Website Plugins

Top 5 Tournament Making Apps and Plugins

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Summary (TL;DR): In this article, we discuss tournament maker apps and what these can be used for. We will also discuss the various tournament types (single elimination, double elimination, March Madness, and round robin), introduce you to two of the biggest existing tournaments (ESPN and NCAA), all in an attempt to help you choose the best system for your website. Once you understand the process a bit better, we will introduce you to the top 5 apps, which (in our opinion) will simplify your tournament project greatly.

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Tournament apps and plugins (also referred to as bracket apps) allow you to put together brackets. You can use them to select winners and see the results as the tournament progresses, so they’re perfect if you have an event with more than two players or wish to track more than one tournament at once. 

There are countless apps for creating brackets and other widgets with WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Duda, etc. But not quite as many tournament-specific plugins for most situations. So it can be quite challenging to pick a tournament bracket app that works for you.

Today, we’ll be covering all the bases of choosing the best tournament app for your website and the platform it’s built on. We’ll look at some of the best tournament apps and plugins that are available right now, as well as some of the features they have that may benefit your needs. By the end, you should be able to decide which one is right for you!

Table Of Contents

What Is a Tournament Maker App?

common ninja's tournament maker app screenshot

Brackets are everywhere. Whether you’re filling out a bracket for March Madness or making one for your fantasy football league, you’ll see these brackets all over your social media feeds. There are two types of tournaments: single elimination and double elimination, but there are also many variations, such as Round Robin tournaments, for example.

A bracket can help organize anything from sports to gaming tournaments, giving everyone involved an easy way to keep track of how it all plays out. Although you can use Microsoft Excel to create a bracket, a tournament maker app works much more efficiently.

Most apps offer features like importing team names, calculating seeds based on division records, emailing participants their schedules, alerting players when games are about to start, or post-game scoring summaries — basically everything someone would need in order to make running a successful tournament as simple as possible.

What Are Tournament Apps Used For?

image of person writing on a whiteboard with sticky notes on it

The best tournament apps work by facilitating competitive tournaments, usually between two or more people (although some do use them for team sports). If you plan on running tournaments from your website, you will have a lot more control over every aspect of how things will play out over time.

Sports & Esports Tournaments

Sports fans are some of the most devoted followers. When they’re not watching games, they’re interacting on their favorite team’s social media accounts to discuss strategy, engage with other fans or just have fun talking trash. A sports-related tournament maker app or plugin can help foster that conversation through web-based tournaments that reward active participants for being invested in your brand. Here are some of the popular sports & e-sports tournaments that use tournament making apps:

  • Soccer (FIFA) tournaments
  • Chess tournaments
  • Blackjack tournaments
  • Football tournaments
  • Baseball tournaments
  • Basketball tournaments
  • Golf tournaments
  • Pool tournaments
  • Fishing tournaments

Gaming Tournaments

Running a successful gaming tournament can be rewarding for both your community and you, but not as easy. Implementing an online format with one-click sign-ups means better odds for you in terms of attendees, but even these features come at a price when it comes to running your own league. Fortunately, there are plenty of free options out there that will save you time, money, and stress while still giving players all they need to enjoy themselves. Some of the popular gaming tournaments include: 

  • UNO tournaments
  • PUBG tournaments
  • Pokemon tournaments
  • Poker tournaments
  • Code Green Warzone tournaments

Tournament Types

an image of a chess board with some figures laying down

No one likes making brackets. There’s nothing fun about sitting down to fill out a bracket for your NCAA Tournament pool, much less setting up single-elimination brackets. However, sometimes you need to think about things other than pure enjoyment. It helps you make sure all participants are prepared for any eventuality; it keeps things interesting for players if their tournament is broken up into multiple stages, and sometimes it just makes sense because that’s how people like to compete. There are several types of tournaments that you should consider:

Single Elimination

The simplest type of tournament. Competitors are pitted against each other in a single-elimination style bracket until one final competitor is left. If you’ve played chess, football, or any game that involves elimination rounds, you’ve already seen a version of single elimination at work.

Double Elimination

The Double Elimination format features two rounds of play. In a double-elimination bracket, a player will have to lose twice before being eliminated from a tournament. If you were to be eliminated from a tournament that is double elimination, you would have lost two separate matches. In order to win a double-elimination bracket, one must finish in 1st or 2nd place in both rounds of play.

March Madness

With 64 college basketball teams, it can be hard to know where to start filling out your NCAA Tournament brackets. Each year during March Madness, people fill out their brackets in hopes that they will win their office pool. The tournament bracket spans four weekends throughout three weeks in March. 

Round Robin

Team sports with short schedules can use a Round Robin format in which each team plays every other team, one at a time. After all, teams have played one another, there is usually some type of playoff to determine a winner. There are many variations, such as allowing teams to play an unequal number of games or providing bonus points for victories. 

