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View Full Version : Is Round Robin the Best Format for My Tournament?



SpiderMan
07-10-2002, 09:20 AM
I've been pressed into service as captain/coach for our company's billiard team in corporate olympics. We have more player volunteers than positions available, so I'm interested in some sort of round-robin or other fair tryout venue to downselect the field to the best four men and best four women. We have only 6 playing positions and two subs. Obviously a standard "elimination" tournament would be pretty draw-dependent, so that didn't seem fair.

Is a round-robin the best/fairest way to get two fields of 8 or 10 players each down to 4, basing it on win/loss records? Is there some other option that would not require everyone to play everyone else? I'd like to do something that could complete in a reasonable amount of time (4 or 5 hours). We'll be having at least one get-together to go over rules and play a little before scheduling the tryouts. Maybe a "seeded" elimination format based on my own evaluation of player skills from the first outing? Whatever the format, I was thinking about races to three in 8-ball. These aren't "A" players.

It also occured to me that I might have several players with equal win/loss match records, so perhaps I would want to have a "point" system based on the final scores of each match.

Please volunteer ideas and comments, I need to think of something and get it scheduled.

SpiderMan

Rich R.
07-10-2002, 10:26 AM
Unless you are familiar with the playing abilities of all the players involved, I think your idea for a round-robin is the best. That way a good player will not get eliminated early, by another good player, and you will get a chance to select the most consistantly good players for your team.
JMHO. Rich R.

Alfie
07-10-2002, 10:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: SpiderMan:</font><hr> We have only 6 playing positions and two subs. <hr></blockquote> How many people are vying for a spot?

How many tables do you have access to for the tryouts?

Mr Ingrate
07-10-2002, 11:00 AM
Spiderman,

You are probably aware of this, but you have to seriously consider the number of matches required for round robin play.

A 16 player round robin requires 15 rounds of 8 matches. You can't use more than 8 tables and you would need very short races. A race to 5 could take an hour giving you an estimated time of 15 hours to complete. Each player would play 15 matches. The top 8 finishers would make the final cut. Even if you played single games and each round took 15 minutes it would still take 3 hours and 45 min to complete.

An 8 player group would require 7 rounds and four tables. Two 8 player groups would take less than half the time of a single 16 player round robin given, 8 available tables. Each player would play 7 matches. The top 4 finishers in each group would make the cut.

A four player group would require 3 rounds and 2 tables. Given 8 available tables, 4 four player groups would finish in one-fifth the time of a 16 player group. Each player would play 3 matches. The top 2 finishers in each group would make the cut.

In the case of ties, look at the player with the least losses, if still tied, look at head to head records. If you still have a tie, ie: 3 players have identical records. In head to head competition, player 1 beat player 2, player 2 beat player 3, and player 3 beat player 1. It could happen. Have them shoot spot shots to break the tie.

If you had say, 4 superior players that you did not want to go head to head you could try some kind of seeding. A single group would not require any seeding. If you had 2 groups just put 2 superior players in each group. If 4 groups, 1 in each group.

Strangely enoough, I am working on round robin charts complete with schedules, table assignments, times, and scoring summaries, with a view to providing web content.

Let me know what you need and I may be able to get you something in the form of a .PDF file asap.

Tom_In_Cincy
07-10-2002, 07:30 PM
Round Robin is a good idea.
Tie breakers could be determined by either a playoff or how the players with ties did against each other. Winner of the Heads up match.. would win the tie breaker.. if multiple players had a tie.. then the lowest number of game (not match) losses.. breaks the tie.

07-10-2002, 08:06 PM
Spiderman, for your situation it sounds like a round robin format would be your best choice - one for the men and one for the women. It is probably the fairest overall competitions, and for your sake it takes you off the hook from any players whining about the draw, claims of favortism, etc., etc. in the determination of the team.

Total games won/lost can be used only as a tie-breaker, but the match won/loss records should be the crucial factor in placing the finishers.

It is vital in any round robin format that all paticipating players must commit to trying their hardest until all rounds are completed - even if their chances of advancing are virtually eliminated even with a number of rounds still remaining - which always will happen. If these players forfeit their remaining matches or even don't try their hardest, it seriously damages the integrity and results of the entire tourney - so this is very important. This should be clearly explained to all players before the matches are started.

It's really too bad that all players interested in participating in this activity cannot be included. I'd look in to the possibility of fielding two different teams, but that could be a nightmare as well - do you have an "A" team and a "B" team, or do you try to balance out the talent on both teams? Perhaps you have enough league interest in your organization to start a regular weekly league - possibly with handicaps to level out the playing field.

One last very important suggestion from a room owner and TD who has run tourneys ranging from pros to league players for over 6 years: The clarification of what rules will be followed needs to be clearly laid out to all the players going in. It is the responsibility of the players to clearly know the rules and ignorance of the rules is no excuse. If you yourself are not confident with ALL the rules for whatever rules you'll be playing by (BCA, APA, etc.) you'd better brush up - because rule disputes will come up and if you're not on top of it you'll have a real controversy with alot of unhappy players on your hands. Good luck! - Chris in NC

cheesemouse
07-10-2002, 09:54 PM
Spiderman,
There is a game that is easy, fun and simple to explain. Pool/bowling. It would be fair to all and give you your best players pretty hassle free. The first game could be a short six frames and the final cut ten frames. Like you said these aren't advanced players. If your not familiar with this game PM me and I will explain further.

