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A paperless tournament is a tournament for which packets are distributed to tournament staff electronically and read off of laptops, tablets, or other electronic devices.

A paperless tournament may still use paper; for instance, scoresheets and schedules may be printed out, or in formats with computation, scratch paper may be provided to the teams.

Advantages of Paperless Tournaments

  • Paperless tournaments are increasingly popular; almost all college tournaments and many high school tournaments are paperless.
  • Hosts of large tournaments can save hundreds of dollars in printing costs by running a paperless tournament.
  • The question set can be provided to game staff the night before the tournament.

Disadvantages of Paperless Tournaments

  • Question security can be more difficult than at tournaments that use printed packets. Some tournaments avoid these issues by password-protecting packets, but this can be more of a hassle than it's worth.
  • Moderators may be more likely to read the wrong packet at paperless tournaments. Again, this can be somewhat prevented by password-protecting packets, but it can be more of a hassle than it's worth.
  • Paperless tournaments can be a disaster in the hands of an unprepared TD who relies on a building's unstable Wi-Fi to get packets to moderators and forgets to bring flash drives as a backup.
  • Moderators who do not use their own device may unnecessarily slow the game down trying to figure out how to stop someone else's device from arbitrarily shutting down, removing the packet from the screen, or generally doing anything non-conducive to getting through the game in a timely manner.