Re: Question about Euro/African Zone I
A bye is necessary in case there is odd number of entries in the draw. Then some teams advance to the next round without play. In Davis Cup it could work in both ways - a team that has a bye in the relegation play off move straight to the "do or die" round in September.
The system guaranties each team 2 opportunities to win and stay in the same group. Sometimes there's a 3rd chance, as was the case with Zimbabwe and Norway last year.
The # of teams in group 1 may change from year to year, depending on the # of teams from the zone in question in the world group.
There will be no change in the division between the zones next year, as all the teams that promoted to the world group did so at the expense of teams from the same zone.
There will be 10 teams in Euro-Africa zone competing for 4 places in the WG qualifying round.
The 4 seeds - certainly the 4 losers of the QR - Germany, Belgium, Great Britain and Slovakia - plus 2 non-seeds will get a bye in the 1st round, while the other 4 teams play in 2 ties in February.
The non-seeds are Finland, Israel, Zimbabwe, Luxemburg, South Africa and Greece.
In the American zone there are 6 teams competing for 2 places in the WGQR. The 2 seeds - presumably Brazil and Equador - will get a bye to the 2nd round. The remaining 4 teams will play in the 1st round.
In Asia-Oceania zone there is a full draw of 8 teams and therefor no byes will be needed.