How to Seed a 5-Team Tournament

By Michael Keenan

When seeding a tournament, you have the option to use a random draw or seeding the teams based on some objective criteria. With random seeding, there is no consideration given to prior achievement. If you do not have prior achievements, such as a regular season record to measure the teams by, you can have the teams play a round robin round to determine seeding for the elimination portion of the tournament. When you have five teams, three teams will receive a bye in the first round and the remaining team will have to play to determine which team will be the fourth side.

Seed the teams one through five using a method of your choice. You can use a random draw, use a regular season record, or have teams play a round-robin series to determine seeding. If you use random seeding, skip to step five. If you chose to use a regular season record, skip to step three.

Play a round robin round where each team plays the other four teams.

Determine the seeds based on their record in the round robin round or regular season, for example, if the records are 4-0, 3-1, 2-2, 1-3 and 0-3, the team with the 4-0 record would receive the first seed.

Break ties using predetermined tiebreakers. Common tiebreakers include head-to-head results, point differential, points allowed and, when all else fails, coin flip. For example, if team A and team B both had 2-2 records but team A beat team B, team A would get the higher seed.

Play the fourth seeded team against the fifth seeded team in a preliminary round game. The winner is award the fourth seed in the tournament.

Play the first seed against the fourth seed and the second seed against the third seed in the semifinals of the tournament.

Play the winners of the two semifinals against each other in the championship. The losers of the semifinal rounds can play for third place.

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