The life of a tournament goes through a handful of stages from planning to playoffs.
Creating a tournament
When you create a new tournament, you will fill in general information about the tournament. You'll decide a name, a date and a location. You will also decide the tournament format and configure the tournament the way you want. You can read more about each tournament format on the respective handbook pages for your specific format.
After you have created your tournament, you can still go back and edit it. As long as you have not started the tournament, you can change any of the configuration options.
Starting a tournament
Once you are happy with how your tournament is configured, you can start the tournament. Before you start the tournament, you'll need to add some players to the tournament and in many cases, you will also need to add one or more arenas.
Start your tournament by clicking the large green Start tournament button. Once you start your tournament, you will not be able to change any of the tournament configuration options. You can still change some settings like the tournament name.
Running a tournament
Once your tournament has started you will be entering results into Match Play. Each tournament format is different, but you'll typically be starting new rounds of play for match play-style tournaments or recording individual scores for best game-style tournaments.
Concluding a tournament
When the tournament is over you must close it out by clicking the large red Close tournament. This will mark the tournament as completed on Mach Play Live and the results will be submitted to Match Play Ratings.
If you want, you may create playoffs or finals for your tournament. Click the Create playoffs button to get started. Pick the tournament format you wish to use for your playoffs and select which players to advance into finals by clicking on a player's name to add or remove them from the list. Once the playoffs tournament has been created, it functions exactly like any other tournament and you can edit any details before you start it.