When creating a bracket for a sporting event or competition series, how is it determined who gets which seed in the bracket?


Is it randomly decided or does it all come down to statistics?

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Typically tournament formats come as a playoff at the end of a regular season. The results of how the various teams did in the regular season determine the rankings.

For bigger events or whenever there are teams from different leagues (US college basketball for example) then teams are seeded based on a combination of factors like their record weighted against the caliber of their competition.

For the World Cup, the teams play in qualifying matches leading up to the actual event just to get on the list, but then they are assigned groups through a sort of weighted drawing(to control the odds a bit more than completely random). Each group of 4 teams plays a round-robin and at the end of it the top two teams from each group are moved into the bracket of 16 according to positions assigned before the groups were ever drawn.

For other events it can be totally random or accomplished through various drawings or even coin flips.

It’s completely discretionary and ultimately up to tournament organisers.

If there are “big” players involved, organisers will typically seed them seperate for an inevitable clash in finals.

Some organisers might stick to a stat-based approach, where they seed based on previous performance.

Or the organisers might opt for a roulette seed.

Or a combination of everything above.

It depends on the organisers. One of the purposes of seeding is to avoid putting the best participants together in early rounds, where one of them will be eliminated. The final matches should display the best players, and with commercial pressure, the most popular. The ideal scenario is the top two participants facing off in the grand final rather than two lesser known participants.

The seeds are often determined by ranking, or otherwise by performance during the season or qualifiers.

There are many ways of doing it. Some competitions use rankings that are based on previous events. Some use a preliminary event before the main competition. Sometimes in later stages of the competition it’s based on the results in the earlier stages. Sometimes there is an attempt to create a balance between different regions or demographic groups. Sometimes it’s completely random. Sometimes it’s a mixture of all of the above.

In international events, it’s common to have some special cases. Often, the host country automatically gets one or more seeded teams/competitors. And often there are measures taken to reduce the chances of certain countries facing each other due to political animosity or violent incidents at previous competitions.