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R/R or S/E?

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    Posted: 12/08/2018 at 2:22pm
In this day and age everything is R/R and I mean every tournament.
Now the U.S.Open has the format of R/R to another R/R then another R/R to S/E. Might be fun but it's no U.S. Open Championship.
This is a crazy idea and I'll probably take grief for it but why not let players enter 8 events at the U.S. Open and play them all S/E? With seedings players would play 1st round against a comparable opponent then a slightly more difficult one if you win. R/R's have their place but so does S/E.
What would this do? Streamline the tourney. No more lines or players defaulting all the time to the lower players in their group.
Once you lose you are just playing for rating points and this is part of the problem!
DS
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2018 at 3:03pm
Originally posted by danseemiller danseemiller wrote:

In this day and age everything is R/R and I mean every tournament.
Now the U.S.Open has the format of R/R to another R/R then another R/R to S/E. Might be fun but it's no U.S. Open Championship.
This is a crazy idea and I'll probably take grief for it but why not let players enter 8 events at the U.S. Open and play them all S/E? With seedings players would play 1st round against a comparable opponent then a slightly more difficult one if you win. R/R's have their place but so does S/E.
What would this do? Streamline the tourney. No more lines or players defaulting all the time to the lower players in their group.
Once you lose you are just playing for rating points and this is part of the problem!
When I started out in 1976, most tournaments were almost all SE. I remember entering 12 events in one two-day tournament!!! (That included age and doubles events, all SE, and even handicap singles, which was somewhat common back then.) Typically rating events would be every 100 points, so you'd have one or two where you were competitive to win, and then as many others as you wanted to go over big wins. I think that's how the 1976 U.S. Open in Philadelphia was run. For myself, I'd prefer that, but others might prefer the guaranteed extra matches in an RR, despite the fewer events. 
-Larry Hodges
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote benfb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2018 at 10:43pm
Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Originally posted by danseemiller danseemiller wrote:

In this day and age everything is R/R and I mean every tournament.
Now the U.S.Open has the format of R/R to another R/R then another R/R to S/E. Might be fun but it's no U.S. Open Championship.
This is a crazy idea and I'll probably take grief for it but why not let players enter 8 events at the U.S. Open and play them all S/E? With seedings players would play 1st round against a comparable opponent then a slightly more difficult one if you win. R/R's have their place but so does S/E.
What would this do? Streamline the tourney. No more lines or players defaulting all the time to the lower players in their group.
Once you lose you are just playing for rating points and this is part of the problem!
When I started out in 1976, most tournaments were almost all SE. I remember entering 12 events in one two-day tournament!!! (That included age and doubles events, all SE, and even handicap singles, which was somewhat common back then.) Typically rating events would be every 100 points, so you'd have one or two where you were competitive to win, and then as many others as you wanted to go over big wins. I think that's how the 1976 U.S. Open in Philadelphia was run. For myself, I'd prefer that, but others might prefer the guaranteed extra matches in an RR, despite the fewer events. 
-Larry Hodges
With all do respect to such distinguished people, I don't understand how you can argue for SE.  The SE system exists to solve very specific problems, but that doesn't make it preferable.

The main advantage of SE is that it is very efficient in reaching a single winner (no ties) with minimum resources.  E.g.,:

SE is a good system when you have a shortage of tables (or courts, or venues, etc.).  

SE is a good system when you want people to focus on being an audience rather than playing.  That is, as people are eliminated, they can become spectators for the remaining "winners."

There are, however, some significant drawbacks to SE.  SE involves fewer matches, which has its own drawbacks.

Fewer matches means less opportunity to play (assuming participants want to play a lot).  This is a driving point in USATT tournaments, where most people want to play as much as possible.

Fewer matches also means less certainty that your eventual winner is, in fact, the best player.  How many times have we seen SE systems with a "weaker bracket" and a "stronger bracket"?  SE systems allow people to be eliminated by misfortune in pairing.

Based on these arguments, SE makes sense for premier professional events, such as the World Cup.  There are relatively fewer players in those types of events and most people are spectators (including video).  

USA tournaments, both local and national, are a different matter altogether.  Most players prefer to play (should be no surprise).  They'll watch the last couple of rounds of SE (semis and finals, for example), but mostly they want to play.  So SE is not a going choice for them.

I would say that the increased use of RR in reflects the fact that USATT has come to recognize that the primary drivers of American table tennis are all those ordinary players (1000-2100).  And giving them more play through round robins is the best way to make them happy.

Frankly, I tend to avoid SE event altogether.  The one exception is I'll play doubles events even when they're only SE, because that's usually the way they're offered.  However, I won't travel only to play a SE event (doubles or otherwise).

