Fun & Different Tourneys / Contests

Kaptain Karl

Hall Of Fame
On another thread, I mentioned a one-day "Equalizer Tournament" I run each year. I got a few questions about it, so here's a new thread for discussion.

Coaches, instructors, directors ... share your fun ideas too.

- KK
 

Kaptain Karl

Hall Of Fame
The Family Camp we vacation at each year is 9,000 ft, backed-up to National Forest, nestled in the Ponderosa Pines. It has four "Family Camp" areas, which have lodging for about 35 families each. It has a Youth Camp, which can handle about 50 kids a week. It also has a Wilderness Camp, where the 20-30 (usually young people) use pretty crude cabins/tents for backpacking trips, etc.

Two pools, two water slides, horseback riding, hiking, mtn biking, white water rafting, rock climbing, decent rec center with hoops, racquetball, volleyball, running track, a few cardio machines, bowling alleys, outdoor sand volleyball courts, fishing ... and ONE tennis court(!).

These camps are FULL every week of the Summer. The challenge became, "How do I run a tournament on a single court with so many people who might play?"

This is what I came up with (remembering a similar winter tournament I played in back in HS, in Upstate NY....) I figure out what day the tournament will fit (with all the other organized activities) and I PICK that day and don't let people "lobby" me for choosing another day. (With so many people, "X" day will not work for "somebody". That's life ... and we almost always fill the 16 player limit anyway.) Here's the one-page flyer I created which includes a sign-up sheet:
____________

Thursday 9:30 am at the tennis court​

Sign up below for this "Equalizer" tennis tournament. The purpose is to balance the chances of winning the whole tournament. Any player, regardless of ability, could win the (coveted, solid gold [colored]) Champion's Platter. (Really!) [I bought a cheap brass serving tray at Goodwill. Each year I "engrave" it with the winner's name ... and the engraving is their name written on athletic tape. Very classy.]

Each contestant’s ability is briefly ranked by the tournament director [Me!] at the beginning of the tournament. The player's rank determines the game score which follows them through the tournament draw.

[For example: Bill is really bad. He gets the advantage of starting each game with a score of 30-Love. Betty is above average. She starts each game with a Love-15 score. (If Bill and Betty play each other, Bill starts each game ahead 40-Love.) The most lopsided it can get is when a "komplete klutz" plays a champ: The champ would start each game behind 40-Love and get only one serve.]

This all-day event will be FUN, FAST and ENTERTAINING. The Classic is limited to the first 16 entrants who sign up and show up at the collective start time for rankings. (If you signed up, but miss the ranking time, you probably will not get to compete.) The Classic is open to anyone 16 years or older from either family camp.

Note that match length (Do we each play a full set, or do we only play four games?) will be determined by the number of entrants and the weather.
____________

A few notes: I remind everyone what's happening, tell them *I* am the final authority in all matters of disagreement, and announce that I reserve the right to arbitrarily change a player's equalizing score. (The latter is to adjust for sandbaggers and some people simply play better (or worse) once they're really adequately warmed- up.) I also announce the draw is a placed -- not “blind” -- draw. This keeps sisters from drawing each other, etc. (Although, if two sisters say they want to play each other early ... fine.)

I hit with each entrant just enough to group them by ability. (I hit about four balls or ten FHs and BHs worth of warm-up with them.) I ask them to show me their First and Second serves. *That's all.* (It's very important to move quickly through this "equalizing" phase. They get bored just standing around.)

I start sorting them by abilities by grouping them in each of the four corners of the fencing ... and DON'T tell them "names" for the groups. (But in my mind, the groups are "Rank Beginner" "Advanced Beginner" "Intermediate" and "Advanced") By the time I've hit with the ninth player (or so) I may ask certain players to move from one group to another -- fixing "wrong placements" as I go.

Then I additionally sort those four groups, based entirely on my "gut". First I separate the top (usually one or two) players and the bottom (usually twice that) players. (It's easier for me to start with the "extremes" of the groups and work to the middle.) I STILL am not "labeling" these groups -- even though by now, they know what I'm doing. A few “tweaks” later and I record their groups by their names. Then they are told, “This group is the 40-Love group.” “You are the 30--Love group.” ... all the way to the Love-40 group.

If a 40-Love meets a Love-40 or a Love-30 (unlikely, but possible) the Love-40 player (who is the BETTER player, because they are “handicapped” with the Love-40 start) gets only one serve per point.

Our court has no lights. So my goal is to get to the Semis by Lunch. The Semis and Final are almost always long matches.
______________

This will be our sixth summer. So far three guys and one gal have won. (One year got rained-out in the Semis. No “make-up” day. I just ended it. And that’s the year about which they all “woof” the most....)

Whew!!!

- KK
 

tennisnj

Professional
At the junior camp I run, we simply have a 1 point championship every year. We have an entire day during 'Tournament Week' devoted to playing "ONE POINT", & the server is decided by a spin of the racquet. I make up the tournament drawboard randomly the night before & with the 4 courts we teach on, we run the tournament. We have a winners & losers bracket just so the kids have a chance to win again (inevitably, most 'matches' @ this level end on a double fault.) Usually with the number of kids in my camp, we play '2 out of 3 points' for the first 2 rounds, '3 out of 5' the second 2 rounds & for the finals, '4 out of 7 points'. Serves alternates to your opponent every point, & from the 'Deuce' to 'Ad' sides when it's your turn to serve again.
It sounds complicated for children, but I've been running it for years w/o any hitches. If I didn't explain myself well enough, I apologize & will try to explain further, via your questions.
 

Bungalo Bill

G.O.A.T.
Kaptain Karl said:
...For example: Bill is really bad. He gets the advantage of starting each game with a score of 30-Love. Betty is above average. She starts each game with a Love-15 score. (If Bill and Betty play each other, Bill starts each game ahead 40-Love.) The most lopsided it can get is when a "komplete klutz" plays a champ: The champ would start each game behind 40-Love and get only one serve...
I can beat Betty, I am not that bad. Bring it on Betty!
 

Kaptain Karl

Hall Of Fame
tennisnj said:
At the junior camp I run, we simply have a 1 point championship every year.
I love this! (And you explained it very well.) Thanks, tennisnj

What other contests do you folks use...?

- KK
 
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