Tourney Tracker

All board gamers are competitive on some level

This is a tool I wrote to manage the small board gaming tournament I run annually in May. I wanted it to be a low-stress, play-whatever-you-want event were you score points just for playing games. There are no brackets, no schedules, and no playing the same game repeatedly (unless you want to). Games are logged as they are finished and the results entered here. Points are awarded to each player based on some parameters described below. At the end of the tournament the player with the most points wins.

My Board Game Tournament Philosophy

I have been in all sorts of competitions: bracketed/round robin tournaments, season-long stage races, poker tournaments, golf tournaments, bar trivia, photography contests, cooking contests, the Pinewood Derby, and board game tournaments, of course. Their mechanisms all have merits, but I wanted a tournament style where participants weren't required to feel competitive pressure unless they wanted to. I also wanted a scoring system where the people who didn't want to compete weren't reducing the competitor pool.

Thus, I designed a system where players score points for each game they play: win or lose. As long as games are played, which is the entire point, everyone is participating in the tournament. Also, I wanted a system where it's not just a given that the experienced players will win the prizes. I wanted everyone to have a chance to win!

Tournament Core Ideals
  • There is no player elimination
  • Players can play any game they want, when they want
  • Players don't have to play the same games or even the same number of games
  • Players aren't forced to play a game a second time
  • Everyone scores points, no matter what
  • Consideration is given to skill level differences

How It Works

After a game is finished, the players fill out a short form logging the results. You can download the form here. Each player will score points for each game logged based on these paramaters:
  1. The player's placement in the final results of the game. A 1st place result will score higher than a 3rd place result.
  2. The player's placement in relation to the total number of players in the game. A 1st place result in a 5-player game will score higher than the 1st place result in a 3-player game because it's harder to beat 4 other players than 2 other players.
  3. The player's experience level at the game. All other things being equal, a player new to the game will score higher than the player who is an expert. Like in golf, experienced players will receive a handicap to help balance tournament points on a game-by-game basis.
  4. The time it took to play the game. Two 1st place results for two 30 minute games will score the same as one 1st place result for one 60 minute game. This effectively negates game time from the final results so players can play the length of games they like.
All of the log sheets are collected and entered into the Tourney Tracker. This can be done periodically during the tournament to get "real-time" results or all at once at the end. The tournament winner is the player with the most points when it's all over!

Read about the various results calculation options here.

Finally, you can share your tournament's results online (see an example).

Create a Tournament


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