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Technical
Swiss Events - A Tutorial

John Wall discusses how to manage a complex Swiss tournament and illustrates how games must be arranged to be consistent with the  regulations. There are three separate Swiss preliminary events, which are detailed here and a further Swiss consolation event for the people in 5th place or below from the preliminary events.

The results for this tutorial are taken from the Croquet New Zealand School Age tournament held in Palmerston North in April 1999.

The four samples are of:

  1. Preliminary Event I, with full scores, "Order before Round ...", "Matches in Round ..." and "Wins after Round ...";
  2. Preliminary Event II with everything filled in as for Event 1;
  3. Preliminary Event III with just the scores and final places filled in;
  4. Second Consolation, with full scores, "Wins after Round ..." 1, 2 and 3 filled in, but with "Order before Round ..." and "Matches before Round ..." blank  except for the first round.

The actual competition also included a "Final" event for the first and second position holders in each Preliminary Event and a "First Consolation" for the third and fourth position holders.  These events are not included in the tutorial.

The process is as defined in the NZCC Croquet 1998-99 Yearbook, "Methods of Playing Events" (8) Swiss Events, pages 29 and 30. (These are the same as those promulgated by the CA.)  The two adjustment made for the reason of fairness in this Handicap event were:

  1. to Regulation (c) Byes and Defaults, (i). The score against "Bye" was deemed to be a Win by a score of 0-0 as with not the full recommended amount of rounds played, a "win" against Bye of 26-0 would have skewed the results unfairly;
  2. to the method of determining the winner - or the order of result at the end of  play - in the event that more than one competitor had the same number of wins ... we used Nett points for and against.

As to how it works:

Consider Preliminary Event I. Part of the key is to arrange the order of the players NOT in descending order of bisquing;  it should be relatively random - and you will see in this case that the lowest bisquing player, A (0 handicap), is set to play the highest bisquer, B (14), in his first game.

Reasons:

  1. If you put the players down A, B, C, ... in order of bisquing, then if you play A vs B first round, then the likely numbers 1 and 2 at the end of play will be playing each other first up!
  2. It gets the potentially embarrassing game of the highest bisquer playing the lowest bisquer out of the way early on.
  3. It allows one to set down as the first games "A vs B, C vs D, E vs F", and the "Order before Round ... " as A, B, C, D, E, F.

Prelimary Event I

So lets have a look at what happened after Round 1. 

A beat B 26-8,
C beat D 15-12, and
E beat F 22-7.

So the "Wins after Round ... " is filled in first - as you see, 1, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0 down the column "1", and then the "Order before Round ... " in column "2". This is a critical one. You note that three players have had one win, therefore they must go down first, before the ones with no wins. HOWEVER, they must be listed IN THE ORDER IN WHICH THEY WERE IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN - the column "Order before Round 1". At this stage, there is no problem, but I am emphasising it now because it becomes important later on. So we put down A, C, E in order in column "2" (because A came higher up than C, and C higher up than E in the previous column), followed by B, D, F. 

Now to "Matches in Round 2". Starting at the top of the column "Order before Round 2" we pair off the players, making sure that they haven't played one another before. In this case, it's simple: A vs C. Next we go to the bottom pairing, D vs F, in accordance with the regulation for a Swiss Event draw (NZCC Croquet 1998-9 Yearbook, p.30, (8) Swiss Events (b) Determination of Pairings (iv) (1), (2), ... ) and finally E vs B. 

In this round, 

A beat C 26-13,
E beat B 26-7, and
F beat D 23-13.

So the "Wins after Round ... " column now reads, under "2", reading down from the top 2, 0, 1, 0, 2, 1. I.e. A has 2 wins, B has 0 wins, C has 1 win, D has 0 wins, E has 2 wins and F has 1 win. We now have to write down the "Order before Round 3." A and E have 2 wins, so A stays at the top (because it was above E in the previous column), followed immediately by E. C and F have 1 win each, so they go down next in that order - because that's how they were situated in the previous column, C above F. And then B and D. So A plays E, D plays B (remember, bottom pairing is dealt with second) and C plays F - and that's what we put down in "Matches in Round 3". 

