Every type of sports and competitive activity eventually gets a tournament, including an international one of the highest level. There, the best local, then national and continental athletes, meet to compete for the title of the world champion. There are usually different categories for the same sport or activity, but that depends on the activity in question.
Board games, for example, are something very specific. There are tons of board games and most of them belong to different categories of board games. Would you be surprised to hear that there is a World Boardgaming Championship? Well, there is one and has been for a while. We are here to share something about its history and significance.
The BPA – The Beginnings of the Championships
Everything has a start and in 1991, the Boardgames Players Association was formed in the United States. That same year, they managed to convince the upper body of Avalon Hill to start holding regular conventions, or in this case the Avaloncon, which was the precursor to the WBC. The Avaloncon lasted for seven years, ending with the 1998 edition. Since 1999, the WBC took over as the official name, and has been organized by the BPA since. Typically, the WBC takes place in the United States, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but was moved to the Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
How Does it Work? Who Can Compete?
Unlike most professional competitions that require an invitation or a qualifier, this one does not. It is important to show up. There are three categories, advanced, beginner and coached events. The first one is for experienced players who are already familiar with the game, the second for new players, who do not know the rules or are vaguely familiar and the third, for absolute novices, to board games in general or a specific board game.
Which games are there? Lots of them. The top 100 most attended games from the past convention are included, as well as those which are chosen by the organizers, not to mention the sponsored ones. In other words, there are plenty of board games to choose from, as well as many new ones to discover.
How Do the Events Work?
Depending on the approved event/game, there are various scheduled ways of how a tournament will proceed.
Tournaments typically proceed depending on the game that is played. Some games are not suited for heats, for example and they employ other ways of playing. Typical ways tournaments unfold are heats, single elimination, SE with Mulligan, free form, swiss, heats but where the winner is the one with the most points and continuous rounds.
Depending on the game, there might be more breaks or fewer, if the game is a multi-round game, or if it typically lasts longer. Everything is organized according to the game that is benign played and most of them work well with the above-mentioned methods.
The World Boardgaming Championships are interesting, an event that takes place annually and has since 1999, and prior to that, since 1991, under the name of Avaloncon. It accommodates all levels of players, from absolute beginners to professionals who have mastered the game and know it inside out. The games that are played are the most attended ones from the previous tournament, as well as sponsored and organizer-chosen titles.