most common bracket format for bwling competition is an eight-person, three game
singles bracket, which will be considered in this example. The eight bowlers are
randomly assigned to four single game matches. First 'nominated' game scores determine
the match winners and those four bowlers advance. Their second 'nominated' game
scores advance the two winners to the title match. The third 'nominated' game
determines the bracket winner. Prize money is returned to the bracket winner and
the runner-up. Putting it another way, two wins are needed to cash. The prize
money comes from the entry fee per bracket per bowler. Let's assume it costs $5
per bracket per bowler, and we have eight bowlers each going in one bracket. The
total prize fund is $40, and this can be returned in a number of ways. Normally,
88% of the money is returned to the bowlers. In other words, out of the $40, $25
goes to first, $10 goes to second and $5 is taken in commission by the person(s)
running the bracket.
common mis-conception of brackets is that they are an illegal form of gambling.
THEY ARE NOT. They are: "a randomly generated, single elimination tournament,
run concurrently with league or tournament competition, using the league or tournament
game scores to determine bracket winners". Think of it this way. When you enter
a tournament, you are putting up the entry fee on the basis of your skill against
the rest of the field. Brackets are no different; the bracket entry fee is paid
by the bowler on the basis of his/her skill to beat a number of other competitors.
No odds are given - no book is run. Money returned to the bowlers is money over
and above the prize fund.
CAN I RUN BRACKETS?
and league play are both suitable vehicles; in fact, three game leagues sit perfectly
with three game eight-person brackets. Any type of league can be used, scratch
or handicap, and remember, entry fees can be pitched at whatever the appropriate
amount is. We guess a small handicap league will not want to play $10 brackets,
but they may be interested in say, $5 brackets.
SHOULD I RUN BRACKETS & SIDE POTS?
provide a way for them to cash large amounts of money, even if they don't do too
well in the tournament proper. Furthermore, they provide excitement and money
in the early stages of qualification before tournament places/prizes are finalised.
Or in a league environment, money can be won each week instead of waiting for
a long schedule to complete. One benefit of playing brackets instead of self-organised
pot games is that getting into 5 $5 brackets will normally result in playing different
bowlers simultaneously, which will give bowlers a better chance of cashing as
they will be playing more of the field.