Bottom line: more RR events is good for American Table Tennis and less SE is a good thing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2018 at 10:55pm
Originally posted by benfb benfb wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Originally posted by danseemiller danseemiller wrote:

In this day and age everything is R/R and I mean every tournament.
Now the U.S.Open has the format of R/R to another R/R then another R/R to S/E. Might be fun but it's no U.S. Open Championship.
This is a crazy idea and I'll probably take grief for it but why not let players enter 8 events at the U.S. Open and play them all S/E? With seedings players would play 1st round against a comparable opponent then a slightly more difficult one if you win. R/R's have their place but so does S/E.
What would this do? Streamline the tourney. No more lines or players defaulting all the time to the lower players in their group.
Once you lose you are just playing for rating points and this is part of the problem!
When I started out in 1976, most tournaments were almost all SE. I remember entering 12 events in one two-day tournament!!! (That included age and doubles events, all SE, and even handicap singles, which was somewhat common back then.) Typically rating events would be every 100 points, so you'd have one or two where you were competitive to win, and then as many others as you wanted to go over big wins. I think that's how the 1976 U.S. Open in Philadelphia was run. For myself, I'd prefer that, but others might prefer the guaranteed extra matches in an RR, despite the fewer events. 
-Larry Hodges
With all do respect to such distinguished people, I don't understand how you can argue for SE.  The SE system exists to solve very specific problems, but that doesn't make it preferable.

The main advantage of SE is that it is very efficient in reaching a single winner (no ties) with minimum resources.  E.g.,:

SE is a good system when you have a shortage of tables (or courts, or venues, etc.).  

SE is a good system when you want people to focus on being an audience rather than playing.  That is, as people are eliminated, they can become spectators for the remaining "winners."

There are, however, some significant drawbacks to SE.  SE involves fewer matches, which has its own drawbacks.

Fewer matches means less opportunity to play (assuming participants want to play a lot).  This is a driving point in USATT tournaments, where most people want to play as much as possible.

Fewer matches also means less certainty that your eventual winner is, in fact, the best player.  How many times have we seen SE systems with a "weaker bracket" and a "stronger bracket"?  SE systems allow people to be eliminated by misfortune in pairing.

Based on these arguments, SE makes sense for premier professional events, such as the World Cup.  There are relatively fewer players in those types of events and most people are spectators (including video).  

USA tournaments, both local and national, are a different matter altogether.  Most players prefer to play (should be no surprise).  They'll watch the last couple of rounds of SE (semis and finals, for example), but mostly they want to play.  So SE is not a going choice for them.

I would say that the increased use of RR in reflects the fact that USATT has come to recognize that the primary drivers of American table tennis are all those ordinary players (1000-2100).  And giving them more play through round robins is the best way to make them happy.

Frankly, I tend to avoid SE event altogether.  The one exception is I'll play doubles events even when they're only SE, because that's usually the way they're offered.  However, I won't travel only to play a SE event (doubles or otherwise).

Bottom line: more RR events is good for American Table Tennis and less SE is a good thing.

You wrote, "SE involves fewer matches, which has its own drawbacks. Fewer matches means less opportunity to play (assuming participants want to play a lot).  This is a driving point in USATT tournaments, where most people want to play as much as possible."

This isn't really true since the whole idea of more SE is that you can then have about twice as many events. Mathematically, if you assume a RR event averages 4 players per group with two advancing to SE, then the average number of matches per player is about four. If you do it SE, the average is about two. (It's actually slightly different in both cases, but I'm not going to go into the math here. Remember, in RR, you might have groups of three, and/or only one advancing.) But instead of having RR events every 200 or so points apart, you instead have them every 100 points, and the result is about the same number of expected matches - but with two opportunities to win an event. 
-Larry Hodges


Edited by larrytt - 12/09/2018 at 12:32am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote benfb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2018 at 11:09pm
Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

You wrote, "SE involves fewer matches, which has its own drawbacks. Fewer matches means less opportunity to play (assuming participants want to play a lot).  This is a driving point in USATT tournaments, where most people want to play as much as possible."

This isn't really true since the whole idea of more SE is that you can then have about twice as many events. Mathematically, if you assume a RR event averages 4 players per group with two advancing to SE, then the average number of matches per player is about four. If you do it SE, the average is about two. (It's actually slightly less in both cases, but I'm not going to go into the math here.) But instead of having RR events every 200 or so points apart, you instead have them every 100 points, and the result is about the same number of expected matches - but with two opportunities to win an event. 
-Larry Hodges
My argument was that for a given event, most people will play more matches with RR structure than with SE.  You're arguing that we can hold more events if everybody is playing SE.  I think you could *start* more events with SE events, but if you count the total amount of play by the greatest number of players, you get more play with RR.

