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How to Create a Round Robin Tournament

Updated July 20, 2017

A round-robin tournament is arguably the fairest type of tournament as each team gets the chance to compete against every other team in the tournament. The team with the most wins after all rounds are completed wins the tournament. Whether you are a coach or tournament director running an official sporting event, or if just want to get some friends together for a fun game night that may include video games or backyard games like horseshoes, a few tips will make your event run smoothly.

Gather team information. You need at least three teams and their team names, ideally with a roster for each team.

Reserve a venue that suits the event. If the venue charges a fee, you need to pay referees, or if you will incur other expenses, collect an entry fee from each team.

Secure sports officials if necessary. Check the official's association for your area or state.

Access the Internet and search for "free round robin tournament schedule generator" like that found on the teamopolis site. Find a generator you like and fill out the form with team and venue information.

Establish rules in the case of ties. Obviously the team with the most victories wins the overall tournament. In the case of a tied number of wins between teams, you can look at the head-to-head record versus the two tied teams and award first place to the team that won in the head-to-head game.

Keep close account of the scores either on your computer or on paper. Display results after each round where they can be easily seen by teams and spectators.

Announce the winning team and award prizes if applicable.

Tip

A round-robin tournament works best with an even number of teams if you want to ensure no team sits or gets bored. However, if the event is strenuous, an odd number of teams works well because one team gets to sit out each round. Odd number tournaments also work well for informal events that do not require hired referees because the team sitting out can act as the refereeing team to settle any questionable calls.

Warning

Always have medical staff at the venue for official sports tournaments. When you establish rules, make sure you state that everyone plays at their own risk. Having each person sign a medical release form is ideal for any sporting event where injuries may occur.

Things You'll Need

  • At least three teams
  • Sporting/gaming equipment
  • Venue(s)
  • Referees (for official tournament)
  • Trophies or prizes for winning teams (optional)
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About the Author

Shawndra Russell started freelancing professionally for several outlets in 2010, covering arts and entertainment, culture and society, health and fitness, sports and recreation, and travel. Russell earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Ashland University and her Master of Arts in English from Marshall University.