Any advice for my first time organizing a tournament?

Hi all! I know the most common question about first-time tournaments is about how to prepare for one as a player, but for the first time in my Netrunner career, I am taking on the role as a tournament organizer for a local store championship.

I’m wondering if anyone has any good general advice on how to make sure the tournament runs smoothly. I have downloaded the NRTM app and plan to use it to run the tournament. Can I run this effectively from my iPhone, or should I ask a friend to bring a tablet so I can use it? Just wondering about the easiest way to access the app while still being able to print matchups, etc.

I have been advertising about the local tournament through these forums and Facebook, and I’m hoping for enough people to have a cut to the top 4. Any other advice on what I should do in preparation of the day to make it a blast for everyone involved?

I have not organized to many tournaments and have asked myself the same questions before and still consider myself a beginner.

My most important tipp:
Plan the tournament and all it’s steps upfront and make yourself a plan containing all aspects that you can check during the tournament. It helps you not to forget important steps.
NRTM is a good choice if you have an iDevice I would recommend a tablet for it’s size and usually you can place it so that they see the timer.
Perform a tournament within the software to practice upfront.

What is important:

  • Are you a participant or not? I would not recommend on the first tournament. If yes who is dealing with Judge calls that involve you?
  • When are you giving out the participant price? From my experience it’s best during the swiss rounds
  • How do you give out the remaining prices? Especially the ones for the top 4?
  • Usually it’s a good thing to say some words at the start of the day about how things will go like housekeeping, number of swiss rounds to play, when you plan to have breaks. e.g. after 2 rounds of swiss or before the top cut. Especially important for people that end round 2 after 30 mins. And usually you get the most attention at this point in time. It might be good to make advertisements for your regular meetup.
  • Usually at a small tournament I’ll announce the pairings (up to 20), this much easier then printing. If you have a projector and you can connect it, this is really nice!
  • Announce times during the round, e.g. 30 min to go, 10, 5 & 1

Happy to answer questions and will add to it, when I remember other things.


Thanks for stepping up to the role. Your community will appreciate it. Along with previous advise, here are some things I can think of:

  • Almost everything you need from FFG is here (under tournament resources):
  • If you’re requiring decklist, have the enough forms printed for everyone. Almost no one brings printed ones.
  • The score sheets to give to players because it allows you to manage time recording results and can check if there’s a mistake found.
  • If your a judge as well in your role, read through the FAQ and any of the UFAQ released since the FAQ (just the 3 Kitara ones, I think). Probably a good idea to have the the Floor Rules printed in case you need to address any incidents.
  • The current SC kit seems to be for a bigger event (64 players) than previous ones. It might be nice to raffle off extra prizes (FIS, boxes, mat, etc.) outside of the the top 4, so that inexperienced players have a chance at getting them. Possibly between rounds.
  • Don’t feel bad about playing in the event yourself; just make sure you have another person that can judge rules questions in games you’re involved in.
  • It might help (in the future) to request to send deck lists upfront to you via e-mail (or whatever way) so you avoid to many printouts and it’s much easier to read. To make this clear for the submitter, request a fixed point in time, like 22:00 the day before otherwise they will do it 5 min before the tournament starts.
  • Score sheets are useful if you have any issue with the software to rebuild the results!
1 Like

If you do request electronic decklists ahead of time, I think it’s fine to let the players submit at any point before the start (and even accept paper ones on the day of). I wouldn’t want any extra burden on players in playing SC-level events. And, most likely T.O.'s have a way to access them from a mobile device or a store computer if you’re already using TOME.

But, I agree that have them electronic might make it easier to manage (and easier to read than handwriting).

Thanks so much for the ideas! I really appreciate it.

I’m not intimately familiar with but I know it has a feature for linking NRDB decks and also can export or publish results from the NRTM app. Is there a way to create the tournament on ABR in advance and let people upload their decks as a way to check deck lists for tournament legality, without making them public to other competitors? If not, is there a different system recommended for that kind of approach?

I don’t think you can really do that with ABR, but I suppose you could just have participants email you links to their lists as one option for submitting lists.

You are going to have people show up with paper lists or without lists, so you’ll want to be flexible. That said, I would happily shoot you an email rather than write out my whole deck list if I showed up on the day without a list prepared.

1 Like