SE would also tend to provide most of its opportunities to the select few "best" players, rather than those of us in the greater unwashed masses.  An example: supposed you are the lowest rated and weakest player.  You can enter a single four-person RR and get matches and two SE events and get only two matches.  The RR gives you more play.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2018 at 11:23pm
Originally posted by benfb benfb wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

You wrote, "SE involves fewer matches, which has its own drawbacks. Fewer matches means less opportunity to play (assuming participants want to play a lot).  This is a driving point in USATT tournaments, where most people want to play as much as possible."

This isn't really true since the whole idea of more SE is that you can then have about twice as many events. Mathematically, if you assume a RR event averages 4 players per group with two advancing to SE, then the average number of matches per player is about four. If you do it SE, the average is about two. (It's actually slightly less in both cases, but I'm not going to go into the math here.) But instead of having RR events every 200 or so points apart, you instead have them every 100 points, and the result is about the same number of expected matches - but with two opportunities to win an event. 
-Larry Hodges
My argument was that for a given event, most people will play more matches with RR structure than with SE.  You're arguing that we can hold more events if everybody is playing SE.  I think you could *start* more events with SE events, but if you count the total amount of play by the greatest number of players, you get more play with RR.
I don't think this is correct. If you average 2 matches per SE event, and 4 matches per RR event, but have twice as many SE events, then on average you get the same number of matches whether you play one RR event or two SE events. If this is done in age events, it favors elite players, who would get more matches. But in rating events, where you might have an event every 100 points, everyone has about the same chance of being one of the "elite" players in their best event who gets to play more matches, on average, than others in that event. 
-Larry Hodges
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As someone who travels to play any table tennis, SE would keep me home.  SE might be good for players who live in areas where there are many opportunities to play.  I drove 6 hours today to play in 2 RR's and got to play 5 matches.  Even for me that's not a good return on my time and money.  Wouldn't do it for SE
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2018 at 11:30pm
Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

As someone who travels to play any table tennis, SE would keep me home.  SE might be good for players who live in areas where there are many opportunities to play.  I drove 6 hours today to play in 2 RR's and got to play 5 matches.  Even for me that's not a good return on my time and money.  Wouldn't do it for SE
What if you could play four events and average two matches in each, likely more in your best event? Some are missing the point of SE which is that you can have twice as many events as with RR events. Sure, you won't be as competitive in perhaps two of those events, but you also won't play competitive matches in probably over half your RR matches. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote benfb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/08/2018 at 11:44pm
Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

As someone who travels to play any table tennis, SE would keep me home.  SE might be good for players who live in areas where there are many opportunities to play.  I drove 6 hours today to play in 2 RR's and got to play 5 matches.  Even for me that's not a good return on my time and money.  Wouldn't do it for SE
What if you could play four events and average two matches in each, likely more in your best event? Some are missing the point of SE which is that you can have twice as many events as with RR events. Sure, you won't be as competitive in perhaps two of those events, but you also won't play competitive matches in probably over half your RR matches. 
-Larry Hodges
First, you're not going to get four SE matches in the time it takes to complete one RR event.  You'll be lucky to get two SE matches done because of the time spent moving from one table and one event to another.  Second, you're not going to average two matches in each SE event.  In theory, the typical  person should average 1.5 matches per SE event, but because certain players tend to dominate more events and others tend to be consistently unsuccessful, the real number is more like 1.25 matches per SE event.

So for a typical day at the US Open I can play either two RR events and play a guaranteed 6 matches, with a chance at additional play.  Or I can play four SE events, where I am only guaranteed four matches, and maybe I'll be lucky and get to six matches.

You're also ignoring the costs involved.  SE events typically cost about the same as RR events, so two RR events is cheaper than four SE events.

Take a poll.  The vast majority of under 2100 players, excluding aspiring juniors with rapidly increasing ratings, will favor RR events.

As an aside: pretty much every time I've every played a SE doubles event at either Nationals or US Open, I've heard complaints that about doubles being SE.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fatt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 12:04am
There is such a chevaleresque aura surrounding SE, the pressure rises exponentially as we advance, every point gets more value until the final climax! it is special. 
I understand with more SE events 100 points apart, we all get top seed or close in 2 of them at least meaning more matches there, so in the end it might result in the same play time. We can also hope for occasional surprises wins in the 1st round of harder events, those are even more special there. 
I can go either way, really, with a preference for more SE if the number of events rises accordingly and of course if the entry fee for those events gets lowered.
More SE could also work because there is a revenue incentive for the tournament organizers: some might increase the number of SE events to the maximum possible but not decrease the entry fee in a related manner so spending per game  for players will increase even if play time remains the same.
RR could be reserved to age groups and the major open events.
I have a question: what if the tournament organizers impose ONE fee covering 5 events? e.g a 1850 player's entry fee would automatically cover U1900, U 2000, U 2100, U 2200, U 2300. Would people at the control desk have more room to control the matches flow? more predictability? why?
No more 3-way ties, like burning a wart, I always lose them anyway Big smile.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 12:27am
Originally posted by benfb benfb wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

