If there is one thing in log rolling that can confuse both experienced and beginning rollers alike, it’s filling out the brackets. Log rolling contests are run on a double elimination bracket, although it is not a true double elimination bracket. In a true double elimination bracket it is possible for a competitor to still win the tournament after losing one match. This is not possible in log rolling. In a standard log rolling bracket, the highest a roller can place after losing a match is 3rd (if they win all their subsequent matches). Long ago in log rolling it used to be that the victors of the winner and losers bracket would compete in the finals. Sometime in history this was changed to the system we have today. (I am still searching for the date of change and the reason.)
First one needs to possess the correct bracket. Fortunately I have placed the most common ones here. Simply determine how many competitors you have, then download that bracket.
Next comes competitor placement and bracket seeding. Seeding in log rolling is the placement of the top four competitors in a bracket so the highest ranked competitors are spread evenly throughout. If this were not done it might be possible by the “luck of the draw” for them to end up rolling early in the competition, thereby knocking out three of the four best rollers long before the semis or the finals. Seeding the top four rollers results in a much more fair and balanced tournament by eliminating much of the “luck of the draw” by spreading the more accomplished rollers evenly throughout the bracket. Typically the top four rollers are seeded with 1st and 3rd in the top of the winners bracket, and 2nd and 4th seeded together in the bottom of the winners bracket.
The other rollers will “draw in” to determine their placement. Just number the bracket places from one to the number of competitors that need to draw in, then fill in the places when they draw their respective number out of the hat. In events where seeding is not done then all rollers will simply draw numbers out of a hat to determine bracket placement. This is typically done at small contests with few competitors or contests where only one of the top four ranked rollers are present.
Once the brackets are filled in with the competitors names, it’s relatively straightforward. Competitors must keep winning to remain in the “top” or the “winners” bracket. If they do this they will progress to the finals to roll for 1st and 2nd. Once they lose though they automatically go to the “losers” or the “bottom” bracket. Rollers must keep winning in the bottom bracket to remain in competition. A match lost in the losers bracket knocks the competitor out of competition altogether.
Where many people doing brackets seem to get lost is the movement of rollers from the top (winners) to the bottom (losers) bracket. Again, this is relatively straightforward assuming the bracket format is complete and written correctly. All one needs to do is follow the numbers. L1 means “loser to 1″ where the loser of the match is sent to number 1 in the losers bracket. L3 means “loser to 3″ where the loser of the match is sent to number 3 in the losers bracket. And so on an so forth.
Thats all there is to doing brackets folks.