# About how long will this tournament take?

Trying to plan my first tournament. Here is the general plan

24 participants
4 player match play scored 3/2/1/0
First 8 to get to 18 points make it to the finals

Semi finals will be 2 groups of 4, playing a total of 3 machines per group

Finals will be 1 group of 4 playing 3 machines

The tentative game list is: woz, tspp, rs, tz, pm, tav

Anyone have an estimate on how long this will take?

Iâ€™ve never heard of a format like this. Youâ€™ll have six foursomes staying together the whole time? So, you might win your group but not advance to the finals because other people got to 18 points first?

Letâ€™s say you have an unbalanced group and they end up: 18, 12, 6, 0. What does the person in first place have to play for anymore since theyâ€™re in the finals? Do they drop out of the group and you do different scoring for the rest? Do they just keep going with nothing to play for?

Iâ€™d guess itâ€™s going to take 9 or 10 rounds for you to get 8 players with 18 points. Given that you only have 6 machines, that means a round canâ€™t end until the longest playing game is over. That could be 30 or 40 minutes.

I think youâ€™re looking at 6 or 7 hours before you even reach the finals. Semis and finals will be roughly 1.5 hours each. Soâ€¦10 hours (without breaks) assuming that no machines go down?

If I were you, I would consider other options for a format.

Iâ€™d suggest to have each group play each machine exactly once. At that point, the person with the highest score in each group advances to the finals, plus two â€świld cardâ€ť players (the two non-winners with the highest point totals overall).

Even this might be a little long. Itâ€™s going to be clear to some people that they cannot win their group after just an hour, but theyâ€™ll have three more hours to go before they can leave.

I based this format off of this
http://www.iepinball.com/index.php?p=patl

Basically each round you would play 1 four player game. The next round you would be in a new group of 4. Once someone reaches 18 pts they no longer play, if there is an odd number of people there would be some 3 player groups.

Ah, got it.

That clears up the confusion about when to stop, but itâ€™s still going to be a 10+ hour tournament.

10+hours? You hand out 1.5pt/player/game. Worst case scenario is 12 games and a huge tie, expectation is probably a good few rounds less than that (best case scenario is 7). Then six more 4-player games for finals.

Note that youâ€™ll be waiting on your slowest game every round. Budget for, say, 10x 4-player games + finals on that game at the speed you expect the players that turn up to play. If thatâ€™s too long, turn down the point threshold.

I estimate 4 hours for 1st round. 1.5 hours each for rounds 2 and 3. Thatâ€™s 7 hours. I like to add a +10% factor for malfunctions, rulings, etc. So 7Hr 45 min is a close guess.

The main issue is how to deal with 3 players groups. A couple suggestions.

1. Do what Pinburgh did last year. Score 2,1,0 and multiply results by 1.5
2. Use IFPA scoring where 4 player groups are scored 7,5,3,1 and 3 player groups are scored 7,4,1.

Itâ€™s difficult to get a # of players divisible by 4. Even if you start out with 24, someone may have to leave, or in your format players will drop once they reach 18 points. I recall reading about this or similar format and I really like the idea.

Since each group in the qualifying rounds only plays 1 game I was thinking of doing 3 player groups as 3/2/1

TSPP and OZ can have long ball times. I would suggest enlisting a good (experienced) setup guy to help you. If youâ€™re using a public location and donâ€™t have keys to the games, thatâ€™s gonna be tough for match play if the games play long.

But then you have 8 groups of 3, and only six machines. People will have to wait until other groups are done before they can even start. This isnâ€™t going to speed things up at all (unless you add 2 more machines).

Thatâ€™s a good point. If you canâ€™t turn off extra balls, I would raise time estimates by 25-50%.

Would you consider making people play to 9 or 10 points? That would make this format sound significantly more appealing to me.

I donâ€™t think he meant 8 groups of 3. I believe he meant IF there were any groups of 3.

If you do 3,2,1 for groups of three, it could be perceived as an advantage to be in a 3 player group. Why? Thatâ€™s 6 points divided by 3 players = 2 points per player up for grabs. 3,2,1,0 in a 4 player group = 1.5 points per player up for grabs. I know it seems like a small difference but believe me, someone will probably complain about it.

Correct. I will do groups of 4 when possible.

Yeah I can see that but any scoring system I could think of would either give a small advantage or disadvantage to groups of 3. I decided to go this route as it was similar to what they did at MPE

After each game, the players are re-seeded? Or do groups play more than one game together? What do you score when there are 3-player groups? (There will be, once the first person makes it to 18, theyâ€™ll stop playing.)

Except the average round to take 45 minutes, including the gameplay and reseeding.

To get 8 players to 18 will probably take ~10 rounds (averaging 1.8 points per round for 8th place out of 24).

10 rounds @ 45 minutes / round = 7.5 hours

Your semi and finals format are standard PAPA, and those rounds are blocked for 2 hours each.

Total time: 11.5 hours

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In that case, @kdeangelo is here, he probably can recall how long it took.

FYI in public locations, have players plunge extra balls and it wonâ€™t add much time to the event.

Yes, they are re-seeded

3/2/1

Nah, lots of ways to make it fair. 7-5-3-1 / 7-4-1 (avg = 4) and 5-4-2-1 / 5-3-1 (avg = 3) are two viable scoring solutions. I definitely agree with @LOTR_breath that you should normalize the scoring so the average pts/player/game is uniform across all groups regardless of size.

Or consider allowing a single EB to be played, with others plungedâ€¦ IMHO this adds a significant amount of strategy to the game without making things drag on too long.