As someone who travels to play any table tennis, SE would keep me home.  SE might be good for players who live in areas where there are many opportunities to play.  I drove 6 hours today to play in 2 RR's and got to play 5 matches.  Even for me that's not a good return on my time and money.  Wouldn't do it for SE
What if you could play four events and average two matches in each, likely more in your best event? Some are missing the point of SE which is that you can have twice as many events as with RR events. Sure, you won't be as competitive in perhaps two of those events, but you also won't play competitive matches in probably over half your RR matches. 
-Larry Hodges
First, you're not going to get four SE matches in the time it takes to complete one RR event.  You'll be lucky to get two SE matches done because of the time spent moving from one table and one event to another.  Second, you're not going to average two matches in each SE event.  In theory, the typical  person should average 1.5 matches per SE event, but because certain players tend to dominate more events and others tend to be consistently unsuccessful, the real number is more like 1.25 matches per SE event.
I was hoping not to get into the math here, but here goes. Suppose you have 32 players in a SE event. In any SE event, if there are N players, then there will be exactly N-1 matches played, so with 32, there will be 31 matches played. There are two players in each match, so 62 matches from the point of view of the players. So the average number of matches per player is 62/32 = 1.94. As the number of players in an event increases, the average number of matches approaches 2. If you have 16 in the event, then you will average 30/16 = 1.88 matches per player. And so on. The formula that gives the average number of matches per player in a SE event is [(N-1)x2]/N. 

The math actually gets trickier with RR, because the number of matches you play greatly depends on the number of players in your RR group, and on whether one or two advance. In the typical format, there will be groups of three and four. If you are guaranteed to be in a group of four or more, then you'll tend to get more matches than SE format. But if you are in a group of three, then you likely get fewer. 

If the number of entrants in an event is small, then you would tend to go RR. Entry forms sometimes used to specify that an event would be RR if fewer than a certain number. For example, if you have eight players, you'd likely do RR. But the whole point here is that you'd schedule twice as many events (with players entering twice as many events), and only go RR in events with a small turnout. 

You could also run Giant RR events. But in the time it takes to run those, you can run a number of SE events. However, scheduling for a Giant RR is much easier, and you do get guaranteed matches. But many of them might not be competitive, depending on the format. 

I've run over 200 USATT tournaments, and they were nearly all SE events many years ago, but nearly all RR now. As far as the number of matches per player, assuming you run twice as many events and players play twice as many events, it's roughly the same, though again this depends on the RR format, as noted above. As to the scheduling, it's done differently than with RR events. Instead of mostly running one event at a time, you run typically run two at a time, with alternating rounds, or just sending matches out whenever a table is available (as is also done in RR formats). 

Here's a simple way of looking at it. A good tournament director will look at how many tables he has and how much time. He will then schedule his tournament and events to keep the tables busy the entire time. Result? Whether he does so using SE or RR, it's about the same number of matches divided among the players. 
-Larry Hodges
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote danseemiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 6:23am
Let's see.  No dumping. No defaulting. No protecting one's rating.These are 3 main problems with R/Rs at every level.
Every tournament players complain of defaults in R/Rs protecting their rating.
Once you lose in an event do you really want to keep playing? Not if you are a real competitor looking to win the event.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote danseemiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 6:50am
Another huge advantage is that the Nationals and Open could be held in  5 days. Not like the 7 needed now. Nationals used to be Tues. through Sat.. Now  Sunday through Saturday.
Just think of the money everyone would save and many more players would be able to  afford to participate. It is hard for people to schedule a whole week plus the extra cost factor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FruitLoop Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 7:25am
Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Originally posted by benfb benfb wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

As someone who travels to play any table tennis, SE would keep me home.  SE might be good for players who live in areas where there are many opportunities to play.  I drove 6 hours today to play in 2 RR's and got to play 5 matches.  Even for me that's not a good return on my time and money.  Wouldn't do it for SE

What if you could play four events and average two matches in each, likely more in your best event? Some are missing the point of SE which is that you can have twice as many events as with RR events. Sure, you won't be as competitive in perhaps two of those events, but you also won't play competitive matches in probably over half your RR matches. 
-Larry Hodges

First, you're not going to get four SE matches in the time it takes to complete one RR event.  You'll be lucky to get two SE matches done because of the time spent moving from one table and one event to another.  Second, you're not going to average two matches in each SE event.  In theory, the typical  person should average 1.5 matches per SE event, but because certain players tend to dominate more events and others tend to be consistently unsuccessful, the real number is more like 1.25 matches per SE event.
I was hoping not to get into the math here, but here goes. Suppose you have 32 players in a SE event. In any SE event, if there are N players, then there will be exactly N-1 matches played, so with 32, there will be 31 matches played. There are two players in each match, so 62 matches from the point of view of the players. So the average number of matches per player is 62/32 = 1.94. As the number of players in an event increases, the average number of matches approaches 2. If you have 16 in the event, then you will average 30/16 = 1.88 matches per player. And so on. The formula that gives the average number of matches per player in a SE event is [(N-1)x2]/N. 

