Tournament Organisers' Handbook

1 Overview

This document is intended to be a standard source of information on organising Go tournaments. It is aimed mainly at British readers, but is intended to be much more widely applicable.

The chapters contain gleanings from many years of experience, from several people, of Go organisation in Britain. If your preferred methods are not included, don't take it as a criticism – you could even email us so that they can be considered and possibly added.

Throughout, for brevity and convenience, a player is referred to as he, since the majority of players at present are male, despite the growing number of female players.

Material presented here may be copied as long as it is done to further the interests of Go playing, and is credited to the BGA.


This edition (May 2010) was prepared by Nick Wedd and Geoff Kaniuk, and updates the first web edition prepared by Edwin Brady. The last printed edition of the Organiser's Handbook was prepared by Tony Atkins, and the first was produced by Toby Manning.

There have been many individual suggestions, and many contributions (both direct and indirect!) from the gotalk mailing list. These are too numerous to mention individually, but we thank everyone for their input.


'Planning a Tournament' sets out all the steps needed to take you from an idea to the reality of having players arriving at your venue eager to play Go. 'Running a tournament' uncovers the detail of what needs to happen on the day to ensure that you have all the equipment you need and that you do not suffer major delays in getting games started. 'The McMahon System' explains the philosophy behind this extensively used method for doing the pairing in easy to understand language. 'Producing the Draw' provides very valuable practical advice for getting the draw done either on cards or by computer. 'Other Tournament Systems' is a useful collection for managing side events which add to the enjoyment of the tournament experience.

The Appendices

The 'Default Rules' apply to most tournaments, and where these are varied the changes should be shown in the advance literature. 'Useful Contacts' lists email addresses of people who may be able to help with some aspect of your tournament. 'Sample Press Release' provides valuable advice and a useful example. 'Organisers Toolbag' is a collection of links to useful information, the draw program, and documents that you can download and print. 'Tournament Organisers FAQ' is an easy to digest collection of issues designed to steer you along the best path to an enjoyable event. Finally 'McMahon system FAQ endeavours to provide you with answers to questions quite often raised by players at tournaments.

Last updated Thu Nov 12 2015. If you have any comments, please email the webmaster on web-master AT britgo DOT org.