How to Run a Virtual Tournament with Streamholio

With all kinds of rec sports tournaments cancelled and players stuck at home, league organizers and tournament directors have been scrambling to come up with online ways to satisfy their players’ desire to play against real competition.

We’ve been trying different things as Scoreholio Live, running our own cornhole tournaments, with the goal of nailing the recipe and offering it up to help organizers/promoters pretty easily run kickass virtual tournaments. We come from the cornhole space, but think derivatives of this same system will work great for other sports, just tweaking the game mechanics themselves.

We’re still learning and optimizing, and we’re open to your suggestions, but I think we’ve got something worth sharing, so without further ado, I give you: Streamholio!

(Note: To get ready to play in a Streamholio tournament, check out the Players Guide to Streamholio.)

What is Streamholio

Streamholio is a virtual tournament format that utilizes two powerful software platforms — Scoreholio and Zoom — to make it easy to run fun, fair virtual tournaments that everybody can be sure are free of shenanigans. Ron Stokes of West Coast Cornhole came up with a game format for cornhole, and we’ve worked closely with him to fine tune the format itself along with the process of running and streaming it.

I’ll explain below how you can run a flawless virtual tournament, but first here’s a high-level overview of how it works.

  1. The Scoreholio Part: You’ll just be setting up a round robin singles tournament, and when the round robin wraps up you’ll create a single elimination playoff bracket. Easy…wait for it…peasy!!!
  2. The Facebook Part: You’ll use Facebook to promote your tournament like any other, ideally with a Facebook “Event”, and Facebook Messenger to communicate with players once they’ve signed up.
  3. The Zoom Part: You’ll then set up a Zoom meeting or “room” and use Messenger to invite all of the participants, resulting in a grid of all their live streams, and then live stream that grid via Facebook Live or YouTube.

That’s the basic idea. For a detailed step by step walkthrough you’ve got two choices: watch this video I made or scroll right past it and keep reading.

Setting Up the Necessary Accounts

Sign Up for a Scoreholio Organizer Account

If you don’t already have a Scoreholio organizer account, click “Organizer Options” at the bottom of the main screen of the Scoreholio mobile app and sign up for one, or sign up here on the web.

Sign Up for and Set Up Zoom

The first thing you’ll want to do is sign up for Zoom and get set up to live stream meetings so anybody can view the “Brady Bunch” view of everybody’s streams.

  1. Sign Up for Zoom
    To organize these virtual tournaments you’ll need to pony up $15 a month for a “Pro” level Zoom plan. You’ll need that because the free plan limits meetings with 3 or more particupants to 40 minutes. The Pro plan includes 24 hours of live feed time with up to 100 participants, which should be enough to run a few tournaments a week.
    To sign up go to https://zoom.us/buy?plan=pro
  2. Enable Live Streaming Meetings
    Click the person icon on the top right, then click Settings, then click In Meeting (Advanced)
    Scroll down and turn on “Allow Live Streaming Meetings”, checking the boxes for Facebook and/or YouTube, whichever you plan to use.

With Scoreholio and Zoom accounts set up, you’re ready to start running a Streamholio tournament!

Setting Up and Running Your Tournament

Promote the Event and Sign Up Players

  • Announce the time, buyin and payouts/prizes, and get people to sign up!

Set up the Messenger Group

  • Create a “New Group” in Facebook Messenger and invite everybody who’s playing.

Set up the Scoreholio Tournament

  1. Create a new tournament with game format Round Robin, team generation Singles, # of Games 4, and however many courts you want to run, or can run. Ideally you’ll run a court for every two players, so everybody can be playing at the same time. (If you find yourself running events with more than 16 players, you’ll want to upgrade to our Pro plan which lets you run up to 16 courts.)
  2. Add Players to the Tournament
  3. Send Players the Streamholio Number or Link
    In the setup tab of admin interface, you’ll see something new, i.e. a Streamholio code.

    You can give that number to your players and send them to Streamholio where they’ll be able to enter it to access the game, or you can right click and copy the URL it links to. Then when you send them that entire URL, they’ll just click and go. Here’s how:

Start the Zoom Meeting

  1. On your computer, log in to Zoom’s site, click Host a Meeting and select “Join with Video.”
  2. Once the player is open, click “Invite” at the bottom of the interface.
  3. That will bring up this popup screen, where you’ll click “Copy URL” in the bottom left.
  4. Clicking that will copy a URL into your clipboard, which you’ll paste into the Facebook Messenger group so all of the participants can join. As they enter your room, the screen will fill up with their live streams, like this. Make sure you hide your OWN

    Unless you’re playing yourself, you should hide your own video feed, like this:
  5. They’ll be throwing from the far board, so the camera needs to have a clear overhead view of the near board, along with a Scoreholio scoreboard that will display round on the left and points on the right. Here’s an ideal setup:
  6. When everybody is set up and streaming, click the “More” button at the bottom of the Zoom player and you’ll see the ability to live stream the entire meeting to Facebook or YouTube.

Run the Scoreholio Tournament

  1. Go into the admin interface and click “Start Tournament,” then click Advance Game to populate all courts with games. Once all of the games are underway, click Pause Game so people are not assigned to new games until everybody has completed their first game.
  2. Players will start throwing bags and update their Scoreholio scoreboard each time they come to the camera-end board to tally and retrieve their bags. Ask them to call out their score when they finish a game, and hold their scoreboard up to the screen until you confirm their score. When both players have done so, you’ll submit the game and they’ll go back into the queue.
  3. When all players are done with their first game, click the green Share Screen button in the center of the screen so everybody can see the dashboard.
  4. Unpause the tournament and click Advance Game to have games assigned to the empty courts. If when you get down to the last couple of players clicking Advance Game doesn’t work, that means those players have already played. You’ll need to disband one game to put those players back in the queue and try again.
  5. Rinse and repeat for rounds 2, 3 and 4. When the fourth round wraps up, go to the Playoffs tab and create a single elimination playoff bracket.
  6. While in bracket admin you will “Update Score” when the first player reports their score, then when the second player reports their score you’ll enter that and “Submit” the score to finalize the game.
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