The math actually gets trickier with RR, because the number of matches you play greatly depends on the number of players in your RR group, and on whether one or two advance. In the typical format, there will be groups of three and four. If you are guaranteed to be in a group of four or more, then you'll tend to get more matches than SE format. But if you are in a group of three, then you likely get fewer. 

If the number of entrants in an event is small, then you would tend to go RR. Entry forms sometimes used to specify that an event would be RR if fewer than a certain number. For example, if you have eight players, you'd likely do RR. But the whole point here is that you'd schedule twice as many events (with players entering twice as many events), and only go RR in events with a small turnout. 

You could also run Giant RR events. But in the time it takes to run those, you can run a number of SE events. However, scheduling for a Giant RR is much easier, and you do get guaranteed matches. But many of them might not be competitive, depending on the format. 

I've run over 200 USATT tournaments, and they were nearly all SE events many years ago, but nearly all RR now. As far as the number of matches per player, assuming you run twice as many events and players play twice as many events, it's roughly the same, though again this depends on the RR format, as noted above. As to the scheduling, it's done differently than with RR events. Instead of mostly running one event at a time, you run typically run two at a time, with alternating rounds, or just sending matches out whenever a table is available (as is also done in RR formats). 

Here's a simple way of looking at it. A good tournament director will look at how many tables he has and how much time. He will then schedule his tournament and events to keep the tables busy the entire time. Result? Whether he does so using SE or RR, it's about the same number of matches divided among the players. 
-Larry Hodges


This ignores the increased spread in number of matches. Half the players will play only a single match in an event.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mhnh007 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 8:43am
RR is good for local tournaments, I don’t think it’s good for big tournaments like US Open. It seems amateurish to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote danseemiller Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 8:51am
Agreed. I also don't like the association scheduling it for a full week. Just trying to help the hotel and not the players pocketbook.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vanjr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 9:04am
I played one single elimenation tournament years ago. I was only in one event. I was not warmed up. Worst experience of my TT life. I would never travel to a tournament like this. Whil e looking at a SE event the average number of matches overall for all players is more than one. For half of the players it is exactly one and a losing one at that!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 9:53am
Originally posted by FruitLoop FruitLoop wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Originally posted by benfb benfb wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

As someone who travels to play any table tennis, SE would keep me home.  SE might be good for players who live in areas where there are many opportunities to play.  I drove 6 hours today to play in 2 RR's and got to play 5 matches.  Even for me that's not a good return on my time and money.  Wouldn't do it for SE

What if you could play four events and average two matches in each, likely more in your best event? Some are missing the point of SE which is that you can have twice as many events as with RR events. Sure, you won't be as competitive in perhaps two of those events, but you also won't play competitive matches in probably over half your RR matches. 
-Larry Hodges

First, you're not going to get four SE matches in the time it takes to complete one RR event.  You'll be lucky to get two SE matches done because of the time spent moving from one table and one event to another.  Second, you're not going to average two matches in each SE event.  In theory, the typical  person should average 1.5 matches per SE event, but because certain players tend to dominate more events and others tend to be consistently unsuccessful, the real number is more like 1.25 matches per SE event.
I was hoping not to get into the math here, but here goes. Suppose you have 32 players in a SE event. In any SE event, if there are N players, then there will be exactly N-1 matches played, so with 32, there will be 31 matches played. There are two players in each match, so 62 matches from the point of view of the players. So the average number of matches per player is 62/32 = 1.94. As the number of players in an event increases, the average number of matches approaches 2. If you have 16 in the event, then you will average 30/16 = 1.88 matches per player. And so on. The formula that gives the average number of matches per player in a SE event is [(N-1)x2]/N. 

The math actually gets trickier with RR, because the number of matches you play greatly depends on the number of players in your RR group, and on whether one or two advance. In the typical format, there will be groups of three and four. If you are guaranteed to be in a group of four or more, then you'll tend to get more matches than SE format. But if you are in a group of three, then you likely get fewer. 

If the number of entrants in an event is small, then you would tend to go RR. Entry forms sometimes used to specify that an event would be RR if fewer than a certain number. For example, if you have eight players, you'd likely do RR. But the whole point here is that you'd schedule twice as many events (with players entering twice as many events), and only go RR in events with a small turnout. 

