We're not even to this year's Olympics, but news is already filtering out about the 2016 installment, and word on the street is that it's going to make scheduling international sporting events a nightmare.
The first domino to fall: the All England Club announced that starting in 2015, Wimbledon will move a week later to provide for a three-week break after the French Open. That puts it on a collision course with the prospective dates for the British Open (or Open Championship, in U.K. terms). From the AP:
''The Wimbledon date change does impact on this with regard to when it's most sensible to play the Open that particular year, so we are going to have to go slightly back to the drawing board on this,'' said Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A and the president of the International Golf Federation, which oversees Olympic golf.
Still up in the air: the exact dates of the 2016 Olympics. This year's model clashes with the PGA Championship, with the Closing Ceremonies and the major's finale falling on the same day. The PGA has already offered to move up to the last week in July to avoid clashing with the Olympics. Also in the mix: two women's majors (the Women's British Open and the LPGA's Evian Masters in France), the Tour Championship, and the Ryder Cup, all of which have to get shoehorned into a three- to four-month timeframe.
The 2016 Olympics will, of course, mark the return of golf to the Games. Current scheduling has golf taking two weeks, one for the men and one for the women.
As the AP notes, the exact format of the golf event is yet to be determined. As initially proposed, the plan would be a rather routine 72-hole stroke play event with individual medals. But there could be the possibility of match play or team play as well, Dawson noted.
Any change to the format would require the approval of the International Olympic Committee.