UPA Manual of Tournament Formats

1. Introduction

Copyright (c) The Ultimate Players Association, 1994

Please direct comments on this document to Eric Simon (70540.1522@compuserve.com).

1. Introduction

It is said that when you get right down to it, there are only two essential ingredients to a tournament: fields and a schedule. Once the games finally begin, tournaments pretty much run themselves if the schedule (which should include field numbers and a field map) is self explanatory.

Unfortunately, scheduling is not so easy for UPA tournaments. Sure, for most other tournaments, when you limit the number of teams to four, or eight, or sixteen, scheduling is fairly easy. But at sectionals (or even regionals in those situations where there are not sixteen teams), where every eligible team is guaranteed a spot things aren't so easy. Try devising a schedule for a thirteen team tournament while keeping everyone happy.

The fact is that most UPA Tournaments do more than pick a single winner. This makes scheduling infinitely more difficult than non-UPA tournaments. Ordinarily, it doesn't matter if you come in third or fourth at a tournament, but if the top three teams qualify to the next level, the schedule must be scrupulously fair to teams that have a shot at the third place spot.

Not all UPA Sectional Tournaments have been run well in the past. Not everyone who is a sectional coordinator has run a tournament before. And those that have, have probably only been concerned about a format that picks a winner. Many sectional coordinators are also competing on one of the teams in the tournament, which leaves him or her open to charges of bias, both in terms of format and seeding. Some sectional tournaments have been utter disasters because something very unexpected happened, and all of a sudden some people realize that the format wasn't even-handed. At that point, the tournament director is faced with sticking with an unfair format because that's what the captains agreed to, or unfairly changing the format after play has started. Neither situation is acceptable.

This manual attempts to alleviate these problems. We have tried to be fair to all teams involved, analyzing different situations and unlikely scenarios. We hope that this manual makes running a tournament easier for you. No one can claim that the format of a tournament is biased when it's an official "UPA Sanctioned Format."