You could also run Giant RR events. But in the time it takes to run those, you can run a number of SE events. However, scheduling for a Giant RR is much easier, and you do get guaranteed matches. But many of them might not be competitive, depending on the format. 

I've run over 200 USATT tournaments, and they were nearly all SE events many years ago, but nearly all RR now. As far as the number of matches per player, assuming you run twice as many events and players play twice as many events, it's roughly the same, though again this depends on the RR format, as noted above. As to the scheduling, it's done differently than with RR events. Instead of mostly running one event at a time, you run typically run two at a time, with alternating rounds, or just sending matches out whenever a table is available (as is also done in RR formats). 

Here's a simple way of looking at it. A good tournament director will look at how many tables he has and how much time. He will then schedule his tournament and events to keep the tables busy the entire time. Result? Whether he does so using SE or RR, it's about the same number of matches divided among the players. 
-Larry Hodges


This ignores the increased spread in number of matches. Half the players will play only a single match in an event.
You are thinking of only one event. As I keep pointing out, you can have two SE events in place of the average RR event. If you play two SE events and lose first round in both, you've still played two matches, the same as the people who enter a RR event and are placed in a group of three. This also ignores the fact that if you enter the SE events that you have the best chance of winning, then you are unlikely to lose in the first round of both. With a tournament of SE events, it's more likely you'll enter, say, four events, and advance at least a few round (and possibly win!) in two of them, while getting a chance at stronger players in the other two. (Example: If you are rated 1250, you might enter U1300, U1400, U1500, and U1600. You will likely advance a few rounds in the first two.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 9:58am
Originally posted by vanjr vanjr wrote:

I played one single elimenation tournament years ago. I was only in one event. I was not warmed up. Worst experience of my TT life. I would never travel to a tournament like this. Whil e looking at a SE event the average number of matches overall for all players is more than one. For half of the players it is exactly one and a losing one at that!
Other than elite players who can only enter the Open or equivalent, why would a tournament run SE events where you can enter only one event? I wouldn't want to travel to such a tournament either except as an elite player. Again, the whole point of running a tournament with SE events is so that you can have MORE events, and players would enter MORE events. So the example a bad experience in a tournament where you enter only one event, and it's SE and you lose first round, doesn't apply unless you are an elite player who can't play the other events. 

I seriously don't understand why people keep posting examples of why SE is bad and then compare entering a single SE event to a single RR event. The comparison isn't valid. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote photino Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 3:42pm
Larry,
First I admire your experience and contribution to the TT community.
For a RR event with 8 players, I can play 7 guaranteed games with players around my level.
For the same amount time ( half day) I can sign up two events. for one, I lose to a player 200 higher and win one player 200 lower. Another event, I may win two players, 200 and 400 lower respectively, then lose a close game in SE round.
So total 5 or probably more games, But i learned very little in games with players who is much better or worse than me.
Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pgpg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 4:06pm
Couple of points to reinforce:

* RR events have a more predictable floor on a number of matches (in other words, I know I'll get 3+ matches when I sign up for a typical event). SE-only events have much higher  variance, I suspect - plus half of players will get 1 match, so decision to play tournament is actually dicier. Not sure if I'm totally buying the argument of 'there will be more SE events', since I suspect workload on TD is higher - smarter tournaments simply point RR group to a table and say "come back when you are done". In SE events you are likely announcing more matches with larger likelihood of delays. And yes, these additional SE events better come with lower price tag as well, as others pointed out already. 

* There ARE formats that look like SE but actually aren't - think SE, but where you actually determine all places, so in an event with 20 players there is a match in the end where someone is playing to determine who claims spot #19. Or something like that - these formats seem to be popular in Russian clubs. No idea whether it will help with defaults etc., though.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote benfb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 7:10pm
Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

You are thinking of only one event. As I keep pointing out, you can have two SE events in place of the average RR event. If you play two SE events and lose first round in both, you've still played two matches, the same as the people who enter a RR event and are placed in a group of three. This also ignores the fact that if you enter the SE events that you have the best chance of winning, then you are unlikely to lose in the first round of both. With a tournament of SE events, it's more likely you'll enter, say, four events, and advance at least a few round (and possibly win!) in two of them, while getting a chance at stronger players in the other two. (Example: If you are rated 1250, you might enter U1300, U1400, U1500, and U1600. You will likely advance a few rounds in the first two.)
-Larry Hodges
Even if you argue that you can run two SE events at the same time as one RR event, you can't have people entering simultaneous events without serious scheduling issues.  You can sometimes schedule events simultaneously that are so different as to never draw from the same pool of players (U2300 and U900, for example), but it's hard to do that all the time.  And I still feel like your glossing over the logistics of running more events (SE versus RR): more scheduling for the organizers and more to track for the players.

