50% Time Rule in Qualifying-Need Clarification

I would like some feedback in defining the 50% rule for working games.

At FPF a situation occurred that still has me puzzled.

The setup is typical Herb style. 6 games count your best 4, with all other things we are familiar with etc. Qualifying is advertised as 10am-11:59pm on Friday, 10am-6pm on Saturday. Total qualifying time basically 22 hours.

At approximately 1:30pm on Saturday it was decided to eliminate one of the games since it was not working properly. (For the record, it is not clear to me how long it had been not properly working since I did not hang out there. I stopped playing classics very early after securing a top 4 position)

As one can imagine, the complete removal of 1 of the 6 games caused a major upheaval in the standings. (Yes, I was affected)

It’s hard to say anything without it sounding like sour grapes, and this is not intended to be a complaint fest. It’s over and done.

However, for future reference in my qualifying strategy, my questions are simple.

When does the 50% rule actually apply? I was under the impression that once the tourney is past the 1/2 way point, ie in this case, 11 hours in (9pm on Friday) the games all count.

If a game is flaking out on day one, shouldn’t a decision be made to either eliminate and/or find a replacement game before the 50% qualifying time mark?

If a game works fine and survives day one past the 50% time mark and breaks on day 2, could the game still be eliminated? Is that possible?

Again, please, this is not meant to be a pile on or gripe fest. The situation was unfortunate. I just don’t understand the rules regarding this and don’t want to potentially find myself in qualifying jail again, especially at the only Circuit event I play in.

Thank you for reading and constructive feedback.

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I just know that after a certain time of the game goes down all the previous scores still count. If a new game is used, then those scores are counted in addition to the broken game. Not sure on the rules for how long a HERB game needs to be in action to count.

If there is 22 hours of qualifying and a game survived past 11 hours of qualifying, the scores should have been left in. Were the rules of this situation posted somewhere in advance? In every open qualifying I’ve played this scenario was explained fairly clearly in the rules.

That’s the thing; it is not clear how many hours it “survived”. The time stamps and play history are all deleted. All I know is when the game was officially eliminated.

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If it was played even once on Saturday it should count. If someone can verify that it was pulled before the eleven hour point on Friday then yeah null the results. Hoping someone can chime in with some real times, or the posted rules of the event should this scenario occur.

I didn’t realise there was an official IFPA stance on this.
Was there any advertised rules for this event before the fact?

The comps I’ve ran with similar formats, I’ve always used the rule
'If a machine has to be withdrawn as it is unrepairable, before X O’clock (usually about 60% into qualifying) all scores from that game (or ticket including that game) will be voided and another entry assigned to that player - a suitable replacement game MAY be substituted in. If a game is withdrawn after X O’clock those scores on that game (or ticket) will count and no further entries will be submitted including that game.

Despite the fact I’ve never had to withdraw a game once the comp has started, I’m confident that the rule stated before starting makes it crystal clear what will happen in that eventuality.

Other competitions I’ve entered have been ran differently.
There was one last year where the players chose 6 games out of 10 and played each game once. Scores were ranked for each machine 100, 90, 85, 84, 83 etc. etc. One machine broke down after about a quarter of the qualifying period - but the recorded scores remained.
This actually gave a massive advantage to those players who had played that game as finishing last out of 15 players gave the same amount of points as finishing 15th out 60 players on a different machine.

I know for a fact it had not been officially pulled by 11:59pm Friday. I was 4th at that point and that game was one of my 4. I have a picture of the standings showing I was in 4th overall :slight_smile:

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Dang. Don’t be too quick to call yourself sour grapes. It’s looking like you got screwed over big time by someone making the wrong ruling.

Every open qualifying I’ve played in has had the rule clearly posted, TDs knew when the 50% threshold was etc. Hoping someone from the event can chime in to clarify the decision to null the scores.

I agree and I would’ve brought this to the TDs attention the moment the scores were wiped.

It was brought up by several people who were suddenly and unexpectedly in trouble. Clearly the people who benefitted weren’t going to complain.

It wasn’t up for debate. The decision was made. I accepted it even though I completely disagreed with it. I figured it made zero sense to argue.

Now hearing some people say “that’s pinball” was a bit irritating :slight_smile:


If the rules were posted and not followed then it goes beyond “that’s pinball”. I too am beyond tired of people saying “that’s pinball” or “play better” as a catch all to excuse poor or lazy execution by organizers.

The TD made a decision, however I am sure it was not made without considerable thought. He is not that type of person.

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It would also be good to know how to count towards the 50% when the game is down for a good portion of the time before it is pulled. If a game is shut down after 12 hours of qualifying out of a possible 22 hours, but was “down” for 4 of those 12 hours, thus being “available for use” for only 8 hours, does it still qualify?

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That is exactly the point. When is 50% defined? After the first day, qualifying was 2/3 of the way completed. How was anybody to know that a game could still be pulled?

The point made above that is more important than anything else is “were the rules posted beforehand, and what did those rules say?”

PAPA rules dictate the above, but was FPF using PAPA rules? It also addresses the question Bob asks, because it simply evaluates whether the tourney is 50% in, not how long the game was up.

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If this is a close call on the time cutoff I would always rather err on the side of keeping scores rather than trashing them.

Not bagging on the TD in this situation. I’m sure there were a lot of factors in play and some question marks about how long it had issues, but wiping scores is pretty devastating to players, especially in a small game bank at an event where qualifying time management is critical.


I don’t recall seeing anything posted about this particular issue, so there was nothing to point to and say it is consistent or inconsistent with what was published.

I feel like a PAPA circuit event should be required to follow the PAPA rules.

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Luckily, this is a stern pro circuit event.

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My interpretation has always been that the game needs to be operational for 50% of the qualifying time. If a game was a basket case throughout qualifying and constantly going down for 30 minutes at a time for repairs, it’s not fair to say that it was available for qualifying that whole time. So, even though it was pulled 17 hrs after the start of the tournament, it may have been broken for 7 hours of it before they ultimately decided to stop trying repairs. And who knows, the malfunction may have also led them to not trust the integrity of the scores.

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