Hi! This application looks great and I'm interested in getting it as it is, but it doesn't quite fit what I would fully want, so I want to gauge interest from my fellow admins and from site users before purchase.
I run a forum for competitive debate and I would like to be able to host online tournaments simply, but a simple single elimination bracket isn't quite sufficient. I have a few different suggestions and they're definitely not too debate-specific to be generally applicable to anyone who wants to host tournaments.
The way debate tournaments are typically structured involve a set of preliminary matches (usually 4-8) that are used to determine seeding and only a set number of teams move into single elimination matches (ex. the top half of prelim performers, only a set number of competitors, only people with winning records, etc.). Usually after each preliminary match or every 2, competitors are re-seeded and placed in appropriate skill brackets. So it's functionally a Swiss format with a single elimination bracket added on to it. Seeding usually happens by win record with the first tiebreaker being "speaker points" given by judges on quality of speaking, but there is a shift toward using "opponent wins" as the first tiebreaker, which cumulatively adds the wins of opponents in order to weigh the difficulty their preliminary matches.
Other tournament structure options that would be interesting to add:
- Loser brackets: Allowing teams to compete after losing helps determine overall placing in a single elimination bracket.
- Double elimination: requiring 2 losses to be fully eliminated
- Round robin: everyone has a match against one another and then either the best record wins the tournament OR the best 2 teams have a finals match.
- Tournament series: setting up a series of qualifying tournaments that result in a championship tournament among the top performer
Other features that would be interesting to see:
- Integration with commerce - Both for charging tournament entry fees and paying out tournament prizes (being a percentage of the entry fee total). I understand the desire to require people to purchase members shop for this kind of function, but that's not quite what I'm looking for and I think a lot of site owners would probably be willing to pay a higher price for this application with commerce integrated.
- Integration with calendar - Being able to schedule tournament events automatically.
- Creation of "Leagues" - Allow users to create their own leagues who then administer tournaments to participating teams. Integrating with commerce could mean leagues require membership fees that the site can take commission off of and league owners can charge entry fees for their tournaments that the site can get commission off of as well. Kind of steps up user involvement and investment in participating while allowing site owners to step back from needing to be too heavily involved in constant moderation. Permissions on who can create leagues and requiring league approval would clearly be necessary. Maybe allow for non-league tournaments but attach different commission settings to them.
- Since my site is about debate, adding an extra layer to teams would be useful. Schools operate as squads with multiple teams who compete individually in a tournament, BUT teams from the same school can't compete against one another. I think that this would also be attractive to users if there was the possibility of winning a prize as it ups their odds. That said, I think it would be ideal to have tournament settings involve allowing teams in the same squad to compete against one another or not. (I'm not sure if this is included when you say "Create unlimited categories and sub categories for members to create teams.")
- Show teams on user profiles.
- Expand stats to also include history of tournament placing, not just W/L and ELO.
- Ability to set start times for rounds of matches to keep it on schedule as well as notifications for start times/notifications for when pairings are released
I do have some more debate-specific ideas I may ask to have done custom (if you're willing) after purchase and after some other things have been updated with this application.