That's ok sally. I too didn't understand what a "bye" was.
I had come across them, seen them as my opponent and didn't get it, and wondered what the hell was going on.
It's not until you run these things that you understand their usefulness.
Here's a way to look at it......
In the earlier days of the Factacular Cup, if you look back, then you will see players that, even though they were placed, never played. These players were "dummies" that the Factacular Tournament Scheduler, JMK, and myself would come up with just to make up the numbers. They were, in fact, a player that is not supposed to play. In effect, a "bye". It's just that JMK and I didn't realise it back then.
ONCE I got it, and JMK and I got together to work out how to apply them, the resulting gmail chat session should be added to the annals of internet comedy.
(imagine two eggheads who have never known of something called a "mouse", being shown a "mousetrap" - that's pretty bloody close)
Anyway, we worked it out and, quite amazingly, BOTH of us worked out at the same time how "byes" should be applied relative to the Factacular Cup tournament.......always the junior comp, always the least of the comps, that was the key.
Our rationale was that "byes", if applied to the premier competition, EVEN if meant to give a top scorer a break and a sure thing to Round Two, would, in fact, destroy the point of pitting top scorers against top scorers. That was the moment where we realised the rather low role "byes" must take in this type of tournament.
Thus, they are only applied in the lowest comp. and always applied to substitute for a zero anyway.
But you asked the question sally.....and it was a good question.