Question: has anyone ever made a serious effort to run a Swiss System in table tennis?  This is the gold standard of chess tournaments and I recall being quite shocked when I first played in TT tournaments that no one had even heard of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 9:43pm
Originally posted by photino photino wrote:

Larry,
First I admire your experience and contribution to the TT community.
For a RR event with 8 players, I can play 7 guaranteed games with players around my level.
For the same amount time ( half day) I can sign up two events. for one, I lose to a player 200 higher and win one player 200 lower. Another event, I may win two players, 200 and 400 lower respectively, then lose a close game in SE round.
So total 5 or probably more games, But i learned very little in games with players who is much better or worse than me.
Thanks
If you are in a RR of 8 players, then that's like 3-4 SE events. I remember in the late 1970s playing in14 events in one two-day tournament, all SE. Anyway, the problem we have here is that Dan and I have played lots and lots of tournaments that were all SE, while others here haven't. Some would prefer the SE system, but don't know that because they haven't tried it. When you enter a bunch of these events, you get lots and lots of competitive matches. Also, in the large majority RR tournaments, they use the snake system, and so most of your RR matches are not really competitive. If you play a Giant RR tournament, then that's fine, but there used to be the alternative of playing a bunch of SE events each day. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 9:57pm
Originally posted by benfb benfb wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

You are thinking of only one event. As I keep pointing out, you can have two SE events in place of the average RR event. If you play two SE events and lose first round in both, you've still played two matches, the same as the people who enter a RR event and are placed in a group of three. This also ignores the fact that if you enter the SE events that you have the best chance of winning, then you are unlikely to lose in the first round of both. With a tournament of SE events, it's more likely you'll enter, say, four events, and advance at least a few round (and possibly win!) in two of them, while getting a chance at stronger players in the other two. (Example: If you are rated 1250, you might enter U1300, U1400, U1500, and U1600. You will likely advance a few rounds in the first two.)
-Larry Hodges
Even if you argue that you can run two SE events at the same time as one RR event, you can't have people entering simultaneous events without serious scheduling issues.  You can sometimes schedule events simultaneously that are so different as to never draw from the same pool of players (U2300 and U900, for example), but it's hard to do that all the time.  And I still feel like your glossing over the logistics of running more events (SE versus RR): more scheduling for the organizers and more to track for the players.

Question: has anyone ever made a serious effort to run a Swiss System in table tennis?  This is the gold standard of chess tournaments and I recall being quite shocked when I first played in TT tournaments that no one had even heard of it.
Actually, you can have players enter two SE events that overlap, timewise - that's the whole point of SE events, you can play in two at the same time, even ones that draw from the same player and a number of such events in a day. I know; I've run dozens of these tournaments, not to mention playing in them. I'm not glossing over the logistics; as I said, I've run over 200 USATT tournaments, and most of the earlier ones were nearly all SE. It used to be the norm that a player would play a match in one SE event, then one in another, and then back to the first or even to a third. Because tournaments are nearly all RR now, few have experience with this, and so don't see how it's possible. But it's not that big of a deal. 

The RR mentality is that once you start an RR, that's your event until it's done. The SE mentality is that since you are only playing one match at a time, you can play in multiple events schedule in near proximity, and simply go back and forth. In the end, you end up with about the same number of matches. One thing I really liked about it is that if I played well, I'd play lots of matches in multiple events as I work my way through the draws (plural). If I didn't play well, I'd play less. I'd rather play more matches when I was playing well. (Yes, the counter-argument is if you kept playing even after losing, you might start playing well. But the same is true in SE since you have more events to fall back onto.)

But I'm sort of done here. Dan and I have lots of experience running and playing in these tournaments, while the ones who are doubtful of what we say do not, and are hypothesizing. This doesn't mean SE is better than RR, but many of the arguments for RR over SE simply aren't true, no matter how many people post examples that do not correspond to the reality of SE tournaments - not SE events, but tournaments with lots of SE events instead of a few RR events, which people are now used to. SE tournaments are not for all, and because people are not used to them, they are a bit dubious of them. 

