first, thanks for the continuing stream of great responses .. vic
, in particular, came right to the point with his quote from $$$ Backgammon Tournament $$$ -- Running a tournament
.. however, IMO, vic
really nails it when he says quite directly "This is for fun ...
i think it is also very important to add this is not about right or wrong
, this is not even about fair or unfair
.. obviously, right or wrong and fair or unfair can be debated ad nauseum
, but the answers to those questions are not on point from my perspective as a tournament organizer
today, in an early morning email reply to Tom
on Tournament Seeding, i spent some time thinking and sharing my thoughts on this issue .. i realized then and understand even better now that it has never been about fair or unfair, neither has it been about right or wrong .. for me, it has all been about tournament promotion .. here is a little background familiar to some, perhaps interesting for others
i observed when i first began hosting the Bloody Mary that, like most other tourneys, it had no real attraction other than a nice time slot .. people just played because they wanted to play which is fine .. in time there were regular players representing a good cross section of FIBSters .. i really enjoyed and still do enjoy getting to know folks by playing and meeting them in tournaments .. indeed, other than playing BlunderBots it is about all i do at FIBS
however, in those early days of the Bloody Mary, i noticed that top rated players like Zorba
, and others were not playing even when logged in and actively participating in shouts .. in chats with them, i discerned a common issue was that they didn't like entering tournaments only to be paired randomly with a 1400 rated player they didn't know or want to know and promptly lose a match on dice .. another common issue was the problem of setting aside the time, entering and looking forward to a few matches, only to be paired by a random draw with another top seed resulting in one of them being knocked out in an early round
hello? anyone notice the common theme there and in the second paragraph of vic
's on point quote
So, if fairness is the only consideration, you definitely should not seed anyone.
But it sometimes helps a tournament if it is known that a number of good players are going to play in it. Players enjoy the prospect of playing against a champion. There is always the pleasure of a gloat after a win. In that case, you may have to seed the draw just to get the good players to agree to play. They hate it if they are drawn against each other early on.
fairness never was a consideration of mine .. after repeated unsuccessful attempts to coax highly rated players to play, i began increasing the Exp and Rep limits to levels most thought absurd .. my thinking then was to create a "Special" environment for the Bloody Mary .. those limits have repeatedly proved to be easily attained by most regular players at FIBS .. also, since i have never refused anyone who asks to play, i don't think the limits are interpreted as an indication of exclusivity -- anyone that is other than my pal, dorbel
, who seems to enjoy his role as critic as much as i enjoy his feedback
as the Bloody Mary evolved, a change to seeding by rating came next when Tom
at my request made seeding by rating work correctly on TourneyBot .. with no additional promotion by me, top players soon started showing up and registering with regularity .. with the singular and very vocal exception of guess who
, no one has ever complained about seeding by rating
few folks, even other TD's, knew this background or understood my logic for seeding by rating .. now, the Bloody Mary regularly has the highest weekly registration .. excluding outliers, the average continues to increase closing in on 32 .. i began noticing these trends ONLY after the changes described above a few years ago
further, when i was away for a year recently, the tourney continued thanks to players demanding it and volunteer TD's who stepped up to run it, but the substitute TD's began dropping those changes .. average registration also began dropping .. when i resumed hosting, i reverted to my original recipe .. with very little active promotion by me, registration began rising steadily once again .. in a few weeks we hit 31 players and have pretty much remained around 25 players ever since .. i don't think it was just because of my good looks .. so, i have been resistant to change for a singular and, IMO, very important reason -- if it ain't broke, don't fix it
nevertheless, i am not totally resistant to change .. indeed, as i began pulling back from FIBS related activities recently in anticipation of no longer being around as a weekly TD at the Bloody Mary, i planned to return the seeding to random and drop all limits at the beginning of the new season, our sixth .. (hmm, whatever happened to that plan?
) .. now, we are 8 weeks into that new Bloody Mary season and here i am still lurking about finding new ways to involve myself at FIBS
so, what's a boy to do?
for now, i'll just go with the old hucksters maxim that any publicity is good publicity, even bad publicity
from day one as a tournament organizer here at FIBS, i have attempted to increase participation and improve the promotion and awareness of tournaments .. other than the fun of just doing it, such remains my sole motivation .. on reflection, i am satisfied we continue to move in a positive direction along that path .. if a little unfairness along the way has aided in accomplishing those goals, so be it