What Is A Song Tournament?
A song tournament is essentially an elaborate popularity contest between a group of songs. For the first round, each song is paired against another song in the group. For each pair, a poll is conducted asking fans which song of the two is their favorite. The song that gets the fewest votes in each pair is eliminated from the tournament. For the next and subsequent rounds, the remaining songs are paired together and polls again determine which song leaves the tournament until there is only one song remaining. This song is the winner of the tournament.
In general, each poll lasts for three days and a new poll starts every day. All polls of one round must finish before the next round begins. After the first tournament (Glow Stars), the final match of every tournament has lasted seven days.
How Are the Pairings For Each Round Determined?
For the first round, the master of the tournament determines which songs face each other. The most important factor is ensuring that the most popular songs do not face each other initially. Other factors can include pairing songs together that have interesting similarities and contrasts.
For the subsequent rounds, the pairings are determined based on the percentage margin of victory each song had in the previous round. The song with the highest margin of victory is paired against the song with the lowest margin of victory, the song with the second highest margin of victory is paired against the song with the second lowest margin of victory, and so on. In the first two tournaments (Glow Stars and Oyster), a more complicated formula was used incorporating the margin of victory of every previous round of the tournament, but for later tournaments, only the direct previous round has been considered.
What If There Are Odd Number of Songs?
If there are an odd number of songs in any given round, then the song with the highest margin of victory in the previous round gets a bye from the current round and will automatically advance to the next round. No song can get byes from two different rounds in a tournament, so if the song with the highest margin of victory from the last round already got a bye earlier in the tournament, the song with the next highest margin of victory gets the bye. If there are an odd number of songs in the first round of a tournament, then the song that the master of the tournament judges to have the greatest chance of winning gets the bye.
What Is A Half Vote?
Because of the problems caused by ties in the first two tournaments (see below), all tournaments thereafter have included one half vote to prevent ties. The master of the tournament does not get to vote normally in the poll, but instead announces his vote verbally. It is worth only half a normal vote, which means that the master of the tournament must vote if there would otherwise be a tie.
What About Ties?
Before the introduction of the half vote rule (see above), in the first two tournaments (Glow Stars and Oyster), ties were possible and in the case of a tie, both songs continued to the next round. If this resulted in too many songs, then the tied songs had to participate in a triple vote with one of the other songs in the round. This happened twice. For the first time, only the song with the highest vote total of the three continued on to the next round. When this happened in the Finals of the Oyster tournament, the songs with the two highest vote totals were allowed to continue on to a runoff.