Advice needed re: Tournaments that limit player machine choice

I ran a pingolf tournament this past weekend. Versus previous events, one rule was added for the playoffs that I had never used:

Each player can choose each machine a maximum of once throughout the playoffs. In other words, if Player A has selected Machine X in round 1, Player A can no longer select Machine X in the rest of the playoffs.

Everyone in the playoffs understood this rule, and things went smoothly overall.

We needed a tiebreaker to determine who moved on after one of the playoff rounds. The player(s) in the tiebreaker naturally wanted to know if picking the machine would count and not allow them to pick that machine for the remainder of the playoffs. Based on how the rule is written for this event, I told them that it did in fact count.

One of the players didn’t like this answer, and I can certainly understand why. The nature of pingolf playoff tiebreakers means that it’s possible that multiple tiebreaking games would be needed, which could put the player(s) who win the tiebreaker at a machine-picking disadvantage.

If anyone’s dealt with this issue, I’d like to hear how you handled it. Even if it’s not a pingolf event, it’d be useful to see how it works elsewhere.

(More likely) If you haven’t dealt with this issue exactly, I’d still like to hear your opinion on whether the tiebreaker machine selection should count re: this rule.


Can the tiebreaker game be on something random? No player choice? I agree that it shouldn’t count. So if the player chooses just add a line to the rules related to tiebreak game choices.

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At events that @spraynard and I have run, we apply the rule the same as you did: because the best seed gets choice during a tie-breaker, and pin choice for a tie-breaker is counted against their picks for finals.
The choice of pin or order afforded to the best seed is given as an advantage to them, in order for them to maximize their chances of advancing to the next round (or finish as high as possible). Whether that choice is for a group game or a tie-breaker doesn’t change the fact that they are given a choice.

If the player in a tie-break who is the higher seed doesn’t want to “spend” a pin pick, they can always choose playing position instead.


Makes sense. The biggest argument here is imagining someone burning machine picks on tiebreaker after tiebreaker in the same round because it’s pingolf and that’s certainly possible.


How about this? Adding a formal rule that states that, in tiebreakers, it’s allowable for all players to pick order and a random machine will be selected if that happens. Machine choice will be randomly picked from machines that haven’t yet been played by this group until all machines have been played by this group.


Based on how the rules are currently written, I’m not sure how I would have handled it if this situation came up. Or if players asked about it. But I agree that it would make sense. See my previous comment.

You should probably already have something in place for all players choosing order. I think this text is good, expect I would remove the “in tiebreaker” part, this could happen first round.

I disagree

I think this rule is needed only for tiebreakers, and I’m fine with forcing seed 3 or 4 to pick a machine in the playoffs if the choice gets that far.

Change my mind?

I see what you mean, and think your proposal is reasonable in the specific instance of pin-golf finals, where tie-breakers can go on indefinitely (potentially)


Sounds good. Now we just need to get @gammagoat on board. :slight_smile:

If this is a tiebreaker, I assume players are tied in the standings. How are you deciding who gets game choice and why isn’t it a random machine?

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The players are tied after a playoff round of 3 games, and the top original seed gets first choice.

It’s not a random machine because that’s not the rule.

A few years back I was running a pingolf event and there was a tiebreaker that took 4 games to decide because they kept tying. All parties involved were annoyed because it was late in the tournament and everyone wanted to go home. Going forward I changed the rule to normal score based games for any tiebreakers and have been happy with the decision.

I know that doesn’t really speak to the game choice issue here, but this just reminded me how much it sucked to wait through multiple tie games.


Yeah, the potential for this never-ending tiebreak at pin-golf events is not good.
I wonder if a decent solution would be a hybrid rule, where game score is used as the determining factor if the # of strokes is tied in a pin-golf finals tie-breaker game? While it means that players (who aren’t the last-to-play player in the tiebreaker) will end up playing slightly longer, due to continuing play past the target score… this seems far preferable to the potential for unending tiebreak games. And it preserves the feel/format of pin-golf in the tiebreaker games.

Example: tiebreaker game of AFM selected with 1.5B as target score of @jdelz vs @stevevt (P1/P2, respectively). Neither player gets the target on ball 1. On ball 2, @jdelz hits 1.5B, but instead of letting the ball drain, keeps playing, and ends with a score of 2.7B after two balls. @stevevt plays his ball 2, and also hits the target score of 1.5B, but keeps playing, and unfortunately can’t catch 2.7B and ends with 2.4B. While the players tied on pin-golf score in the tiebreak, @jdelz advances based on game score.



We don’t need to agree. We can run our tournaments differently, I’m cool with that. This rule would not prevent me from playing in a tournament.

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I like it because I advanced :slight_smile:

At first glace it looks pretty good, but I’ll think on it. Seems to retain the spirit of the format without potential to take forever.

I like it, too.

The only downside is that explaining this tiebreaker rule and making sure that everyone involved really understands it might take a few minutes.

Also, I’ll have to run it by the Pin-Masters of New England rules committee for approval, because this set of satellite events uses the same rules.

I like that rule, but only for tiebreaker game 2. I was in a 3-game pingolf tiebreaker a few years ago at the Pre-Pinburgh event, and we were wondering how long it would go on. You could also have a situation where there are more than 2 people in the tiebreaker, depending upon format, so maybe start the score rule when you get to tiebreaker game N where N is the number of people involved [although that’s obviously more complicated].

Wouldn’t every player play longer then, as long as they were not already eliminated?
Maybe fastest time to target in case of a tie?

Not necessarily: the last-to-play player can stop when they hit the target, so long as the other player(s) in the tiebreak haven’t reached the target score.
Regardless, the time it takes for a player (or more) to play a partial ball longer as they play past the target score is a LOT less potential time than what it would take to run multiple tiebreak holes/games.

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What if the top seed could pick a) game, b) position, or c) position plus randomized game choice? The randomized choice would not count against their picks, and it would not hand the gift of game choice to their opponent.