1. Ranking people alphabetically is lame. Make it random, or perhaps based on the order people register.
In the initial way we discussed this alphabetically would only be a tiebreaker for those players who don’t have an IFPA rank at the time of registration. It could be random, I don’t really care that would be a decision for the TD/League Commissioner. I just chose this method because its one I’m familiar with because it’s used for Pinburgh.
2. How many people are there and how many weeks? It might be impossible to win the league if your name is Zoltar and you start at the bottom, given the “challenge only [week number] rank above you”.
This is a question I’m not sure of the answer yet obviously there’s a minimum. As far a maximum I guess it would be dependent on the length on the length of the season or logistics (something that I’m still playing around with in my head but I’ll touch on my ideas in that question).
As far as challenging up or down goes that’s optional. The idea was as a ladder match so you have to climb the ladder. The obvious weakness with this is like you point out each player have 1-2 players who can challenge them initially in a restricted format (on challenge 1 up,) more as the league moves on. This limits the number of games any single player can play in a given week, which can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
3. If you are ranked 2nd at the start of the league, and can only challenge one rank above you, then you must challenge the top player. The third ranked player then has no one to challenge, so fourth ranked player must challenge them. There is only one possible set of matches the first week, with no room for choice.
4. What is the order of challenges? What happens if 5 challenges 4 in week one? You can’t let that happen, because someone in the top 3 would be left without a match.
5. Won’t week 2 run into similar issues? Even though they can challenge two ahead, you’ll need to carefully restrict the matches to ensure no one gets mathematically left out by the restrictions in place. (In Week 2: If rank 2 challenges rank 1, then rank 3 can’t challenge anyone. If rank 3 challenges 1, then rank 4 must challenge rank 2…otherwise rank 2 is completely left out because 5 is too low to challenge 2. Then 5 has no one to challenge, so can only be challenged by 6 or 7. If it’s 7, then 8 must challenge 6, or else 6 has no one to play. Etc.
6. What if you have an odd number of players?
7. If the lower player wins, what happens to their ranking? Do they swap places with the person they beat?
8. If the higher player wins, what happens to their ranking?
10. I don’t understand the waiting period. I assumed that each player plays a match each week, but the waiting period rule makes me think you had something else in mind.
3-6 Yes this is a weakness of this format. In a restricted format in week 1 1 can only be challenged by 2, 2 can challenge 1 and can be challenged by 3… It is something that I’m still trying to work out in my head. Now one thing that isn’t clear (and touches on one of you later questions) is I’m picturing this as a casual league with a bunch of players who have different schedules if this league is one night a week say every Wednesday 6-10 this format looks a lot different.
7-8 I’m grouping this into this answer because I have to answer this in my example the
Right now I envision 3 options
1,player who wins get this higher seed that is available in that challenge and the loser will receive the lower see(so in week 3 if #7 is challenged by #10 the winner will be the #7 and the loser will be #10) and yes i know this was worded horribly,
2. The winner of the match get the rank of the higher seed in the match. If the higher seed loses they drop 1 spot, if the lower seed loses they do not suffer any penalty of ranks.
3. (This one would only apply in a non restricted format, meaning anyone can challenge anyone else) If the higher seed wins, nothing happens. If the lower seed wins,the winner will move up one rank the loser down one rank.
So, to answer this in the example of the format that I originally envisioned
The league start on the 1st ends on the 31st and there are 13 players everyone is IFPA ranked so they are ranked using that method. There are no late entries (everyone preregisters and no one else want to join) It is a restricted format, there are 3 days to schedule a match before a forfeit is declared
On day 1 there are the maximum # of challenges are issued
B(initially #2)->A (initially #1), D->C, F->E, H->G, J->I, L->K M gets left out at the beginning (the reason that an average number of games is used to calculate meaningful games)
with the K vs L match they find a time to schedule on day 2 K beats L. So K stays as #11 and L is challenged by M.
A vs B agree on a time on day 3 (weakness #2 of this format there is an incentive for the higher ranked players to drag this out as long as possible to avoid dropping quickly) B beats A so B is now #1 and A drops to #2
C vs D cannot agree on a time so D advances to #3 and challenges A, B drop to #4
I see this league as more of a semi casual league where all the member cannot play on the same night hence the need for a waiting period to allow each match to be scheduled. There has to be a waiting period of some sort so that a player can’t just sit on a rank by not accepting any challenges.
