I was looking at rules for a double-elimination tournament but it seems that I growned up where double-elimination tournaments are totally different from the rest of the planet.

The double-elimination that I know and used for most ice hockey tournament, is where any teams in the first round can lost his game, and that game will only help to decide on which side of the bracket you will go. Each games in second round opposite a winner vs a loser team. The loser in second round is eliminated (even if he has winned in first round).

The bracket for that kind of tournament is a list in the center of the page with branches on each sides.

I've discovered that it is called in French «fausse (false) double-élimination». I wonder if there an existing name in English for that kind of tournament.

  • 1
    So, nobody is eliminated in round 1 (it's just used for some sort of seeding?), and from round 2 onward it's single-elimination? A bracket with descriptions of "Loser goes to slot X, Winner goes to slot Y" would probably help people understand it, though that doesn't mean it's got a common English name.
    – user11569
    Aug 4, 2017 at 17:37
  • @PeterCooperJr. you got it, second round become a single-elimination. I didn't find anything in English. Aug 5, 2017 at 16:03

1 Answer 1


Based on your description, I think the best term is "False Double Elimination" as you suggested. If I do a web search for "false double elimination" hockey (DuckDuckGo, Google), I see references to a few tournaments that look to be that kind of structure. For example, in this PDF of a set of tournament rules, it states:

Teams are assured of a minimum of two (2) games in the false double elimination formula. A team is eliminated from the tournament in the event of a defeat in its second game or later.

This makes it sound to me as though it's a somewhat-standard name, even though I haven't heard of it before. It may be that this usage is more common in Hockey. There's not a lot of references to it online that I can find, though.

If you want to be more verbose, I would tend to describe the first part as a "qualifying round", "seeding round", "initial stage", or the like, and then the second part as "followed by a single-elimination playoff". That is to say, when there are multiple stages of a tournament with different rules, I'd tend to try to be explicit about the various rounds and what rules apply to each. That may be more useful in a technical description of how the tournament is to be structured rather than in a quick summary, though.

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