Introducing the Sumo World Cup

This year, the final week of the World Cup will overlap with the first week of the Nagoya basho. In honor of the World Cup I’ve decided to introduce the Sumo World Cup as a “meta-basho”. This tournament will equate to the “Group Stage” with the top 2 finishers in each group moving on to the next round in September. I’ve had to institute a few key differences. Mainly, there are 6 rikishi in the groups instead of four. This is because there are 42 wrestlers in makuuchi. I’ve also added the 6 top wrestlers from Juryo to round out the groups at 48.

If this doesn’t work out, we will never speak of it again. Rather than head-to-head matchups, this only makes sense to take the wrestlers’ overall records instead. I have got to say, my Group A favorites are Kakuryu and Onosho. In September, the winner from Group A would face the second place survivor of Group B (Takarafuji?) and the winner of that match-up would continue to the Group of 8 and so on. The ultimate winner would be crowned in March…if this doesn’t end up as pointless as the CONCACAF Champion’s League.

14 thoughts on “Introducing the Sumo World Cup

  1. Group E is filthy

    In a magic world where they did have to go thru a round robin group stage that would just be absolute carnage and I for one would posit Akiseyama wouldn’t finish bottom

    • This may be the Group of Death where I need to figure out tie-breakers. The thing that I haven’t wrapped my head around is how the banzuke rank will come into play. I just think Onosho may be able to steal the Group A win if Kakuryu is a bit off his game.

  2. I realize this is for ”entertainment purposes only”, but my question is this: Is gambling (legal/illegal) on sumo big in Japan? I know a lot of people who would ordinarily care less about a Monday night NFL football game, but I’ll catch them hanging on every play only to find out later that they had $500 riding on the outcome. Sometimes, I will notice an enormous reaction from the sumo fans over what strikes me as a relatively unimportant match and the very first thing I think of is ”those guys had money on that bout”. Makes me laugh every time.

    • It doesn’t seem to be. And honestly that’s probably because it’s like the 8th most popular sport behind rugby, miniature golf, and middle school baseball (a bit of sarcasm). It also just seems too easy to rig, so as a gambler I wouldn’t do it. I’m pretty sure it is illegal in Japan but I do think there is some betting on sumo in other countries. Not to the point of individual matches but who’s going to win the yusho, stuff like that.

      They are very strict about it because of the yaocho scandals in the past and they want to keep yakuza elements out of the sport. They’re not allowed to attend matches, etc. There are other forms of gambling, like horse racing and stuff.

      • Andy, I’ve got to tell you that I’m genuinely surprised by your response to my question. I thought sure fans would be betting on all the bouts. I’ll be watching a meaningless Day 13 bout between, let’s say, 3-9 Tochiozan and 4-8 Chiyomaru. And upon the conclusion, certain fans will have an enormous reaction. Unless the fans are related to the wrestlers or are their best friends, I’m always going to assume said reaction is financially-related. I guess I know way too many degenerate gamblers.

  3. Hi Andy, Sorry for posting this question here, but, I absolutely LOVE your Tachiai blog! I’ve been subscribed since this past December and love reading all posts. Here is my problem: I’m switching email addresses, so, I have unsubscribed my old email address but I cannot find where I subscribe my NEW email address? I’ve reviewed the WordPress site, your entire Tachiai website, and I just cannot seem to find where I enter my new email address to subscribe or follow your blog again?!?. I also don’t remember how I subscribed the last time but clearly I did. Can you remind me where I subscribe to your blog so I can receive direct emails every time you post on the Tachiai blog? Thanks for everything you do for Sumo fans in the United States! Glenn

    • Andy, Great News! I think that when I just posted, I received a number of emails to subscribe and I think I figured it out! Sorry for bothering you but thanks again for your amazing coverage! Glenn

  4. Hello all. Always glad to see new games being formulated and this one has potential. I would also like to tell your readers that there already plenty of games – some extremely simple and quick, others more challenging. I have played the games for years and they really enhance the sumo fan experience because it forces you to learn about aspects of sumo you had perhaps not considered before. There is also a world ranking system, a Masters tournament for each basho, and a world championship with a real trophy with players from all around the world. We are always looking for new players, so I hope you don’t mind me linking to the main page here. New players should click the ‘intro’ link at the top of the page…that will explain everything in succinct fashion. Go here:

    Many thanks…and good luck with this new game!

    • I’ve been thinking to go through the groups one at a time and see who people have as their top 2 with # of wins. Group C is going to be nuts.


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