Round Robin team games

How Round Robins Work

At the recent Sectional, there was more than a little confusion about the movement of boards and players in round-robin team games. This note attempts to explain it, and since the Sectional is coming, it might be helpful to both players and the harried tournament directors if players were to see in a diagram how it works.

Directors usually say, “You have a home table. Your north-south players remain at the home table throughout the movement. To start the round-robin, the east-west players (who can be thought of as starting at their home table) move up one table to play against the north-south players at that table. At the conclusion of that first part, they take the boards they have just played and move the back to their home table. Then they move up one more table and play the boards at that table against the next north-south combination.” This sounds good, but it might be easier to understand if you can see a picture:

The diagram shows that round robins are laid out just like an ordinary Mitchell movement. In the Mitchell movement, North-South players remain at the same table throughout all rounds of play, just as in the round robin. After each six-board round, the six boards move to the next lower table (from table A, they move to table C), and east-west pairs move to the next higher number table (but from table C, the next highest table is Table A, because we’re at the end of the tables. It works the same in the Mitchell movement. If you’re at the last table, after play is over you move to table 1. From Table C you move to Table A. Same idea.

Round robins with seven boards are equally possible, but the same rules prevail. Typically, all round robins involve three tables. Directors will only set up a round robin if there are an odd number of teams in the event.