Hosting a tournament soon and need an easy free bracket template for Google Sheets? This guide will show you how to build a Google Sheets bracket template from scratch and provide you with four ready-to-go templates you can use immediately. Read on to learn more.
Download the Google Sheets Bracket Templates
What Is a Google Sheets Tournament Bracket?
A tournament bracket is a type of tree diagram representing a series of matches played during an elimination tournament. Different elimination tournaments can have varying formats, but the most commonly used bracket is a 16-team playoff bracket for single elimination. The name “bracket” is used because it resembles the square bracket symbol “[ ]”.
These brackets are most commonly used in professional sports tournaments. However, many people use tournament brackets to compare movies, music, and products. You can use Google Sheets to create a tournament bracket. Sheets is great for this as the spreadsheet program offers several handy features that allow you to create a template best suited for your needs. You can also easily share your tournament bracket with other users who can make real-time changes
Related: Google Sheets Super Bowl Squares.
Types of Playoff Bracket Templates
There are several different types of Google Sheets tournament brackets. Let’s take a brief look at some of them.
A single-elimination tournament’s simplicity is its main draw. Winners move on to the following round, while losers are eliminated until only the tournament winner is left. A single-elimination tournament can be advantageous when there are many entries, limited time, and few places available.
This tournament bracket type calls for just a few matches or games. However, half of the players are gone after the first game. Only 25% are still there after the next. Single-elimination tournaments are likely not the best option when greater participation is needed and additional locations and times are available.
Two issues with single-elimination tournaments are resolved by double-elimination brackets. The first one is that an entry might have a poor first match or be poorly seeded in a single-elimination draw, resulting in that entry being eliminated too quickly in a single-elimination tournament.
A losing team still has a chance to compete in the championship games, thanks to the losers’ bracket. The fact that half the entries play just one game or match is a drawback of using single elimination. All entries must play two games due to the double-elimination format.
It has flaws as well, but there are alternatives. The main issues with double elimination are that it requires many rounds to complete and requires the second and third-seeded participants to play many games, especially in the tournament’s closing rounds.
The multilevel competition resembles a single-elimination competition. At the highest level, they are almost identical. In contrast, a participant who loses in a multilayer tournament merely drops one or more levels of play and enters the consolation rounds. Until there are no more opponents left, this downward trend will continue. This strategy has the benefit of ensuring that each entry plays roughly the same amount of games. Another advantage is that the players are more likely to play against opponents of a similar caliber in each round.
The scope of this article is making a single elimination tournament bracket template Google Sheets. However, you can use several copies of the single level templates to make a multilevel or double-elimination tournament possible. For example, in a 16-person tournament, you can use two 8-team Google Sheets tournament bracket templates to make a “winners” and “losers” bracket after the first round and continue the tournament from there.
How to Make a Tournament Bracket in Google Sheets
Let’s take a brief look at how to create a bracket in Google Sheets first before we go deeper into some of the Google Sheets bracket templates we have created for you to use.
As Google Sheets works using a grid of cells, creating straight lines using the Borders function is extremely easy. To use the borders:
- Click on the Borders icon in the main toolbar, which will open a small menu.
- Here, you can select the type of border you wish to have.
- To create the connection lines, you can use the four options at the bottom, which allow you to add a border to every corner of the box.
Once you start creating the template, you will notice that the cells and the connection lines take up a lot of space. This is fine when creating a 16-team bracket template. However, when you start building a bracket template with larger amounts of participants, you soon realize that the spreadsheet can get too big, which becomes harder to manage.
To fix this, we can make the default size smaller for the rows and columns and merge the cells that will contain the teams’ names. To change the row and column size:
- Select the column or row from the header bar. You can use the Shift+ Arrow key shortcut to select the cells. Feel free to check out our article on 20 Google Sheets Shortcuts You Must Know!
- Once selected, right-click on the header bar and click on the Resize row or Resize column button.
- Enter the value and then click on the green OK button.
To merge the cells:
- Click and select the cells you wish to merge, and then click on the Format button towards the top of the screen, which will open a drop-down menu.
- Click on the Merge cells option and then on Merge all.
You can also use the formatting options to make the tournament bracket spreadsheet look more visually appealing. Feel free to add color and change the font and text color.
If you wish to make the template a bit more dynamic, you can add the list of teams represented by numbers and write the cell address containing the team’s name using formulas. However, this approach is more suited for advanced users, so if you’re a beginner, the templates we provided below should be enough for your needs. Feel free to make a copy of these templates and make any changes that you require.
This is the simplest and smallest of our free Google Sheets tournament bracket templates. With just eight teams there are only three rounds of play before a tournament winner is decided. We would recommend using this template in conjunction with the others to make multi-level tournaments with winner and loser brackets.
This template is among the simplest simply because there are only 16 teams in this tournament. The template is easy to use and has visual cues to represent the teams in each bracket. This template flows from left to right as the teams get eliminated. In the end, the winning team remains, which will be written in the green cell.
This template is basically the same as before. Yet the teams have doubled. We added a mirrored version of the 16-team bracket template. Most people use Google Sheets on a computer with a landscape screen orientation. This is why we created the template in this format. You can also create a larger version of the 16-team template format, but that might be harder to use on a computer monitor.
This is our largest bracket template. It features slots for up to 64 teams and is laid out in the same format as the 32-team bracket template. As this is a larger template, you will need to scroll down to view the entire template.
Wrapping Up the Google Sheets Tournament Bracket Template Guide
All of these templates are fairly straightforward to use right off the bat. Feel free to make even larger templates by simply copy/pasting the existing formatting to the empty cells below. We hope you found the right bracket template for Google Sheets for your needs and wish you the best of luck running your tournament!
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