The Free Printable Tournament Bracket provides an empty tournament bracket for 8 teams under the single elimination format.
You can use this spreadsheet to track any simple 8 team tournament.
How does the 8 Team Tournament Bracket work?
The 8 Team Tournament Bracket is a type of tournament format used in many sports, including basketball, baseball, softball, and volleyball. It is also used in some board games, such as chess and checkers. This form is used for an 8 team single-elimination tournament, meaning that once a team loses a game, they are eliminated from the tournament. You will find our 8-team Double Elimination bracket here.
If your tournament is using a pool play format to populate your bracket we have explained this below.
How do I set up an 8 Team Tournament Bracket?
Organize an 8 team tournament bracket using this form. It can be a daunting task, but it can be done with a few simple steps in a short period of time!
Generally, a single-elimination tournament will have two rounds leading up to the championship game, while a double-elimination tournament will have three rounds.
Teams or players usually are seeded into the bracket based on past success or their record but this isn’t always the case. In some single elimination tournaments, the tournament organizer will rank or seed teams based on strength and match the first round as evenly as possible. In theory, the top two seeded teams should likely meet eventually regardless of the bracket setup. Evening the competition in a single elimination tournament provides every team with an opportunity to advance. This also ensures that each game is as competitive as possible. This, rather than a lopsided tournament down to the end!
Double elimination tournaments are more often created with a #1 seed playing the #8 seed. The second seed plays #7 and the bracket is filled this way. The “Loser’s Bracket” in double elimination tournaments is designed so that the best team who may have lost in a previous game will still have an opportunity to win the tournament.
Pool Play Tournament Seeding Formats
A pool play format is a common way to organize a tournament in which participants or teams are divided into groups or pools, and each participant plays against the other members of their pool. Here’s how you can set up a pool play format to populate an 8-team tournament bracket:
- Four teams should be divided into two separate pools. Four pools of single play seeding can be done to save time, but each match should be anticipated to be as evenly matched ahead of time as possible.
- Determine the number of rounds: In a pool play format, each participant will play against the other members of their pool. Determine the number of rounds needed for each participant to play against every other member of their pool at least once. The number of rounds needed will depend on the number of participants in each pool. For example, if you have four participants in a pool, they will each play three games or matches.
- Assign matches: Once you have determined the number of rounds needed, assign the matches for each round. In each round, each participant should play against a different opponent. For example, in round one, participant A will play against participant B, and participant C will play against participant D.
- Determine scoring system: Decide on a scoring system for the pool play format. This will depend on the type of tournament and the rules of the game being played. For example, in a baseball or softball tournament each team accumulates a win/loss record and a run differential (runs earned versus runs surrendered) as the tie breaker. In a tennis tournament, a player may earn two points for a win and one point for a tie.
- Calculate pool standings: After all rounds have been played, calculate the pool standings based on the scoring system. The top participants from each pool will advance to the tournament bracket, with the number of participants advancing depending on the size of the tournament.
- Populate the tournament bracket: Once you have determined the top participants from each pool, populate the tournament bracket accordingly.
Popular ways to fill tournament brackets are to organize games in the first round:
- Matches between the top seeded team and the lowest seeded team. Then the second seed versus the 7th seed, etc. Most common but favored more for Double Elimination brackets.
- 1 & 4 against each other, and 2 & 5 then 3 & 6 and 7 & 8 for the most competitive games in a Single Elimination bracket.