Organize Marbles Tournaments

If you have become familiar with the rules you will need to learn a few other things to become successful organizer. On this page you can find some basic tips which may help you to start.

Tournament Systems

There are plenty of tournament systems to choose from. Players usually prefer systems with more matches rather than systems like single elimination.

For small tournaments with no more than 12 participants the round robin system is probably the best choice. Recommended systems for larger tournaments are:

  • Swiss system. In this system, all participants play equal number of games. Also, it makes possible to enter the tournament any time, not only in the beginning.
  • Combination of the round robin and single or double elimination system. There are multiple groups of players who compete using the round robin system and some of them, usually about top 50%, continue in the tournament using single or double elimination system.
  • System of multiple round robins when players start using the round robin system in multiple groups of 4 - 8 people and some of them (usually about top 50%) promote to the next group, etc. until the final group is formed. Winner of the final group becomes the winner of the tournament.

There are many websites which describe the tournament systems in depth, just use Google to find them. Also, there is a lot of software which can be useful, especially if you decide to use Swiss system.

The Equipment

What you will need for sure:

  • Pen
  • Tournament brackets (e. g. round robin, double elimination brackets, etc. depending on the tournament system you are going to use)
  • Attendance sheet
  • Tape measure
  • Some tools to make the holes

What may be useful but not always necessary:

  • Table and a chair
  • Tape
  • Some marbles for lending
  • Prizes for the best players
  • Broom
  • Party tent
  • Sound system (if you expect a lot of participants)
  • Printed rules
  • Printed flyers for newbies and bystanders

National And Local Rankings

National and local rankings are good way how to increase the players' motivation to participate in more tournaments. Here is an example how the national ranking can work:

There are ten national marbles tournaments a year. Your national marbles federation will choose the dates of the tournaments and appoint the organizers. In addition, every marbles club can organize unlimited number of local tournaments. Every participant gets some points depending on his position in the tournament. Players can get more points in the national competitions and less in the local competitions. Every player can participate in unlimited number of tournaments, however, only top 12 results are counted (and no more than six results from national tournaments). Player, who achieves the most points, becomes a winner of the national ranking for given year.

Local rankings work in a similar way. Let's say a marbles club organizes one tournament a month, that is 12 competitions a year. People who participate in these tournaments get points and who achieves the most points becomes a winner of the local ranking for given year. It is a good idea to take into account only 60 - 80% of the best results of every player.