We have listened to the comments and feedback from last year's tournament, and based on what we heard, we've change the format somewhat this time round.
If you just want a quick summary it would be this:
The new format features fixed time games, in a format that is designed to keep the tournament to time, ensure that you only play each team once, and allows a team to lose a game, but still being in the running to win the overall tournament. We think its a big improvement.
The format is called the Kubb Klassic, and has been used extensively throughout the USA in 2016 as a way of running fair, predictably timed tournaments that end up with the best teams in the semi finals and final. You can get a lot of details here if you want it. Or read on for our summary.
At the start of the tournament, the teams are entered into a spreadsheet, and the first round of games is created. The first round is selected randomly.
Each round lasts a fixed time which we are likely to set at 25 minutes for 2017. At the end of the 25 minutes, there are a number of possibilities, with points awarded for winners and losers, but also for the leading team at the point when the game is cut short. If the game finishes within the 25 minutes, then the winner gets 1 point and the loser gets zero. If the game stops before there is a clear winner, then the team that is leading at the end gets 2/3 of a point and team that is losing gets 1/3 of a point. If the teams are even, they each get 1/2 a point.
The leading team is determined to be the team that has most baseline kubbs at the end of the game.
The results from the first round of games are fed into the system and all the teams in the tournament are ranked.
Ranking is based on a team's points, but also on the record of the teams that they played against. That means that a team that has won all its games against strong teams will be ranked just a little higher than another team that has also won all its games, but against weaker opponents.
The second round is created based on that ranking.
Starting with the first team in the list, the system finds the next highest ranked team that they have not played and assigns them to pitch 1. Then it moves on to the next available team on the list and assigns them the next highest team that they have not played and assigns them to pitch 2. It continues this method until all teams are assigned a pitch.
Once everyone has played three (possibly four) games, we use the ranking at that point to separate the teams out into Championship and Plate sections. From that point it's a standard knockout tournament, where you need to keep winning to stay in the game. Importantly, the record from the qualifying stages is used to generate the knockout bracket, but that is it, if you lost your first game but did well enough to get into the top 16 teams, you can still win the overall tournament! So stick with it!
Well, it is a little more complex for the organisers, but for the players, it makes everything much easier. You know when you are going to play each game and you know when the tourney is going to finish, making it much easier to plan your day. The only thing you have to do is to count the baseline Kubbs at the end of the game. If you can count to 5 or have someone on your team that can, you should have no problem. (Thinking about it, as the day goes on and people get 'tired', we might need to supply designated counters).
How do you determine who throws last when time runs out?
We use a balanced 2-4-6 opener. This means that we can just play out the team’s round that is currently throwing when the time limit is met. There is a minimal advantage in throwing first with a balanced openers.
Is there an advantage to losing your first 2 games to get easier teams to play for a few rounds?
This is a very risky strategy that we don’t recommend. 1) You will risk having a weaker opponent score that would cause you to lose in tie-breaker scenarios or lower your seed which would give you a tougher opponent in the elimination round. 2) Eventually, you are going to have to play tougher teams again and increases your risk of being eliminated in later rounds. We wouldn’t recommend ever intentionally losing a game with this tournament format as it is designed to benefit the teams that perform better in qualifying rounds.