I think it would be better to avoid putting all the tournament play on one weekend. Some of us have weekend commitments. We could spare the time for a set of matches on one weekend day, but not play throughout the whole weekend. And going by total frags over a period of time means that whoever has the closest thing to No Life wins because they'll spend the most time on the meta.
I propose elimination-style rules, but maybe not strictly as organized as the tournament I saw being organized for the Mythers where they have rounds and brackets. The more organization is enforced by the organizer, the more likely we are to get flakers. Instead, let's allow the participants to organize themselves for matches.
How does the following sound? It may look like a lengthy set of rules, but I tried to make a flexible structure that is also transparent for participants.
Tournament Rules draft v1.0 (updated 10/22/08, 11:30a.m. EST)
Step 1. Advertisement.
Step 2. Recruitment.
Step 3. Assignment.
Step 4. Auto-Arrangement.
Step 5. ???
Step 6. Profit!
Step 1, Advertisement: The only ways I've thought of so far for advertisement are (1) a MariusNet message upon joining the meta, (2) of course a thread on this board, and (3) some word-of-mouth, perhaps assigning a handful of people to spread the word on the meta. These people will come to remember who has already been told by them about the tournament, and if we pick people who are generally on the meta at different times, then we get better coverage of anyone who's out there playing and not looking at the Pfhorums. Only maybe four people would need to be gathered, after narrowing down some candidates to the ones who (a) know how to gently remind people, not annoy them, and (b) are in different time zones/play A1 at different times. The word-of-mouth campaign could last one to two weeks and will draw attention to the official forum thread for the event.
Step 2, Recruitment: Potential tournament players can sign up in the thread that announces the tournament. A second, smaller recruitment will take place wherein we pick "observers". These guys are record-keepers who serve two purposes: being a third party, neutral to the outcome that will need to be reported to the organizer, and also eliminating the "host advantage" by hosting the games himself. A person can sign up as both an observer and a player but they should be clear as to which (or both) they are applying for when they post in the thread.
Step 3, Assignment: When choosing who gets to participate as a player, I see no reason to be selective; anyone who applies can play. The point of listing their names, therefore, is not to show that they were approved, which goes without saying if they applied, but rather to show that they made the deadline. We will need some sort of deadline to keep things moving, therefore when the deadline is passed the organizer makes a post to that effect at the tail end of the thread, and stops adding names to the list of approved players in the first post of the thread. This is how applicants know they made/missed the deadline.
Secondly, the observer selection process is a careful one where only known and respected members of the community are candidates, and only those who can host well under most conditions are to be chosen from those candidates. The short list of observers is also to be tracked in that first post of the thread, alongside the list of approved players. How many observers are needed depends on how many player-applicants there are, but we will need one observer for every four players. A tall order but hopefully not unreachable. If it is unreachable, I'm sure some observers will be able to do double-duty and serve two groups. We're only talking maybe up to a couple hours of total hosting time for each observer for the whole tournament, for each group served.
Step 4, Auto-Arrangement: After the recruitment phase is ended, the players in the Approved list are arranged by the organizer into groups of four along with an observer (in other words, 4 + 1 in each group). Then the groups work out through PMs when they can all meet on the meta for a set of five matches. There will only be a final deadline by which the matches must all be held within those groups, the specific timing being up to each group; the group must be careful in discussing times and make sure the distinction between a.m/p.m. and differing time zones is understood. Each group will then PM another group's observer and see if they can be present on the meta at the match time they just decided on. If they find a willing second observer, they will announce the observer's name in the thread and the organizer will note that second observer in the list of players who announced his name. The second observer's role is primarily to stay on the meta throughout the match period to ensure that the first observer shows up, hosts successfully, and announces the scores in the chat area. The secondary purpose of the second observer is to host if the first observer is unable to, or does not show.
Step 5, ???: The matches happen whenever and wherever. They should be 7 minutes long each, and there shall be 5 of them. There will be five designated maps, one for each of the five games, chosen by the organizer to be used by all groups, to avoid uncertainty for observer-hosts in what to choose, and to avoid complaints afterward about unfairness in map choice. The maps will be picked with an eye for variety, with some being full of open spaces and some being tighter and faster, to allow each player a chance at a map type they are stronger at. The observer-host must record each match.
The set of matches doesn't need to be held all at once, although it's probably most logical to do so; it's also probably a good idea to to set a fixed amount of time the group will be expected to stay on the meta so that those who unexpectedly have to leave cannot claim they did not know how long the matches were going to take; of course, if a player has to leave and the rest of the group is willing to reschedule the rest of the matches, that is their prerogative, but they are not obligated to do so; ultimately it must be left up to each group and such a decision cannot be contested by a member who has to leave; that member, if the matches continue without him, will lose the set by default and be dropped from the tournament. If a player has not shown up by the time the set is supposed to begin, the group must wait seven minutes, no less. They may choose to wait longer but are not required to do so. If the late player has not shown up by the time the first match begins, he loses the set by default and is dropped from the tournament.
