8.0 Tournament Pairings, Brackets and Byes

8.01 Double Elimination. The double elimination draw system shall be used in pairing teams for play. Two (2) losses eliminates a team. After the first round, defeated teams play defeated teams and undefeated teams play undefeated teams whenever possible.

In the event a Regional Tournament cannot be completed within 24 hours prior to the start date for the World Series due to inclement weather or other natural causes, the champion team shall be determined in one of the following sequence of team accomplishments:

  1. Best record based upon the competition of an equal number of completed bracket rounds by all remaining teams.
  2. Two-way tie will be determined by the result of the head to head game previously played in the respective tournament.
  3. Lowest total runs allowed in all games played.
  4. Total runs scored in all games played.
  5. Coin toss.

Note: If item 1 above qualifies a champion team, then items 2 through 5 will not be required as in all other sequence of team accomplishment. Once a two-game elimination has begun, a one-game elimination cannot be placed into effect for any reason.

8.02 Bracket System. The Tournament Committee shall have the power to substitute the double elimination NABF Bracket System for the Draw System after the first round of play.

8.03 Bracketing for National Tournaments. All National Tournaments shall be bracketed. The Regional Champions and the Host Team shall be placed in the bracket by June 1 of each year by the NABF Executive Director.

8.04 Established Bracket Must Be Followed. Once the bracket system has been established showing the rounds, game numbers, dates and times of games, it must be followed throughout the elimination process. This includes predetermined byes in the bracket schedule. The bracket schedule must be followed during the elimination process except for inclement weather or field conditions that might cause changes in field locations and game times. Play each NABF double elimination bracket round by round until all remaining teams alive are required to take part in a draw for all remaining rounds/games. Each bracket will indicate the beginning of the draw/round(s) required to complete the schedule. Refer to NABF rule 8.05 sections A and B.

Note: Tournament Directors will be provided with brackets, schedules, instructions and procedures for conducting NABF tournaments.

8.05 Byes.

(A) Byes in a Draw System.

  1. No more than one (1) team shall remain idle in any round.
  2. Any team is eligible to have a bye except that no team shall be permitted to have a second or third bye unless all teams then alive have had an equal number of byes.
  3. Whenever any round contains an odd number of both defeated and undefeated teams, the bye shall be drawn first, except as noted in 8.05(A)(5), with both defeated and undefeated teams participating in the drawing.
  4. Defeated teams play defeated teams and undefeated teams play undefeated teams whenever possible.
  5. When the drawing of the bye or conditions of play produce both defeated and undefeated teams, pairings of all remaining teams will be determined in the following manner:

NOTE: All team(s) are required to take part regardless of their win/loss record from previous games played.

  • (a) Five (5) teams remaining: One (1) team gets the bye either by the draw between teams who have not had a bye or the fact that it is the only team without a bye.
  • (b) Four (4) teams remaining: If it is possible to pair up teams which have not played each other, then do so, otherwise draw to see who plays whom.
  • (c) Three (3) teams remaining: If one (1) team has not had a bye then that team gets the bye; If two (2) teams have not had a bye then draw to see which of the two teams gets the bye; If all three (3) teams have had a bye and two of the teams have not played each other, than those two (2) teams are to be paired to play and the third team gets the bye. If a natural two (2) teams have not played each other pairing is not possible, then a draw is to be made to determine who gets the bye. If three (3) teams remain and no one has had a bye, teams who have not played each other then play each other and the third team gets the bye, otherwise draw for the bye.

(B) Byes in a Bracket System. Whenever a bye for a particular game winner or loser is not predetermined by the NABF bracket itself, then the system for determining a bye in a draw system, as defined and described in Rule 8.05A, goes into effect for the remainder of the Bracket System Tournament. (See Rule 8.08.)

8.06 Special Bye Restrictions. In a Draw or Bracket System, if any team is awarded a forfeit without actually playing in the forfeited game, the victory will be considered as a bye and those teams shall not be permitted to receive another bye unless all teams then alive have had an equal number of byes. The victory will be recorded in the tournament standings as a win.

Note: Under rule 8.06, if the bracket system is in place, all teams alive must follow the NABF bracket schedule as indicated, including any predetermined bye provided in the bracket schedule. However, if a team is awarded a victory as described under rule 8.06 and the bracket provides such team a bye in the following round (only) the tournament committee shall exercise the option of a draw system as permitted under rule 8.02. (Also refer to rules 8.05 B, 8.08 E and 8.08 F for additional information).

