Page 53

ing a few rounds wherein the good ones polished off the poorer ones just to get a line on how their favorites are pitching, and here begins the working up of spectator interest.
     A well-run tournament should pass through three phases of play designated roughly as the Preliminaries, the Round-Robin and the Finals. In the Preliminaries, all entrants shall be looked upon as equal and treated as such. In other words, whoever has charge of the tournament should act just as though he had never seen nor heard of a single player in the meet. No favors should be shown any player which are not accorded to the others. In a world tournament and also in some state meets the defending champion is not required to go through the qualifying stages of the tournament, and, of course, he is allowed this favor.
     The first phase of the tournament is therefore devoted to the Preliminaries. In this stage of play each pitcher is required to pitch a certain number of games in actual competition, following a regular schedule. The number of games pitched by each man is dependent upon the number of courts, the number of entrants, and the time allowed. In the case of a world tournament it may take two days; in a state meet it may take one day.
     The general plan is given here and the tournament manager can fit it into his conditions easily, always remembering that the more games played gives a better line on the qualifiers, and more satisfaction to those eliminated. In order that each player may have the same chance, each must pitch the same number of shoes, and the games must be limited to 50 shoes. In these games it is recommended both players count all points made each inning, three for each ringer and one for each shoe within six inches of the stake. The first pitch should, of course, go to the player with the closest shoes as in a regular 50-point game.
     The tournament manager will always be able to guess fairly close as to the number of men who will be entered, and knowing how much time he will have, he can regulate the number of 50-shoe games accordingly. To give a specific instance, let us say that this system is to be used in a big tournament, and 16 courts are available for a whole day's play. The expected entry list would, let us say, be the same as that of Moline in 1935, 78 players. Since 32 players could play at one time, there would be three qualifying shifts, and if nine hours were used for actual play, that would allow three hours of play for each shift. In three hours' time each player could play as many as nine games, but to be safe, the tournament manager could cut it to eight or even seven games. By the end of the day each pitcher would have played the same number of games and would have thrown the same number of shoes.