Admin How-To Guide

Creating and running a tournament-style employee challenge

Fitness challenge tournament brackets

Using the built-in ChallengeRunner features to create an automated elimination tournament.

A typical fitness challenge consists of various activities with distinct start and end dates. The person or team who accumulates the most points by performing these activities wins the challenge. While there is nothing at all wrong with this type of challenge and it constitutes most of the challenges we host, there is also something to be said for mixing things up every once in a while to keep your program fresh. Enter the Point-based and single-elimination tournament challenges.

Point-Based Tournament Challenge

The new point-based tournament challenge opens up new possibilities when it comes to employee engagement. As opposed to challenges where the same participants compete over an activity or activities for several weeks until a winner emerges, a tournament challenge consists of repeating cycles where, at the end of each, only the upper-half of the participants are allowed to advance. For example, a tournament challenge could be set to include a one-week "Steps Walked" activity. At the end of the week, a new challenge cycle would automatically be created but would only include the top 50% of the participants. Another important aspect of the tournament challenge is that the points for all participants would be set back to zero at the beginning of each cycle which helps with motivation since one or two extremely active participants are not always way ahead of everyone else.

Single-Elimination Tournament Challenge

Single-elimination tournament challenges offers a format that most participants will recognize. With a single-elimination tournament, all participants or teams spend the first (seed) round competing to be included in the actual challenge and be placed in their "seed" according to how they finish in the standings. The participant with the most points becomes the first seed, the participant with the second most points becomes the second seeds and so on until all of the seeds are filled. If more participants enroll than there are available seeds, those with the fewest points are excluded from the tournament.

After the seed round, the actual competition starts. During the tournament, the higher seeds compete one-on-one with the lower seeds in individual challenges. The winner of each head-to-head challenge advances in the tournament while the loser is eliminated. This process continues until only two participants remain. In order to create a tournament challenge, perform the following:

How To

  1. Build a typical challenge as described in Create A Fitness Challenge and Add Activity To Challenge then invite users as described in Adding New Participants.

    NOTE: you will want to make your activity start and end dates reasonably close together since this will determine the length of your cycles and how often the system will eliminate the lower half of the participants. Somewhere between one and three weeks is probably sufficient although the timespan can be whatever you decide works best for your tournament.

  2. Click the Edit Challenge button.
  3. Check the Group Points or Single Elimination box.
  4. If you select Single Elimination, you will also have to select the total number of seeds in the tournament.
  5. Click Save.
  • Any challenge created on the ChallengeRunner system can be set up as a "Tournament". Checking the Tournament checkbox on the Edit Challenge dialog, simply replicates the challenge once the end date is reached and automatically enrolls the challenges top participants.
  • In order to determine which participants (or teams) will be included in the next cycle for point-based challenges, the system must first calculate the total participants of the last challenge which consists of everyone who logged data for at least one activity during the cycle. It then takes that number and divides by two (rounding up) to determine the mid-point. Finally, it automatically enrolls everyone up to the mid-point and also enrolls anyone tying the mid-point cutoff participant for points. Therefore, the number of participants may be slightly more or slightly less than 50% of the total participants enrolled.
  • In the event of a tie during a single-elimination tournament, the highest seed will win the round. Therefore, it is important for participants to compete for the most points in the seed round and it is also important for admins to include activities where ties are rare.
  • If there are more seeds available than participants in a single-elimination tournament, the highest seeds will receive "byes" (no opponent) the first round.
  • For single-elimination tournaments, a "bracket" is available after clicking on the main leaderboard.
  • Cycles will continue to be automatically generated until only two participants (or teams) remain. From the last cycle, a tournament champion can be determined.

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