How to set-up and run a tournament

The site's rules for running a tournament and some guidance on how to run tournaments.

How to set-up and run a tournament

Postby rick.leeds » 26 Oct 2010, 18:27

1. Had an idea?
The first thing to do is check that there isn't already a similar idea out there. Look in the Active/Finished/On Hold sections and, if the idea already exists, then:
- if Active/On Hold leave it alone! What we don't want is for consecutive tournaments to be running with the same or very similar ideas. Either wait for the tournament to finish or (for On Hold) PM the Tournament Director to see what the status is.
- if Finished check the rules, details, etc and PM the Tournament Director to check if s/he has any plans to run it again. If not, then you can float the idea.

2. Float the idea
You need to find out whether people would be interested in the tournament before setting it up. Post in the main section. You will need to include:
- The basic idea: what the tournament is about, number of players, types of games, etc; basically anything that others need to know before they commit to a tournament.
- Rules: at this stage this could a flexible set of rules that are open to discussion and agreement.
- Scoring system: how will you score the tournament games? Are you going with the site's system of 12-6-4-3-1? Are you using Detour98F? Are you using a different system? Or is it a combination? Again this might be a discussion.
NB: Detour98F is designed with for no set end year, whilst commonly tournaments on site finish at the end of 1915 (so as to avoid them going on too long). This means, if you are using a combination of the two, you could find the Detour98F percent to find the percentage of 12pts each player scores.
Of course, if this is a revival of an old tournament, then you could provide links the appropriate thread(s). If you are modifying parts, you would be best to write out everything in full (rather than providing links and details of changes).
- Contact Admin: just to make sure the tournament isn't going to break site rules. This should normally be no problem, but if the tournament involves multiple accounts belonging to one player, or metagaming, check that Admin/Mods know about this. It may be that you are asked to make games No Rank, for instance, if metagaming is going to be needed.

3. Set things in stone
Once you have a decent amount of interest, you then need to solidify your ideas and collect entrants.
- Organisation and Rules: There are a number of good examples out there on this: The PlayDip Tournament, Premium Classic Championship.
One of the questions you need to ask yourself is How are conflicts in rule resolution going to be resolved? There are two choices, effectively - the Tournament Director will carry out judgements, or establishing a Tournament Board. The latter is ideal; players bring problems to the TD, s/he decides if the Board needs to find a judgement and establishes any penalties. The problem with a Board is that you will need to find members on site who are not involved in the tournament itself and who are willing to take on the role. Don't commit yourself to a Tournament Board until you have managed to form it!
- Start a sign-ups thread: Players who say they are interested need to be committed to make the tournament successful. It may seem overkill to have gathered interest and have a separate sign-up thread, but unless you know for sure that the interested people are definitely wanting to be a part of it, you could find yourself trying to run a tournament with less than the required number of entrants.
- Have reserves in place: Anticipate the scenario which has entrants dropping-out. When you have enough confirmed entrants, start a reserves thread.
When you are at this stage you should ask Admin (rick.leeds) to move all threads associated with the tournament to the Active section.

4. Starting up
- Games: Make sure you give the games an appropriate title and description. If you don't want any surrendered positions taking over, then put this in the description. Password games so that only the people who should be involved are involved... but remember that if a player surrenders the password doesn't work. If you are assigning players to powers, then use the PREFERENCE system and have players enter the name of each country in all three boxes. This may seem like overkill (again) but it ensures that mistakes shouldn't be being made. A player entering the wrong country name is either your fault (you provided the wrong information) or deliberate.
- Contact players: using PMs. If the games are anonymous, contact each player separately. Provide accurate details - game name, password, assigned power. Ask for confirmation of the PM.
- Make sure players subscribe and confirm on time or they won't be able to access the game. Subscribing and not confirming eliminates them - you'll have to set up a new game.

5. Running the tournament
In most circumstances, the rules players signed up for are final. The only situation is which you should be changing the rules is if there is a loophole (so make sure you try and anticipate every possible loophole when you finalise the rules - if necessary get an experienced TD to look over them to check for any loopholes). Entrants cannot appeal that they didn't know the rule. Be firm. Be consistent.
Keep details like standings, game results, etc up to date. Don't include any information that might damage the tournament (eg anonymity).
Make sure you see the tournament through. If there is a situation that means you may not be able to do so, then find a substitute TD. Leaving players in the lurch is poor management.

Main site or Forum Games?: The TOURNAMENTS section is for tournaments that can be run on the main site. If your idea is something that involves variants, would it be better as a Forum Game? (eg when a number of powers need to be in Civil Disorder).
Rank or No Rank?: If the tournament involves some kind of multi-accounting, it MUST be No Rank. If it involves team play, it MUST be No Rank. If it is an individual tournament, Rank is usually OK... but check with Admin/Mods.
Anonymous or not: Your decision, really, but if it is anonymous, you need to make sure you have rules in place to cover this, including what happens when a bug or something like it occurs. Have players report it to you and you report it in Forum/via PM.
Posts: Have separate threads for each section of the tournament. It means more work but it is easier for people to follow.
Mods abilities: In some cases, TDs can be given Moderator abilities for their sub-forum. Ask rick.leeds. These will include being able to lock threads, which is sometimes useful.

And read How TOURNAMENTS works before anything else!
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