How to Create a Round Robin Tournament

Written by shawndra russell
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How to Create a Round Robin Tournament
You need at least three teams to run a round robin event. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

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.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you 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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  1. 1

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

  2. 2

    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.

    How to Create a Round Robin Tournament
    Select a venue that suits your tournament. (Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images)
  3. 3

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

    How to Create a Round Robin Tournament
    Hire reputable referees to help your event run smoothly. (Jupiterimages/ Images)
  4. 4

    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.

    How to Create a Round Robin Tournament
    Use free online software for an easy-to-create round-robin schedule. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)
  5. 5

    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.

    How to Create a Round Robin Tournament
    State the rules clearly before the tournament starts. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)
  6. 6

    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.

  7. 7

    Announce the winning team and award prizes if applicable.

    How to Create a Round Robin Tournament
    Reward the winning team and yourself for a job well done. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Tips and warnings

  • 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.
  • 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.

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