More tournaments are now adopting the new (NSMTA recommended) round robin format for doubles. Is it better for tournament play or is the old, single-elimination better?
For anyone coming from out of the area to play a tournament, knowing that you will have three GUARANTEED matches scheduled for example on a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, is a great benefit in making travel and hotel reservations.
And having that minimum of three matches should also be a plus for anyone entering the event. Rather than facing the prospect of getting knocked out in the first round, all teams are in the hunt during the round robin play.
Multiple Matches Per Day
The guaranteed match play does put added pressure and physical stress on those seniors brave enough to enter BOTH singles and doubles. Playing a long, three set singles match in the morning makes a competitive doubles match in the afternoon a higher hill to climb.
At Longboat Key recently, the tournament learned another lesson… if there are something like 20 teams entered in an age group (which there were in my 75s), having just four groups of FIVE teams makes it necessary to have some teams play two doubles matches on one of the days (and what happens if one partner is still in the singles draw or backdraw?).
I believe next year, they will switch to having FIVE groups of FOUR teams, and not have the required two matches in one day. Much better.
Even with this format, some teams will be mathematically eliminated by their final rounds; and some end up defaulting or just being “no shows” for the final matches. Unless there are over-riding personal issues (work, family, etc.), this ends up being unfair to other teams that may not be advancing either; but were looking forward to playing another match.
What do YOU think about the round robin format?
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