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Professor’s Corner – Tournament Styles 02/04/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG.
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I would like to thank those of you who attended league this weekend and experienced my trial run of a tournament using my Tournament Operations Management Software. Some of you may have questions of the style I was running it and perhaps now is as good a time as any to explain what you or your child has experienced.

There are commonly two styles of tournaments that are run in the Pokémon TCG, either or both of which can be run in a single event: Swiss, and Single Elimination.

Swiss is the most commonly-run style in most all the Pokémon tournaments you play, and works in the following way:

  1. For the number of rounds determined based on attendance, each player is randomly paired every round with a player of similar match records. This ensures that there is a fair distribution of players who could do well as the tournament progresses with each round.
  2. Unless a player requests to drop from the tournament, players will play all the attendance-determined rounds regardless of your record. In other words, if you lose a game, you are not out of the tournament.
  3. The goal of winning this style of the tournament is to be the player with the best match record. If there are ties, the tiebreakers are decided the opponent’s win percentage, then the opponent’s win percentage of their opponent’s (I know…this sounds a little confusing).

Single Elimination is common on other non-Pokémon tournaments as well, but is also used in this game. Simply put, players are paired and play until only one winner is determined. If you are defeated at least once, you are eliminated from the tournament.

Most Pokémon tournaments like to employ Swiss + Single Elimination. The best records in Swiss for each age division will earn the right to play in the Single Elimination portion of the tournament, commonly known as Top Cut. Again, this style is attendance driven, determining the amount of rounds of Swiss to be played and how many players can earn the right to play in Top Cut.

This weekend’s tournament style was simply three rounds of Swiss based on our attendance today, for those of you who were wondering.

I hope to hear about any requests for future tournaments and see more of you players come out to League to play in them!

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: Basic

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