Tourneygeek grows in a haphazard fashion. For me, that’s what makes it fun to write – I can speculate when I’m feeling speculative, analyze when I’m feeling analytical, draw new brackets when I’m feeling (slightly) artistic, or add new features to my tournament simulator when I’m feeling geeky. But readers can be forgiven for not sharing … Continue reading “A Guide to Tourneygeek”
Tourneygeek grows in a haphazard fashion. For me, that’s what makes it fun to write – I can speculate when I’m feeling speculative, analyze when I’m feeling analytical, draw new brackets when I’m feeling (slightly) artistic, or add new features to my tournament simulator when I’m feeling geeky.
But readers can be forgiven for not sharing my mood of the moment. So in this post, I try explain how the various threads – theory, practice, individual games, resources, and geekery – have developed, and show how to follow the main themes from post to post.
Continue reading “A Guide to Tourneygeek”
In the previous post, I suggested that the first parts of the Ottawa Men’s Bonspiel design could be adapted to a large double-elimination tourney in other contexts. It’s time to put it to the test.
In the last post, I linked to brackets for the Ottawa design, both (nearly) as it was played in Ottawa, and with a few technical adjustments intended to improve fairness. In this post, I’ll look at the effect of those technical adjustments.
Continue reading “Learning from Ottawa, part II”
The bracket from the City of Ottawa Men’s Bonspiel tourney discussed in the last post had a number of features that make it look like it would be fun to play. In this post, I’ll consider whether a truncated version of the Ottawa bracket might make a good double-elimination bracket for a 91-team tourney in some other event.
This post will show the way the Ottawa-style brackets would look, both (nearly) as drawn by the Ottawa organizers, and with a few of my own alterations to eliminate some small sources of unfairness that seem to me gratuitous. In a later post, we’ll test these designs against a more conventional bracket.
The result, I’m guessing, is that the Ottawa bracket gives up a good deal of fairness (C) in exchange for its other virtues. Chief among these virtues is the way the tourney is experienced by the vast majority of players who lose in an early round.
In an ordinary double-elimination tourney, losing in an early round is very dispiriting. You know that you have a path back to glory, but you also know that that path is a long one, and your chance of success small. But you have a different prospect in Ottawa. Here the A, B, and C rounds losers all drop into a pristine new bracket, a bracket in which you have as good a chance as anyone else to win a named trophy.
Continue reading “Learning from Ottawa”
Reader metzgerism alerts me to the fact that in curling, “three-game guarantees are practically sacrosanct”. He also mentioned a tourney being held right now. The City of Ottawa Men’s Bonspiel.
This event carries a concern for the value of participation to a level I have never before encountered in a bracketed tourney. The draw for this tourney can be found here. Participants are guaranteed not just three but five games (though it appears that for a particularly unlucky or inept team, one of the five games may be a bye).
This is a complicated structure indeed, but it’s worth taking a close look at it.
Continue reading “Extreme Participation: Ottawa Curling”
One of the perceived disadvantages of knockout tournaments is that they don’t offer much play to weaker (or unlucky) players. They’re very efficient, but that efficiency comes at the expense of participation – half the field in a knockout tourney get to play only one match before being eliminated.
Running a double elimination will give all teams at least two matches, as will running a consolation bracket. To offer each team at least three matches, you can run a triple elimination (which is quite rare and tends to raise thorny issues of bracket design), or add a last chance as a consolation-to-the-consolation bracket.
There is another way to guarantee each team a third match that is much less complicated than running a full triple elimination, and yet still offers a team a chance to win the overall title after losing the first two rounds. Here is such a bracket for a field of 16: 16DE3GG. It’s essentially a double-elimination bracket with an additional round in the lower. It this fair? How does it play?
Continue reading “Three Match Guarantees”
Here’s another first draft of a section from the potential monograph, Tourneygeek’s Guide to Tournaments: FairnessC.
As before I’m linking to a PDF rather than putting the text here because I use some formatting that won’t work well as a blog post.
I think that fairness (C) is one of the more important concepts, and hope you will find this new explanation a good deal clearer than the one that was initially floated early in tourneygeek’s run, and added to in fits and starts since.
In a comment, Donald the Potholer suggested that there was a way of getting the simulator to run a Swiss-style tourney. At the time I thought he was incorrect, but with further thought, I see that it is possible to do this in a limited way, specifically for 32 players in five rounds. I stand corrected (and somewhat in awe of a reader who can infer from other discussions capabilities of my simulator that I didn’t realize it had).
So how would a Swiss Miss have fared had she been allowed to join the FOTA 32 pageant?
Continue reading “Swiss Miss”
I subscribe to The Cricketer, a glossy cricket magazine published in England. My copy arrives in Indiana by way of Budapest after about two months transit time. But it’s worth waiting for. In the last issue I received, there’s an interesting tournament design problem relating to the scheduling of round robins.
Continue reading “Scheduling County Cricket”