Best Event Format for Maximum TGP % with 2-3H Event


My theory: In round-based play, the time between rounds is the longest game played. The larger the groups, the bigger the chance of an outlier group that takes forever, especially if you happen to wind up with 3-4 really good players in one group. Splitting into the smallest groups (assuming all can still play simultaneously) reduces the chance of an outlier and, over time, gets through rounds faster.


My thoughts exactly. But always #1 will be hard game setup to help with increasing TGP.


I run a weekly head-to-head 3x knockout tournament that averages 35 players on a Tuesday night. It’s a weeknight, we have varying skill levels, and we sometimes have minors who participate, so my goal is to be done by 11 pm. However, as our point totals have gotten nerfed in more recent IFPA rules, I’ve also been looking into how I can make a weeknight weekly a points grab without making it less fun.

Last month I asked my players to bear with me as I tried a group-play 3x KO format (4-player groups, bottom 2 get strikes, if there’s a 3-player group, bottom 2 still get strikes). We were playing at a location with enough machines to accommodate all matches simultaneously, so everyone was either playing or waiting for the round to end. We had a slightly larger than usual turnout (48 people), but early rounds averaged about half an hour. Once we got down to the top 12 or so, however, everyone still in was proficient enough that the rounds started taking closer to 40 minutes, and we barely got out of the location before closing time (1 am).

Your mileage may vary, and I should note that the player base in Oregon has some very high-skill competitors who regularly participate in weeklies, meaning the issues I ran into might be moot or at least less glaring elsewhere, but the later into the tournament you get, the likelier you’ll have a 4-player group where everyone blows the game up. It might be that all the groups in that round have similarly long playing games, so no one is forced to wait, but thinking about the tournament’s end time, things can run long.

I’m still looking for a format that can balance my needs for reasonable timeliness, points worth playing for, and a continued fun and casual atmosphere, and for my purposes formats like Flip Frenzy or Multi-Match Play don’t allow the breaks and social aspect that my players enjoy and expect on their weeknight out. This thread has been helpful in thinking about what trade-offs need to be made based on all these different priorities.


The last few strikes tournaments I’ve run we’ve done “sudden death” finals for top 8 where we transition to a shorter elimination format with seed advantage going to players with fewer strikes in the first round with 8 or fewer players. It cuts down significantly on the slow grind towards the end of the night with the best players.


I’m envisioning a new thing:

First round, everything normal. Second round, remove outlane rubbers. Third round, remove inlane/outlane rubbers. Fourth round, remove ball saver. Fifth round, tighten tilt. Etc. :slight_smile:

Yes, somewhat impractical (and not possible without the keys). But they’re all quick things, and you’re probably waiting on games to finish anyway.


Do you have enough machines that you can separate them into long playing and shorter playing banks and still get the entire round starting simultaneously? If so, alternate banks each round. If not, start alternating banks when you can after enough players have been eliminated. This will cut the times on some of your 30/40 minute rounds in half.

Obviously this doesn’t work if you have all DMD era games on location.

As a player I prefer this since i know if I’m on a 3 ball solid state drain fest that i won’t have to wait a half hour for 4 experts to obliterate Deadpool.


I run the three hour multi-play events @gorgarsupperlip & @snailman mentioned.
Our last one we got six rounds of two games, finishing about 4:45. We then played a three game finals match for top four. TGP was 24 due to nine players in the main event so three player groups instead of four.
Flip Frenzy is more time-efficient but also significantly more expensive on location.


This thread is the first time I’ve ever heard of a “multi-play” format where players are involved in more than one game at a time. Definitely not something I’d want to play in! Whatever keeps your local players happy and coming back is the most important factor though.


