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Discussion: Preferred Tournament format

Posted Discussion
Jan. 11, 2012
Men's 60
240 posts
Preferred Tournament format
I broached, or whined about, this topic earlier in the season. We played several tournaments that gave you 2 pool games and then double elimination with a guarantee of 5 total. If you lost the first 2 elimination games, you could, theoretically, lose 2 elimination games and win the tournament. At least that's the way I understand it. This is opposed to a format with 3 pool games and double elimination.

My problem with the first format was that to work your way back to the championship game after a single lose, you had to play several more games, thus making it extremely difficult to win from the losers bracket. In a small bracket it wasn't a big deal, but in a large field it was almost impossible, IMO.

For those analytical thinkers and those just plain smarter than I, why would the tournament director favor one format over the other? All other things being equal, I would opt for the tournament with the 3 pool games and then double elimination. Thanks
Jan. 11, 2012
2504 posts

Speaking on behalf of SSUSA, there are three principal reasons we have adopted the two Round Robin into Three-Game-Guarantee Bracket (2RR/3GG) format for brackets of five or more teams –

1. A strong majority of teams believe that the ‘real’ tournament begins only when the elimination bracket begins, regardless of its structure. The 2RR/3GG format gets teams into the brackets earlier and keeps them there longer, meeting that majority belief while still complying with the five game guarantee offered in SSUSA events.

2. The 2RR/3GG format requires less total games than the former 3RR/DE structure. With the growth in the number of teams being at a faster rate than the availability of new playing facilities, ‘every game counts’ in scheduling.

3. In any division with an odd number of teams playing a three-game seeding, one of those teams must play an “exhibition” game that doesn’t count in the standings, but constitutes that team’s fourth game prior to the bracket. Almost all teams that draw that extra game believe it is unfair. There are no “exhibition” games in the 2RR/3GG format.

Please keep in mind that the 2RR/3GG format is not a triple-elimination bracket. This format simply does what its title indicates: It guarantees each team three games in the bracket, regardless of the outcome of their first two games. This guarantee is accomplished by feeding any potential loser of their first two games back into the Elimination Bracket, where they remain alive and eligible to win the Championship. Therefore, the timing of when games are won or lost, and their practical effect, is important.

As is the case with any bracket type, the easiest path to the Championship is remaining ‘above the line’, and in the 2RR/3GG format, after you have played two games in the Bracket, it’s an excellent idea to keep winning! Quirks can, and do, arise in any format, but this 2RR/3GG has been both efficient and almost universally well received since its beginnings several years ago.

Jan. 11, 2012
Men's 60
496 posts
You have to look at it from the amount of game slots available. With us we do two day events. Seniors don’t like to play at night. And they want to get out of Dodge at a reasonable time on Sunday. So lets take now (winter) the sun sets at 5:00 We use 1.5 hour game slots. This way it allows for 65 min plus the open. Usually there is a few minutes between games for the umpire to go to the bathroom or stuff a hot dog in himself. And allow the grounds crew to do the fields. If you start at 8:00 on Saturday and end the last game at 3:30 your finished before lights hopefully. Then Sunday at 8:00 and the last game at 3:30 This is 6 games each day times the amount of fields. Four fields will yield 48 game slots. Then take the amount of teams and place them in divisions. Odd number teams make it more difficult. The double elimination format creates a lot of game slots so you need more fields and or more days. Its really math. Here is the dilemma if you promise 5 games then a 6 team round robin works the best. This will generate 15 games. So right now you're limited to 18 teams on four fields. But if a team looses the first 3 or 4 they may pull up anchor. This really isn't fair to the other teams. 3 game seed with a single elimination is another alternative. But those same 6 teams will now create 17 game slots. And now your going to have to use the lights on Saturday to get all the games in. Its all in how many teams show up, how many days and how many fields. Time is money to the park directors. We have to try to get 5 games in for everybody entered and shuffle the teams around so they don’t have to wait too long between games. Then there is the special request for times. We try to pay close attention to those that have long drives both to and from. Last weekend we had teams from the bay area, Arizona and Nevada. Hopefully all got home at a reasonable hour. So you see its a big puzzle and not every solution is the best one. Clear as mud :O)
Jan. 11, 2012
Men's 60
1712 posts
In the inaugural TOC we lost our first two games in the elimination bracket and came all the way back to win the tourney. Needless to say I love this format. 3 pool games that mean nothing are a waste.
Jan. 11, 2012
Men's 50
891 posts
We have enjoyed playing some of our local tournaments this way...Divide into divisions of 6 teams and play everyone once. The two teams with the best records play for the championship with the team that has the second best record having to beat the team with the best record twice to win the championship.

This is a total round robin format with the majority of the teams playing games that count. Sure, a couple of teams may play meaningless games if they are both 0-3 or something, but not like it is now where everyone plays meaningless games and in some cases have to take a day off of work to do it.

Jan. 12, 2012
266 posts
I agree with the 2 game RR and the 3 game wrap around bracket.
This allows teams to get some warm up games , and then still have a 3 game gaurentee.
best of both worlds.
just my 2 cents work.
Brett Cooper
Jan. 12, 2012
277 posts

We had used the complete round robin format at our tournament the past three years but this year we are switching to pool and round robin.

The reason being a lot of time on the second day, teams who are a couple of hours from home and find themselves 1-3 or 0-4 just pack it in and head home.

This causes problems for teams who are still in the hunt and were scheduled to play those teams later in the day.

It does have its advantages but can also cause a big problem if teams leave.

Don't want to list our tournament name because SSUSA would delete this info.

Jan. 12, 2012
526 posts
In Phoenix 2011, the 65AAAs had "4" seeding games. I remember walking in on championship bracket day and seeing a lot of limping 65+ year old men. It was especially hard on teams with short rosters to begin with. "4" is simply too many. Sure, it gave us "6" games guaranteed. However, I prefer the "2" seeding games with the guaranteed "5" games. I believe you have a fresher and higher energy level of play as the tournament proceeds with less fatique and injury potential.
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