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View Full Version : Organisers corner: slacker-friendly club round robins



Kevin Bonham
18-05-2004, 12:48 AM
Just wondering if anyone else has any experience in dealing with this problem and if so how they have resolved it. I have a system that is becoming fairly fine-tuned but I'm always looking for ways to make it work better.

My club has a large proportion of players who are fairly lax about actually turning up, but still want to play in tournaments. One factor is that winter in Hobart is pretty shaky weather-wise and many like to take holidays on the mainland or skip the rainy nights (ie we usually get 15-20 along on a club night but last week was cold, rainy and windy so we only got 7). Another is that with membership modest, it's worth the effort to get as many players into tournaments as we can. Yet another is that Tasmanians seem to have a rather high level of community group involvement and most people who go to chess clubs have commitments that sometimes interfere with chess. So some of our members turn up almost every week, some turn up most weeks, some turn up 60-70% of the time.

We like to play our tournaments on a kind of open round robin system. The basic idea of this system is that a player can turn up or not turn up on any given night. If they turn up they can play anyone who is present who they haven't yet played.

Over about a decade of experience with this system it's been refined to include the following conditions:

* There is a specified cut off date when all games must be played by. Usually this is determined to accord with rating list processing cutoffs and so that (number of nights in event)/(number of entrants) ~ 1.5. Sometimes it is extended slightly if circumstances allow.

* Entrants place their names, in order of entry, on a crosstable which gives an automatic draw for colours. Entries are held open for about a month from the first night for games.

* Each player is deemed to be in attendance if they have played a game on a particular night or: if they arrive at the club less than half an hour after it opens and they are willing to play a tournament game that night and they cannot find an opponent who has not already played them. (This can happen either because the player is the odd one out or because the player has played all others who are available.)

* There is a quota system for attendance. Normally the quota is about the number of players in the tournament, or that number plus one. If a game is not played by the cutoff date, the result is as follows:

- both players have reached the quota: draw-forfeit (half point each, unrated)
- one player has reached the quota: player who has reached quota wins on forfeit.
- neither player has reached the quota: each player scores an unrated zero or half depending on circumstances (usually .5:.5 but sometimes 0:0 and I think we've even used .5:0 sometimes).

* A player who fails to attend without approval for 5 consecutive weeks is scratched from the tournament.

* Players can play multiple games on one night. As a general rule only the very strong and very weak do this.

* If a player is scratched and has played less than half their scheduled games then all their games are cancelled for score purposes. If a player has played half or more their remaining games are forfeited.

* Players can play games by arrangement outside club hours at any mutually acceptable venue, without a DOP at own risk.

And I may be proposing in the not too distant future:

* That there be various intermediate cutoff points that players are required to reach along the way in order to stay in the tournament. Eg after the first month to allow for late entries, entrants must have played 2 games after month 1, 5 games after month 2, 8 games after month 3, etc, except where approved otherwise.

Just wondering if anyone else runs this sort of ad hoc round robin system and how they deal with the issue of making people actually get games played - and also providing our model (such as it is) for those thinking of adopting such a slack and leisurely system.

Comments welcome.

ursogr8
18-05-2004, 08:48 AM
Just wondering if anyone else has any experience in dealing with this problem and if so how they have resolved it. I have a system that is becoming fairly fine-tuned but I'm always looking for ways to make it work better.

My club has a large proportion of players who are fairly lax about actually turning up, but still want to play in tournaments. ....
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Just wondering if anyone else runs this sort of ad hoc round robin system and how they deal with the issue of making people actually get games played - and also providing our model (such as it is) for those thinking of adopting such a slack and leisurely system.

Comments welcome.

hi Kevin
Thanks for sharing this with us.
A model that may suit your locale.


My only comment relates to two Clubs that I have been a member of in Melbourne.
1st > Box Hill. For many years there was a strict rule...two no-shows and you are out of the tourney. This operated while we had low numbers, less than 50 members. Over time we grew in numbers and as a consequence we had an increase in members advising of absence, or wanting a bye, or wanting a postponement. The informal rule changed (softened) to "it is OK to be absent as long as you give us 48 hours notice to the Club mobile phone". Unannounced absences are still treated as very undesirable...and two of these will get you excluded from the tourney.
The system works well and players observe the code.

2nd >> Whitehorse (as run by Jammo). A much more relaxed regime developed over time. Players would find out the next pairing and play the game at a different venue and a different time. (Perhaps this was due to quite a few players being UNI students and able to play at a Campus). The nett effect that was at Club night (Sunday evening) there would be less than 30% games for a given round actually played at the Club. It seemed to me that this reduced the number of players attending below the critical mass (for the Club rooms to be an interesting place to visit) and the Club folded soon after.

Kevin, I think the laxity you allow is undesirable for the long term health of the Club.

Thanks for the invitation to comment

starter

Ian Rout
18-05-2004, 09:11 AM
My immediate thought was that this is the sort of situation where a Swiss, with moderately generous half-point bye provisions, is the way to go.

Kevin Bonham
18-05-2004, 03:42 PM
Kevin, I think the laxity you allow is undesirable for the long term health of the Club.

It is a hazard, but not perhaps in the way you think. Numbers are rising, critical mass is always present (except last week), but the challenge of getting everyone to play all their games by the cutoff date without the event running literally all year is just getting harder and harder.

At this year's AGM there was a vote on splitting it in two divisions after last year's event attracted 16 finishers. The vote was tied and therefore lost on a casting vote. I think if we'd anticipated 22 entries (2 of whom have since been scratched) it might have gone quite differently.

Trent Parker
18-05-2004, 03:51 PM
well our club normally plays swiss type tournaments. the draw is done on the day and whoever is present is paired. But then we do not rate these tourneys either. The only tourney we rate is the Fisher's Ghost Open starting late october.

Kevin Bonham
07-06-2005, 10:44 PM
* A player who fails to attend without approval for 5 consecutive weeks is scratched from the tournament.

We have now changed this to 3, and we have a sheet where players are required to record attendance.

This seems to be working a bit better.