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How to create a family game night bracket

Spice up family game night by creating a tournament. You can track each family member’s progress – as well as those who have been eliminated – by using a tournament bracket. Brackets help you organize competitors and figure out who plays whom. Here’s how to make one.

Family tournament

What you need

  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Names of all tournament players
Don’t want to make your own bracket? Hundreds of free printable bracket templates are available on the Internet. Just search for “printable tournament brackets” and go from there.

What to do

  1. Place your poster board in front of you in a landscape orientation. Draw a horizontal line centered along the right edge of your paper. This will be the last line you fill in on your bracket. It will bear the name of the tournament winner.
  2. Draw a second line perpendicular so you have what looks like a sideways T. At each end of this new line, draw a horizontal line (same size as your first line) toward the center of the paper. The names that eventually appear on these two lines are those of the championship competitors.
  3. Repeat step 2 for each of the new horizontal lines, again going right to left, across the paper. The number of bracket lines you have will double with each new column you create (one to two, two to four, four to eight, and so on). Continue this process until you have a column with the same number of bracket lines as you have players.
  4. Write one player’s name on each of the bracket lines in the first left-hand column (the last column you drew). This shows who is paired with whom for the first round. The name of the winner of each pairing will be added to the adjoining horizontal bracket line in the next column until there is a champion.
If you have an odd number of players (or a number of players who cannot be evenly paired, such as 12), then you will have to “split off” a branch of each bracket to give some players a “bye,” in which they advance to the next round without playing.

More game night ideas

3 Ways to make time for family nights
Beat board game boredom: Creative ways to make board games fun again
Easy, fun rewards for family game nights

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