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(Topic ID: 171354)

4 machines, around 20 kids, tournament format?

By solarvalue

4 years ago

Topic Stats

  • 9 posts
  • 5 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by solarvalue
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


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    #1 4 years ago

    Hi everyone,

    My daughter is having a birthday party on the weekend and I wanted to run a short tournament for them. I have 4 machines and there should be around 20 teenagers there. What would be the best format?


    #2 4 years ago

    We have had a lot of success with Group Knockout or Strikes tournaments. makes it super easy to run. Does not take very long if you do 2 or even 3 strikes, and doesnt require a lot of knowledge for the players. If it goes fast, you can follow up with a single elimination playoff for the top players, also something Matchplay does great.

    #3 4 years ago

    Thanks for the response. Sorry I've never played in a tournament before, could you briefly explain what those terms mean?

    #4 4 years ago

    Check out Scott’s Arcade Tournament Manager at

    Easy way is to have each play 1 game on each machine then rank each game and add up scores. App does this nicely.

    #5 4 years ago

    No problem.

    In a Group Knockout, also called Strikes tournament, players are usually put in to groups of 3 or 4. Each group plays 1 machine. The lowest 2 scores in each group receives a strike. After a player goes past the allowed number of strikes, the are eliminated. You repeat for as many rounds as necessary until one player is left. Its easy to manage, with or without using MatchPlay or other software. Players all get to play in a few rounds depending on the number of strikes. So, everyone has fun.

    Heres a link to MatchPlay. It might seem intimidating but is pretty easy to use. I believe you can do a lot with the free account. There are a few other one out there including and Brackelope.

    Quoted from solarvalue:

    Thanks for the response. Sorry I've never played in a tournament before, could you briefly explain what those terms mean?

    #6 4 years ago

    I guess it would depend on the "competitiveness" of the group in general. But my thoughts are that a Knockout, Strikes, or general Match play where the guests are eliminated as you work your way towards an eventual champion is not the right format for a teenage girls PARTY. I mean, what teenage girl wants to be knocked out of the competition and have to sit by and either watch the winners play or go find something else to do. This sounds like a great format for a serious competition... but not for a PARTY.

    In the spirit of having fun at the party, I would recommend that you just setup a rotation where everyone plays each game 3 or 4 or how ever many times you have time for. Then have them record their score on a master log for each game. At the end, rank each player with a 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc based on their best score (once per game). The guest with the lowest number after adding up all the scores would be the winner. Lowest possible score would be a 4 (for 4 pinball machines) and highest would be a 80 if you had 20 guests. <full disclosure... saw this in another topic-post by Nveld>

    This way, everyone is playing til the very end and even though the results may be known based on who is doing well, there is still a little suspense in the "reveal" of the results. Keeps everyone involved and can still foster a little competitive spirit.

    Good luck... sounds like fun!!

    #7 4 years ago

    With 4 machines and some simple fun, we did the following for our son's first tournament. Kids were younger, so may be too easy for teenagers.

    1 machine for highest score
    1 machine for closest score to XXXXX (revealed at the end of the tournament)
    1 machine partners game for highest score
    1 machine with most of the same number in the score (1,140,100)

    Makes non-pinball players feel like they have a chance, prizes given for each category. Was a lot of fun, kids were lined up to play. Each game had two columns next to the players name for score recording (2 chances).

    #8 4 years ago
    Quoted from Aquapin:

    Makes non-pinball players feel like they have a chance, prizes given for each category.

    This is a great recommendation and I'm going to remember it for my next kids party for sure. Thanks!

    2 weeks later
    #9 4 years ago

    We ended up just letting them play for a couple of hours. They were all pretty new to pinball so it turned out that a tournament wasn't really necessary. Thanks for the replies though.

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