Peanut Butter and Jelly
Hansel and Gretel
Pinky and The Brain
Pomp and Circumstance
James and The Giant Peach
Grin and Bear It
Sweet and Spicy
Frog and Toad
Smokey and The Bandit
Simon and Garfunkel
Bebop and Rocksteady
Cookies and Cream
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern
Spirit and Opportunity
Anything that doesn’t clearly convey that the upper bracket is the teams who are winning and the lower bracket is the teams who have lost a match / are in jeopardy of being eliminated will confuse audience members and make more work for the MCs.
I personally have no issues with winners bracket and losers bracket. I know FIRST would never go with it, but it is the clearest description of the two brackets. Upper and lower sacrifices some clarity for gentler terms, but it’s still a close second. The softer the language, the less clear the title will be. Finding that right balance point is difficult, but it’s possible there are options out there that haven’t been thought of yet.
I proposed “Red” and “Blue” since in in the previous Bo3 bracket system the higher ranked alliance in each quarterfinal match was red and the lower ranked was blue and the alliance that advanced out of upper portions of each bracket was red, and so on. So, it had a bit of a FIRST-y twist to upper and lower. In the DE system it would also designate the portion of the bracket that was fighting to become the red alliance in the finals and the portion fighting to become the blue alliance in the finals.
I think, whatever names we use, people will get familiar with the idea that if you are playing a match in the lower bracket, that you have already lost one match and therefore will be eliminated if you lose the match you are playing. So the key idea is that we want to use a term that helps people to key into that idea. I think “Blue bracket” does that. “Lower bracket” works as well, but it is boring and a bit demoralizing. “Loser’s bracket” is even worse.
It would be nice to convey to the audience the difference between the two brackets, along the lines of “success and redemption”.
Ideas for labels of the upper bracket:
Ideas for labels of the lower bracket:
I’m partial to Winner’s Bracket (or Undefeated Bracket) and 2nd Chance Bracket. I really like the label “2nd Chance Bracket” because it conveys that a team has lost without falsely implying that they no longer have a shot to win it all.
So honest reality… there is an inherent “win” and “loss” component to the different bracket paths. So, any name given to the paths would inherit that win/loss (and therefor better/worse notion). I’d avoid red/blue, or science/technology style ones, just because it would imply some ranking.
Upper/Lower does speak to the physical location on the schematics, which helps locate spectators who aren’t otherwise familiar with the process.
But in the OP spirit…
I vote “shop cats” for the top one and “shop dogs” for the bottom one.