Running a tournament
Organizing a backgammon tournament can be quite simple as long as you pay attention to a few important details. Firstly, you need to determine how many points each match will be played up to. If the tournament is taking place in one session, it’s best to opt for low-point matches as players often play more slowly in a tournament setting. Additionally, keep in mind that the rounds will move at the pace of the slowest match, so the tournament may last longer than expected. For example, for a tournament of 64 players, 5-point matches for the first four rounds, 7-point matches for the semi-final, and a 9-point match for the final would suffice. This should take about five or six hours to complete.
The second question to consider is whether or not to seed the good players. Seeding the top players can give them an advantage over others. For instance, if you seed the top eight players out of 64, none of them will play against each other until the quarter-finals. In contrast, every other player in the tournament will likely face one of the top eight players before the quarter-finals, unless they’re eliminated early. If fairness is your main priority, it’s best not to seed anyone.
Running a backgammon tournament can be relatively simple as long as certain considerations are taken into account. The first step is to determine how many points each match should be played up to. If the tournament is to be held in one session, low-point matches are usually recommended to account for slower play and to ensure that the rounds do not take longer than expected. For example, for a tournament of 64 people, five-point matches for the first four rounds, seven-point matches for the semi-finals, and a nine-point match for the final should suffice.
The second consideration is whether or not to seed the good players. Seeding good players gives them an advantage, as they will not have to play against other strong players until the quarter-finals. However, if fairness is the only consideration, it is recommended not to seed any players.
It is recommended to have one backgammon board for every two players in the tournament to ensure that each player can start playing in the first round simultaneously. If there are not enough boards, the tournament may take longer than expected. The boards should be set up on long tables about a foot apart, with opponents sitting on either side of the table.
The rules of play in the tournament are mostly the same as in normal games, but automatic doubles are not played, and the Crawford rule is often included.
In major tournaments, an auction may be held before play starts. Each player is put up for auction, and all the money paid goes into a pool. The successful buyers of the winning player receive 50%, the second 25%, and the losing semi-finalists 12.5% each. It is often a rule that any player may buy back up to 25% of themselves from their purchaser for the appropriate proportion of their price. However, it is recommended to allow a player to buy up to 50% of themselves if they wish to prevent them from trying to outbid their purchaser in the future.
It is worth remembering that a player with a bye is worth twice as much as a player without one when deciding whether to buy some of themselves from the person who purchased them.