(Topic ID: 117280)

How do you run your tournaments?


By Stack15

4 years ago



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  • 26 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by jonnyo
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    #1 4 years ago

    So I've been doing this for awhile but still haven't developed what I feel is a winning, fair and fun product. I had been doing bracketed style double elimination tournaments but that leads to 25% of participants only playing two games. And I would have the constant "complaint" of "why do I have to play __ (insert good player's name here)?"

    On Super Bowl Sunday, I switched to using the Arcade Tournament Manager program with six games and 16 players. I allowed each player to play as many games as they liked as many times as they wanted. They keyed their own scores with their highest score on each game carrying foward for points.

    The problem I had here is that Don and Tim played for about two hours straight (prior to the game and into the first quarter), all of half time and the entire third quarter. The other problem was people playing multiple players on the same game. I can't word that to where it is easy to understand but pretend I'm playing TSPP. I hit the start button four times and get four games in for myself. More common was two people playing four person games. This is cool for the people actually playing the game but it tied the games up too much. That's an easy fix as a simple rule (if followed) fixes that. I do have a problem that my non-pinball friends don't understand the concept of hit the start button just once. By the way, why is that so hard? It's been a problem with new people for my entire four years in the hobby.

    As for me, I played TAF once, TWD twice, TSPP once, IronMan three times, BDK seven times (never got a good score) and Star Trek twice. It probably isn't good form for me to win my own event though... so third is good. Greg is the only other pinball owner. I know he played Star Trek a lot because he likes it but I'm sure that the number of total games played was VERY skewed towards two people.

    An idea I have = everyone gets an index card with the six games listed, plays each game once and records their scores on that card. If they want to play a game twice, they have to scrap their entire card and start anew. To me, this should solve most of the aforementioned problems. But would it still be fun? It also kind of would inspire people to cheat (aka play one game twice and hope no one noticed).

    Thoughts please? What do others do?

    #2 4 years ago

    Some pictures!

    image.jpg image-82.jpg image-91.jpg image-610.jpg
    #3 4 years ago

    I think the new format is better.

    I would suggest if using 6 games then everyone plays the 6 games 1 time and then has 4 more SINGLE attempts to better their scores.

    This means every game counts, but they can still better a bad one or blow all 4 on that one game that eludes them for a good one.

    Then focus your energy and extra time on playoffs.

    We run our monthlies with everybody plays 1 time through all available games for qualifying and that puts you in a specific 4 pack. You can not do better or worse than the 4 pack you qualify into. i.e. qualify 7th and you are in the 5-8 playoff pack with best position being 5th for the night.

    This puts emphasis on every game played and still gets things done in ~3hrs with ~20 people.

    #4 4 years ago
    Quoted from Stack15:

    So I've been doing this for awhile but still haven't developed what I feel is a winning, fair and fun product. I had been doing bracketed style double elimination tournaments but that leads to 25% of participants only playing two games. And I would have the constant "complaint" of "why do I have to play _ (insert good player's name here)?"
    On Super Bowl Sunday, I switched to using the Arcade Tournament Manager program with six games and 16 players. I allowed each player to play as many games as they liked as many times as they wanted. They keyed their own scores with their highest score on each game carrying foward for points.
    The problem I had here is that Don and Tim played for about two hours straight (prior to the game and into the first quarter), all of half time and the entire third quarter. The other problem was people playing multiple players on the same game. I can't word that to where it is easy to understand but pretend I'm playing TSPP. I hit the start button four times and get four games in for myself. More common was two people playing four person games. This is cool for the people actually playing the game but it tied the games up too much. That's an easy fix as a simple rule (if followed) fixes that. I do have a problem that my non-pinball friends don't understand the concept of hit the start button just once. By the way, why is that so hard? It's been a problem with new people for my entire four years in the hobby.
    As for me, I played TAF once, TWD twice, TSPP once, IronMan three times, BDK seven times (never got a good score) and Star Trek twice. It probably isn't good form for me to win my own event though... so third is good. Greg is the only other pinball owner. I know he played Star Trek a lot because he likes it but I'm sure that the number of total games played was VERY skewed towards two people.
    An idea I have = everyone gets an index card with the six games listed, plays each game once and records their scores on that card. If they want to play a game twice, they have to scrap their entire card and start anew. To me, this should solve most of the aforementioned problems. But would it still be fun? It also kind of would inspire people to cheat (aka play one game twice and hope no one noticed).
    Thoughts please? What do others do?

    A simple variation of "Play each game once" is to add a wildcard. Each player gets to replay one game of their choice to try and improve their score.

    Another format is 3 strikes. This can either be head to head or 4 player groups. In 4 player groups, the players who finish 3 and 4 get a strike. 3 strikes and you're out. Each round you get randomly placed in a new group and game. The upshot of pairing and grouping players is it lowers the chance of cheating.

    #5 4 years ago

    If you have an iPhone or iPad, Brackelope works well.

    http://brackelope.com/

    #6 4 years ago

    These are good ideas... keep them coming!

