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Local tournaments often use the ‘American’ (or round-robin) format where a group of players play each other, the winner being the one with the best overall performance. Depending on the number of entries, players may be split into several groups, possibly with some sort of play-off between group winners.

However - this event is a knock-out competition. All the players of a particular type (e.g. under-11 boys singles) play in one group with the first round of matches being drawn out of the hat with seeding and byes depending on the number of entries. Seeding is based as far as possible on the current Kent ranking table. There is no handicapping.

Some local events exclude county squad members but this tournament is open to all Kent-based players.

The winners of the first round of matches move on to play in the second round and so on until a final decides the overall winner.

Players losing their first match (this might be in the second round if there are byes) are automatically entered into a plate event so that every entrant gets to play at least two matches. Plate events themselves end in a final giving an overall winner.

If the number of players in a main or plate event is very low (3 or perhaps 4) then a ‘round-robin’ group format will usually be substituted.

One serious problem with the knock-out format is the difficulty of timing. As each group proceeds fewer players are involved and there need to be reasonable rests between, for example, semi-finals and finals. One or two very close (and therefore long) encounters can delay subsequent play. To use court time economically we sometimes need to overlap events and this can add further complications if the same player is involved in more than one competition (singles and doubles). So – although we do our very best to work out start and end times it sometimes happens that events are delayed or overrun by quite a margin. It is usual for doubles to follow singles in each age-group and most players enter both but we do try to give any doubles-only players a later sign-in time.

Where players enter singles and doubles this is mostly in the same age-group. It is usually possible to enter the singles in one age-group and doubles in an older one (to play with an older partner) – however other combinations are very unlikely to be accepted as they can seriously delay the play of other people.

In American events each match is usually one game to 15 or 21. However, in this event we use the full ‘best of three’ format with Rally Point Scoring to 21 (no setting) – though we always retain the right to vary this if numbers and time demand it. An exhausting day for those reaching the later rounds!

Since changing the venue to a larger hall we have tried to fit all play into one day. However this hasn’t been successful – leading to late finishes and lengthy gaps between play – so we have reverted to splitting the five age groups in the event over two days as shown on the entry form.

Engraved cups or shields are presented to the winners of each event together with small individual mementoes. We rely on winners to ensure the safe return of the main trophies and although we do our best we cannot guarantee that they will be available for presentation on the day. Because of problems in the past we may decide to retain the trophies after presentation.

Hopefully this is helpful but please contact the tournament administrator if you have any queries.


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Last updated: 10 February 2015