What is the format of Billie Jean King (BJK) cup?

The Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup is hailed as the World Cup of women’s tennis. An equivalent to the men’s Davis Cup, the BJK Cup is a 60-year-old event.
As of 2016, a total of 99 teams participate in the tournament. In order to accommodate such massive participation, the tournament is player in weekends throughout the year. These are based on a home-away format between pooled teams.

BJK Cup format

The current structure of the BJK Cup is based on a promotion-relegation format. All teams are divided into three zones based on geography – the America Zone, the Euro-Africa Zone and the Asia-Oceania Zone. Each of these zones is further divided into groups. The Asia-Oceania and the Americas Zone are divided into two groups each, Group 1 and Group 2, with Group 1 being the higher rank. The Euro-Africa Zone has an additional Group 3 and Group 4.

Within each groups, based on the number of participants, teams are either divided in pools or follow a round-robin format. Based on their standings, they are either promoted or relegated to the higher group. The top two teams in the Euro-Africa Group 1, and the top team in the Americas Group 1 and Asia-Oceania Group 1 qualify for the World Group II play-offs. These four teams face the four losing teams of the previous year’s World Group II in the World Group II play-offs.

The four winners of the World Group II play-offs advance to the World Group II. The World Group II features losers of the World Group I of the previous year and the winners of the World Group II play-offs. The winners of World Group II advance to the World Group I play-offs. These teams will face teams that were relegated from World Group I. Finally, teams who qualify for the World Group I compete against each other for the BJK Cup title.

Ties of World Group I and World Group II are played as best-of-five matches. These include two singles, two reverse singles and a doubles match. The ties of zonal groups are contested as best-of-three matches. Two of these matches are singles and one is a doubles match.

USA has won a record 18 BJK Cup titles in the history of the event, followed by Czech Republic (11) and Australia (7).

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