    People seem to come in and out when I have a party. So the four person groupings wouldn't work for me. I like the idea of play your six game card and get three or four do overs... or maybe a three game limit on each machine.

    I just don't like how one person can play 20x games on IronMan while someone else may only get to play it once. Also, with a max limit of games played, the one person playing four players thing isn't as bad.

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from WonkoTSane:

    If you have an iPhone or iPad, Brackelope works well.

    http://brackelope.com/

    Thanks... I'm all over the bracketing systems but they are not a crowd pleaser here. I like the play the games - not necessarily head to head - system because it allows for people to play on their own time and they don't even have to be here at the same time as everyone else.

    #8 4 years ago

    Haphazardly. I've actually been told otherwise but man sometimes it sure feels like a cluster... LOL

    We have used everything from paper brackets, to brakelope, to pen and paper swiss, and custom software. It's just a real big crapshoot. I like offering varied formats, and there's really no one-size-fits-all solution. It seems like the most popular format is, sadly, Herb. It's not my favorite qualification type at all. I really prefer match play formats.

    #9 4 years ago

    I like the double elimination but it creates a lot of work for me having to tell people who to go play. And I do feel bad for the people seeded 12-16. They almost always lose twice and then question why they even would want to play. So the brackets had to go.

    #10 4 years ago

    Think that's bad try swiss without software assistance. Trying to figure out who's played who each round and then win records is LULZ, let me tell you..

    If someone would write a good swiss program for Android specifically for pinball, I would not only be glad to help with interface design, but I would pay a hundred bucks for the thing.

    #11 4 years ago
    Quoted from Stack15:

    I just don't like how one person can play 20x games on IronMan while someone else may only get to play it once.

    If you have a qualifying segment and it's not match play, only single player games should be played. This is normal. If you have people new to tournament play, they need to be informed of this. Single player games lead to higher scores, so it shouldn't be a hard sell. A written or verbal (I'm next!) waiting list for each game will keep things moving.

    Your idea is very similar to PAPA's format, which is generally thought to be for more advanced players. Have you tried pin golf? If you have mostly noobs, that format may be easier for them to follow.

    #12 4 years ago

    pingolf solves all the problems you mentioned. groups can start whenever if you let them. a novice won't be crushed by an expert as the expert will tend to hole-in-one. if you have access to the game settings, you could increase the balls per game to 4 or 5 and call it par. or make em par 3. you have a lot of flexibility with setting target scores/goals. everyone gets to play all the games or whatever you have made available.

    #13 4 years ago

    I've heard of pin golf. I'd like to play in someone elses event like that someday. I'm not quite sure if I fully understand it - I don't play golf.

    I looked up swiss... granted I haven't read the entire entry yet but it reminds me of olympic soccer. It could be a winner but I'm not sure how it will work with my "not everyone shows up on time or stays for the whole thing" issue.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss-system_tournament

    #14 4 years ago

    It's fun...and it stops the waiting...let's take IM....target score is 15 mill....if you get 15 mill in one ball..you get a hole in one(1 point)....if it takes you 2 balls to reach target....you get 2 points....lowest score at the end wins...it's fun because you only have to wait for the player to reach the target...not till his/her turn is over................Joey

    #15 4 years ago

    I haven't ran a tournament before but ive played in a few. If you have six games, I would prefer a set amount of overall plays. Lets say 12 which would allow me to play each game twice or if I scored good on one game first try I can play a game three times etc..

    Another idea is to also have one game dedicated for a side tournament @ $1 a game and when superbowl was over, i.e. 4th quarter timer is 0, winner takes all or top 3 split pot etc..

    #16 4 years ago

    I would like to thank everyone for their input. For my next event, I plan on doing the same thing as the Super Bowl but with a cap of X games. I will probably institute a buddy system too - play through with another player. That should reduce the propensity for dishonesty. I don't think that was a problem though.

    #17 4 years ago

    I am a fan of system called aurcade http://aurcade.com/aboutus.aspx , hopefully this is different from your program arcade. We use it at flippers in qualifying round in outer banks. It is based on 100 point scale play as many games in allotted time then a percentage is given once you play all games . Some don't like it but having played in a aurcade tournament the past several years it runs smoothly. David hernly runs aurcade and does a great job.

    #18 4 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    Think that's bad try swiss without software assistance. Trying to figure out who's played who each round and then win records is LULZ, let me tell you..
    If someone would write a good swiss program for Android specifically for pinball, I would not only be glad to help with interface design, but I would pay a hundred bucks for the thing.

    Find 9 other people to pay in and you got a deal!

    #19 4 years ago

    I'm a fan of ATM too, over Brackelope or Aurcade which result in too few or too many attempts. I like your idea to throw out the entire scorecard if you try again. Now if only I could play...

    #20 4 years ago

    We did a home tournament with an unusual and very loose format. All the games were preset with extremely low high score tables, and had everyone choose what games they want to play and whom to play with. It was just friends and family. Play as many or as few games as you wanted, at the end of the evening time was called for last games in progress and then donated prizes and a high score certificate awarded to the top posted scores.