Results of Round 3 matches: 

A beats E 26-23,
C beats F 26-12, and
D beats B 26-12.

So the "Wins after Round 3" column reads (downwards) 3, 0, 2, 1, 2, 1. So the "Order before Round 4" column reads A (who has 3 wins) followed by E, followed by C, both of which have 2 wins AND ARE PUT IN THAT ORDER BECAUSE THAT IS THE ORDER THEY APPEARED IN in the previous column, followed by D and then B. 

Problems:
So now to "Matches in Round 4". Ah well, A vs E ... ?? Uh Oh! Can't do that because A played E in the previous round! OK then, A vs C ... Oh dear me! Can't do that either, because A and C played off in Round 2. So we go to A vs F ... is that OK? Yes, they haven't played each other before. So then it's B ... but B has played D, and F, so the next game to be inserted is B vs C.

Are you still with me? Right!


 
Preliminary Event I
Wins after Round...
 
Hcap
1
2
3
4
Position
A
0
1
2
3
3
1st
B
14
0
0
0
0
6th
C
9
1
1
2
3
3rd
D
11
0
0
1
1
5th
E
12
1
2
2
3
2nd
F
8.5
0
1
1
2
4th
  
0 wins 1 win 2 wins 3 wins
  
Preliminary Event I
Order before Round ...
1
2
3
4
Position
A
A
A
A
1st
B
C
E
E
2nd
C
E
C
C
3rd
D
B
F
F
4th
E
D
B
D
5th
F
F
D
B
6th
  
Matches in round ...
1
2
3
4
A vs B
A vs C
A vs E
A vs F
C vs D
E vs B
C vs F
E vs D
E vs F
D vs F
B vs D
B vs C

Preliminary Event II

On to Preliminary Event II which is a bit more difficult because there is a bye in it - and this has ramifications when you come to post-selection play - as we shall see!

Same principles apply for setting out the draw, and for the first round. In these games 

A beat B 26-1,&
D beat C 19-11,
F beat E 23-8, and
G had a "Win" because it had the bye.

So the "Wins after Round ... " column 1 reads (downwards) 1, 0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 1, and the "Order before Round 2" becomes A, D, F, G, B, C, E, H. (H stays at the bottom throughout.)  So the "Matches in Round 2" are A vs D, E-bye, (the "bottom" pairing), F vs G, B vs C - pretty straightforward because none of those pairings have played one another before. 

Results of matches in Round 2: 

A beat D 23-11,
F beat G 26-2,
C beat B 26-3, and;
E had a "Win" against "bye",

and the "Wins after Round 2" column now reads 2, 0, 1, 1, 1, 2, 1, and the "Order before Round 3" column reads A (with 2 wins), F (with 2 wins) because A was above F in the previous column, ... and then which of C, D, E, G (all with 1 win) comes first? ... well, it has to be D because D was the highest of those in the previous column - followed in order by G, C and E.   So in their Round 3 matches, A has to play F, the bottom pairing becomes "B-bye" then D vs G and C vs E. 

Results of Round 3 matches: 

A beat 26-9,
D beat G 26-5,
C beat E 26-21, and
B had the "bye" win.

So the "Wins after Round 3" column reads 3, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 1, and the "Order before Round 4" column reads A (3 wins) folowed by the bottom pairing of ... hold it!! can't be B because B's had a bye already; right, must be ... oh no! can't be E either because E had a bye in the previous round ... or G!!! And it can't be C either because C's playing A!! So it has to be D. And the next pairing? Going down from the top it must be F versus ... oh dear again! Can't be against either of the other two players with 2 wins because C is playing A and D has got the bye. So it has to be against B or E. Which comes first in the previous column?  Right, F vs E ... Check: have they played before? Yes, in Round 1, so it can't be F vs E - has to be F vs B. That leaves G vs E for the last pairing which should be all right because it's the only possibility left! It is!

Preliminary Event II
Wins after round...
 
