Managing Tournaments

There are several ways that clients manage tournaments in Arbiter.  In this help article we will outline the suggested methods and some of the issues that can arise from each method.



The most important aspect when setting up tournaments is to ensure that all parties, including schools, leagues, governing bodies, and officials, are aware of how tournaments are managed.  This allows all parties to manage their schedules accurately and to interface in a way that works for them.

For example, if you enter a single game for an entire tournament, the officials may try to work a game later in the day thinking that they have a single game, not a full tournament.  Or a school may want to create a tournament in ArbiterGame to display in ArbiterLive, so they will put in a tournament and add the individual games.  Or a governing body may track the number of games each official has worked for postseason eligibility so each game of the tournament needs to be entered separately to properly reflect the work.


Before jumping into the recommended method, it's important to understand the difference between a meet and a tournament.  ArbiterSports defines a meet as a single contest that has more than one team.  For example, a swim meet has more than two teams that all compete at the same time against each other.  To enter meets, see this article.  In contrast to meets, tournaments are a series of contests that each has two teams participating.  For example, a soccer bracket that has a series of games between two teams.

Treat meets and tournaments differently.  To enter a tournament, we recommend adding each contest individually.  In this case, a tournament would consist of the set of games.  Since the process is slightly different for ArbiterOne and ArbiterGame, the steps are defined below.


  1. Create a new level named "Tournament." 
  2. Add positions to the new level.
  3. Go to the games and assignments page and add the first game.
  4. Select the Tournament level and uncheck the "Match Game Level" for the home and away team.  If you don't know which teams will participate in each game, you can select the TBA option at the bottom of the selection list.
  5. Choose the home and away team for the first contest.
  6. Add the other contests of the tournament with the details you have.
  7. Because the game level is Tournament, you will see that on the games and assignments page.

Pro tips: 

The purpose of unselecting the match game level option on the teams is to allow you to have a tournament level for display purposes while not duplicating all of your teams.  For example, you can have a game level named Tournament and still put Varsity teams on it.

If you integrate with ArbiterGame and the school is using tournaments, we recommend coordinating with the school so that they can add the tournament and games.  See the next section for how tournaments are handled in ArbiterGame. 


  1. On the schedule page, click on Add New and select Tournament.
  2. Complete the basic information for the tournament.  If an assigner will assign the tournament, select that option and choose the assigner. 
  3. Add the sites/subsites that the tournament will be hosted at. 
  4. Add the teams for the tournament.  At this point you aren't indicating when the teams play, you are simply indicating which teams are invited (the opponents can accept or decline to participate in the tournament)
  5. Add the tournament games.   When adding games, you can add many games at once by selecting the start time of the first game and then the interval between games.  Add the games.
  6. If you know which teams will be playing, edit the games and select the correct home and away teams.

Pro tips:

The assigner won't see the tournament until the games are created.  If you don't know which teams will play when, you can still create the games with TBA teams so that the assigner sees the games.  Otherwise they may double enter those games.

Tournaments games are published based on the tournament publish status, not on a game by game basis.  The publish status determines if the public can see the tournament.  Assigners can see the tournament as soon as the games are entered.


Alternate Methods

There are other alternative for managing tournaments, such as entering a single game and putting all teams on it as away teams.  These other methods do not interact with other ArbiterSports products, third party schedule tools, or governing bodies.  Therefore, before implementing an alternate option be sure to check with other parties to make sure the method you select will work with them.

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