Round Robin Tournaments apply to any sport where more than three players compete. It’s an all-play-all system.
The way every player gets a chance to compete with all the others can be compared to the elimination type competitions where the first matches make or break a player.
The elimination type games are known to stump good athletes who give a less than ideal performance in a single match.
In a Tennis Round Robin Format 8 players, every one of the players gets to play with at least three other players. That’s fair play at its best.
How to Play a Round Robin Format 8 Players
Round Robin Format can be played with single players, doubles, and mixed doubles. In other games, it can also be used for scheduling team playoffs.
It’s a fair system that can be employed by any number of competing players or teams from three and up.
A Round Robin system for four players is the simplest arrangement. Everyone plays the next, that’s all.
In a group of eight, things can become a bit complicated, and if each player plays the next, a large number of matches will be played till a winner is selected.
A subdivision is used in that case to make things easier. There are some online apps to adjust the tournament schedule.
Normally the players are divided into two groups, with four players in each group. Each one of the players competes against another player within the same group.
To guarantee the most unbiased distribution of players, usually there’s a draw, or the players are listed in alphabetical order, and then they are assigned different groups.
The first and second players from each group continue to round two, or the semi-finals. The remaining four players face off until the winner earns the championship.
Advantages of the Round Robin System
Fairness is the most important advantage of this arrangement. Each player gets a full opportunity to play the other opponents.
The winner of a round-robin scheduled game is the one who sustains the most wins. This statistically proves that the winner has truly earned his/her position.
There’s very little opportunity for luck or circumstance in this arrangement. A numbers’ game
is a better predictor of accurate results. It’s like playing a best of three in tic-tac-toe.
Sometimes players aren’t in full form, and a limited number of encounters could coincide with a bad day for them. This is sheer bad luck for a player, and it’s avoided in round-robin tournaments.
A similarly unfortunate situation happens if a weak player faces a tough one in the first match of an elimination type tournament.
The round-robin arrangement allows each player to show his/her full skill and best performance as they get to play with different opponents.
The end of the tournament isn’t just who wins and who loses, each player has a winning-to-losing ratio. The number of matches played could also be analyzed to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses of each player.
Disadvantages of the Round Robin System
These tournaments can become very lengthy, as opposed to the elimination type competitions where half the players are out in every round.
A 4-player tournament needs 6 matches, while a 10-player tournament needs 45! Dividing them into two groups of 5-players reduces this 21 matches including the final.
There’s another odd situation that happens to the weaker players who have no chance of winning the title. They actually have to keep on playing matches with the other players.
These remaining games could take place between competitors who are both beyond victory, or between a player who has lost his chance and another who’s still hopeful.
Qualified players are also known to manipulate the last matches within a group. They could lose deliberately to a weaker player to qualify them for the next stages instead of a stronger one.
This, of course, is against the raison d’etre for the round-robin, and it clearly compromises its fairness, but it happens, and it’s an issue that’s been under the public eye for a while.
The term round-robin didn’t start off in that form, it evolved into it from the original french word ‘ruban’ meaning ribbon.
The roundness of the described ribbon is also how these tournaments are organized, where one player competes against the next.
Round robin is a scheduling format that’s been used in recreational sports, social gatherings, school sports events, and on the larger scale of formal competitive tournaments.
It’s not as exciting as the knockout elimination type games, but it’s pretty fair, and that makes winning git a deserved victory.
There’s no perfect system, however, and it does have a few caveats here and there, but still, it’s considered one of the best systems to arrange sports events.
Knowing the rules of this format is essential for playing them well, and just as much to enjoy watching the games.