After each match, the observer-host saves the film of the last match, then reports the scores on the meta, makes sure all are in agreement over what happened in the game, then hosts the next match in the set of five. In the event that a player contests the scoring, it needs to be determined if he was out of sync or if the host made an error in noting the scores. This decision can be made by the group through discussion. If the disputer was out of sync, a possible explanation for his having a different score, see the following sentence; if the other players can confirm that the host made an error, then of course the host stands corrected; if the proper score is agreed upon by the group, play can continue in the next map, otherwise the map must be re-hosted for 7 minutes; any time the host is caught making a scoring error, he must re-host the map until a score can be agreed upon by the majority of the players. If a player was in fact out of sync, and at least two other players confirm this, the observer-host will re-host that match, in the same map, for another 7 minutes. Each match will only be re-hosted for a player once, regardless of whether the player continues to experience issues of a technical nature. Players may not be granted a re-match for any reason other than the two above -- incorrect scoring report by host where the group cannot agree on a correct score, and confirmed out-of-sync problems. No re-matches are to be given due to a laggy hosted game unless the observer-host wishes to do so, but he is under no obligation to re-host such a match.
The winner of the most matches is the winner of that set of five within the group. If a match ends in a tie, all the top scorers are recorded as match winners, and play continues in the next map. When the set of five is done, if multiple players have won an equal number of the matches, the observer-host will host a 5-minute sudden-death match among the tied leaders, using whichever map he desires. In the event that there is a tie in the sudden-death match, the still-tied players are all recorded as winners of the set of matches and will advance to the next round.
The observer need only announce the score from the last match, after the set is concluded; he doesn't need to formally declare the set winner unless he wants to. The observer-host makes the actual, official report for the set to the organizer by posting it in the tournament thread; the organizer updates the player list with the winner's(s') name(s) being marked. The group then gets to ensure that the report corresponds with what they saw while actually playing and the last chance for an objection is given. If there is an objection to the observer-host's final report, the saved film(s) can be reviewed by the organizer, whose decision is final. Complaints about observer behavior can be made to the organizer, who will communicate with the second observer present at that set of five, and possibly other members of the player group, in order to gather details; however, no complaints may at any time be made to the organizer about laggy hosted games.
--Lather, Rinse, Repeat--
Using the winner from each group, the organizer makes new groups, and everyone repeats Steps 3-5 as many times as is necessary to find the final winner from the final set of matches. The pool of winners never get organized into groups larger than four, so here are some examples of how to distribute one round's winners into the next round: if 9 players, make 3 groups of 3. If 7 players, make two groups of 3 and 4. If 5 players, make two groups of 2 and 3. These numbers do not count the player that is actually the host and observer of that match.
Step 6, Profit!: The last round's winner is announced and basks in the admiration of his peers.
These rules can also be easily adapted to run a second tournament with a separate list of players and observers, a tournament that is team-based. The team size might be decreed as two players or three. This would allow a bit more cooperation for those who enjoy that sort of thing.
So, anyway, suggestions are welcome, how do these rules sound? I've never been witness to a tournament before, so it's possible I overlooked something.
Also, note that the observer-host is not supposed to play. They are likely also signed up as players in the tournament, but that's as part of some other group at some other time; in the matches they host they need to ensure they do not do anything to affect the scoring. How is that to be achieved? I can think of three ways, and one of them should be decided upon as part of the rules: (1) the host must kill himself as quickly as possible after starting the match, and not re-spawn, but simply watch the scores; (2) they can simply run out "into traffic" and let whoever finds them kill them, and not fight back (again, no re-spawning, of course); (3) a simple netscript could be written that kills the host immediately upon the start of the game. If no one objects to the first method, it is probably the best one, except that inevitably some hosts will get caught by a player before they can off themselves, so it will technically be impossible not to affect the match outcome at all. Still, method 1 is probably a Good Enough™ solution to use as the rule for host behavior.
P.S.: I like Marathoner325's suggestion... I didn't even realize that the 14th anniversary is almost upon us. Organization needs to start pronto if we want to generally finish up by December and announce the winner but it might be doable. And this may seem like a lot of work to implement, but I don't really think it is, and if the system works it can be re-used once a year for Annual Tournaments! The bonus here is that if the system is re-used annually (and I realize I may be getting way ahead of myself here), the past tournament results can be used to calculate seeded rankings for returning players. Either you know what that means or you don't, but if you do, you know that seed-based tournaments make for the best drama because they tend to concentrate all the best players into the final round(s).
Edit 1: Removed dumb joke.
Edit 2: Made a moderate re-write and added a couple details such as handling of disputes. Be sure to let me know if some language isn't clear.
Edit 3: Clarified more and added rule about late-niks.
Last edited by Iritscen
on Oct 22nd '08, 15:40, edited 1 time in total.