So I thought this over for a while and here is the conclusion I came to. Off the top of my head, here's three ways tournament tokens could be handled:

1. Let the hosts set the token total themselves

The most straight-forward approach. Have tournament hosts walk up to the committee and be like "Hey, give me 600 tokens for my tournament". This is the way that requires the least amount of effort on our part, but also the most exploitable. There's really not much stopping you from hosting a tournament, thinking of how many tokens you would want to receive from it, and then manipulating token distribution to get that amount. Like, say I want 100 tokens. So I'm going to host a tournament that I can expect to place highly in, ask for 400 total, and distribute tokens in a way that'll ensure I get at least 100. But whoops, something unexpected happened and I placed lower than I anticipated. I now can't justify 100 for my position, because then there'd not be enough for the people who placed ahead of me. No problem though, I'll just ask for 600 tokens total instead. I won't have to justify the increase because nobody knows I was originally only going to ask for 400.

So I don't think that's a good idea.

2. Give every tournament a flat amount

This would be the easiest to calculate. We have 14 tournaments. Every tournament gets 400 tokens total. Boom, 5600 tokens we need to account for. However, this is also the most terrible way to go about this. Tournaments vary in scope. Some tournaments are just smaller or bigger than others, and it wouldn't be entirely fair to the really large ones to get the same token amount as everyone else. Which leads directly into the third point.

3. Make the total dependent on the number of participants

This way involves having a set base amount of tokens for tournaments, and then multiplying it by the number of people participating. With this approach, the token total increases proportionally to the size of the tournament. In essence, say the base token value is 30. 10 people sign up for a tournament, thus it gets 300 total. 15 sign up, it gets 450. Et cetera. This would ensure that the tournaments that attract the most interest are also the most rewarding. In theory, it should also incentivise people to sign up more, as the higher the amount of participants, the larger the payout if you win. This makes sense to me, since the more competitors you have to deal with, the bigger your prize should be.

I've ran this approach against some numbers I collected from last year (I apologize if there are any errors), and here's how the approach would play out (assuming a base value of 30 tokens per participant).

**Art Contest**

Participants: 21

Token total '16: 704

New total: 630

**Pokémon**

Participants: 16

Token total '16: 571

New total: 480

**Mario Kart 7**

Participants: 14

Token total '16: 324

New total: 420

**Mario Kart 8**

Participants: 16

Token total '16: 324

New total: 480

**SSB4**

Participants: 14

Token total '16: 500

New total: 420

**Yu-Gi-Oh**

Participants: 8

Token total '16: 265

New total: 240

I think a base value of 30 works out best because it's close to last year's figures, with a bit of subtraction to account for the deflation that will be going on. The final amount can be set later; for now this is just a proof of concept. Minecraft games is also not on this list, because that's something I'd have to get into later if we decide to go with this.

So in the end, which approach should we go for?

Personally, I think the most effective way to go about this would be a **combination of 1. and 3.**. Something along the lines of us making the calculations like in 3., and then giving the result to the hosts as a guideline. Like, send them a message like "We've calculated that the optimal total for your tournament is 480 tokens. Please plan your payout accordingly." This would give hosts the chance to reply to the effect of "With the way I am distributing tokens, it would be more convenient for me if I had 495.", to which we could answer with "That's reasonable, here's 495 instead.". It also reduces exploitability, since if a host decides to say "480 isn't enough, give me 700 instead", we could just be like "nope". It would ALSO give new hosts who have no idea what amount of tokens is appropriate for their tournament a suggestion to start with.

This approach would give us tangible numbers we can make plans with, while also being flexible enough to allow hosts to make reasonable adjustments as they see fit.