I had 12 people RSVP to my party and half were men and half were women so we went with seeding in the order that they RSVP-ed and did a male and female side of the bracket. That is totally random and arbitrary. You could have time trials to seed. Or ask people their level of experience. Whatever works for you.
For me, I just went Player 1 – Player 12 in the order that they said they would be attending. Since our party was all couples it would make it so someone would only player their spouse if they made it to the Consolations or Finals. Seemed like a fun way to do it and kind of erased the fact that most of the men at the party were much better than women at this video game.
We did our tournament on Mario Kart Wii. Each game was in the “VS” mode and the Wii randomly picks 4 courses that you’ll run. Those 4 courses take about 10 mins total. At the end of the races, one will be the winner by points and move on. The other is knocked out. Then we moved onto the next game of the tourney. The entire event took about 2 ½ hours. We coupled it with an Italian themed potluck dinner party so guests drank, eat and chit chatted in between turns and heckling those who were playing.
Here is a printable bracket that you can use for a 12-person single elimination tournament with a consolation round.
Good luck with your home tournament! I hope it is tons of fun. I’d love to see how your party turned out so please share comments below and pictures in the Flickr Group.