Jeopardy! Announces Expanded Tournament of Champions for 2022

Jeopardy! has announced the field for the 2022 Tournament of Champions.

Headlining this year’s field include long-running Season 38 champions Amy Schneider, Matt Amodio, and Mattea Roach, all of whom captivated North America with their impressive knowledge. The field was unveiled on the third episode of the Inside Jeopardy! podcast, released yesterday evening.

The field includes the following players:

1) Jaskaran Singh, 2022 National College Championship winner
2) Sam Buttrey, 2021 Professor’s Tournament champion
3) Amy Schneider, 40 wins
4) Matt Amodio, 38 wins
5) Mattea Roach, 23 wins
6) Ryan Long, 16 wins
7) Jonathan Fisher, 11 wins
8) Brian Chang, 7 wins
9) Courtney Shah, 7 wins
10) Eric Ahasic, 6 wins
11) Zach Newkirk, 6 wins
12) Megan Wachspress, 6 wins
13) Andrew He, 5 wins
14) Tyler Rhode, 5 wins
15) Jackie Kelly, 4 wins
16) John Focht, 4 wins
17) Margaret Shelton, 4 wins
18) Christine Whelchel, 4 wins
19) Maureen O’Neil, 4 wins
20) Second Chance Tournament – Week 1 Winner
21) Second Chance Tournament – Week 2 Winner

The expanded field also requires a new postseason format: Amy, Matt, and Mattea have been given byes to the semifinals. The remaining 18 players will play over six quarterfinals to give 9 semifinalists. From there, we will have 3 semifinals, and then the three finalists will play a final structured similarly to the 2020 Greatest of All Time Tournament, where the first player to win 3 games will win the tournament overall.

Ken Jennings will host the tournament, which will be filming shortly after the Second Chance Tournament and will begin on October 31.

Editorially: I think that it’s a great move of Jeopardy! to expand its Tournament of Champions field; it’s a change that is long overdue (and one that I wish the show had elected to do for the 2019 event when many very deserving players were left on the outside looking in). If you include the NBA’s introduction of a play-in tournament, the MLB, NFL, and NBA have all expanded their playoff format in the last five years, and the MLB and the NFL have both expanded their respective playoff systems multiple times since 1985 (when Jeopardy! started its current Tournament of Champions).

Also, I am very glad to see that the general tenor of discussion towards the postseason expansion has been generally positive.

My primary concern—and it’s one that could be headed off if sufficiently planned for—is a reasonable chance that the final’s length will be spoiled by online television listings (and their respective episode descriptions). Moreover, with the way the tabloids have been looking for every chance to highlight angry Jeopardy! fans over the last seven months, this would undoubtedly turn into a story if it happens.

It’ll be interesting to see how the tournament goes without wild cards into the semifinals; the concept was certainly counterintuitive to casual viewers, though—which should make for a net positive.

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11 Comments on "Jeopardy! Announces Expanded Tournament of Champions for 2022"

  1. Christopher Denault | August 16, 2022 at 12:13 pm |

    One side effect of not having wild card slots for this TOC is that the contestants will get to watch all the other quarterfinal matches from the audience, as there’s no need to sequester them in the green room. No shooting for a benchmark total in the quarters – it’s all “win or go home” now.

    • I also like that this format eliminates the wild cards. The thing that always bothered me about the wild card tournaments is that some FJ clues are just tougher than others. It put contestants who drew a tough FJ at a disadvantage when competing for a wild card.

  2. Doug Bowden | August 16, 2022 at 7:23 pm |

    What’s not to like?! This is an ideal format for this field of champions. Kudos to the all at J! on the revisions made to the T O C, as well as everything 2nd chance. Should be a great month of games!

  3. This is awesome! I’m glad Michael Davies listened. I couldn’t have been the only to @ him to suggest changing the format of the TOC to accommodate the greatest field of all time. This works really well, and will run three weeks to boot.

    We’ll see if it’s just Matt, Amy, and Mattea but I wouldn’t be shocked to see an upset given how great this field is. But I honestly want more even time with some of these people. Many of them were a pleasure to watch.

  4. Michael Johnston | August 17, 2022 at 11:47 am |

    Heh… I’d been following the reddit discussion of the tournament changes and didn’t even notice this post until today😅 I’m stoked for this ToC! The changes are net neutral to me, I just want to see all the great players going HTH!

  5. Is it known HOW this will be broadcast? I mean syndicated during regular J! air times by the usual stations or at night by a major network? I am guessing the former since it will go on daily for so long. But if the latter, has it been announced which one? How about for the “2nd Chance Tournament”, as it might not be the same.

    • both the SCT and the ToC will be shown in regular syndication (with a break after the first round of the ToC to avoid Election Day preemptions; and on that day they’ll have some sort of “special programming” in the syndicated spot for those stations that don’t preempt).

      Celebrity Jeopardy, on the other hand, will be a “prime time special” airing exclusively on ABC, as something separate from the daily syndicated regular program (similar to what was done with the college tournament this year and the GoAT tourney)

  6. The format all around is better and the second chance tournament gives deserving players a second chance. I like the format of the final which is fairer all around. Still with the way Jeopardy loves drama, a better player can be knocked out by the daily doubles and final jeopardy even if they outplay another player in a game.

  7. I love the expansion of the tournament. Here are two modifications that I would propose:

    -Have 18 contestants instead of 21. With the three higher ranked players in the semi-finals, the other 15 would have five quarter-final matches with the five winners going through to the semi-finals. Then, the best three non-winners (or second place finishers) would have a “wild card game” where the winner gets the final semi-final spot.
    -Make the semi-final matches “a-best-of-four” series, where the first to two victories advance. Anything can happen in one match and the higher ranked players deserve some kind of leeway if they have a bad game.

    • I think that the format that you propose would not work as well as you think it would. It would certainly lead to unusual gameplay in Final Jeopardy of the opening round that would only serve to confuse viewers—or, at worst, the luckiest 3 qualifying for the repechage, not the best three. Remember, that the more complicated you make a format, the harder it becomes for the average viewer to follow along.

      One significant advantage of this Tournament format is that there will be no general strategy change between a regular game and a Tournament game.

  8. Matthew Yothers | September 10, 2022 at 1:54 am |

    Now, if you guys remember, Courtney Shah is the only one of our 19 champions who didn’t have Mayim or Ken hosting the show in her original run.

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