How to make Fixtures for a tournament ?

Discussion in 'Rules / Tournament Regulation / Officiating' started by dnewguy, Feb 25, 2021.

  1. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I was wondering if someone can share a system for making fixtures/draws for a tournament or consecutive tournaments.

    For egs, I participated in a tournament long back where points were being awarded for winning/losing/byes etc.
    And then people with highest scores were getting seeded for upcoming monthly games etc.

    I have little clue when it comes to making such draws, or even how to begin say if we have 40 doubles team entries.

    Any insight would be very helpful. Especially senior members who have experience officiating such tournaments can shed some light on this topic.


    Thanks.
     
  2. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    It may be too late in your case, but before a tournament you should set limits on the number of entries in a given event. If you have one large event of 40 MX entries, then there likely is huge variation in skill. If you can, split it into two groups by skill level. 32+8 or 16+16+8 is much more manageable than one huge event, especially if you are constrained by available courts. If you split into smaller events, people will play among their skill level, and you can stagger the start times to reduce waiting between matches.

    When you know the number of entries in your event, you should first decide on a tournament system. This depends on the number of rounds. It is typically constrained by court capacity, later match/rest duration.
    For example, if you have 10 courts, your average match goes about 30 minutes, and you grant 20 minutes of rest between matches, this means that at the very most you can play one round per hour.
    The basic tournament systems are:
    • round-robin: Everybody plays everybody
    • KO: Winner advances, loser gets knocked out
    • Double-sided KO: Winner advances to the upper field, loser goes to the lower field. (sometimes only once, and may have a redemption match at the end)
    • A combination thereof: typically small groups that play round robin, then KO or double-sided KO
    • There are also swiss-system tournaments where the pairings get drawn every round, but these are usually not well-suited for badminton with its variable match length.
    If you have E entries, then a round robin requires E-1 rounds, and KO systems ceil(log_2(E)) rounds. Swiss-system tournaments require at least ceil(log_2(E)) rounds.

    For instance, typical setups with 40 entries (a rather large event) would be:
    • Single KO: This is the fastest system, you will need ceil(log_2(40))=6 rounds. At 30 minutes a match and 10 courts, the first round would take one hour, after that you'll likely be constrained by match&rest duration. There will be plenty of empty courts in the later stages. Best for a performance-oriented crowd, e.g. professional athletes.
    • Double KO: 6 rounds too, but now all your courts are booked all the time. With 10 courts you will take about 7-10 hours. Best system if you have lots of courts and enthusiastic players. I would recommend at the very least 8 courts all the time, better 10.
    • Groups of 4 and then a KO system: you will have 3 rounds where everybody plays everybody else in a group, then the #1 of every group and the best 6 #2 (alternatively all #2 and the best #3) advance. This grants everybody at least 3 matches, and is still playable with few courts: On 5 courts, the group phase will take about 6 hours, afterwards the KO phase will take about 5 hours.
    If you are constrained by courts, the last system is the most popular.

    Again, let me stress that 40 is a rather large event. Splitting it up into two or three events usually benefits the players, the competition on court, and the tournament organizers. In for-fun tournaments I would aim for event sizes of no more than 16.

    Don't underestimate how much influence the tournament organization has on the total runtime. A tournament that gets new pairings on the court once the final shuttle has flown (e.g. have the players assemble with the umpire beforehand and walk on court, provide ample warm-up courts, warm-up time controlled by umpire) will easily be 15 minutes per match faster than one where you call out new pairings only after the sheet comes back to you, where players must travel through the building to reach the court, and where warm-up is unrestricted on court and impossible off.
    15 minutes per match doesn't sound like a lot, but it's the difference between having to call the last match at midnight and having an epic finish at 19:00.

    I strongly recommend using software to manage it all. For better or worse, https://www.tournamentsoftware.com/ is the typical one used in Badminton. I strongly recommend setting times for at least the first three rounds. Well-organized tournaments post the entire schedule of all matches online once all players have registered in the hall, so every player knows when their matches will be (+- 15 minutes) for the whole day.
     
    Cheung, speCulatius and dnewguy like this.
  3. dnewguy

    dnewguy Regular Member

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    Hello sir

    Thnks a lot for the quick and detailed reply but I will have to go through it several times to understand.

    We recently had an indoor (intra academy, only MD & XD, mavis 350 plastics) friendly tournament.
    And I felt the overall draws were bit biased with a lot of teams getting byes in first or even second rounds etc. Although the event was a success but when I expressed my concerns regarding the fixtures then the organizers asked for my inputs and I was at a loss for anything useful.

    They said that 'Team events' would be next in a couple of months. Again, I have no knowledge of the rules for such an event.


    When you say splitting the large group (40) into sizes of no more than 16, do you mean making divisions by age groups etc ?


    Thanks.



    P.s: I was going through the sticky thread "Laws of Badminton by kwun" and thought it's due for an update.
     
    #3 dnewguy, Feb 25, 2021
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
  4. phihag

    phihag Regular Member

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    Note that if the best teams got byes first, that is a sign of a well-run tournament. The best players ought to rest first, so that they don't kick out deserving players too soon. Plus, they'll play more matches later anyways, and you want to incentivize the good results needed to gain a bye first round, lest a player loses intentionally before the tournament to get byes.

    Team events are much easier to organize. Teams can be of any size; typically you play every discipline once (so minimum 2 men and 2 women), but you can very based on local preferences (maybe you only play doubles, or have many more women than men etc.). Rather than 40 doubles entries, you now have 12-16 teams, which is much easier to organize.

    For competition, I would prefer to group by skill rather than age, but maybe that's caused by myself being in the deadzone where I can play neither junior nor Senior events ;). If there are lots of junior players, sure, group them by age (and maybe softly push the strongest young players to play into higher age groups).
     

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