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A Co-event is an unofficial tournament held at an organised location in the UK or Ireland that meets up for social and competitive Countdown. Inspired by Scrabble tournaments, players meet up with their Countdown board games (or in some cases, suitable computer software) and play a set number of games of Countdown, usually 5 or 6, and the player with the most wins claims 1st place. In the event of a tie, the number of points scored is used to separate the players. In most events, the top 2 players play a final to determine the winner.
There are two distinct types of tournament: head-to-head "Edinburgh-style" tournaments, and "Bristol-style" tournaments where everyone in the room plays from the same set of letters and numbers. The Countdown in Lincoln tournaments use head-to-head games, i.e. each 'table' of three players selects its own separate letters and numbers (one person acting as host, 'Dictionary Corner' and 'Rachel' whilst the other two play each other), while the Countdown in Bristol tournament uses the second system whereby players play in pairs, but all players have the same letters, numbers and conundrum (usually displayed on a board at the front of the room).
This second system eliminates the luck factor as no player or players have "better" selections than anyone else over the course of the day. However, some dislike it because, since they cannot select the letters or numbers themselves, it denies them the chance to use tactical selections to win individual games, for example picking an unusual numbers selection against an opponent known to be weak at the numbers game.
Some otherwise most Bristol-style tournaments have a system for numbers games that compromises between the two formats: A contestant from each pair makes a choice of numbers, just as on the show or in the Edinburgh format and, once everybody has chosen, a selection is revealed for each possible number of large and small numbers in one way or another, the 1st to introduce this was .co.mk in 2015.
Since 2016, the majority of tournaments have been run as part of organisational body FOCAL.
Prior to 2011, online tournaments were also listed here. However, the advent of Apterous's "tourney" system has allowed multiple tournaments to be played at once, rendering the number of tournaments sheer. Over 3,000 online tournaments have been played since 2011.
List of co-events
The Edinburgh Countdown Club was the first to organise tournaments.