Fairness for Everyone? Do We Need Another Measure?

There is unfinished business from the last couple of posts.

The remaining thing to do in addressing the question of whether a shifted bracket is a good thing or a bad thing is to address the question of whether it is bad because it uses an unbalanced bracket. Is an unbalanced bracket inherently unfair?

Before we do that, however, I want to consider whether it would be a good thing to consider a somewhat different coefficient that looks at the distribution of rewards short of winning the tournament as a whole.
Continue reading “Fairness for Everyone? Do We Need Another Measure?”

Building a Better Bracket, Part II

Yesterday I discussed a technique for squeezing a round out of the lower bracket in a double-elimination tournament by shifting some of the drops into early rounds. Now it’s time to discuss the other merits of that technique.

Here’s the bottom line: The round compression technique doesn’t just save a round so that the tournament runs faster, but it also improves overall fairness, and reduces the number of repeated pairings. It’s not just a plausible way to save some time in a round-intensive tournament, but it should probably be the technique of choice for almost any double-elimination tournament, whether or not there’s any benefit from running fewer rounds. Continue reading “Building a Better Bracket, Part II”

Getting the Drops Right, Part II

So, having made a case for the importance of putting the drops in the right places, let’s turn to the issue of how to get them there.

As a practical matter, the easiest thing to do is to download or copy from some source that can be relied upon to get it right. Unfortunately, there’s no site, other than this one, that I think can recommend on this point. I hope, in the fullness of time, to build out the collection of sample documents I make available here to the point where a tournament organizer can find a useful sample for any but the most exotic tournament. But don’t hold your breath. In the meantime, let me explain a general approach that I’ve found useful. Continue reading “Getting the Drops Right, Part II”

Getting the Drops Right

Today’s topic is arranging the drops in a double-elimination tournament. By drops, I mean the guides that show where the loser of a winner’s bracket match should reappear in the losers bracket. The goal is to avoid, as much as possible, repeating a pairing that happened earlier in the winners bracket.

First, let me show you why the drops matter, using as an example the simple 16-team double elimination format I introduced in an earlier post. Continue reading “Getting the Drops Right”