8.07 Refusing a Bye. In a Draw or Bracket System, a team may not refuse a bye for any reason.

8.08 Pairings for Regional and World Series Tournaments:

  • (A) The double elimination system shall be utilized in all NABF tournaments. Two (2) losses eliminates a team from further play in any NABF tournament.
  • (B) In all Regional Tournaments, the Tournament Committee shall make the decision prior to the tournament to conduct the tournament on a draw or bracket basis. The draw for the first-round play must be made, regardless if the tournament is to be on a draw or a bracket basis. The first-round draw must be made at a meeting of all managers on the evening prior to the scheduled beginning of the Regional Tournament. The site and game time of this first round of play only may be determined by the Host franchise team. All World Series Tournaments must be bracketed. The Regional Championship and the Host franchise team must be placed in a bracket by June 1 of each year by the NABF Executive Director.
  • (C) The bracket schedule showing the rounds, game numbers, dates and times of games must be followed throughout the elimination process except for inclement weather or field conditions that might cause changes in field locations and game times.
  • (D) The two teams from the host organization must not be paired together in the first round. It is suggested that the first team be placed in Game #1 and the second team be placed in the last game number of the first round.
  • (E) All NABF tournaments conducted on a bracket basis must utilize NABF official brackets. When beginning the tournament with an uneven number of teams, the bye is determined by the draw in the first round of play, there after, follow the bracket as indicated. For the next bye drawn both defeated and undefeated teams will participate but no team is eligible for a second bye until all teams have at least one bye.
  • (F) Defeated teams play defeated teams and undefeated teams play undefeated teams whenever possible. HOWEVER, when the drawing of the bye or conditions of play produce an uneven number of both defeated and undefeated teams, pairings of all remaining teams must be drawn. If any of the remaining teams have played each other in a previous round, whenever possible the same teams do not play each other a second time. But remember, the bye is the first consideration at all times. The following procedures must be followed by the Tournament Committee:
  1. Draw for all first-round games. (This applies for REGIONAL TOURNAMENTS ONLY.)
  2. When there is an uneven number of teams, the bye is drawn first.
  3. No team will have a second bye until all teams have had an equal number of byes.
  4. Defeated teams play defeated teams and undefeated teams play undefeated teams whenever possible.

8.09 Two Games in 24 Hours. No team in all divisions shall be required to play more than two games, which start between and including 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. in any single day, without a written affidavit from the managers of the teams agreeing to play more than two games.

8.10 Field and Game Time Assignment. The assignment of playing fields and times of games shall be at the discretion of the Tournament Committee, except that no team shall be scheduled to play their first game one or more days prior to the remaining teams in the tournament. The site and game times for the first round of play only for the host team and the franchise’s other representative in the tournament may be determined prior to the first round draw; in such cases the two teams shall not be paired in the first round of play only. At all times the Tournament Committee shall have the option to schedule the games involving the host or host’s teams at field locations and times that are to the best advantage to the tournament sponsoring association.

8.11 Pre-Tournament Team Manager’s Meeting.  All Regional and World Series Tournament teams must have a representative at the scheduled managers meeting the day before the start of the tournament.  Failure of a team representative to appear at the designated time and meeting for player registration, rules and Regional/World Series draw for the first round of opponents and game times will/can disqualify such team from NABF tournament play, as determined by the Tournament Committee.

  • A team representative may arrange to meet with the Tournament Committee before 9:00 pm the day prior to the start of a tournament if there are travel restrictions or undue circumstances.
  • The Franchise (League) will be fined $100.00 for failure to have a manager or team representative at the manager’s meeting. The penalty must be paid prior to the first game scheduled.

8.12A NABF Modified Round Robin Bracket System. The NABF Modified Round Robin Bracket System may be utilized for NABF National Championship World Series play, and may be used in all age divisions or in specific age divisions as approved by the Board of Directors and Executive Director. The NABF Modified Round Robin Bracket will be for a minimum of eight (8) teams only (seven (7) regional winners and a host team), and must be restricted to multiples of two (2) teams if future growth necessitates expansion of regional playing sites. (See Rules 8.12B, 8.12C and 8.13 for Round Robin Schedules.)

