Match Cycle Timing

We have our tournaments coming up this weekend and I am curious what match to match cycle times other people have accomplished during NBN! tournaments.

There was some discussion about this in the field reset thread but I thought it deserved a thread of its own.

We have two fields and fairly competent refs and field reset staff. We typically start out with a conservative cycle time for the first round of matches and then try to decrease the time a bit.

Of course we would like to run as many matches as possible while staying on schedule.

What are the biggest challenges and what has worked for streamlining?

We tend to do a 4 minute cycle (2 fields), it gives us enough time for 6 matches per team with 43 teams, although I’m definitely going to try to get us to get a 3 1/2 minute cycle going at the next scrimmage (depending on the number of teams that are there and the number of volunteers we have).

The major time consumer for us is teams not being ready on time, so if you have a set of queuers then faster is definitely doable.

Here is some feedback from our events.

On Saturday we had 38 teams. We ran one round of 4 minutes and then went to 3:30.

We found it possible to tread water at 3:30 but there was no way to make up ground when we lost time due to the typical little glitches here and there.

We ended up having to cut our lunch time down and ended the day not too far off schedule. All teams got 6 matches.

On Sunday we had 20 teams, we decided to go with 4 minutes all day and even leave a 15 minute break midway through the morning. We were on time all day long. Every team had nine matches.

Both days we had dual ref crews and four students on field reset (flipping back and forth between fields every match).

So the moral is that while 3:30 is doable it does take careful coordination and 4 minutes is much more comfortable.

Just to be clear. Every time you post it gives me a good laugh.

This sounds about right. We’ve held 6 events at a 4 minute cycle and only now am I thinking we might be able to drop down to 3:30. Like you said, it is approaching the edge of what’s doable when you factor in the unexpected things that take extra time. Small optimisations can begin to play a large part in keeping to time when you get to this point.

Please use at least 3-4 minutes for your match cycle. At our tournament we tried to do 3 minutes (I’m pretty sure it was like 2:30 or 2:45 but according to VEX Via it wasn’t?) and it didn’t really work out :’( We cut off our lunch break and also ran late by an hour but we somehow managed to keep 6 matches each for 56 teams

Just to be clear at the beginning of the day 3 minutes wasn’t enough for our field resetters because they hadn’t figured out how to stack pyramids efficiently yet. As the day went on another team showed them a nice quick way of stacking pyramids (squishing the balls together and then letting go) and they were able to actually become even quicker than 3 minutes. Another factor in the beginning of the day was just that teams weren’t ready after the previous match ended and that sucked up some time until our tournament volunteers became really pushy to the teams.

Tl;dr if your field resetters are really well trained (not just knowing how to reset the field but also fast enough) you can probably do 3 minutes. 4 is safer.
Make sure that teams are ready to start the match as soon as the previous one ends.

I agree, for some of the events I have been to, we could have a field reset in 3 minutes, but still 8+ minutes between matches because teams were simply not ready.

Happy to provide amusement for you :stuck_out_tongue:

Go longer in your first event you run and then improve it in subsequent events. If you only run one event a year, go longer. We’ve had far too many events run late due to wanting to get more matches in.

Try shooting for more events if that is the case. You will only get better with experience of managing the chaos.

I still aim to be turning over at a good clip, but rushing people to fields and rushing to reset them can detract from the fun level greatly - for both organizers and participants. Remember, you need to encourage new people to run events over time. Squeezing down the time between matches too tight and making it so only a few sets of experienced people can actually accomplish running an event is not what you want for the long run.

However, we may be a special case. We’re now looking at what are considered large events as the norm in PA. So maybe 4-6 fields per event across two divisions is tougher to manage.

We have been able to successfully run a 3:30 cycle time at several events this year. We run 2 fields with 2 field re-setters per field, but we also have teams help re-set the field before they walk away so re-set gets done very quickly.

The fastest I’ve had an event (pushing it) is run 2 fields with 4 referees and 1 Head Ref. Have 2 refs per field and the Head ref moves between them with the field refs doing the scoring and the Head Ref. just checking it. This way, there’s no down-time between matches. Granted, this was like a 30 team event.

The most ambitious one was to run 3 fields with 6 field refs and 1 Head Ref, but that was pretty taxing on the referees because it was literally life in the fast lane.