How To Organize Marbles Tournament

By: Bedrich Omacka


It is not difficult to organize a marbles tournament. However, if you have never organized such event, you may have some questions regarding the playground, categories and tournament system. Continue reading this article to find some tips which can help you to organize the marbles tournament successfully.

So what will you need to think about?
1. What playground to choose
2. What are the ideal categories
3. Which tournament system to use

1. What playground to choose

The ground is not so important. You can play in the park, use tennis playground or any other ground where is possible to hollow a hole. More important is enough space. Keep in mind the number of participants. If you expect that 50 players will participate in your tournament you should prepare at least 5 holes. However, 10 - 15 holes is ideal for every 50 participants. With 5 holes 10 people play in the same time and others are watching the game.

You will need about 2 x 10 meters for every hole. The throwing line is 7.5 meters from the hole and there should be some space behind the hole. So 10 meters is ideal.

2. What are the ideal categories

Most tournaments are played in the single category. If there are some children, it is a good idea to create a category of juniors who are 12 years old or younger. The children start to very good players in the age of 13 so they can compete with adults. You may think about the womans category. It may be good solution, however, there was a research in the Czech Republic where are marbles very popular sport. Players were asked simple question: do you prefer a single category for both, men a woman? Most of the players responded yes.

3. Which tournament system to use

There is no simple formula for the ideal tournament system. It depends on the number of the participants, the duration of the tournament, number of the holes and your experience.

Round robin system is a great solution for events with 12 or fewer people. If there are more participants and you want to use this system you should consider to play the match for single winning game to speed up the tournament. Round robin is very simple -- players play each other and that one who wins more matches is the winner of the tournament. If more people has the same number of winning matches than the score is taken into account.

If there are more players and you have enough holes you can use groups of 4 - 8 people. Every group will use the round robin system and best players of every group will play with other winners. You can also combine the group system with other systems -- e. g. you start to play in groups and the group winners will continue in the tournament using double elimination system.

Another solution is KO system. This system is well know thanks sports like tennis. In the KO system the winner plays with another winner and the losers are out. The advantage of this system is the fact that it can be used for a lot of players and you don't need too much time for the tournament. The disadvantage is that this system is a little about luck.

Good alternative to KO system is a double elimination system. It works very similarly, but people are not out after the first loss. Losers play in the second brackets and they have a chance to go to the final and win the tournament.

You should always count how much time you will need when you use particular system. Count the number of matches and multiply them by 15 minutes. Then divide them by the number of the holes and you will get expected time for the tournament.

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Check out the video describing rules of marbles. Read more about marbles at world marbles federation website.

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