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The New Sarachek Format, Explained

For a long time there were 20 teams that competed in the annual Red Sarachek Tournament. In both 2022 and 2023, four extra teams were added to the tournament, thereby changing the format, in which the number of Tier I-eligible teams increased from 12 to 16, and the number of tiers decreased from 4 to 3. This year, there are once again 20 teams (Frisch and DRS will compete in a play-in game on Wednesday night to determine the 20th team), but the format will maintain most of the aspects it took on the past two years.

No Tier I Byes

In the historical 20-team format, the top four seeds automatically made Tier I, and did not play on Thursday. This concept has been archived. Just like the past two years, no teams have a free ride into Tier I. All Tier I-eligible teams will have to win a Tier I Qualifier in order to get into Tier I.

16 Teams, Instead of 12, Have a Shot at Tier I

In the old 20-team format, only 12 teams had a shot at Tier I. This year, just like the past two years, the top 16 seeds will compete for Tier I. Thursday will feature eight games, played between the top 16 teams in classic tournament fashion (1v16, 2v15, etc). The eight winners will advance to Tier I.

3 Tiers, not 4

The historical 20-team format had eight teams in Tier I and four each in Tiers II, III, and IV. This was removed last year, with three tiers each having eight teams. Now that the tournament is back to 20 teams, Tiers I and II will remain at eight teams, while Tier III will revert to four teams. This means that teams which are not Tier I-eligible and then end up competing in Tier III will only play a total of three games during Sarachek.

No Reseeding within Tier I

Within Tier I, there will be no reseeding. This means that the eight teams which win on Thursday to advance to Tier I will remain in classic bracket format. For example, if 16 beats 1, 16 will still play the winner of the 8/9 game; they will NOT play the highest seed remaining. The winners of the 2/15 and 7/10 games will play each other, the 3/14 winner will play the 6/11 winner, and the 4/13 winner will play the 5/12 winner.

Yes Reseeding on Thursday Night to Create Tier II Qualifier Matchups; 4 Teams Get Byes into Tier II

Unlike within Tier I, there WILL be reseeding as it pertains to Tier II Qualifiers. The top four seeds who lose on Thursday will get byes into Tier II. The remaining four Thursday losers will be reseeded 13 through 16 in order of highest seed remaining to lowest seed remaining, and play the 17 through 20 seeds in classic tournament format (13v20, 14v19, etc).

For example:

If on Thursday, all “better” seeds win EXCEPT 16 beats 1 and 14 beats 3, then:

2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, and 16 will advance to Tier I.

The best four seeds who lost on Thursday are 1, 3, 9, and 10. These four teams will get byes into Tier II as the 1 through 4 seeds within that bracket.

11, 12, 13, and 15 are the remaining four Tier II Qualifier teams. These four would be reseeded to 13, 14, 15, and 16 respectively. So, the original 11 seed would play the 20 seed, the original 12 seed would play the 19 seed, the original 13 seed would play the 18 seed, and the original 15 seed would play the 17 seed. These four matchups would, within the Tier II bracket, be the 5v12, 6v11, 7v10, and 8v9 games, respectively (so, for example, the original 11 seed would now be the 5 seed in the Tier II bracket, and the 19 seed would be the 11 seed in the Tier II bracket).

The four losers of these Friday Tier II Qualifier games would go into Tier III and next compete on Sunday. Normal bracketing rules remain after Thursday night reseeding occurs, so the 5v12 Tier II bracket loser would play the 8v9 Tier II bracket loser in a Tier III Semifinal, and the 6v11 Tier II bracket loser would play the 7v10 Tier II bracket loser in a Tier III Semifinal.

Then, on Saturday night, the four winners of the Friday Tier II Qualifier games would play the four Tier II byes in classic bracketing style. The 1 seed in the Tier II bracket would play the 8v9 Tier II bracket winner, the 2 seed in the bracket would play the 7v10 Tier II bracket winner, etc.

Following the Thursday night reseeding, all remaining games will occur within typical bracketing structure, and there will be no further reseeding.


On Wednesday night at 6:30pm, DRS and Frisch will play in the Max Stern Athletic Center (MSAC) for the 13 seed.

Thursday schedule (all games in MSAC):

• 10am: 3 Flatbush v 14 Fuchs Mizrachi

• 11:30am: 8 Maimonides v 9 HAFTR

• 1pm: 7 Ida Crown v 10 Ramaz

• 2:30pm: 4 Shalhevet v 13 TBD

• 4pm: 2 YULA v 15 Kohelet

• 5:30pm: 1 Magen David v 16 MTA

• 7pm: 6 Valley Torah v 11 Beth Tfiloh

• 8:30pm: 5 TABC v 12 Berman

Friday schedule @ MSAC:

• 9am: 1 MDY/16 MTA winner v 8 Maimo/9 HAFTR winner

• ⁠10:30am: 3 Flatbush/14 Fuchs winner v 6 VTHS/11 BT winner

• ⁠12pm: 2 YULA/15 Kohelet winner v 7 ICJA/10 Ramaz winner

• ⁠1:30pm: 4 Shalhevet/13 play-in winner v 5 TABC/12 Berman winner

Friday schedule @ TABC Gym 1:

• 10am: 17 Cooper v TBD

• 11:30am: 18 HA Montreal v TBD

Friday schedule @ TABC Gym 2:

• 10am: 19 Ohr HaTorah v TBD

• 11:30am: 20 Kushner v TBD

Saturday night schedule:

There will be 4 Tier II Quarterfinals, held simultaneously in the two TABC gyms, at 9:30pm and 11pm.

Sunday schedule (all games at MSAC):

• 8am: Tier I Consolation

• 9:30am: Tier I Consolation

• 11am: Tier III Semifinal

• 12:30pm: Tier III Semifinal

• 2pm: Tier I Semifinal

• 3:30pm: Tier I Semifinal

• 5pm: Tier II Semifinal

• 6:30pm: Tier II Semifinal

• 8pm: Tier II Consolation

• 9:30pm: Tier II Consolation

Monday schedule @ TABC Gym 1:

• 8am: Tier III 3rd Place

• 9:30am: Tier I 5th Place

• 11am: Tier II 5th Place

Monday schedule @ TABC Gym 2:

• 8am: Tier I 7th Place

• 9:30am: Tier II 7th Place

Monday schedule @ MSAC:

• 8am: Tier II 3rd Place

• 9:30am: Tier I 3rd Place

• 11am: Tier III Championship

• 12:30pm: Tier II Championship

• 2pm: Tier I Championship

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1 Comment

Mar 25

No comment, but if I were not learning resiliance I would have one or three.

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