A tournament, sometimes called a challenge tournament, is an organized competition between at least two competitors, each playing a different sport. More precisely, the word can be used both in terms of a single competition and in terms of two competing senses: as a challenge to another competitor and as a competition among athletes or competitors. The former sense often refers to athletic competition, while the latter sense can apply to various other types of competitions. For instance, the swimming tournaments organized by various governing bodies around the world are part of a tournament.
Just as in any other type of competition, the nature of the tournament should be carefully analyzed before taking the decision to take part in it. How many teams are going to be participating? How will the draw process work? What will be the prize money and what sort of qualification procedures will there be? It’s all a matter of perspective, but that doesn’t mean that one has to come with an answer that is pre-prepared.
Usually, the more experienced teams organise the tournaments, while the lesser ones usually decide to throw-in the extra baggage for the sake of participation. But when you do find a team organising a knock-out tournament, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are the better team. Sometimes, this happens due to financial reasons, or simply because they have been hit by some other team and are trying to regain their composure. In such cases, a simple approach can work wonders.
A simple way to organise a knock-out tournament is to use a bye; something that rarely happens nowadays, because everyone is so busy. As in any tournament, a team that is without a bye will be eliminated. There are several ways to determine who will get the bye. The first one is to eliminate teams who have lost their matches, regardless of the fact whether they have won or not. The second one is to remove teams that have lost their matches but are in the running for a top three finish. If no team plays anyone in the remaining rounds, the team with the most wins takes the bye.
Organising a tournament can be a lot of fun, but it needs careful planning, especially if it is an elimination tournament. For instance, do not put too much pressure on the committees involved, as often times the committees do not put too much effort into organising the sports day, as they are not really focused on winning. Instead of creating a committee, create an agenda which outlines how you propose the tournament to be, and make sure that the teams involved are all in agreement with the outcome.
Often the best sportsmanship comes when no one really knows who is playing, as in the case of intramurals. If there is going to be an intramural, have a set date, and let teams know months, even a year, before the tournament. Send out the teams a tournament plan at least four weeks before the event, and then have them do their homework by researching teams and players. Do not forget to put in an extra night to relax and unwind, as after all, this is just a night out. Have a good laugh between the teams before the matches, and enjoy yourselves!