Amazing Race - Dealing with Machine Malfunction

We’re going to do an Amazing Race this weekend using the MatchPlay Next software. We’re excited for it.

What’s the best way to deal with a machine malfunction?

Let’s say you have 10 players:

  • 1 person on the hot seat with low score
  • 4 players have beat the score, been cleared in the software, and have already moved onto playing the next game
  • 5 players left to play

I found the Ohio Amazing Race rules doc from @PinballNarcissist on Google Docs.

-If during the finals a machine becomes unplayable due to malfunction, then that game/round is removed from the finals and players will move onto the next game without anyone being eliminated on the affected machine. A backup machine may be chosen to take its place by TD discretion.

…but I don’t think will work in the software since each round you have to eliminate someone.

My thought:

  • Replacement game is drawn
  • 4 players who have already beat the score are clear and don’t have to come back to play the replacement game
  • The person on the hot seat with the low score gets to play the replacement game
  • 5 players left to play play on the replacement game

Other option:

  • Replacement game is drawn
  • Add a dummy player
  • Dummy player gets low score
  • Everyone else moves on to the next round

I feel like @haugstrup addressed this in the software but I’m not sure. I see what you’re getting at though, just choosing another game for the remaining players to duke it out on OR nullify the round by adding an extra player. The first option seems more logical as you’re really just changing the name of the arena.

I did some testing and I think both of those options should work fine with the current software features.

If you go with the first option of “not yet advanced players must play (or replay) on a different machine” then you’d use “Change area” on that round’s action menu, then you’d use “Replace score to beat” to enter the new score after the “Player to beat” has had a chance to replay that round on the new game.

If you go with the second option of “that round is void” then you’d go to the Players tab and add a placeholder player. Go to the round with the broken arena and use “Replace score to beat” to enter a score of “1” for the placeholder player. Enter scores of “2” or higher for all of the other players who haven’t yet played that round. Use your replacement machine for one of the upcoming rounds that doesn’t yet have any results.

When you submit the results to the IFPA, leave out the placeholder player and move everyone else below them up one spot.

Note: You can’t add a player to a round that has no players left in the queue. Something could go wrong where you need to fix things but a score has already been entered for the last player; e.g. game ends, score is entered, and then discussion leads you to conclude it was a catastrophic malfunction that caused loss of ball and the compensation ball can’t be played. In that case you can add the eliminated player to the next round (even though they are listed as “Player to beat”). However its important that you go back and use “Replace score to beat” to put a placeholder player into that spot before closing that round. Otherwise your standings may come out wrong.


Don’t click Actions > Add player on a round that doesn’t have a player queue. It currently causes an error on the site (but it seems to recover just fine). I sent the info to @haugstrup already.


I like your first option of “not yet advanced players must play (or replay) on a different machine” more. I think it’s more in line with the logic of this from the IFPA rules under Disabled Machines:

In the event that any players completed their game before the machine became disabled, and their finishing position on that game has been determined, that finishing position will stand and that player will not participate on the substitute machine. The remaining players will then play off on the substitute machine to determine the remaining finishing positions that were not able to be determined on the original machine.

If you advance all players in that round, you’ve effectively erased the work of the already-advanced players who had definitively locked in a position of “not last in round X”.

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Thank you for sending it to me, that issue is now fixed!

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