Format of Play

Multi-round mini-tournaments

All divisions play a series of multi-round mini-tournaments (termed "rounds"). Each mini-tournament round is 2-3 weeks long, during which each team will play 6-10 games.

For each round, teams are subdivided into 4-10 team 'groups' by the division commissioners. So, for example, the Apollo group might be Framingham, Newton, Wellesley and Weston, and the Jupiter group might be Winchester, Medford, Burlington and Melrose, etc. At the end of each round, the top teams from each group qualify to play in a "Trophy Weekend". For example, the top teams from the Apollo, Saturn, Mars and Jupiter groups will all qualify for Trophy Weekend. Hence, the games played during each mini-tournament round are termed "qualifying games".

The first round of play is always arranged geographically to minimize travel and to give players local "bragging rights" against neighbor towns. Subsequent rounds are arranged by performance and to introduce new competitors.

At the end of the each round and Trophy Weekend, the commissioners and directors meet to review the performance of each team in that round. Based on their review, the commissioners then shuffle the teams into new groups that balance the competition. So, teams that might have struggled in one round might excel in a second round against more appropriate competition. This re-shuffling aspect of Bay State keeps teams playing competition at their level. Therefore, in latter rounds, some groups are populated with teams that are very good (e.g. upper bracket) and some groups are populated with teams that have not exceled (e.g. lower bracket). Teams in the upper bracket groups earn more points for victories than teams in the lower bracket groups.


Teams that enter the league in the second round will be placed in a level determined by the Division Commissioner. This is usually a lower bracket, so earning enough points to qualify for the TOC will be very difficult.

Tournament of Champions

For the A, B, C and D Divisions, a maximum of 8 teams will qualify for the championship round. Seeding for those 8 teams will be based on points accrued during the season and tie-breakers. For the A Division only, there will be a single elimination play-in round to determine the 7th  and 8th  seeds.  These games will be held at a neutral site, if possible, on the Saturday prior to ToC week.  The format will be at follows:

Game 1:   7th  Seed vs. 10th Seed
Game 2:   8th  seed vs 9th Seed

The highest seed remaining will receive the 7 th  seed into the ToC.  The final remaining team will receive the 8 th  seed into the ToC.
For all Divisions, the championship round will have the eight qualified teams playing in a modified double-elimination format. All games will be at a neutral site. All games aside of Game 1-6 would see the loser eliminated.
(1) Seed 1 vs. Seed 8
(2) Seed 4 vs. Seed 5
(3) Seed 2 vs. Seed 7
(4) Seed 3 vs. Seed 6
(5) Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 (Highest seed hosts)
(6) Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 (Highest seed hosts)
(7) Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2 (Highest seed hosts)
(8) Loser Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4 (Highest seed hosts)
(9) Loser Game 5 vs. Winner Game 8 (Highest seed hosts)
(10) Loser Game 6 vs. Winner Game 7 (Highest seed hosts)
(11) Highest-seeded 2-0 team (Winner 5/6) vs. Lowest-seeded 2-1 team (Winner 9/10)
(12) Lowest-seeded 2-0 team (Winner 5/6) vs. Highest-seeded 2-1 team (Winner 9/10)
(13) Winner Game 11 vs. Winner Game 12 (Host team would be the team with the better ToC record; if both have same TOC record, the higher-seeded team hosts)
Note: A Division games would be at home sites on Game days 1 and 2, but at one site on day 3.
Only trophies and awards officially authorized by the Bay State Tournament of Champions will be given out after the championship games. The following trophies will be awarded for display in their clubhouse, town hall, or wherever the team(s) deem appropriate and must be returned before the start of the following season; the Don Soule Cup (A Division Champion), the Don McGowan Cup (B Division Champion), the Tom Wright Cup (C Division Champion) and the D Division Championship trophy.