IMGA logo  

The official website of the International Mounted Games Association (IMGA)


Draws for Heats




What is a draw ?

A Mounted Games arena is normally wide enough for 8 lanes, allowing up to 8 teams/pairs/individuals to ride at the same time. It may be that there are only 6 or 7 lanes available, but whatever the number of lanes, it will normally be exceeded by the number of participants. In this case they have to be divided into heats and there has to be a fair way to distribute the participants between heats.
This process is known as a draw.

What is a perfect draw ?

A perfect draw is one which conforms to these criteria :

  • Each team/pair/individual, over all sessions in the competition, plays against every other team/pair/individual an equal number of times.

  • When heats have unequal numbers, then any advantage/disadvantage of being in a “full heat” or a “one less” heat is equally spread over all teams/pairs/individuals.

How can the perfect draw be achieved ?

In practice the perfect draw cannot be achieved, except perhaps in the case of a very small number of participants. When there are large numbers of participants then they can only be equally spread over heats and sessions when there are also large numbers of heats and sessions. This is not usually possible in a three day competition.

But it is possible to arrive at the best draw (i.e. the one which conforms the closest to the criteria) taking into account :

  1. The number of sessions to be played
  2. The size of the arena
    (i.e. the number of lanes available)
  3. The number of participating teams/pairs/individuals
    (i.e. how many heats are required and how many participants in each heat)

How to do this ?

To calculate the best draw manually is extremely difficult. There are millions of possibilities, and to decide which is best is a very long, tedious, and difficult task.

Because of this, it's almost impossible to change and adapt a manually calculated draw at the last minute such as when a team doesn't turn up on the day of the competition.

GamesPro GamesPro is a software package which had been developed by Dag Hoffgaard to help with the preparation and management of Mounted Games competitions. One of its functions is to calculate the best possible draw for any given competition, and because "number crunching" is something which computers do very well and very fast, GamesPro can generate and evaluate tens of millions of possibilities before finally selecting the one which best conforms to the criteria.

GemesPro, and all documentation, is freely available for download at the GamesPro website and information is available on both Facebook and YouTube.

If you do not wish to download and install this software, then you can contact IMGA to obtain a GamesPro generated draw for your competition.