1
2
3
4
Position
A
1
2
3
4
1st
B
0
0
1
1
7th
C
0
1
2
2
4th
D
1
1
2
3
3rd
E
0
1
1
2
5th
F
1
2
2
3
2nd
G
1
1
1
1
6th
H
0
0
0
0
 
  
0 wins
1 win
2 wins
3 wins
4 wins
  
Preliminary Event II
Order before round...
1
2
3
4
Position
A
A
A
A
1st
B
D
F
F
2nd
C
F
D
D
3rd
D
G
G
C
4th
E
B
C
G
5th
F
C
E
E
6th
G
E
B
B
7th
H
H
H
8th
  
Matches in round ...
1
2
3
4
A vs B
A vs D
A vs F
A vs C
C vs D
F vs G
D vs G
F vs B
E vs F
B vs C
C vs E
E vs G
G-bye
E-bye
B-bye
D-bye


So that's how it's done!  You'll see that I have left the sheet for Preliminary Event III incomplete. That's for you to work on yourselves!!  And when you've done that, let's get on to the Second Consolation which has an interesting few wrinkles in it!

  
 

Scores Event III
 
B
C
D
E
F
A
XXX
26
26
26
26
 
B
9
XXX
 
15
13
7
C
11
 
XXX
14
   
D
11
12
6
XXX
 
14
E
11
12
26
 
XXX
26
F
 
23
21
11
15
XXX
Preliminary Event III
Wins after Round...
 
1
2
3
4
Position
A
1
     
1st
B
0
     
4th
C
0
     
5th
D
1
     
6th
E
0
     
2nd
F
1
     
3rd
  
0 wins
1 win
2 wins
3 wins
  
Preliminary Event III
Order before Round ...
1
2
3
4
Position
A
A
   
1st
B
D
   
2nd
C
F
   
3rd
D
G
   
4th
E
B
   
5th
F
C
   
6th
  
Matches in round ...
1
2
3
4
A vs B
     
C vs D
     
E vs F
     

The Second Consolation

OK, here goes.  You need to note the change of letter:  J is the player who came 5th in Preliminary Event I, K is the player who came 5th in Preliminary Event III, and so on. Again, I've left this incomplete so that you can have a go at it yourselves, but there are one or two constraints to remember. Firstly, no-one should be put to play anyone they have played before - and that includes in the Preliminary Events. So for example, if the combination K vs Y is thrown up, then that cannot be played because Y and K played one another in their Preliminary Event III. Secondly - and it really follows on from the first - no-one should be given a bye if they have had a bye before in the tournament, which means that L, W and X (all of whom came from Preliminary Event II) cannot be given byes. The really interesting task comes when you come to schedule Round 4 games. It CAN be done ('cause Gordon Smith - Assistant Manager - and I did it!), although it didn't actually take place because Round 4 was rained off. So the placings noted were calculated as at the end of Round 3. 

If you get really stuck - i.e. to the hair-tearing-out stage - I am happy for you to contact me at jwall@clear.net.nz, but first, do try asking a friend for assistance.  It's sometimes surprising how much better two heads are rather than one.

I wish you lots of fun!
 
 

John Wall 
Manager 


 
Second Consolation
Wins after round...
 
1
2
3
4
Position
J
I/5
1
2
3
 
1st
K
III/5
0
1
2
 
3rd
L
II/5
1
1
1
 
5th
W
II/6
0
1
1
 
6th
X
II/7
0
0
0
 
7th
Y
III/6
1
1
2
 
4th
Z
I/6
1
2
3
 
2nd
I/5 means Event I, 5th place
   
0 wins
1 win
2 wins
3 wins
   
Second Consolation
Order before round...
1
2
3
4
Position
J
       
K
       
L
       
W
       
X
       
Y
       
Z
       
Bye
       
    
Matches in round ...
1
2
3
4
J vs K
     
L vs X
     
W vs Y
     
Z vs Bye
K vs Bye
Y vs Bye
J vs Bye
Author: John Wall
All rights reserved © 2000


Updated 28.i.16
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