8.12B The NABF Modified Round Robin bracket system may be utilized at the regional level of play, by the tournament committee, provided the number of sanctioned teams are within the following limits of four or eight teams, five or ten teams, or six or twelve teams. Any odd number of teams or numbers of teams that would prevent an even number of teams to be scheduled in multiple groups of two, should not be scheduled under the NABF Modified Round Robin Schedule.

8.12C Round Robin Schedule for Four, Five and Six Teams. When a Round Robin schedule for four (4), five (5), or six (6) teams is utilized to determine a regional champion team and the first runner-up team then, the best win/loss record of completed games as described under Rule 8.14 shall determine the winner and the runner-up teams. NOTE: The preferred schedule for regional play is the NABF double elimination tournament schedule. The tournament committee may use the straight Round Robin schedule to determine a champion. The draw for the Round Robin schedule pairing shall be conducted as described under Rule 8.11.

8.13 NABF Round Robin Bracket Format. The NABF Executive Director will assign the host team and regional champion teams to Group A and Group B of the Round Robin Bracket schedule. If in the event an odd number of teams qualify for the championship series for whatever reason, the NABF double elimination bracket must then be utilized in place of the Round Robin Bracket System. Under such conditions, the Tournament Committee shall require teams to draw for bracket pairings prior to the start of the World Series. The NABF Modified Round Robin Schedule may include multiples of four, five or six team groups extended by multiples of two (2) groups in a schedule of games to determine the winner and runner-up of each group; advancing to a single elimination semi-final and final series of games to determine the champion team.

Table of Games

(Four Teams)

Round I

Round II

Round III

Game

 

Teams

Game

 

Teams

Game

 

Teams

1

 

1&2

3

 

2&3

5

 

4&1

2

 

3&4

4

 

1&3

6

 

2&3

Upon completion of Round III, standings will determine champion and first runner-up champion teams.

Table of Games
(Five Teams)

Round I

Round II

Round III

Round IV

Round V

Game

Teams

Game

Teams

Game

Teams

Game

Teams

Game

Teams

1

1&4

3

3&1

5

5&3

7

2&5

9

4&2

2

2&3

4

4&5

6

1&2

8

3&4

10

5&1

 

BYE=5

 

BYE=2

 

BYE=4

 

BYE=1

 

BYE=3

Upon completion of Round V, standings will determine champion and first runner-up champion teams.

Table of Games
(Six Teams)

Round I

Round II

Round III

Round IV

Round V

Game

Teams

Game

Teams

Game

Teams

Game

Teams

Game

Teams

1

2&1

4

3&4

7

6&4

10

5&3

13

5&6

2

4&5

5

6&1

8

2&3

11

6&2

14

1&3

3

3&6

6

2&5

9

1&5

12

4&1

15

4&2

Upon completion of Round V, standings will determine champion and first runner-up champion teams.

Table of Games

(Eight Teams)

Round I

Round II

Round III

Game

Group

Teams

Game

Group

Teams

Game

Group

Teams

1

A

1&2

5

A

2&4

9

A

4&1

2

A

3&4

6

A

1&3

10

A

2&3

3

B

1&2

7

B

2&4

11

B

4&1

4

B

3&4

8

B

1&3

12

B

2&3

Upon completion of Round III, standings within each group will determine participants in Round IV. (See Tie Breaker Rule 8.01A.)


Round IV
Game 13 Winner of Group A versus Runner Up from Group B.
Game 14 Winner of Group B versus Runner Up from Group A.
Round V Championship Game
Game 15 Winner of Game 13 versus Winner of Game 14 to determine National Champion and Runner Up.

 

Table of Games

(Ten Teams)

Round I

Round II

Round III

Game

Group

Teams

Game

Group

Teams

Game

Group

Teams

1

A

1&4

5

A

3&1

9

A

5&3

2

A

2&3

6

A

4&5

10

A

1&2

 

A

5=BYE

 

A

2=BYE

 

A

4=BYE

3

B

1&4

7

B

3&1

11

B

5&3

4

B

2&3

8

B

4&5

12

B

1&2

 

B

5=BYE

 

B

2=BYE

 

B

4=BYE

 

Rond IV

Round V

Game

Group

Teams

Game

Group

Teams

13

A

2&5

17

A

4&2

14

A

3&4

18

A

5&1

 

A

1=BYE

 

A

3=BYE

15

B

2&5

19

B

4&2

16

B

3&4

20

B

5&1

 

B

1=BYE

 

B

3=BYE


Round VI
Game 21 Winner of Group A versus Runner Up from Group B.
Game 22 Winner of Group B versus Runner Up from Group A.
Round VII Championship Game
Game 23 Championship Game.
Winner Game 21 vs Winner Game 22.

