Odds & Ends

Confession time.

I have deliberately glossed over the situation of a group with an odd number of competitors. I told you to give the odd man in round one a Bye, but after that, I just sort of ignored him and made him go away.

Obviously, in a real tournament, the odd man doesn’t just go away. Here’s how you handle it.

Not for the Faint Of Heart:

For you purists, and those of you who simply must know:

The person who gets a bye moves to the TOP of the list on your worksheet for the next round and stays there. The person who is now at the bottom of the list on your worksheet gets the bye. (The logic is that the person who got the bye in the previous round should get the first oportunity to wrestle in this round.) See the example worksheet below to see what we mean by “move to the top.”


Here’s a worksheet for a group of five people. I’ve paired the first three rounds, presuming that nobody has two losses after round 2. When you draw a worksheet, always write the bye at the top of the list; that makes your job much easier.

bye after 3 rounds

Back forcing has taken place in round three. Competitor 3 must get the bye, but I cannot match 4 against 5, because that would leave 1 and 2, who have already met in the first round. Back forcing pairs 4 against 1, and that allows 2 to compete against 5.