    This is may not be a good tournament format for cash prizes, but works good enough for friends and family. Even non-pinheads even have a chance to get that lucky great game. Everyone gets a taste of competition and even if a player doesn't hold a high score, they often get the experience of at least putting initials up on the board that they may not get to experience at any other time. It's also super easy for the tournament host to administer.

    #21 4 years ago

    we do it like this...this is just the first round...

    tabel_1.jpg

    #22 4 years ago

    For newbs, ditto on the Pingolf recommendation.

    You should make sure they pair up for their rounds, and you tend to get a couple benefits (they motivate each other to keep going, and less likelihood of point shaving).

    Serious pinball players tend to want to playout the game, so your card system (1 card, record your game score), works best when the majority are pinheads.

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from Spraynard:

    Find 9 other people to pay in and you got a deal!

    That's probably going to be a stretch. ;P

    #24 4 years ago

    I ran a tournament at my house in the fall with 20 people and 6 games. I tried to imitate PAPA's Pinburgh model as much as possible, which gives everyone the opportunity to play as much as possible and also re-seeds everyone after each round so you're constantly playing people close to your level.

    As a "qualifying" phase to get into the finals we played 6 rounds of match play using the "Monthly Master Tournament Software" on an iPad which separates all the players into 4 or 3 player groups, and then after the round is over you can input who got 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, which gives those players 5pts, 3pts, 3pts, or 1pt respectively. When you generate the next round the software automatically creates new groups based on the results of the previous round(s).

    After 6 rounds, "qualifying" was done, the top 12 formed the "A" division, and the bottom 8 formed the "B" division. The "finals" phase would begin now where 4 players groups would be formed again based on your qualifying seed, and this time you would play two games with those groups using the same scoring system (5,3,2,1), the two players with the most points after two games would move on.

    The "A" division would do this 3 times, with seeds 1-4 getting a bye for the first round joining the remaining 4 players in the second round.

    "B" division would just do this twice with only 8 people to start.

    I know that sounds like a lot, but its not that complicated and was a lot of fun, keeping everyone in it for as long as possible while making each phase of the tournament important. Again, it was really just a hybrid of PAPA's World Championship and Pinburgh models but for 20 people.

    #25 4 years ago

    There are lots of formats and it really depends on if you want fun competition, or something a little more.

    The better players are typically going to place high, there's just no getting around that. The difference is what your new/lower skilled players walk away with.

    For a huge range of skills between players, I'd go with pingolf. It solves two problems. First, your good players may not have long games because they will get their scores early in the game. Next, your newer players will get more time on the game. Thus a percieved better value. I'm a really bad golfer in real life, so trust me, my cost/stroke is always a 'good deal'.

    In my league, we play a linear format using the Arcade Tournament Manager software. There is a warm-up hour and then it's game on, first game played on each machine is the only one that counts. It's fun and social, but you are still out there trying to play well.

    I also run a bi-weekly tournament. This is done during the week and we don't really want to be there all night. It is single elimination, best of 3. It's also random seen and random draw, so you can't follow the bracket to see who you will play next (until later when it's just you and one other player). This would help your newer players in a double elim format so they don't have to get matched up with top players every single time.

    One thing with how you have seen games go on, I would not let a single person play 4 games at the same time on a machine in qualifying. That seems like bad form IMO. Play a game, then get in line if you want to play again. If there is no line, then feel free to play another SINGLE game.

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from Stack15:

    I've heard of pin golf. I'd like to play in someone elses event like that someday. I'm not quite sure if I fully understand it - I don't play golf.
    I looked up swiss... granted I haven't read the entire entry yet but it reminds me of olympic soccer. It could be a winner but I'm not sure how it will work with my "not everyone shows up on time or stays for the whole thing" issue.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss-system_tournament

    In PinGolf, players are trying to achieve a goal using the minimum number of balls, same as trying to put the golf ball in the cup with the fewest number of swings.

    The goal can be the replay score, a set score, or a playfield objective.

    I personally like playfield objectives the most for several reasons. Novices can immediately grasp what they need to do. For experienced players, you can make a goal they would not pursue in typical "high score" play. For example: Light Cast-a-Spell on Scared Stiff, get Video Mode on Creature, start Grave Marker multiball on Metallica. Still, I usually include a score goal for EMs because of the houseiness.

    You should set a stroke limit. For smaller groups, 10 is fine. For larger groups, 6 is better.

    Good goals should be achievable in one or two balls by expert players, 3 - 4 balls by skilled players and 4 - 6 balls by novice players. If you see your novices and lots of skilled players getting all 6s, you made the goal too hard.

    With a larger number of players, ties are inevitable. Our method to deal with them goes like this: In a tie situation to decide position, the player with more holes-in-1 wins the tie, then hole-in-2, etc. Except if they're on the bubble, then they'll play a one-game tie-breaker.

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