 

Table of Games

(Twelve Teams)

RoundI

RoundII

RoundIII

Game

Group

Teams

Game

Group

Teams

Game

Group

Teams

1

A

2&1

7

A

3&4

13

A

6&4

2

A

4&5

8

A

6&1

14

A

2&3

3

A

3&6

9

A

2&5

15

A

1&5

4

B

2&1

10

B

3&4

16

B

6&4

5

B

4&5

11

B

6&1

17

B

2&3

6

B

3&6

12

B

2&5

18

B

1&5

 

Round IV

Round V

Game

Group

Teams

Game

Group

Teams

19

A

5&3

25

A

5&6

20

A

6&2

26

A

1&3

21

A

4&1

27

A

4&2

22

B

5&3

28

B

5&6

23

B

6&2

29

B

1&3

24

B

4&1

30

B

4&2

Round VI
Game 31 Winner of Group A versus Runner Up from Group B.
Game 32 Winner of Group B versus Runner Up from Group A.
Round VII Championship Game
Game 33 Championship Game.
Winner Game 31 vs Winner 32.

8.14 Tie Breaker for Round Robin. In the event teams are tied with identical win/loss records at the conclusion of group pairings in the NABF Round Robin Bracket Format that determines the participant teams in the semi-final games, the team standings will be determined in the following sequence of team accomplishments:

(1) Best record based upon the completion of games among tied teams.
(2) Ties will be determined by the result of head-to-head game previously played in the respective Round Robin Series between the teams tied for position.
(3) Lowest total runs allowed in games played among tied teams in the Round Robin Series.
(4) Total runs scored in games played among tied teams in the Round Robin Series.
(5) Coin Toss.

Note (A): If item one (1) above qualifies a team for the semi-final, then items two through five will not be required. Once a Round Robin series of games has begun, no other elimination series of games will be placed into effect. A forfeit game is an official game and will be included to determine the standings.

Note (B): When three or more teams are tied for the position with identical records, advancing teams will be determined in the following manner:

(i) Any team that has defeated all of the other tied teams in head-to-head competition will advance as the pool's top seed.
(ii) If two or more teams remain tied after item (i) is assessed for all teams with identical records, any remaining team that has defeated all other remaining teams will advance as the pool's second seed.
(iii) If no team among all tied teams has defeated all other tied teams in head-to-head competition, the tied teams will be ranked in order of runs allowed in pool play games involving head to head competition between the tied teams.  The team that allowed the fewest runs in those games will be the pool's top seed and the team that allowed the second fewest runs will be the pool's second seed. Note that if items (i) or (ii) determine the top seed, then item (iii) will determine only the pool's second seed.
(iv) If two or more teams remain tied after item (iii) is assessed, the remaining tied teams will be ranked     in order of runs scored in games involving the remaining tied teams.  The team that has scored the most runs will be the pool's top seed and the team that has scored the second most runs will be the second seed.  Note that if items (i), (ii) or (iii) determine the top seed, then item (iv) will determine only the pool's second seed.
(v) If two or more teams remain tied after item (iv) is assessed, the remaining seed(s) will be determined by head-to-head competition.

(vi) If two or more teams remain tied after item (v) is assessed, the remaining seed(s) will be determined by coin toss.


Note (C): Wild Card Team Selection: At the conclusion of all scheduled round robin play, the standings for each pool shall be determined from first (1st) place to last place.  After determination of the first (1st) and second (2nd) place finishers in each pool, the tournament committee shall select the required number of Wild Card Team(s) from all third (3rd) place teams only.  This will be done by following Sections 1, 3, 4, and 5 (exclude 2) ONLY of Rule 8.14 to determine the Wild Card Team(s) qualified for single elimination finals.

Wild Card team selections are only required for NABF round robin tournament schedules that produce an uneven number of team(s), not conducive for single elimination semi-final play and eliminating the need for byes in the championship finals.