NHLToL: 2012 Edition

Icethetics got its start five years ago as a meager blog called NHL Tournament of Logos, in which visitors voted to determine which team mark was best. There was no criteria. Just two logos and a vote button. No reason either. It was just something I set up for fun.

But it became more popular than I thought. Over the last few years, the one question I'm asked more than any other is, "When is the next logo tournament?" There hasn't been one in a long time so it's a fair question. The streak ends today. The 2012 edition of the NHLToL is now underway.

If you plan to participate in the voting, you'll probably want to know how the tournament works. It's not terribly complicated but then it's not terribly simple either, so I'm here to explain.

We Start with All 30

It's only fair that all 30 team logos have a shot at the crown. And, of course, there will be a bracket. But that bracket will only hold 16 logos. How do we determine which logos qualify for the bracket? Glad you asked.

Qualifying for the Bracket

Luckily, we're starting with an even number of logos. Thirty logos give us 15 polls in the qualifying round. Every team has been assigned an opponent at random. The winners of each qualifying poll automatically advance to the bracket. I know what you're thinking.

Doesn't this mean good logos could be left out of the bracket if they are defeated by slightly better ones in their qualifier? Yes, but the only alternative is a time-consuming round-robin format. Plus, the point isn't to determine a bracket, it's to determine a winner. The best logo will win regardless of how it gets there. At least that's the theory.

The Top 15 + a Wildcard

So if the winners of all the 15 qualifying polls advance, that leaves an open slot in the 16-logo bracket. Easy solution. We need a wildcard. One loser will advance to the bracket. The logo that loses by the lowest percentage will occupy the 16th position.

The rest of the 16 slots will be determined by voting percentage. For example, a team that wins its qualifier with 90% of the vote will place higher in the bracket than a team that finished with, say, 60%. The higher the percentage, the higher the position in our bracket. Quite simple.

The bracket match-ups will look like this:

The nice thing about this setup is that it's practically impossible for any rematches. Here's the thing. We know that #15 and #16 will have faced each other in the qualifier because #15 will be the logo that won by the lowest percentage and #16 will be the one that lost by the lowest. So I said "practically" because it's possible these two could meet again in the big finale.

The Voting Process

Now the important bit. Every poll will be open for five days. New polls will go up every day for the qualifying round. Subsequent rounds will begin after the previous round's final poll closes. When you vote, you will not be able to immediately view the results. However, poll results will be revealed after the poll has closed.

Now, if you want to know how the logos will be matched up in the qualifying round, there's one way to find out. You'll have to come back every day to see the new poll! The last Qualifying Round poll goes up July 9. The bracket will be announced on July 15 and Round 1 voting will begin the following day.

Any questions left for me to answer? Ask away.