For many people, especially in the United States, the Olympic Games provide an introduction to sports that aren’t typically covered in mainstream media.
Curling is one such sport, and you may have noticed that tournaments are sometimes organised using the “round robin” format. For the Olympic tournament, this ensures that each team plays every other team at least once during the preliminary rounds.
What is Round Robin in Curling
In contrast to round robin tournaments, elimination tournaments are the norm in American sports. In an elimination tournament, the winners of each round play each other in the next round, as opposed to the losers of each round playing each other in the next round.
For instance, in most tennis tournaments, the winners of each round play each other in subsequent rounds until there is only one victor. Not all curling tournaments use the round robin format, but early rounds at the Olympics do.
The style of competition that occurs before the elimination round that follows and results in medals. Tournaments using a round robin format are fair since all competitors get the same number of games in each round.
This is due to the fact that teams can now build a record of wins (or losses) rather than having that record wiped clean after a single loss. Theoretically, this would be more indicative of overall performance than the outcome of a single contest.
Consider the Men’s Curling Equivalent of a Round Robin.
Sweden, Canada, Switzerland, and Great Britain all won three games each out of a total of six. Their teams were clearly superior in every way, and so they moved on to the following round of curling.
One more method to put round robins into context is to think about how they are used in common American sports. Although though most competitions in the USA are of the elimination variety, ordinary seasons are more akin to a round robin format.
Let’s look at the NFL as an example. Each team in the league plays every other team in its own conference once during the course of the regular season. The clubs with the most victories at the end of the season qualify for postseason play. Playoff games are, naturally, single-elimination affairs.
This is one way in which a round robin tournament is similar to the tournaments most American spectators are used to seeing. The only thing that ever seems to alter is the name given to it by sports officials.
Round Robins are Also Quite Similar to the Scoring System Used in the Olympics for Individual Sports.
Consider, for instance, the halfpipe contests open to to individuals. There is a qualifying phase before the actual medal phase. Each team will get one go at the course during the qualifying round, so they should give it their all.
They aren’t up against other teams in a head-to-head competition as they would be in curling, but they still have multiple shots to show what they’ve got before being eliminated.
Those with the highest scores throughout three consecutive rounds will move on to the championship round. Nevertheless, by that moment, there will be only three people who have qualified for placement.
At the Olympic level, curling is played over two rounds of round robin followed by a single elimination round. A total of two contests will take place after four teams have qualified. Each winning team advances to the next round until only two remain. The tournament winner is determined by the outcome of that match.
Tournament formats based on “round robin” play are not exclusive to curling. Tournament play is common in many competitive games, including chess, Scrabble, and bridge.
The curling competition in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang will begin with round robin play on February 9 and continue through February 22, when playoffs will begin. Before then, each team will get a fair shot to demonstrate its abilities.