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Format / bracket / flowchart - RR/SE/DE - what does it all mean?

CueScore has a long list of brackets available. We figure both experienced and rookie tournament managers could use an explanation of our naming convention.

What type of Format to use depends on factors like time available, number of participants and number of tables available. A tournament/competition lasting more than a week is very often run as a league, where players or teams meet to play a weekly match.

If the tournament is finished within a couple of days, the most used Formats are the Single Elimination, Double Elimination, a mix of these two or Round Robin.

Below you will find more details on our naming convention and the different types of brackets.

Format: Single Elimination (SE)

This is the easiest format available. The participants are drawn into the bracket and from there, if you lose a match you are out of the tournament. If you win, you go on to the next round until there's only one left.
The number of rounds in a bracket depends on how many players you have. Single elimination brackets naturally grow by the power of 2. So you have bracket sizes from 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, etc.

Single Elimination is a very effective bracket to use, especially if you have little time, a lot of players or a limited number of tables available. On the negative side, the players get only one chance. Loose one match and you are out.

Format: Double Elimination (DE), incl. mixed DE->SE

Double Elimination means that any player will get a second chance and have to lose two matches before he/she is out of the tournament. If a player loses one match, he is transferred over to the "loser-side" of the bracket, and continue to play there until he lose a second match or reach either the final, or the final stage of the tournament (mixed DE-SE).

The Double Elimination brackets in Cuescore are described by two numbers. The first number tells you how many players there can be in total. The second number tells you how many players advance to the single elimination stage. This number can be 2 at the lowest, which means it's a Double Elimination all the way to the final (winner on the loser side meets the winner of the winners-side of the bracket). The single elimination stage grows by the number of two.

Bracket size 64-16 has a maximum number of 64 players, with Single Elimination stage when there are 16 players left. If you lose a match in the SE stage, you are out, even if this is the first match you lose.

The Double Elimination brackets require more time, as more matches are played. The players like it, as they know they can still advance after an early loss.

Format: Round-Robin (RR)

Round Robin is a format where every player meet all other players once. The RR brackets can consist of more than one group. The brackets are typically named RR G1, where the G stands for Group and the number next to it tells you how many groups in the schema.
Round Robin is often used in combination with a Single Elimination for the final stages. In Cuescore this is indicated by the last letter/number combination in the name (e.g. RR G2 SE4). The example means that it's a Round Robin with two groups. Four players (the two best from each group) will advance to the Single Elimination part of the bracket.

Round Robin is a popular format, as each player get to play many matches. Most suited when there is a low number of players participating.

Format: League

League is the same as a Round-Robin with one group. It is intended for single and team league play, hence the name, The number indicates how many times the players/teams should meet. It goes from one to eight. In team play you often meet twice. One on home turf, and the other at the opponent's home venue. The draw for this setup is carefully made to make sure participants get an equal amount of home and away games. The league brackets does not have a single elimination stage afterwards.

As the name indicate.....used for league play.

Format: Single Elimination Qualifier / Double Elimination Qualifier

Some times you want to "split" a big tournament into qualifiers and a final, to make it more manageable. For this we have the Qualifier brackets. These are normally SE or DE brackets that stops earlier than it's "normal" counterpart.
Qualifiers are stopped at different stages based on how many players the organizer wants to go through. Let's take an example; say you organize a tournament, and you want the best 2 players from that tournament to win entry into another tournament held at another time and place. You do not want them to play the final, they are qualified if they reach it. In CueScore, you would select a "Single Elimination 16-Q2" and run the tournament as normal. The final is not displayed as a match to be played in the bracket, and when you finish the tournament the result list will only show the "qualified" players.

Qualifier brackets are very handy when you have a lot of players and a limited number of tables or space. By using qualifiers you can split a tournaments over several sessions and avoid that all players must be in the venue all the time. This way you can e.g. have several qualifier sessions Friday and Saturday and the final on Sunday.

Note: Special brackets

In the list of SE and DE brackets, you will also find some special brackets with more numbers. The extra number(s) have prefix +. Example: Format Double Elimination, bracket 16 + 8 -16
This setup means that there will be 24 players in total, where 16 play the 1st round and 8 are seeded directly into the last 16 (SE). There are some more variations that follow the same pattern.

When you choose a bracket size, you get a link to a preview where the exact setup is shown.

You're of course also welcome to contact us.


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