Schenkel system

Schenkel system is a modification of the Swiss sytem. The Swiss system is commonly used when there are too many players to play a round-robin tournament.

The idea behind Swiss and Schenkel systems
The idea behind the Swiss and Schenkel systems is that after the first round the teams will always play against a team that has been playing as well (or as poor) in the tournament so far. In a group of 10 teams that means that after the first round the pairs for the second round would be

  • 1st vs. 2nd
  • 3rd vs. 4th
  • 5th vs. 6th
  • 7th vs. 8th
  • 9th vs. 10th

The ranking in a Schenkel system goes as follows

  • points from the games (2p from a victory, 1p from a tie, 0p from a loss)
  • number of ends won in all games
  • number of stone-points scored
  • stone ratio (stone-points scored - stone-points given)

In a pure Swiss system all teams play in one group because the number of simultaneous games is not an issue (there can be a huge number of chess games going on at the same time). However, in a curling tournament there is a limited number of curling sheets available for one round. In theory all teams could play in a single group but for practical reasons (easier scheduling) the teams are usually divided to groups and the groups are re-arranged after two rounds.

The following explanation of the Schenkel system uses Loimaa Country Curling 2010 as an example. The standings tables can be found at http://www.curling.fi/en/competitions/leagues/6218/standings

Friday

  • There are 30 teams that are divided to 3 groups (A, B, C).
  • In each group the team pairs for the first round are randomly set.
  • The second round within the group is defined based on the ranking system explained above. That is, 1st vs. 2nd, 3rd vs. 4th and so on. However, two teams will never play against each other twice. If the two teams would happen to be on ranks 3 and 4, the next pairs would be 3rd vs. 5th and 4th vs. 6th.

Saturday

  • After Friday all three groups (A, B, C) have played two full rounds.
  • Using the ranking definition explained above, the 10 best teams from all three groups (A, B, C) will play in group F on Saturday. That is (in order of ranking after Friday): Ucc.Elit, Suhina, Takeout, Kiviaita / Sinnittelijät, Curlinglasse, Trombi, Fiina, VHCC, Alanen
  • The next 10 teams will play in group E on Saturday.
  • The last 10 teams will play in group D on Saturday.
  • The team pairs are always set according to the ranking: 1st vs. 2nd, 3rd vs. 4th and so on. However, two teams will never play against each other twice. If the two teams would happen to be on ranks 3 and 4, the next pairs would be 3rd vs. 5th and 4th vs. 6th.

Sunday

  • After Saturday the groups will be arranged once more.
  • Using the ranking definition explained above, the 10 best teams from all three groups (D, E, F) will play in group I on Sunday.
  • The next 10 teams will play in group H on Sunday.
  • The last 10 teams will play in group G on Sunday.
  • The team pairs are again set according to the ranking: 1st vs. 2nd, 3rd vs. 4th and so on. However, two teams will never play against each other twice. If the two teams would happen to be on ranks 3 and 4, the next pairs would be 3rd vs. 5th and 4th vs. 6th.
  • Only one round is played on Sunday in each group. The final standings of the tournament is defined so positions 1-10 are for teams in group I, position 11-20 for teams in group H, and positions 21-30 for teams in group G.

Pros and cons of the Schenkel system

Pros

  • Easy scheduling
  • All teams will have the same amount of games
  • After the first game, all teams will start to have opponents that are close to their own level because of the ranking system.

Cons

  • The justness of the ranking system (number of ends won, number of stone-points scored etc.) can be easily be questioned. In curling the final score of a game can be 7-3 and it might be that it's much more exiting than a game that ends to 7-5.
  • The winner of the tournament is typically clear (straight wins) but the standings 2-6 are typically defined by the ranking. Given the argument presented above, this system of play is not a good choice for tournaments where the order of the teams beyond the winner really matter.

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