TOP Draw Format
The advantage of the TOP Draw format is that with an event of eight or more players, all players can be guaranteed a minimum of 3 matches. Developed by Top Draw Tournament Management, the format has combined elements of grading events and continuous draws.
The main 'section' of the draw is created as a standard Tennis Australia draw, with seeds (if any) placed accordingly. Byes in all sections are placed randomly following Tennis Australia procedure.
In draws where the first round has more byes than matches (for instance, in a 16 draw with entries from 9 to 11), losing players from the first and second rounds of the main section (Section 1) are combined in a further section.
In draws where there are fewer byes than matches (for instance, in a 16 draw with an entry of 12 to 16), a separate section is created by losing players from the first round, and another by second round losing players.
Where the losing players from 2 rounds are combined to form a section, the losing players from the first round are placed above the losing players from the following round. This minimises the chances of meeting the same player. It does not eliminate the possibility, particularly as the draw progresses.
Winners in each section, including section 1, continue to advance as in a standard draw. The winner of section 1 is the event winner. Other section winners may be acknowledged as decided by the tournament manager.
Losing players from each section form further sections until there is a playoff between the final 2 players.
In draws of 9, 17, 18, 19, 33, 34 and 35 later rounds of losing players will need to be combined.
Example: If 17 or 33 players/teams have entered, one first round match is created so that one losing player carries down through further sections, necessitating that rounds be combined where this happens.
Where the entry number allows for the first and second round losing players to be combined, but doesn't require later rounds to be combined, the event may be used as a grading event, and is the equivalent of an ITF Veterans grading draw.
When creating a TOP draw, the number of sections can be stipulated. Sections can be from 2, which is similar to a consolation draw, to as many as half the number of entries. That is, an entry of 51 can be divided into 25 sections, which is a full continuous draw. For draws of 16 or more entries, if 8 sections are stipulated, the draw becomes a modified Compass draw. Stipulating 0 sections creates a full continuous draw.
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