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Discussion: Tournament Structure

Posted Discussion
Feb. 24, 2021
HSquared
Men's 55
80 posts
Tournament Structure
I need an education. Given a tournament size of 100+ teams, with varying age and skill categories, age clearly creates the first grouping, and then skill level(s) creates an additional split....Common Logic.

Now comes the education … When building the round robin/seeding, and then the brackets; is the first priority given to keeping teams within their same age group (even tough there may very well be four skill levels (AA thru M+) spanning the age group, thus equalizers)? Or is priority given to keeping teams at the same ratings index (even though there may a cross-over in two age groups)?
Feb. 25, 2021
DRB22
Men's 50
57 posts
Strictly speaking as a player, I much rather prefer to play against the same rating level even if its its a crossover in age..(playing a younger age preferred)Most of the guys I play with feel the same and that's why we will play down in age to get better games than weaker teams in our age group and give up an equalizer
Feb. 25, 2021
mck71
247 posts
HSquared - so the best answer will come from Dave or Tim as they do the actual scheduling. That said, from my experience, I will simply say that it depends on where the "odd" team(s) falls. As an example, we played 60M and in a tourney where there was only 1 55AAA so they grouped them with us since we are in the same Rating Index (6), technically there is NO equalizer BUT we were only allowed to hit 3HR (as per AAA rating) vs our normal 6. The same scenario COULD have been putting them in with 55AA teams (say they had 3 teams and this now made 4 to even out the bracket), the issue is they would have to give 5 runs AND they can only hit 1 HR so not sure what makes the most sense.

It is ALWAYS better to play the same level, just doesn't always happen to work out that way and better to play SOMEONE than NO ONE! :-)

Hope that helps? Stay safe!

Feb. 25, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3516 posts
H² and DRB22 and mck71 ... Thanks for asking and commenting ... The original question was framed in the context of a tournament size of 100+ teams, but those are rarely a problem ... It's the smaller events that can drive a scheduler nuts! ... For example, the upcoming Spring World's event has 162 teams entered with a lot of large brackets, making the "mix and match" possibilities infrequent ... The problems and complexities arise generally when there are limited total teams across multiple age groups and rating levels ...

For example, here are the Men's teams playing "out of age and/or rating" at the Spring World's ... (1) 65-Major+, (1) 80-Major+, (1) 50-Major+ playing in 55-Major+ group, (1) 60-Major+ playing in 55-Major and (1) 50-AA playing in 55-AA group ... That's only five teams out of the 156 Men's teams ...

My personal preference is to strive to minimize "equalizers" whenever possible rather than try to force staying in the same age group, so long as the age group straddle is only "one click" ... I would resist putting a 65-Major+ in with 55-AAA's (R/I=6 for both) ... However, that being said, it is more difficult to fairly mix ages as the age of the players increase ... Putting a 55-Major in with the 50-AAA's (both R/I=7) is rarely an issue ... The same can't be said about putting, for example, an 65-Major in with a group of 70-Major+ ... Those five years are more important/significant the older we get (this opinion is based on personal experience!) ... In any event, my preference is to play "straight up" when possible ...

Good luck everyone! ...

Feb. 25, 2021
HSquared
Men's 55
80 posts
D².. thanks for the detailed reply AND education.

Without question, numerous conversations have taken place regarding “balancing the scales”, and by your above provided example(s), Major+ stands out the most.

Therefore what wisdom can you shed on statement... All teams rated AA, AAA, and Major have an their own effective skill level ceiling, whereas a Major+ team, the skies-the-limit? Or is it?
Feb. 25, 2021
DaveDowell
Men's 65
3516 posts
You're not going to trick me that easily into a snap answer to that type of statement/question! ... Let's just say this (because it's true): [1] Major-Plus teams generally try to be as strong as they can be all of the time ... [2] Teams rated AA, AAA and Major sometimes will try to be as strong as they think they can be without attracting too much attention from our team ratings department ... "..Be strong, but not strong enough to get kicked upstairs.." would be a fair operating theory in many cases ... Have fun kicking this around, fellas! ...

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