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The first step to making a draw is to click on the make draw link to the right of the round line. This will open up a selection of buttons and options below the round table.
If there are any byes that need to be drawn first, your options will look like this:
In our example event, there are two seeds, plus there is one bye due in round 1, so the button prompts you to create three byes. Pressing this will allocate the two seeds to a bye, and another one at random.
Note that you can only create zero or one random byes at this stage, depending on if there are an even or odd number of random byes to draw. For example, if there are 11 random byes, you will select one now and the other 10 will be drawn while you are drawing the matches. For a completely random draw this doesn't make any difference, but for a constrained draw it's advisable to send all the teams to draw engine so that it can come up with the best draw possible.
You can also create a manual bye here, if you don't want to select a team at random. Clicking on the button takes you to a very simple form where you can select the team or match you wish to have the bye in this round.
EBUKnockout handles unplayed matches without any trouble and you can actually draw out the entire event right from the beginning if you wish to. Instead of showing the name of the team in the match list, it will say something like Winner Round 1 Match 18, indicating that whoever wins Round 1 Match 18 will be inserted into this match.
When dealing with constrained draws, it's advisable not to draw too many rounds in advance as it can lead to some unfairness. For example, if you select the option to avoid teams from the same club playing each other and you have a match list like this:
If neither match is completed before you draw the next round, then the winners of these two matches will not be drawn together because there is the possibility that Aylesbury will win both. This makes the Thame B vs Oxford D match impossible in the next round, which is usually not desirable.
If your event has a repechage, a situation can theoretically arise where a pre-repechage match is unplayed at the time that a post-repechage match is drawn. Since both teams in the match can potentially play in this round via two different routes, the draw system can get confused. At this stage we don't intend to fix this problem, but advise organisers who are running a repechage to make sure that all the pre-repechage matches have been completed before starting to draw the post-repechage round.
After creating the byes, you'll need to press the make draw link again, which will now present a screen like this:
The majority of normal county events, which have no seeds or club restrictions, will want to just press the Make Random Draw button. This is a one-button job which draws the next round entirely at random. After which you're done.
More complicated draws need to be sent to the draw engine, which is an offline process that handles constrained draws. Unless you have enabled advanced geographical features you have two checkboxes here:
Avoid teams from same club means that teams from the same club cannot be drawn to play each other in this round. For these purposes, a team is from the same club if it has the same name (but not, of course, the same suffix).
Seeds must not meet in this round means that seeded teams will not be drawn together
Once you have set one or both of these options (there's no point in doing this if you set neither; you might as well make a quicker Random Draw) click the Check Constraints button. This will bring up a window showing the teams (or groups of teams) that need to be drawn, and who they are eligible to play in this round. If everything looks good, click Make Provisional Draw. This will send off a request to the draw engine, which usually takes a minute or two to fire up and process the data. While it's doing this, it's a good idea not to change any of the event details, so you will be prevented from making further changes until it has finished.
In both the random and the constrained draws, where there are byes still left to draw the system will, as far as possible, avoid giving a second bye to a team that has already had a bye. It will also avoid giving a bye to a team that has had a walkover (i.e. one who didn't actually play the match that they were awarded).