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BracketMaker.com Instructions

STEP 1 - Registration
Click where it says "Login/Register" at the top. If you have not applied for a password you must, otherwise it will ask for your login and password. This creates security and will allow only you access to your brackets. Note: You can change your password. See the FAQ.

STEP 2- Set-up the Tournament Information
1) "New Tournament/Event" - Allows you to create a new tournament or brackets. Note- If you want to add a bracket under a tournament you have already set up, select that tournament from your list.
2) Complete the Tournament Information. This information will apply to all the brackets you create under this tournament.
3) Tournament Name- The Title of all your brackets will be displayed like this: "Tournament Name - Bracket Name".
Example: Tournament Name=2000 Girls Basketball, Bracket Name=4A.
Displayed as: "2000 Girls Basketball - 4A"
4) Location- only enter if every game in the bracket will be played at the same place. There is a feature later that allows you to enter location game-by-game and/or more specific location like court number.
5) Organization Name & State- help our computer organize your brackets
6) Organization's URL- if you enter a link here, your organization name will be linked on all the bracket pages.
7) Sport- this is important to enter, it's another way the computer distinguishes your brackets

STEP 3- Bracket Information
Create the first bracket.
Bracket Notes will only be displayed on that bracket. These notes can be html coded to create links back to your webpages.
Note- you will learn this later, but you can have different bracket types under one tournament name. The Tournament information "sticks" with each bracket, but each bracket has it's own information too.

You are ready to create your brackets. The computer automatically puts you into "Quick Set-up" mode, which is the quickest way to create your bracket.

Quick Set-up
We highly recommend this mode to set-up your bracket. It is easy and fast!
1) You will see Header boxes where you can enter any title, date, or time. Example, all the games in round one occur on April 3 or at the same time. Enter that date/time here and you won't have to enterit in each game. You may choose to leave the headers blank and they will not appear on your final bracket.
2) Your bracket will appear with several empty boxes. To state the obvious, the top and bottom boxes are for the team/player names, the middle boxes for the date and time. The small boxes to the outside left of round one are for the team seed numbers if you have them.
3) Entering the Date - the date must be entered 2/17 not Mon. 17. If you enter March 14 the computer will convert it to 3/14. The computer will not accept commas.
4) Entering the Time- you can enter the time as 7pm or 7:00pm however, "a.m." is the default. If you want "p.m." make sure to enter it.
Note- you can enter the date and/or the time both are not required.
5) You can fill out the date and time for the entire bracket now or wait if these are decided as you go.
6) BYE's- VERY IMPORTANT! If you have a "bye" leave that space blank. The computer will automatically register it as a bye and this CAN be changed, but it takes a few steps (see FAQ below for instructions)
Note- A "bye" will automatically be assigned if your entire space is left blank. If you enter either a seed number or a temporary name in that spot, that game will not be given a bye. For example, you create a bracket and only know half the teams. If you enter just the teams you know and enter "TBA" in the other spots, you can go back later and enter the final teams. If you leave them blank the computer will register those as byes.
HINT- If you don't know the teams or the seed enter "TBA" in the name box or enter the seed number if applicable. You can always delete the "TBA" and make that game a bye.
7) Click the "Enter" button at the bottom when you are finished. If you do not Click "Enter" your entries will not be saved.
8) At this time, the computer will let you know if you have entered the date or time wrong. Go back and correct them and click "Enter" again.
9) If you are using a 32-team bracket after you do the top and click "Enter" select the arrow at the bottom to take you to the lower bracket or use the graphic at the top.

New Bracket
Will allow you to create a new bracket under the SAME Tournament that you are currently working in. It will take you to your original tournament information (from Step 2). Select a new bracket type and new title for the next bracket.
Note-If you want to create a bracket with different Tournament information you need to select "My Brackets" (see details for this feature below)

Edit Tourney Info (or Delete)
Takes you back to the screen where your Tournament and Bracket information is entered. From here you can 1) Change Tournament Information 2) Change the Bracket name 3) Add bracket notes 4) Delete the bracket
Note- Once you have created a bracket you cannot alter the bracket type, but you can change the title and at notes at any time. If you change any tournament information it will change it on every bracket in that tournament.