That’s what in thought too, but we tried it at selfie league playoffs recently and it wasn’t bad. Definitely costs more (as mentioned above), but it cranks out a lot of games in a hurry. The thing I like is that the bottleneck is usually the player that’s playing well. This puts more pressure on that player because after putting up an epic ball on one game, they have to step over to the next game and jump right back in because everyone else is waiting. That was me occasionally and it was kind of cool. I knew I was doing well, but everyone is waiting for me. Have to keep playing!

Give it a try if you have the opportunity. It’s definitely different and certainly not for every event, but fun in its own way.


I thought the same thing initially, but it’s fun playing more and waiting less. I would not advocate using multi-play for high level competition – the competitive purist in me prefers playing games one at a time.

Agreed. Switching between pins every ball is disruptive to all players (not as easy to get accustomed to one pin’s set of flippers and shot timing), but it’s most disruptive on the player who is doing well, and has to immediately begin playing a ball on the next pin. And this only tends to make the average game time even shorter.


I feel like I get a little cold between balls in four player groups when someone is blowing it up. I might actually play slightly better in a multi-play format. I haven’t seen it done in Seattle yet though.


I like the modified version of this. You take the player with the most strikes in the finals to be 1 strike away from elimination. How ever many that takes everyone else gets that many added to them. So if finals is 4 players and you have the following in a 10 strike format:
1 - 5 strikes
2- 6 strikes
3 - 6 strikes
4 - 7 strikes

Everyone gets 2 strikes added to their total so it’s now:
1 - 7 strikes
2 and 3 - 8 strikes
4 - 9 Strikes

This still rewards good qualifying play while also speeding things up. I’m just not a super fan of going into finals and having way less strikes than someone else. Getting put on a game like Nitro Ground Shaker and it basically being sudden death for all players other than player 4.


@hisokajp was using it for Super League Final-Finals a while back. I’m not sure if that’s still the case.


Seattle scene was exactly how I learned about multi-play format. I believe it was a satellite event that @dbs ran leading up to the NWPAS.


I was hoping this could be a feature on a machine - more just the outlanes. Like the old style ones that didn’t have peg holes but one big slot that you could move the outlane to wherever you wanted could be motorized. Like if you get to “x” point in the game it creeps open more. or even in specific modes or such it could open and close up. Of course that’d cost a lot more to include in a machine but could be neat if tied into something like Scorbit where if you started a game and it knows it’s you it could ‘handicap’ your outlanes vs a lower ranked opponent or something (for fun not WPPRs).


I’ve pitched the moveable outlane guide to Jack, Steve R, Gary S and Gerry. Only the P3 guys even thought it was interesting. I thought it would be great for casual play to handicap better players when playing with friends (you select your skill level) plus it could move during modes. Probably to cost prohibitive, I guess, but it needs to make it into a game.


If the TGP Guide is doing it’s job in estimating the amount of games played, I’m not surprised your new format ran significantly longer than the prior H2H format. Based on 48 players, your new format gets 20 games toward TGP, while the prior H2H format gets only 11 games.

If you’re looking to find some middle ground on the duration vs TGP while still using Strikes, then the hybrid format with a Final Four Accelerated strikes might be a good option. Granted, if you do that, then you can’t get the 20 games toward TGP with 48 players – you’ll have to manually track how many rounds you had of 4-player, 3-player, and 2-player games.


My gosh, so many good ideas here.
How are you guys tracking Multi-play?


I use Matchplay. Last event is at
Tournament configuration
Format Group match play
Seeding random
General pairing balanced
Player order balanced
Scoring system IFPA
Arena draws banks
Duration No limit
Matches per round 2

Set up your machines into banks of as many games as you want to play per round. Set your matches per round to that number. It works best if your banks are adjacent machines.
YOU WILL NEED TO ALTER THE PLAYER ORDER MANUALLY ON MACHINES BEYOND THE FIRST ONE. My method is start the round but UNCHECK the box that says publish. Then manually adjust the player order to put player three first on game two. Then publish the round.


That is super helpful. I’ve been doing rounds on paper then entering it into Matchplay afterwards.