07-11-2002, 07:42 AM
Hi Spiderman, another possiblity in the event of a tie in the round robin format is to go by total points. Give the winner of each game 10 points and the loser 1 point for each of their balls that are pocketed. Your score for each game can be as close as 10 to 7 or as far apart as 10 to 0. Good Luck, Terry

AustinFilAm
07-11-2002, 01:09 PM
Spiderman,
If you choose pool/bowling or "bowlliards", email me and I could email you a scoresheet. Like cheesemouse wrote, it is easy and fun.

Angelo

07-11-2002, 01:38 PM
I played in a corporate challenge when I lived in Las Vegas back in the early 90's. I think a round robin would be your best bet. The format we used for our qualifier was just a regular single elimination tourney bracket. I didnt like that. I got paired with the previous years company top player. I won, he got pissed, others got pissed because I was fairly new to the company (about 9 mths). A round robin would eliminate that and probably bring your best players forward. The Bowliards game is fun but might be confusing to some of your players, although it is very simple to learn, you'd still have to teach them and scoring could get confusing also.

Best of luck, corporate challenge is great. I highly support that program.

nmshooter

SpiderMan
07-12-2002, 09:11 AM
Thanks everyone for all the responses. I think I'm going to go with the Round Robin format, and make the game 8-ball played by the same rules as they'll use in the Corporate Challenge (modified BCA, a few odd exceptions such as women don't have to call pockets!).

I'll schedule at least one familiarization/practice session where I'll explain all the rules, then hopefully allow a couple of weeks before the elimination tournament is held.

Also, here's how I think I'll handle the issue of players not trying hard in final rounds because they know they are already eliminated: Since I'm only going to eliminate about half the field, I should be able to "seed" the early-round pairings so that like skill levels play together first, and shift to the "mismatches" later. That way, everyone may go into the final rounds with similar win/loss records and few players will really be "out of it" until the last two rounds or so. This won't affect the final outcome at all, everyone still plays everyone else one match, but it would at least let the lower-skilled players have fun and get a few victories before being knocked out. What do you think?

SpiderMan

Scott Lee
07-12-2002, 10:47 AM
Spiderman...Here's a suggestion! Round-robin is fine, but only play races to ONE! Set them up in flights you can manage. This way anyone is capable of beating anyone else, and you can advance players on the basis of win-loss records. I do this in my "chip pool" tournaments all the time.

Scott Lee

Sid_Vicious
07-13-2002, 09:00 AM
I respectfully disagree Scott. A one game showdown will not properly gauge somebody if there happens to be a crude loss, like say crapping in the 8 by mistake after a stiff leave on a break. These players are going to be somewhat intimidated to begin with, and to maybe get played into a sure loss with some strategic safety play early in the game will only add to that intimidation if they are done with that opponent(JMHO.) sid

Sid_Vicious
07-13-2002, 09:05 AM
Round Robin sounds best, and what about race to 2? That would give one more chance to win if hosed in the first game and yet limit some of the extensive time expended with solid 3 or more game sets...sid

Scott Lee
07-13-2002, 10:39 AM
sid...According to Spiderman, it is supposed to be a fun tournament, and needs to be completed within a short time.
A race to one is anybody's win. NOBODY has a lock when you are playing one game. So, it allows the round robin concept to work easily. I have run several tournaments like this, with as many as 54 players. It went like clockwork, and there were many upsets...just like the format is designed to provide! Even when highly skilled players are playing intermediate players, anyone can win in a single game. Experts playing beginners have more of an edge, but I have seen great players run out and hook themselves on the 8, or scratch on the 8, many times.

Scott

07-13-2002, 12:46 PM
Round robin is always the best format. However it takes a lot longer to play than a regular double knock out thus is rarely used.

SpiderMan
07-15-2002, 09:07 AM
Scott/Sid,

I was initially more in favor of the race to two, but I just checked the signup roster, and I now have 16 volunteers. Even if I am given 8 tables to run the tournament, and everyone finishes their matches in 30 minutes, that would still be a 15-hour tournament. I guess I may have to make it one game. Hopefully any "flukes" will average out by the time an individual plays his full 15 matches. This is really a pretty "long race" against an "averaged opponent".

The main reason for the tournament will be to whittle down this field of enthusiastic volunteers to about one-half, keeping the better players without really hurting the feelings of those eliminated. I think this can do it.

Still, as I mentioned in another post, I plan to seed the better players against one another in the early rounds. It won't affect the final averages, but it will keep the beginners from losing so bad in the early rounds that they don't try in the later ones.

SpiderMan

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Scott Lee:</font><hr> sid...According to Spiderman, it is supposed to be a fun tournament, and needs to be completed within a short time.
A race to one is anybody's win. NOBODY has a lock when you are playing one game. So, it allows the round robin concept to work easily. I have run several tournaments like this, with as many as 54 players. It went like clockwork, and there were many upsets...just like the format is designed to provide! Even when highly skilled players are playing intermediate players, anyone can win in a single game. Experts playing beginners have more of an edge, but I have seen great players run out and hook themselves on the 8, or scratch on the 8, many times.

Scott <hr></blockquote>