How to Create Your Own Tournament Brackets

Written by trisha bartle
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How to Create Your Own Tournament Brackets
Pro hockey and college hockey both use playoff formats that can be tracked with tournament brackets. (hockey sur glace image by Sébastien Goetschmann from

Tournament brackets use a diagram to track elimination-format competitions with multiple rounds. As one competitor beats another, the winner is moved up in the tournament bracket to compete against another winner from the previous round, continuing over successive rounds until there is one winner left. Tournament brackets are used in individual sports like tennis, or in the playoffs in team sports like basketball, football or hockey, and even in nonsports competitions like poker. The size of the bracket depends on how many participants start in the first round.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tournament bracket creator
  • Printer

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  1. 1

    Download and install one of many tournament bracket templates for Microsoft Office Excel. Choose a tournament bracket that fits the sport or championship you're looking for. Microsoft provides templates for NCAA women's basketball, the Rugby World Cup or generic tournament brackets. Click on the tournament bracket template you want to download. Click the "Download" button and save it in the template folder of your copy of Microsoft Excel. Open the template inside Microsoft Excel by clicking the "New" link in the File menu.

  2. 2

    Print out the free tournament bracket playoff chart from CrowDarts. Choose how many teams you want in the tournament from the drop-down menu. Press the "Go!" button for the website to build your tournament brackets automatically. Choose the print option from your browser's File menu. Once printed out, add the names of each team on the brackets for the first round. This will determine the starting schedule for the tournament playoffs. Fill in the bracket after each team wins or loses a round.

  3. 3

    Add the name of each team or competitor to the text box for Joseph's World's Tournament Bracket Creator. Enter each team on a new line. Enter the name of the tournament in the "Name of Tournament" text box. Pick a colour for the tournament bracket from the drop-down menu. Click the "Create Bracket" button when you are ready to create your tournament bracket. Print out the resulting tournament bracket and fill out each bracket as the playoffs progress.

Tips and warnings

  • Print out several copies of the tournament bracket for those competing so they will know the opponents they're up against.

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