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How to Run a Double Elimination Tournament

The Brackets

Start by printing the appropriate tournament brackets needed for the tournament, you can do this by clicking here. If you don't know the exact number of teams just estimate and print all of the brackets within a certain range. In my opinion the Double Elimination tournament is the best type of tournament to run, but you need to be sure to have a long enough time frame to complete all of the games. To help with your planning we have created a cool little tool that will calculate the total Number of Games in each type of Tournament. A Double Elimination Tournament is very similar to the Single Elimination tournament with one major difference, you must lose two games to be eliminated from the tournament.

Placing the Names on the Bracket

Now you will need to draw for the spots on the tournament bracket. If you are running a blind draw tournament you will place each team's name in a hat and begin drawing the teams one at a time placing the first team drawn on the first blank line, the second team drawn on the second blank line and so on. Another option is to use our Random Tournament Matchup Generator tool, which will allow you to type in the team names and then automatically randomize the order in which you fill the bracket in. If you are running a seeded tournament, the brackets are numbered with the seeds beside each team in the first round.

Tournament Time

The tournament is ready to begin! All of our double elimination brackets are numbered to let you know the order the matches will be played. They will also list where the loser of each game should move to in the loser's bracket. This can be viewed in the illustration below.

Navigating the Bracket

Below you will find a sample illustration of a Seeded 8 Team Double Elimination Bracket. If you are running a blind draw style tournament, the seeds will not appear on the bracket. After each winner's bracket game the winner moves over to the next blank line and the loser goes to the corresponding number in the loser's bracket. To explain this in more detail, the loser of game 1 would go to the line in the loser's bracket labeled "L1". After each loser's bracket game the winner moves over to the next line, but if you lose while in the Loser's bracket you are out of the tournament. In game 14 of the illustration example, if the winner of that game is from the winner's bracket that team wins the tournament. If the winner's bracket team loses that game they would go to the bottom of the dotted line and play another game against the same team, whoever wins that game would be crowned the champion.

How to Run a Double Elimination Tournament