The ITM Cup which replaced the Air New Zealand Cup in 2010 will feature the same 14 teams that participated in the inaugural 2006 Air New Zealand Cup: Auckland, Bay of Plenty, Canterbury, Counties Manukau, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu, Northland, North Harbour, Otago, Southland, Taranaki, Tasman, Waikato and Wellington.
The revised format will now see all 14 teams playing in a 10-week Modified Round Robin, followed by the quarterfinals, semifinals and final.
There will be seven matches played each week during the Modified Round Robin. Not all teams will play each other during the Modified Round Robin. A formula has been developed to determine which teams do not play each other, based on a teamís competition placing from the previous season.
During the 10 weeks of the Modified Round Robin, there will be a match played on every Thursday night. During the 10 weeks of the Modified Round Robin, two matches will be played simultaneously at 7.35pm on Friday night, This will allow the local SKY Television to broadcast each match live on separate channels then repeating both matches on alternate channels straight after the live broadcast.
Teams accumulate competition points as per normal: 4 points for a win; 2 points for a draw; 1 point for scoring four or more tries in a match; 1 point for losing a match by seven or fewer points.
The top eight teams at the end of the Modified Round Robin will advance to the quarterfinals with the top four ranked teams hosting the matches. The quarterfinal match ups will be as follows: 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7, 3 vs. 6 and 4 vs. 5. The first semifinal will be contested between the highest-seeded quarterfinal winner and the lowest-seeded quarterfinal winner; the other semifinal will be contested between the two remaining teams.
The Ranfurly Shield maintains its special place within the ITM Cup, with the holder putting the Shield up at all home games in the Round Robin only. Wellington