Extreme Participation: Ottawa Curling

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.

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Three Match Guarantees

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?

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TGT: Fairness (C)

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.


Swiss Miss

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?

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Scheduling County Cricket

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.

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Miss FOTA 32, Crowning (and postgame show)

The judges have made their decision. Miss DE32hCD will wear the crown. First runner-up is Miss 32TE, and Miss FOTA 32 Congeniality is Miss SE55779. Congratulations to all of our winners!

. . . . .

Buster Brackets with you again for a quick wrap-up of the action in the recently completed Miss FOTA 32 contest. Also here is our expert analyst, Worm Tourney.¬†Whew, that was quite some competition, Worm! What stood out for you? Continue reading “Miss FOTA 32, Crowning (and postgame show)”