Tournament Examples

an image of the ESPN and NCAA tournament logos

The ESPN and NCAA tournaments are the best examples of these bracket systems. In both of these, a winner is determined after a series of competitive games that culminate in a final matchup. 

ESPN Tournament

Sixteen teams play over four days with two games per day. Teams will be placed in eight pods (four in each). The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds receive a bye to quarters, while the remaining 12 teams will compete for one of those four spots. Each winner is seeded among 8 remaining teams and plays one game against another pod’s top seed to determine who advances. Afterward, winners advance to face off against their respective pod’s second seed; the losers go home.

NCAA Tournament

CBS Sports has been running an annual men’s college basketball tournament since 1969, which is now called March Madness. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) organizes for its members a pre-determined number of games that will be played throughout a season to identify conference and/or national champions.

Top 5 Tournament Making Apps and Plugins

an image of a foosball table

Creating a tournament is a difficult task. In addition to having to do it manually, you also have to create an interface for players, which can be time-consuming. This is why there are so many different tournament apps and plugins out there. But as they’re all different, it may be tricky to choose the perfect one. So we gathered five of our favorites for your convenience. Hopefully, they can help you streamline your tournament-creation process! 

1. Common Ninja’s Brackets & Tournament App

a screenshot of common ninja's brackets and tournaments app

Common Ninja’s Brackets & Tournaments app is a powerful tool for creating various brackets for different types of games. With it, you can provide a visual representation of a tournament and allow users to make predictions and to vote. The app is easy to use, requires no coding knowledge, and comes with full customization options. It works on all website building and e-commerce platforms, like WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, Duda, and more.

Main features:

  • Customizable layouts
  • Multiple pre-made skins
  • Bracket types for single, double elimination, march madness, round robin, and more
  • Votes and predictions
  • Sign up 

Supported Platforms: Works on all website building and e-commerce platforms (WordPress, Shopify, BigCommerce, Wix, Duda, and others)

Pricing: There’s a free version and premium plans starting from $9.99.

2. SportsPress

a screenshot of sportpress' wordpress plugin page

SportsPress is one of the most popular WordPress plugins. It can help you turn your WordPress-powered blog into a fully customizable team website. It also includes a variety of plugins that help generate player statistics, league calendars, and more.

SportsPress provides a variety of sports resources, such as player rankings, automated standings, and individual profiles.

Main features:

  • Equation Builder
  • Club Profiles with Player List
  • Player Profiles & Statistics
  • Events (Fixtures & Results) with Player Performance
  • Easy Shortcodes Menu in Editor
  • Sport Presets

Supported Platforms: WordPress

Pricing: Ranging from $99 for a club license, up to $499 for an agency license

3. WP Club Manager

a screenshot ofwp club manager's wordpress plugin page

WP Club Manager allows you to manage numerous profiles, create player profiles of your own, and track performance data. It’s quick, easy to get started with, and adds extra functionality to your club website. 

Main features:

  • Player and staff profiles
  • Player performance ratings
  • Automatically updated league tables
  • Match statistics and reports
  • Easily import data from a CSV file
  • Sport Presets

Supported Platforms: WordPress

Pricing: 100% free

4. League Table

a screenshot of league table's wordpress plugin page

The League Table plugin allows you to build league tables on your WordPress website. You may arrange league tables whatever way you wish and even customize their colors. Most notably, it includes a spreadsheet editor that allows for moving tables from editors like Excel, Google Sheets, OpenOffice Calc. to WordPress and vice versa.

Main features:

  • Spreadsheet editor
  • Complete customizability
  • Automatic & manual sorting
  • Import & export
  • Sortable columns and responsive tables

Supported Platforms: WordPress

Pricing: the basic plugin is free, but there are two additional license plans available for $39 and $195

5. MSP MultiSport

a screenshot of multisport platform's homepage

The MSP MultiSport Platform is another sports plugin for WordPress. It can be used to manage several different sports, events, players, etc. However, it is not as bracket-oriented as the previous ones, but rather a source of custom addons and shortcodes that can facilitate data organization. Essentially, you choose what you want to see. 

Main features:

  • Virtual composer
  • Layout builder
  • 90+ exclusive sports add-ons
  • Extended editing UI
  • Auto-updates

Supported Platforms: WordPress

Pricing: There are two license options; a regular license for $29 and an extended license for $84. 

Start Creating Beautiful Tournaments 

As you see, when running a tournament, there are a lot of details to be managed. Tournament apps and plugins help address those needs, saving you time and effort, so that you can focus on the competition itself. To be successful with your events, whether for sports or e-sports, or gaming — you want to do everything you can to make sure attendees have a memorable experience. One way to do that is to ensure you’ve got all the tools necessary in place. These, of course, include professional tournament apps that can help organize brackets, scores, schedules, and more.

Now you know what you need and have sufficient options to make an informed decision. So pick out your best tournament maker app and start customizing so you can have your plugin up and running ahead of next season!