As with any system, nothing is perfect and there are advantages and disadvantages to everything, and the same goes for the Shoot-out format. However, we feel the advantages for this event outweigh the disadvantages, and previous Shoot-out events (six thus far) prove that this format works and makes for an exciting and hard-fought event.
Some of the advantages of the double elimination bracket are:
Qualifying. No more one car on track at a time during qualifying. Qualifying consumes up a ton of valuable track time; from single car runs, calculating scores, etc. By eliminating the qualifying aspect from the competition, that time can be better allocated to additional tandem time used by
everyone. Tandem competition is what ultimately determines the result and is what the most emphasis is put on. Plus, it's more exciting to watch two cars tandeming on track versus one solo run.
Third place. The consolation round (battle for third place) has always been a double elimination round in traditional brackets, as the battle consists of both losing drivers from the semifinals. Under a double elimination bracket format, this battle would remain and hold consistent with the rest of the event format.
One More Time. This allows everyone to enjoy the best battles more than once. For example, if the top two drivers in the event are matched up against each other in the first round of a traditional single elimination bracket, one of them would be eliminated from the event after that matchup. However, under a double elimination format, the loser of that first match could still win in each subsequent match in the consolation bracket and eventually work their way back up to the finals and potentially meet the same driver they faced in the first match again.
No one and done. All drivers are guaranteed the ability to compete in at least 2 tandem matches during the event. It's tough to spend all that time, money, and effort leading up to and during an event only to have to pack it up after losing your first battle whether it was a result of your own or a mechanical issue. However, under a double elimination format, drivers must lose twice before they are officially eliminated from competition. Think of it like having an extra 1-UP in Super Mario Bros.
Two Championship Matches. The championship match could technically happen twice, even without a One More Time call (which actually happened in 2018) if the winner's bracket champion loses in the finals. The result would be that both finalists would have one loss each at that point, requiring another championship match to take place to determine who is eliminated by receiving a second loss. Some of the disadvantages (if you want to call them that) of the double elimination bracket are:
Time. The amount of time it takes to conduct a double elimination bracket will be about double the amount of time for a normal Top 32 single elimination bracket. Since we are running a Top 64 event this year, the competition time will be about 10-12 hours on Saturday. Hence the reason we have a 2-day event, with a third day as a backup if needed.
Confusion. The championship match could technically happen twice, even without a One More Time call (which actually happened in 2018). We listed this as an advantage above, but it can be a disadvantage too, because it can be confusing to some. Since the event is a double elimination, it's unfair to have a winner's bracket champion eliminated with their first lost in the finals. Therefore, the winner's bracket champion needs to beat the loser's bracket champion only once to win the event, whereas the loser's bracket champion must beat the winner's bracket champion twice to win the event. Hence the reason the championship match could happen twice.
Eligible participants must be at least 18 years old (16 years old with parental consent*) and possess a valid state issued driver's license. Drivers are eligible provided they have not competed in any round of the Formula DRIFT PRO Championship in the last 3 years (participants in 2016 and prior are eligible for this year’s event).
NOTE: No restrictions for Formula DRIFT PRO2 competitors, all are welcome.
*A minor release form must be filled out and be on file with USDrift / Midwest Drift Union for 16 and 17 year old participants. All minor participants must have at least one parent or legal guardian present at all times during the event. Select individuals under the age of 16 years old that have been pre-approved by USDrift and Midwest Drift Union may be allowed to participate. For additional information, please contact info[@]usdrift.com.