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Main article: "Group tournament ranking system

In 2-competitor games where "ties are rare or impossible, competitors are typically ranked by number of wins, with ties counting half; each competitors' listings are usually ordered Wins–Losses(–Ties). Where ties are more common, this may be 2 points for a win and 1 for a tie, which is mathematically equivalent but avoids having too many half-points in the listings. These are usually ordered Wins–Ties–Losses. If there are more than two competitors per fixture, points may be ordinal (for example, 3 for first, 2 for second, 1 for third).

Multi-stage tournaments[edit]

Many tournaments are held in multiple stages, with the top teams in one stage progressing to the next. American professional team sports have a "regular season" (group tournament) acting as qualification for the "post season" or ""playoffs" (single-elimination tournament). A group stage (also known as pool play or the pool stage) is a "round-robin stage in a multi-stage tournament. The competitors are divided into multiple groups, which play separate round-robins in parallel. Measured by a "points-based ranking system, the top competitors in each group qualify for the next stage. In most editions of the "FIFA World Cup finals tournament, the first round has been a group stage with groups of four teams, the top two qualifying for the "knockout stage" played as a "single-elimination tournament. This format is common in many international team events, such as "World Cups or "Olympic tournaments. Some tournaments have two group stages, for example the "1982 FIFA World Cup or the "1999–2000 UEFA Champions League. As well as a fixed number of qualifiers from each group, some may be determined by comparing between different groups: at the "1986 FIFA World Cup the best four of six third-place sides qualified; at the "1999 Rugby World Cup the best one of five third-place sides did so.

Sometimes, results from an earlier phase are carried over into a later phase. In the "Cricket World Cup, the second stage, known as the Super Eight since "2007 and before that the Super Six, features two teams from each of four preliminary groups (previously three teams from two preliminary groups), who do not replay the teams they have already played, but instead reuse the original results in the new league table. Formerly in the "Swiss Football League, teams played a double round-robin, at which point they were split into a top "championship" group and a bottom "relegation" group; each played a separate double round-robin, with results of all 32 matches counting for ranking each group. A similar system is also used by the "Scottish Premiership and its historic predecessor, the "Scottish Premier League, since 2000. After 33 games, when every club has played every other club three times, the division is split into two halves. Clubs play a further 5 matches, against the teams in their half of the division. This can (and often does) result in the team placed 7th having a higher points total than the team placed 6th, because their final 5 games are considerably easier.

The "top Slovenian basketball league has a unique system. In its first phase, 12 of the league's 13 clubs compete in a full home-and-away season, with the country's representative in the "Euroleague (an elite pan-European club competition) exempt. The league then splits. The top seven teams are joined by the Euroleague representative for a second home-and-away season, with no results carrying over from the first phase. These eight teams compete for four spots in a final playoff. The bottom five teams play their own home-and-away league, but their previous results do carry over. These teams are competing to avoid relegation, with the bottom team automatically relegated and the second-from-bottom team forced to play a mini-league with the second- and third-place teams from the second level for a place in the top league.

Promotion and relegation[edit]

Promotion and relegation

Where the number of competitors is larger than a tournament format permits, there may be multiple tournaments held in parallel, with competitors assigned to a particular tournament based on their ranking. In "chess, "Scrabble, and many other individual games, many tournaments over one or more years contribute to a player's ranking. However, many team sports involve teams in only one major tournament per year. In European sport, including football, this constitutes the sole ranking for the following season; the top teams from each division of the league are promoted to a higher division, while the bottom teams from a higher division are relegated to a lower one.

This promotion and relegation occurs mainly in league tournaments, but also features in Davis Cup and Fed Cup tennis:

The hierarchy of divisions may be linear, or tree-like, as with the "English football league pyramid.

Bridge tournaments[edit]

duplicate bridge

In "contract bridge a "tournament" is a tournament in the first sense above, composed of multiple "events", which are tournaments in the second sense. Some events may be single-elimination, double-elimination, or Swiss style. However, ""Pair events" are the most widespread. In these events, a number of deals (or "boards) are each played several times by different players. For each such board the score achieved by each North-South (NS) pair is then measured against all the other NS pairs playing the same board. Thus pairs are rewarded for playing the same cards better than others have played them. There is a predetermined schedule of fixtures depending on the number of pairs and boards to be played, to ensure a good mix of opponents, and that no pair plays the same board or the same opponents twice (see "duplicate bridge movements).

Poker tournaments[edit]

In "poker tournaments, as players are eliminated, the number of tables is gradually reduced, with the remaining players redistributed among the remaining tables. Play continues until one player has won all of the chips in play. Finishing order is determined by the order in which players are eliminated: last player remaining gets 1st place, last player eliminated gets 2nd, previous player eliminated gets 3rd, etc.

In a "shootout" tournament, players do not change tables until every table has been reduced to one player.

Alternatives to tournament systems[edit]

While tournament structures attempt to provide an objective format for determining the best competitor in a game or sport, other methods exist.

"Challenge
In this format, champions retain their title until they are defeated by an opponent, known as the challenger. This system is used in "professional boxing (see "lineal championship), and the "World Chess Championship. The right to become a contender may be awarded through a tournament, as in chess, or through a ranking system: the ranking systems used by boxing's governing bodies are controversial and opaque. If the champion retires or dies, then the current top challenger may be declared champion or the title may be vacant until a match between two challengers is held. Prior to 1920, the reigning Wimbledon champion received a bye to the final; the official name of the "FA Challenge Cup reflects a similar arrangement which applied only in that tournament's very early years. The "America's Cup is decided between the winners of separate champion and challenger tournaments, respectively for yachts from the country of the reigning champion, and of all other countries. The "Ranfurly Shield in New Zealand rugby union is a challenge trophy between provincial teams, in which the holders of the Shield retain it until they are beaten by a challenging province.
"Ladder tournament
The ladder is an extension of the challenge system. All competitors are ranked on a "ladder". New contestants join the bottom of the ladder. Any contestant can challenge a competitor ranked slightly higher; if the challenger wins the match (or the challenge is refused) they swap places on the ladder. Ladders are common in internal club competitions in individual sports, like "squash and "pool. Another ladder system is to give competitors a certain number of ranking points at the start. If two competitors play each other, then the winner will gain a percentage of the loser's ranking points. In this way competitors that join later will generally start in the middle, since top competitors already have won ranking points and bottom competitors have lost them.
Selection
A champion may be selected by an authorised or self-appointed group, often after a "vote. While common in non-competitive activities, ranging from "science fairs to "cinema's "Oscars, this is rarely significant in sports and games. Though unofficial, the polls run by the "Associated Press and others were prestigious titles in "American college football prior to the creation in "1998 of the "Bowl Championship Series, a quasi-official national championship (to this day, the "NCAA does not officially award "a championship in "the top division of college football). From "2005 until the final season of the BCS in "2013, the "AP Poll operated independently from the BCS, and two other polls were part of the BCS formula. The BCS was replaced by the "College Football Playoff, a four-team tournament whose participants are chosen by a selection committee, in "2014; since then, all polls have operated independently from the CFP.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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