The End of Round by Zone

This article is about a new way to handle the End of Round procedure (EoR) at large tournaments. You can read more about the traditional way to handle EoR here.

Written by Sophie Pagès
Level 3, France

Written by Sophie Pagès
Level 3, France

For quite some time now, we have seen different ways to manage End of Round procedure, and I would like to discuss in detail the one we used in GP Prague 2016: The EoR by Zone.

The Principle

Usually a single judge stands close to the Scorekeeper (SK), waiting for paper slips and sending judges at tables. They manage the information of the whole tournament (e.g. open tables, covered tables, extra times, etc). The EoR by Zone uses a venue division into zones (often already used as well for floor coverage) and a judge is in charge of the EoR for each of these zones. The judge in charge (Zone Leader – ZL) will then coordinate the team currently flooring the area to execute the EoR procedures (sweep entry slips, check open tables, cover open tables, etc.)

start zones


  • The distance that judges have to cover is reduced (both because they move in a smaller area and because their movement is based on local info and fewer useless checks are required).
  • Each zone manages local info, with reduced delay and increased reliability.
  • At most GPs judges are doing floor coverage by area as well, thus increasing their familiarity with the area.
  • Tasks are shared by the whole team (versus 1 or 2 in the regular procedure), with goals for everyone. This improves mentoring possibilities, including responsibilities for advanced L2 and team bonding due to the possibility to improve the system each round and the need for a lot of communication in order to make it happen quickly.


  • The system may not be relevant in every situation. In tournaments with low attendance, it involves extra tasks not strictly necessary.
  • Sometimes because of their shape, some venues are not suitable:
    In the floor plan below, the scorekeeper is between zone 1 and zone 2, and there is a wall and a door between these two areas. The system is useful because it is a long room where judges would have walk a lot and the scorekeeper is not easily reachable for everyone.

  • In this other one, we can’t set up zones easily. The zone leader wouldn’t have more visibility or accessibility than the scorekeeper, or zones would be with so different in size that some zone leaders would not be able to finish their zone in a timely manner.

  • It needs great communication before and during the tournament for team leaders and judges from other teams in order to avoid clusters close to the scorekeeper and time wasted on asking what is happening.
  • Requires lots of energy and organization from the EoR team members, so it is easier with an experienced team. They need to be visible for all judges, handle End of Round as a leader and find resources to report both paper slips and information to the scorekeeper without doing it themselves.

2017-01-11 12_06_35-Copy of End of Round by Zone - Google Docs

Before the tournament

The whole system should be anticipated before the tournament. The Head Judge should be the first aware about this choice, as we need to have its agreement in the first place.

First, several things should be taken care of:

  • Decide if the team will take care of global sheet of time extensions. In that case, every judge should report long time extensions (+5’) on a time extension sheet located close to the scorekeeper, so the team can take care of it at the end of round (details below).
  • Anticipate breaks: If the team has to leave their position (break, end of shift, etc), the replacement team should use the same system, in order to not confuse judges. For this purpose, it may be a good idea to reach this specific team (through its team leader) beforehand, also by email or on site, to explain exactly what the system is and how implement it during breaks.
  • Bring or find tool for zone leaders: It is way better if judges in the team are recognizable, with clipboard or anything visible (see below). It will help each judge to recognize them without looking for them too much (especially for Round 1 which is somehow always the longest).

It is also important to let judges know that the end of round procedure will follow this system, along with some basic details, possibly in advance by email. It is possible to reach first each team leader, then the general staff with a short message, so everyone know what will happen. This message can be something like :


During rounds, each time you add an extension of +5′ or more to a table, you need to come to the stage and write it down on the specific time extension sheet for each round.

Starting at -15min, go to the Zone Leader for the zone you currently are in (recognizable by clipboard, standing at the middle of the zone). They will give you an instruction as needed. As soon you are done with the assigned task, come back to the Zone Leader for another task. Don’t come to the stage without an instruction from your Zone Leader!

The Plan

The team leader stands close to the stage to be sure that every slip arrives to the scorekeeper and they are not disturbed. Furthermore, the team leader serves as collecting point for the info sent by the various team members.

