Friday, August 17, 2012

Various Regional Scheduling Rants

I haven’t had too many thoughts about actual bridge hands lately but I think it’s time for another rant about tournament schedules.
I personally am not a fan of the 2 session flight A Swiss/flight B bracketed round robin that many tournaments are having on Thursdays now. But I am generally against Swisses and this rarely impacts me because I rarely am at a tournament on a Thursday. If you play pairs that day, it’s tiny and the open game doesn’t get “credit” for the Gold Rush or flight B game. I think a decent argument can be made for including the flight B Swiss tables in the MP calculation for the open pairs, much like they do when they have a 0-750 pair game alongside the open pairs. Why should the Open Swiss get credit for the tables in the 0-3000 Round Robin but the Open Pairs not get credit for the 0-3000 round robin? This flighting of pair games has done wonders for reviving the open pairs and sort of curtailing the KO fever. However, these tournaments that have gone to having 0-750 games Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday have skewed the MP awards for the open pairs. Let’s take a look at the recent Chattanooga regional, which used this schedule.
Tuesday open pairs: 8 tables, 19.95 MP for first (39 tables in 0-750 pairs included for MP awards)
Wednesday open pairs: 13 tables, 24.50 MP for first (47 tables in 0-750 included)
Thursday open pairs: 11.5 tables, 7.70 MP for first (76 tables in 0-3000 Bracketed Round Robin, about 36 of which were eligible for 0-750, not included in MP awards for open pairs)
Friday open pairs: 12 tables, 18.55 MP for first (31 tables in 0-750)
Saturday open pairs: 9 tables, 14 MP for first (21 tables in 0-750)
Doesn’t it seem wrong for the Thursday open pairs to pay far fewer points despite that specific event being close to the same size every day?

Another thing I’d like to rant about today is the scheduling of BAM and Swisses for the evening side team game. Personally, I’d prefer BAM every night but that’s not going to happen except at the few tournaments big enough to support both so having some of each is almost a necessity. In Chattanooga (and at the upcoming Augusta and Macon regionals), BAMs are on Tuesday and Thursday nights with Swisses Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. BAMs and compact KOs are restricted to exactly 4-person teams while KOs and Swisses allow 4, 5 or 6 person teams. Therefore, to avoid making some team reorganize and rearrange themselves within the same day, when the main event is a compact KO, the evening event should be a BAM. Otherwise, when the main event allows 5 or 6 person teams, the side event that evening should also allow 5 or 6 person teams. So this scheduling doesn’t make sense in that regard either because Saturday is the one evening that should definitely have a BAM because the main team event of the day is a compact KO so teams are already grouped into exactly 4.

My last rant about tournament schedules for the day concerns KOs near the end of the tournament. I love the avoid-the-swiss KO – the one that starts Sunday afternoon of a tournament ending on a Monday holiday (or starts at 1pm Saturday and continues at 10am Sunday of a normal week). Attendance for this KO, however, has been substantially lower than for other Kos almost to the point of it not being worth scheduling. At the Raleigh regional, which ended Memorial Day, they had the traditional avoid-the-swiss KO that I entered but the event was delayed because teams had tried to enter that event AND the morning KO, both of which continued Monday at 10am. The Atlanta regional coming up is introducing a similar schedule for the first time – the normal Sunday-Monday KO exists but also a Saturday-Monday morning KO, both of which have semifinals Monday. I'm afraid that, while the knockouts during the week might be 7 or 8 brackets, these 2 events will be 1 bracket events.

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