You can't tell this year's holiday tournaments without a score card.
For the better part of a decade, few things changed in Carroll's world of holiday tournaments. Liberty added a boys division to the Liberty Belle basketball tournament a few years back, and Westminster dropped its wrestling tournament earlier in the 1980s.
But in one year, the tournament slate has seen more changes than in the previous decade.
In basketball, Westminster dropped the girls portion of its invitational and its boys tournament has switched to a mixer format, instead of the traditional championship event.
South Carroll's boys, who traditionally had traveled to a tournament in southern Pennsylvania, are part of the Westminster mixer.
Key's girls, who used to take part in the Westminster event, now are competing in a tournament in Howard County.
North Carroll's girls, who also used to take part in the Westminster event, are playing in their own tournament along with the Panthers' boys invitational.
And Westminster's girls, without a home tournament, take to the road for a tournament in Anne Arundel County.
The catalyst for many of the changes was the decision to make the Westminster boys tournament a mixer. That was done to give Francis Scott Key games against all four county teams (the Eagles play Liberty and North Carroll in the regular season).
Last year, Key was 2-0 against county schools, but wasn't eligible for the county crown because of the limited schedule. The Eagles can only schedule two non-Monocacy Valley Athletic League games during the regular season because of state restrictions, and the tournament was designed to give Key two extra county games.
Privately, several county coaches and athletic directors said they were not happy about the planned new Westminster Holiday Mixer, saying they preferred the old tournament setup.
Several intriguing match-ups are slated in the tournaments involving county teams.
Perhaps the best isthe first-round game of Anne Arundel County's girls tournament Thursday, which pits Westminster against Northeast of Anne Arundel.
Westminster's girls were ranked 14th in The Sun poll Tuesday, but that was before dropping back-to-back games against unranked Annapolis and No. 10 Glenelg. Northeast was an honorable-mention selection in that same poll.
Arundel meets Meade in the other first-round game.
Howard's girls, ranked seventh in the area, will take part in the girls Liberty Belle field. The Lions face Catoctin of Frederick County inthe opener Friday.
On the wrestling mats, Francis Scott Key's tournament remains a constant, even if other tournaments come and go. Itmakes its 24th annual appearance Friday in Uniontown.
No top-ranked Baltimore area teams are involved, and it looks like North Hagerstown, Key and Liberty are the teams to beat, though Bel Air of HarfordCounty could contend, too.
South Carroll was to have competed in the Broadneck Invitational Friday, but the tournament has been postponed until Jan. 25. The host Bruins are ranked fourth in the metro area, Northeast of Anne Arundel is an honorable mention and Riverdale Baptist of Prince George's is improving.
Here is a complete look at tournaments involving area teams:
Arundel Christmas Tournament
Thursday: Arundel vs. Meade, 9:15 a.m.; Westminster vs. Northeast (AA), 11 a.m. Friday: Consolation, 9:15 a.m.; championship, 11 a.m.
Central Maryland Tournament
Friday: Damascus vs. Quince Orchard, 2 p.m.; Francis Scott Key vs. Atholton, 6 p.m. Saturday: Consolation, 2 p.m.; championship, 6 p.m.
Liberty Belle Tournament
Friday: Howard vs. Catoctin, 1 p.m.; Liberty vs. City, 5 p.m. Saturday: Consolation, 1 p.m.; championship, 5 p.m.
No. CarrollHoliday Tournament
Friday: Fallston vs. Centennial, 2 p.m.; NorthCarroll vs. Franklin, 4 p.m. Saturday: Consolation, 2 p.m.; championship, 6 p.m.
Liberty Bell Tournament
Friday:Glenelg vs. Owings Mills, 3 p.m.; Liberty vs. Bel Air, 7 p.m. Saturday: Consolation, 3 p.m.; championship, 7 p.m.
No. Carroll Holiday Tournament
Friday: Fallston vs. Centennial, 4 p.m.; North Carroll vs. Franklin, 8 p.m. Saturday: Consolation, 4 p.m.; championship, 8 p.m.
Westminster Holiday Mixer
Friday: Francis Scott Key vs. South Carroll, 6 p.m.; Westminster vs. Palotti, 8 p.m. Saturday: South Carroll vs. Palotti, 6 p.m.; Francis Scott Key vs. Westminster, 8 p.m.
F. Scott Key Holiday Tournament
Friday: First round at 11 a.m., consolation finals at 6:30 p.m., finals at 7:30 p.m. Bel Air, Catoctin, C. Milton Wright, Francis Scott Key, Glenelg, Liberty, North Hagerstown, Woodlawn.