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Competition systems


Don't know which competition systems suits the best your tournament? Can't tell the difference between a round robin tournament and a league with playoffs? Not sure if to set up a double elimination competition system or a tournament with multiple divisions? In this tutorial, we will do our best to describe the variety of competition systems we offer and what tournaments are they most commonly used for.

To get started, log in to your Competize account and from the home page Add new event.

Add new event from tournament organiser

Then add a new competition, use the Add button in the Competitions tab.

Add a new competition to the tournament

In the Settings we will ask you to choose between different systems of competitions: league, league with playoffs, groups and knockout, knockout, initial phase and multiple divisions, double elimination. You can also decide if you want to set up matches with one leg or two legs.

Organise a two legged league

League (one leg) - League (two legs)

A league is one of the most common competition systems in football and other sports. The so-called association, conference, division, leaderboard, or series is one of the most popular competitions in both Europe and Latin America.

In a sports league, all teams or players compete againts each other. Once all the matches have been played, the team or player who has scored the most goals, points or equivalent becomes the champion.

Cmpetition systems - league

If two or more teams end tied, the position of each team is resolved with a tie-break criterion. All competitions in Competize use these criteria by default:
1. Total goals difference
2. Team scoring more goals
3. Team receiving less goals

However, you can go into the tiebreaker settings and replace these criteria or change their order. Among others, you can choose between direct matches between the two teams, team with better fair play and the youngest team.

Competition systems and tiebreaker criteria

Any league can have one or two ties. In a one legged league, teams face each other once in the entire competition. In a two legged tie, teams compete against each other in two matches or legs, with each team as the home team in one leg. The winning team is determined by an aggregate score, which is the sum of the scores of both legs.

League with playoffs (one leg) - League with playoffs (two legs)

League with playoffs, play-offs, postseason and/or finals is a competition system that is booming in European football. Some competitions like LaLiga123 have already adopted this type of competition that promises to give any tournament excitement until the last match.

The system divides a competition into two phases. The first phase consists of a league where everyone faces everyone (once or twice, depending on whether it is a one-legged or a two-legged league). Playoff, in regard to international fixtures, is to qualify or progress to the next round of a competition or tournament.

The second phase employs knockouts, where the number of elimination rounds limits the total number of teams qualifying after the first phase.

Competition systems - tables for a league with playoffs

Teams with the highest number of points advance to the playoffs, where they face each other in a certain order and after each match, a losing team is eliminated and the winning team advances to the next round.

Competition systems - brackets for a league with playoffs

In the Settings of a competition, in the drop-down menu Knockout Rounds you can choose the number of teams that will advance to the playoff phase:

Organise a league with playoffs

Here you have a summary of the number of teams that qualify according to the number of playoff rounds selected:

Final: 2 teams
Semi-finals: 4 teams
Quarter-finals: 8 teams
Round of 8: 16 teams
Round of 16: 32 teams
Round of 32: 64 teams

Groups and knockout (one leg) - Groups and knockout (two legs)

Groups and playoffs is the Champions League system par excellence. This competition consists of two phases, where all participating teams get divided into a certain number of groups in the first phase and within these groups face each other once (one leg) or twice (two legs).

Competition systems - group phase

At the end of the group phase, the highest qualifying teams from each group advance to the knockout.

Competition systems - knockouts, single elimination

To configure this type of competition in Competize, navigate to the drop-down menu No. of Groups and select a number based on the amount of participating teams. Then choose whether you want to identify them with letters or numbers in Groups' Identifier and proceed to the number of elimination rounds in the drop-down menu Knockout Rounds.

Organise a tournament with groups and knockouts

Finally, determine if you want any consolations in the drop-down menu Consolation Rounds.

Organise a tournament with consolation rounds

Knockout (one leg) - Knockout (two legs)

A knockout tournament or also known as a KO tournament, single elimination or sudden death knockout, is a competition system based on immediate eliminations. All teams are divided into match-ups and face each other once (one leg) or twice (two legs).

Competition systems - knockout tournament

The team that loses the match-up is directly disqualified from the tournament. Each winning team plays another in the next round, until the final match-up, whose winner becomes the tournament champion. Defeated competitors may play no further part after losing, or may participate in consolation or classification matches against other losers to determine the lower final rankings. In order to create consolation matches, navigate to the drop-down menu Consolation Rounds in the Settings of your competition. You can choose to create just one consolation match, to determine the third and fourth position, consolation semi-finals, to determine the exact position of the first eight teams, or a ranking of all the teams.

Organise a knockout tournament

Initial phase (one leg) + multiple divisions - Initial phase (two legs) + multiple divisions

Initial phase and multiple divisions is a very popular competition system in amateur and grassroots sports, as it allows teams to play the maximum number of matches in a competition.

This system employs a first round of groups, using the same logic as groups and knockouts.

Competition systems - initial phase and multiple divisions

Later, based on the number of divisions, teams get separated according to their results in the initial phase to further stages of the competition. Later stage divisions can be either knockouts or leagues. In Competize we allow to organise competitions with up to eight divisions.

Competition systems - gold, silver, bronze

To configure this competition system in Competize, select the number of groups in the drop-down menu No. of Groups and choose whether you want to identify them with letters or numbers in Groups' Identifier. Then add the number of divisions you want to create in No. of Divisions. And finally choose the maximum number of teams that will participate in each division in Max. teams per division.

Organise a tournament with initial phase and multiple divisions

Double elimination

Double elimination or double KO is one of the most famous competition systems in eSports. It offers a second chance to those players / teams that lose one match.

It consists of two quadrants - winners and losers - and each plays knockout matches. All players / teams eliminated from the winner's quadrant become part of the loser's quadrant. This action is carried out successively until a winner is found in the loser quadrant, which will then face the champion of the winner quadrant.

Competition systems - double elimination

To create a tournament with a Double elimination competition system, simply choose how many knockouts do you want in your brackets in the drop-down menu Knockout Rounds.

Organise a double alimination tournament