Each other member of the team goes to one of the zones and coordinates the team currently flooring there for the EoR procedures. The EoR judge will be the ZL for the target zone and he/she will be easily recognizable (using something like a clipboard, so that flooring judges will be able to quickly recognise them in the area). Each ZL will coordinate the End of Round in the same area all day long. It makes things easier for all floor judges, establishing a bond with the area’s floor judges. Using the same people each round, for the same stuff makes the whole process more mechanical and efficient. ZL should try to stay available, avoiding answering calls but instead asking another judge to handle them. If however a ZL is stuck in an appeal or lengthy ruling, there should be a plan to delegate the ZL’s responsibilities to not have the end of round be problematic in this zone.

Regularly, the team leader will need information from each zone (provided by a judge from each team, or an external judge, named runner below):

  • Zone information to be delivered to the main stage.
  • The count of active matches with judges watching.
  • The count of total active matches.
  • The situation for tables with extra time (eg. Are they still playing? Is there a judge assigned to watch that match?).



15 minutes left

Each team member (named Zone Leader – ZL) goes to the main stage to copy the time extension sheet for their assigned zone (write/take a picture from the whole list staying on the stage). Then, they each go to their assigned zones and make themselves visible to floor judges in that zone.

ZL assigns specific tasks to incoming floor judges:

  • Cover table with time extension (ZL note which judge goes to what table).
  • Check all result slip boxes to take back slips to ZL (if boxes are used – check before the tournament).
  • Actively fetch slips on tables and from players.

10 to 5 minutes left

ZL assigns specific tasks to incoming floor judges:

  • Runner.
  • Actively fetch slips on table and from players.

0 minutes left (Head Judge calls time in the round)

ZL assigns specific tasks to incoming floor judges:

  • Check that every table has heard end of round announcement.
  • Runner.
  • Actively fetch slips on table and from players.


ZL assigns specific tasks to incoming floor judges:

  • Runner (every 5 minutes).
  • Sit at tables to watch active matches.
  • Prioritize L3 judges to watch matches going.

In the meantime, Outstanding tables are printed by the Scorekeeper, so the team leader may check any disparity between remaining tables printed and information sent by ZLs. Finally, Head Judges should go the the very last tables.


There are a few things that help the process to be efficient.

  • Have an energetic and motivated team, that sends you updates and improvements as soon as they see one.
  • Clear signs to recognize ZL into the room: it can be a clipboard with a big colored arrow on it.
EoR IMG_20160611_114738

  • Clear way to note remaining tables and efficient way to transmit it to the team leader. Different options are available:
    • Phone and wifi: no need to go to the scorekeeper, but may look unprofessional, also not necessarily easy to write numbers.
    • Small sheet of papers with relevant information (number of remaining tables, tables with time extension, and at the very end which tables are still playing), directly given to the team leader. The ZL should have 3 or 4 of them for each round (see picture above).
  • A runner that brings information to ZL and TL: it can be someone dedicated from the EoR team (depending on the number of judges in the team) or a judge with no assignment at the moment. Information should be reported very regularly (every five minutes from before the end of the round until the last result is reported).


As an alternative if there is zone coverage, we can have TLs handling EoR in the zone they cover during the round, so the EoR team is there to gather information. The team leader should have the approval of all other team leaders, as they will have an extra task to do, managing the end of round in their zone.

It is very efficient with clear separate areas, with quite a lot of distance between them, so teams are quite isolated during rounds. It is also efficient with a dynamic team, but with less experience :

  • Team leader: manages their team, sending it to zones to gather data. He has someone available all the time to solve any issue (missing paper slip, details on long time extension, etc).
  • The team: less responsibilities, but they ensure a smooth end of round as their role will be to take papers slips and info back to the scorekeeper. However, it can be tiring as the members will have to walk a lot during each end of round.


We have common procedures for every task in a Grand Prix or in other tournaments, but I think it is important to keep an open mind, and trying new procedures is a way to do so. It may improve what was done before, but it brings way more than that, reflection, coordination, team bonding and it will lead to discussions and mentoring. Thinking why things are done this way more than just applying them may bring other new ideas, and as such, I would be glad to have your feedback on the way you handle End of Round, to make your contribution to this procedure.

Thank you to Aruna Prem Bianzino, Mihai Bîrsan, Anna Zielińska, and Àre Maturana for their help writing the early draft of this article.