How to organize a tournament.

From: Jean-Pierre Boudreau, Shediac Pickleball Club, here are the steps to put on a pickleball tournament in your area, please forward this info to anybody interested, thanks

1 – contact and reserve a venue (school gym, community hall, etc…), date, length of time (8:00 to 5:00 or 6:00) and cost of the reservation well in advance, at least a month before the event (book an hour and a half before the event and at least an hour after the estimated end of the tournament), a 9:30 start seems to work and the end is usually in between 4:00 and 5:00

2 – send out an invitation for the tournament that includes date, time, venue (directions to the place if necessary), cost (between $20 to $30 per team depending on your cost for the rental of the venue and the incidentals to put on the tournament), registration deadline (usually 2 or 3 days before the event), divisions (usually men’s, mix and women’s), maximum number of teams that can be accommodated (usually 6 teams per available court), the format to be used (usually a round robin format in the morning and a single elimination format in the afternoon), e-mail address to register (depending on how many courts you have available and how many teams are register, you can accommodate 5 or 6 teams on 1 court or up to 8 teams on 2 courts)

3 – you will need black and red markers, 2 black poster boards for cutting out big numbers or letters to indicate which court is which at your venue, 2 white poster boards per court to indicate the schedule of that court on one and the results of the games from the schedule on the other, a big folding white cardboard to indicate the divisions, the teams in each division and the courts on which these teams will play, as many big folding white cardboard as you have division (usually 3, men’s, mix and women’s) to put the elimination round format on (see examples attached in the tournament photos section)

4 – make as many copies of the attached waiver form (see waiver form section) as you have players registered not teams plus an extra 10 to 20 just to make sure

5 – get prizes for the winners and finalists of each category (usually 3 bigger prizes for the 3 division winners and 3 smaller prizes for the 3 finalists) from sponsor donations and/or from the town or city

6 – send an e-mail to all participants (after the registration deadline has passed and you know exactly how many teams are coming) specifying the directions to the facility, if it has bathrooms, change and/or lockers rooms, drinking fountains, vending machines, close restaurants and/or convenient store, that a half hour to an hour hour break will divide the round robin portion from the elimination rounds, the breakdown of the divisions and teams in each divisions as well as the courts the divisions and teams will be playing on, a preliminary schedule can also be added

7 – put a table directly where the participants will come into the facility and have a person welcome them, collect the registration fee and sign the waiver or declaration of responsibility form, the person will need a list of all the participants, a marker or pen to check them off as they pay and sign, a float of around $60 to $100 in $5 or $10 to make change

8 – at the start of the tournament, gather everybody and welcome them, emphasize fair play, that the participants call the lines, that if a line call is disputed, the point is replayed, that any ball and/or other participants on any court stops the point immediately and it is replayed, who the home teams are on the schedules and where they play on the courts and if there are any questions, that a participant from each team playing a match enter the score of the match on the appropriate board

9 – in between the round robin and the elimination rounds, someone or preferably more than one person compiles the scores for each team by adding up the points for and the points against, (for example after 3 games one team has won 11 to 4, lost 7 to 11 and won 12 to 10, their points for would be 30, their points against 25 therefore their total would be +5, another team could have lost their 3 games by scores of 6 to 11, 5 to 11 and 1 to 11, therefore their score for are 12 and against are 33 giving their total as -21), after compiling a total score for all the teams in each category, you rank the teams for each category (for example, if there are 2 courts of 6 teams each for the men’s division, you will need to rank them from 1 to 12 by their total score, if two teams have equal total scores and they have not played each other, flip a coin to decide the two ranking, if they played each other, the winner gets the higher ranking)

10 – use the following website to find examples of round robin schedules and the web site “Elimination Brackets” for examples of single or double eliminations

11 – at the beginning of the elimination round of the tournament, it is almost a necessity to have a person assigned to keep the schedule moving by directing the teams of the 2nd matches of the afternoon and so on to the appropriate courts in order to not loose time unnecessarily

12 – if time allows, the finalists may be offered to play a 2 out of 3 instead of a single game if the four players agree

13 – a representative of the tournament has to be available for the presentation of the prizes to the winners and finalists and photos

14 – I am always available by e-mail or telephone 506-532-5533 for advice or suggestions, however if we don’t have anything already planned, my wife and I are also available to prepare and hold a tournament in your neck of the woods for half the registration fees with a minimum of $400 which would go into the Shediac Pickleball Club bank account

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