What are its origins and in what it consists?

The first alpine skiing competition, as recognised by the international regulatory body (FIS) took place in Oslo, Norway, around the 1850s. This first event was the one that is more aggressive and faster of all alpine skiing events: ‘The Downhill’

Alpine skiing emerged as an evolution from cross-country skiing (check our earlier post about ´Nordic Combined’ to see some details on cross-country skiing ). Some decades after, around the beginning of the 1900s, alpine skiing spread to other European countries, as well as to  the United States. The sport was popular around miners which organized such competitions to entertain themselves during the winter.

The first slalom – another event within alpine skiing – was organised in 1922 in Mürren, Switzerland. In 1928 another competition – The Arlberg-Kandahar, also known as AK, a combined slalom and downhill event – was held in St. Anton, Austria. This event is now referred to be the first ‘legitimate Alpine race’  and the one that planted the seed for Alpine’s inclusion in the Olympic programme, and for FIS (International Ski Federation) official recognition, in 1930, of alpine skiing events in addition to the traditional Nordic disciplines.

Alpine skiing then became in the 1936 Garmisch-Partenkirchen Wintergames an Olympic sport. In these games both a men’s and a ladies combined event were held as part of the games’s official programme.

Currently, alpine skiing encompass the following main 5 events:

– Downhill

– Super-G

– Giant Slalom

– Slalom

– Super Combined (one downhill or Super-G and one slalom runs)

In futures posts we will depict each of the alpine skiing events in more detail, as well as the names of the more renowned skiers.

Formula 1 Major Technical Changes for 2014 – Turbo Engines Back in 8 Gear Box Cars And KERS Loses Its K!

untitledNow the 2013 season has passed its halfway with Sebastien Vettel leading the ranks, but yet with the title fight wide open,

Formula 1 2013 Poll: Update by Half Season

new major technical changes were announced for 2014 (source and quotes from:

Engine – The 2.4-litre normally-aspirated V8 engines will be replaced by 1.6-litre V6 turbo engines that will reach a maximum of 15,000rpm.

Gearbox – gearboxes are to have eight forward ratios rather than the current seven

Energy Recovery Systems (ERS) – a larger proportion of each car’s power will come from ERS which, together with the engine, make up the powertrain or power unit. As well as generating energy under braking, ERS units will also generate power using waste heat from the engine’s turbocharger. Unlike the current KERS – which give drivers an extra 80bhp for six seconds per lap – the 2014 ERS will give drivers around 160bhp for 33 seconds per lap. To compensate for the extra power being generated under braking by ERS, teams will be allowed to use an electronic rear brake control system.

Formula 1 Speed Enhancers – KERS and DRS, what are they?

Fuel –  fuel will be limited to 100kg per race with the aim of promoting fuel efficiency.

Minimum weight – to compensate for the increased weight of the 2014 powertrain, minimum weight has been increased from the current 642kg to 690kg.

Formula 1 Pilots – Are there maximum weight and height limits to be a driver?

Front and rera wings – front wings will be a little narrower with the width reduced from 1.80 metres to 1.65 metres. The rear wing will also look a little different in 2014 compared to 2013′ models. The lower beam wing is being outlawed and the main flap will be slightly shallower in profile.

Exhaust – unlike today where two exhaust tailpipes are used, the 2014 regulations mandate the use of a single tailpipe which must be angled upwards to prevent the exhaust flow being used for aerodynamic effect. Additionally, bodywork is not allowed to be placed behind the tailpipe.

Nose height – for safety reasons the height of noses will be reduced in 2014. The maximum height is currently 550mm, whereas next year it’s 185mm.