Join Bridge Winners
Seeding in secondary team events

So the discussion of the changes in MP limits for the mini & micro Spingold has had several comments pointing out how often the seeding for these events are meaningless.

So my question is this:  Why are these events seeded (other than randomly) at all?  

To my mind, seeding  (in general) has a couple of purposes:

1.  In a tournament that follows after a "regular season" (think NBA or NHL), seeding rewards those teams that excelled in the regular season.

2.  In a tournament that engenders a large spectator audience (think March Madness), seeding helps avoid having the exciting games too early in the tournament, ensuring more "good games" for a large audience.

3.  In a tournament that helps establish qualification for subsequent play (think Spingold), seeding helps reduce "the luck of the draw" so that the best teams have the best chance of winning.

Cases 1 and 2 are seeded based on comparatively recent performance (i.e. the NBA team with the best record gets the #1 seed in the post-season; the college basketball teams with the best record against the strongest competition that year get the high seeds in the NCAA tournament). 

At least in the ACBL, case 3 is also seeded based on recent performance, although using a somewhat arcane formula that looks back in time.

Reasonable people can argue about whether ACBL seeding uses the best method possible, but the system seems to be relatively accurate--"upsets" happen, but not across the whole field constantly.


I have not yet figured out how the mini and micro Spingold are seeded, but it appears to be primarily based on team MP holdings.  And it's pretty clear that this is not a particularly good predictor--"upsets" happen all the time.

So my question is this:  Why bother?  What is gained by seeding an event where there is no established good predictor of performance?  


Getting Comments... loading...

Bottom Home Top