Now if you schedule this league so that all challenges must occur on a single day of the week between certain times the movement happens a lot faster. In this case a rechallenge restriction is more necessary so that you don’t have the same 2 players playing all night just swapping ranks. An example of a restriction I would use would be a losing player must complete at least 1 other challenge before they can rechallenge another player. So, what happens to the bottom seed and the top seed in this case? I’m assuming that there are other challenges going on and once they are completed there are going to be position changes. So if the 13 ranked player challenges the 12th ranked player and loses. At some point evening 12 is going to challenge 11 and then 13 can then challenge 12 again. Because of how long games can take each player is probably going to play in 1-2 challenges per night (assuming they are there) If the player cannot attend their going to lose a lot of seeds as they can be challenged by lower seeds repeatedly which is a weakness of having this on 1 night a week. If I was going to use this format I would limit the number of spots a player can drop in 1 week.
9. A lower player can challenge a higher player, then insist on scheduling options which the higher player cannot meet. Lower player wins by default. Perhaps a default time would be better. (“Games are played at 7:30pm on Wednesdays, unless the players mutually agree to another time” during the week.)
The lower seed should not be able to just insist on a time. I’m assuming a fairly friendly league (which looking at Pinside is questionable sometimes) and that 2 players can find a mutually agreeable time. Yes there are going to be times when 2 players schedules are so out of whack that a time can’t be worked out and this is going to happen (I can envision this happening to me during certain times of the year) I’m having trouble coming up with a better solution. Both an open schedule league and a defined challenge period league have their upsides and downsides. I’m hoping someone else can come up with a better answer then I can but I’m drawing a blank
11. This sounds like a logistical nightmare for the person running the league.
Right now I have to agree. The best idea I have in my head right now is a league website with a dedicated page that looks like this, The lower ranked player issues a notification of a challenge and then is responsible for contacting the other player to schedule a time. I am working up the assumption that at every sign up each player gives a contact method (that isn’t facebook) and the it is distributed to the rest of the league. Now I don’t have a solution for the case that a player issues a challenge without trying to schedule a match, beyond trusting both players to do so. To make this work this would require a lot of time by the league commissioner to make sure that all challenges are valid, there are not multiple challenges at one time, and that the standings are updated in a timely manner.
On a single night it probably would be a little easier to keep track of challenges. I would think a spreadsheet that all players have the ability to make changes to would suffice.
12. Again, I can’t imagine that the IFPA would endorse a format where you get to pick your opponents. Otherwise people would run leagues where the top seed gets to pick their opponent, and they choose the worst player every week. I know what you’re proposing has checks & balances, but I would think the IFPA would need to explicitly state what is and is not allowed in a format like this to prevent abuse.
I think because everything is head to head it’s allowed.
13. What positive things does the ability to choose your opponent bring to this league? Other than friends getting to challenge their friends and talk trash about it, I can only see downsides.
It allows players with different schedule to participate in a direct play league. Right now the only formats I know of that allows a player to when they are able is a selfie or HERB/PAPA style league, (Verified by picture vs verified by a TD, another player)
14. Seems very unfriendly to new players who will get picked on and/or not know enough about the other players to make good choices about who to challenge.
In a ladder format, unless there are a lot of unranked or low ranked players, and you are using IFPA ranks to determine initial rankings there’s not a lot of opportunities for a higher ranked player to pick on a newbie. The exception to this is if a player joins late, then this could happen. As for the advantages of having knowledge of who to challenge or not. I’m not confident in using my knowledge of other players’ tendencies with most of the players I play with in Pittsburgh and I’ve been playing there for 3 years. Is there going to be a disincentive for new players to join, probably. Though I have my doubts as to whether there were any more or less disincentives from when I first joined the Pittsburgh Pinball League, and the match play format is fairly open for new players. Now, I will not deny that this format is more likely to turn off new players then a match play league or a selfie/best game league. But then I also haven’t tried this yet so I could be wrong either way (this format might be horrible for new players or it might work well)