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a tournament format idea

Posted By: Phil Simborg
Date: Monday, 16 February 2015, at 11:47 p.m.

How about this for a tournament format? Just an idea, but it could really be fun and should run smoothly.

You take the Open division (same with Intermediate) and randomly put everyone into 4 groups, as evenly distributed as possible. You assign someone to be the leader of each group to be responsible for keeping the records for the group.

Each group goes to a corner of the room and each group competes all day Saturday and Saturday night until they are left with 2 players that are the leaders in the group. The 2 players from each group then compete on Sunday starting with a round of 16, single elimination.

How you whittle each group down to 2 in one day depends on the number of players in each group. It could be round robin or modified swiss or simple double elimination depending on the number of players.

If you have a large tournament with more than 40 players, you would start with 8 groups and have one winner from each group, and probably play round robin, 7 point matches with clocks and then if you need more rounds, they are 5 points and 3 points until you have a winner.

If you have something like 40 players in the tournament, and there are 10 in each group, then you would play a double-eliminate event in each group with 7 point matches. Yes, there might be a bye, but if you are eliminated because of losses the bye won’t help. You might have to do 5 point matches and maybe a 7 point when you get to the final 4 depending on time. Keep doing draws that pit the better records against each other, and if the Captain has any problems determining the draw of format for the playoff, an official is called to make the decision so there is no question of fairness.

With clocks and all groups together and no one taking breaks except for meals, everyone should have an excellent competition. Successive matches should start very quickly after each one is done. If a group finishes early, they can relax or play in a side event.

I also believe we should shorten the time on the clocks to keep things moving. Instead of 14 minutes for a 7 point match, drop it to 10 minutes but keep the 12 second delay. Drop the 5 point match from 10 minutes to 7 with 12 second delay.

Of course, tournament staff will go around the room to check on progress and be available to assess penalties for anyone taking long breaks or holding up groups, and the group leaders will generally be experienced players and even TD's themselves much of the time. Everyone is guaranteed at least 2 matches in the main.

Some people will be eliminated after Saturday afternoon, and they can start a progressive consolation Saturday night, with more players feeding in the next morning who are eliminated Saturday night. All kinds of short side events can be offered for anyone knocked out.

I am looking for arguments for and against this format. I am sure after trying it a time or two we can find the flaws and make it better, but I believe this would be a fun way to run an event and if enough people agree, I might just run one like this with someone who has an established date.

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