Yes, we've used the Swiss System to run USA Team Trials, it was the norm for a number of years. 
-Larry Hodges


Edited by larrytt - 12/09/2018 at 10:07pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 10:01pm
Originally posted by pgpg pgpg wrote:

Couple of points to reinforce:

* RR events have a more predictable floor on a number of matches (in other words, I know I'll get 3+ matches when I sign up for a typical event). SE-only events have much higher  variance, I suspect - plus half of players will get 1 match [SNIP]
As I point out repeatedly, this doesn't apply. In SE tournaments, the whole point is that you will play more events. Comparing the amount of matches in one SE event to the number of matches in one RR event is apples and oranges. Plus you are looking at the worst possible outcome, but isn't it better to train and work toward the best possible outcome, where you win multiple matches in multiple SE events, and perhaps win an event or two? Isn't WINNING the event a primary reason for entering an event? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote mts388 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 10:10pm
Larry and Dan.  Both of you put on tournaments, so switch your tournaments to SE and see what happens.  I think that Ben is correct that the logistics of 2 or 3 times the normal events would be a nightmare for TD's

Rather than argue with those that think you're wrong, show us at your tournaments
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote benfb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 10:13pm
Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

But I'm sort of done here. Dan and I have lots of experience running and playing in these tournaments, while the ones who are doubtful of what we say do not, and are hypothesizing. This doesn't mean SE is better than RR, but many of the arguments for RR over SE simply aren't true, no matter how many people post examples that do not correspond to the reality of SE tournaments - not SE events, but tournaments with lots of SE events instead of a few RR events, which people are now used to. SE tournaments are not for all, and because people are not used to them, they are a bit dubious of them. 

Personally, I'm not persuaded by your arguments, but I agree that the discussions here at this point are mainly going in circles.  And perhaps that's the key point: whether you are right or not, if most players *perceive* RR as superior, than that's what they're going to demand from organizers.

As an aside, I don't think it's fair to simply say that you and Dan have all this experience and that this (by implication) grants you superior judgment.  I think there are plenty of people with many years of playing tournaments (which for purposes of this argument is really the point) who still favor RR.

And as another aside: why did they stop using the Swiss system?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote NextLevel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 10:22pm
Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

Larry and Dan.  Both of you put on tournaments, so switch your tournaments to SE and see what happens.  I think that Ben is correct that the logistics of 2 or 3 times the normal events would be a nightmare for TD's

Rather than argue with those that think you're wrong, show us at your tournaments


Its quite obvious to me that Ben is wrong. The main issue is that you need a large tournament like the US Open to make SE work.   And the existence of sandbagged will be more painful
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 10:40pm
Originally posted by benfb benfb wrote:

Originally posted by larrytt larrytt wrote:

But I'm sort of done here. Dan and I have lots of experience running and playing in these tournaments, while the ones who are doubtful of what we say do not, and are hypothesizing. This doesn't mean SE is better than RR, but many of the arguments for RR over SE simply aren't true, no matter how many people post examples that do not correspond to the reality of SE tournaments - not SE events, but tournaments with lots of SE events instead of a few RR events, which people are now used to. SE tournaments are not for all, and because people are not used to them, they are a bit dubious of them. 

Personally, I'm not persuaded by your arguments, but I agree that the discussions here at this point are mainly going in circles.  And perhaps that's the key point: whether you are right or not, if most players *perceive* RR as superior, than that's what they're going to demand from organizers.

As an aside, I don't think it's fair to simply say that you and Dan have all this experience and that this (by implication) grants you superior judgment.  I think there are plenty of people with many years of playing tournaments (which for purposes of this argument is really the point) who still favor RR.

And as another aside: why did they stop using the Swiss system?
Yes, the perception is that RR is better, but that's the whole point we've been making - that perception is not the same as reality. But superficially, RR sounds better, and so it gradually took over, and the days of even small tournaments running lots and lots of SE events are gone. In reality, some would prefer RR, some would prefer SE (and the extra events). But few have the experience to really judge. Dan and I do have that experience, and of course it's fair to point that out. If there's a discussion about something, wouldn't you want to know which of the people in the discussion are actually experienced in the topic being discussed? (Not SE events, but SE tournaments.) It doesn't mean we have superior judgment, just far more experience in the actual issue being discussed. 

As to the Swiss system that we used to use, I've spent too much time here on this issue, and need to get back to other things. Perhaps another day. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote larrytt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12/09/2018 at 10:47pm
Originally posted by mts388 mts388 wrote:

Larry and Dan.  Both of you put on tournaments, so switch your tournaments to SE and see what happens.  I think that Ben is correct that the logistics of 2 or 3 times the normal events would be a nightmare for TD's

Rather than argue with those that think you're wrong, show us at your tournaments
I won't, primarily because the perception problem means we'd get a lot less entries. As I pointed out, perception isn't always reality. As to the logistics, that's not the big deal some to think it is. You simply create the SE events, and send the matches out each round as players are available. (You can also time schedule with a computer.) Also, I'm hoping to find someone else to run our tournaments - I've been running them for many decades, and it's someone else's turn. The irony is that there's talk of switching to a Giant RR format, and I'm fine with that. 
-Larry Hodges


Edited by larrytt - 12/10/2018 at 8:52am
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