Edit Bracket
Allows you to enter more detailed information. Each game is labeled and linked, select one of those links and you will be sent to a new screen. If you entered your team names in the "quick setup" those names will already appear in the box. Remember this information should be specific to the game, it will only appear when the viewer selects that game.
Note-Bracket notes can be html coded with links to your pages providing multiple "hooks" to send viewers back to your website.
-Individual game location (a court number, or stadium). This is where you can enter the location for each game if the entire tournament isn't occurring at one location.
-Game Number (if different then how our computer assigns them)
-Game Notes- notes specific to that game only (ticket prices, rainout plans) *ask us for the special html code that will link this space back to your website!
-URL for the team/player/school that is competing (again, link this space back to rosters on your site) Seed numbers (if you didn't enter that during the set-up)
-Notes on the contestants.
-Email addresses of the contestants (only you have access to the emails)
-Reset Winner-If you have advanced a round incorrectly make changes in this screen and click the "Reset -Winner". This is also where you can fix an incorrect bye (see below for details)

Note- All of this is extra "fluff", as we like to say. None of this is needed to operate your bracket. Some may use this others may not. Your viewers will see the exact same box if they select the game link.

Quick Results
QUICKEST WAY - Allows you to advance winners and enter scores fast! Simply enter the scores in the boxes and click the circle next to the team that won. Click the "Enter" button at the bottom. Teams will automatically advance for you. If you are entering several rounds at once you will have to select "enter" allow the program to advance the rounds and do it over for the next round.
Hint- We suggest you always use this to get the results up quick and then go back and enter specific game details.

My Brackets
The beginning screen that lists all the brackets and tournaments you have created. Select the bracket you wish to edit or create a new bracket. If you wish to create a new bracket with different Tournament information you must select this. To create a brand new tournament or bracket select "New Tournament/Event"
Hint- on this page you will find a menu item labeled "change password" which is exactly what you can do.

Takes you off the BracketMaker.com system. Make sure to logout each time you are done


Seeding is a method by which teams are distributed within a bracket such that the higher seeded teams have a better chance to win. For example, in an 8-team bracket, the seeds would be grouped together in the first round as follows:




The logic behind this is that the higher seeded teams have earned their position from regular season games, although seeding ranks can also be assigned at random, such as from drawing names.

In larger brackets, this pattern is expanded. For example, in a 16-team bracket, the 1 seed plays the 16 seed, number 2 plays 15, and so on.

If there are blank spaces in a bracket due to having fewer teams, the higher seeds get what is called a "bye" in the first round. For example, if you have only 6 teams in an 8-team bracket, the #1 and #2 seeds advance to the second round. In this case it is best to check the box for auto-byes in Quick Setup mode (see below). One way to look at this is that four teams have a pre-qualifying round, which results in the two winners advancing to play in a 4-team tournament. Or if it's double elimination, they are playing for the right to be in the winners bracket, in which case there are also two byes in the first round of the losers bracket.


Double elimination is only available as an introductory beta, with further development pending the availability of funding above and beyond our operating expenses. If you and/or your company has an urgent need for this feature (or any others) to be completed, we also offer a customization option.

Meanwhile, there are just a few extra steps you have to do manually. First, in the Quick Setup form do NOT check the "auto-advance byes" box. Instead, just enter "bye" (no quotes) as the name for the bottom team/player for bye games. Notice after you submit the form the bye team names are blanked out. Then in the Quick Results form just select the non-bye team as the "winner" of each bye game.

In the losers bracket you may end up with double-byes such as when you have 9-11 teams in a 9-16 bracket. Again, just select one of those bye teams in the Quick Results to force the advance to round 2. In the case of a double bye it doesn't matter which "winner" you select.

Here is a link if you would like to see some examples of double elimination with byes.

BracketMaker automatically assigns the order of games in the losers bracket to reduce the chance of duplicating matchups in the winners bracket. If for any reason you have teams/players that you want to play in a different order, you can use the "switch positions aka reseeding" feature to switch the teams into the order you need. Right now, though, you can only switch team/player names, i.e. not the "Loser of #" parts. As for game numbers, you can change those by clicking on "Game # Details".

Also, when you get to the championship game, if the loser of that game has not lost any previous games (i.e. they had made it all the way through the winners bracket and this is their first loss) then a second championship game is played because you're only knocked out when you lose your second game. You can indicate a 2-game championship by typing in both scores, something like this:

"2 games played: 4-1/3-2"

Future plans are to work on all the tweaks mentioned, including auto-advance of byes in the losers bracket, hiding the initial bye games in the losers bracket to eliminate confusion, automating the 2-game championships, and adding brackets for 2-4 and 17-24 teams.

If you are a registered user you will receive notification when these features are added.

Frequently Asked Questions

To register and create a bracket click here.


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