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


One of the leagues I play in used it for a little while to speed things up, but it was so unpopular with players that they gave it up again. I didn’t enjoy it as I found it difficult to keep straight what I was currently doing in each game and so it took additional mental energy.


@YeOldPinPlayer runs these like a well-oiled machine. Go with his recommendations.


Match Play protip: If you are doing a multi match play final with only four players on four games set:

Seeding: Manual (add players from highest seed to lowest)
Player order: Rotating

Now your tournament will have the top seed as player 1 on game 1 and the player order will be rotated for you automatically for the remaining three games.


Thank you! I ran my first multi-play tournament two days ago, and these settings and tips made it run quite smoothly :slight_smile:

We were 13 people and 12 games available, so we had one 4-player group and three 3-player groups playing 3-game matches on 3-game banks. We did have two instances of people playing out of turn, but that’s not too bad for the first time with this format. In 3 hours we reached 96% TGP, before/without any finals.


It will slow things down a little, but suggest veryone step up to the machine in unison, so players A, B, C all step up to the three machines at the same time, then when all players are done, they shift over one machine and play their first ball there. Can help with the confusion of the method and prevent out of turn plunges.


What sort of scoring system were you using? It seem with three versus four games played that the four player groups have a big advantage over the three player groups.

For this reason I’ve only used multi-matchplay for finals where I can make sure I have even groups, but, if uneven groups isn’t an issue I’d like to hear it.


I think all groups were playing 3-game banks, if I interpret it correctly.


Thanks, I read it wrong. I wonder if the out of order playing was the four player groups on three games? It seems a lot easier to lose track of player order that way.


Germain always runs multi matchplay for the finals at 8-bit, and Dave Stewart uses it frequently as well. (I was under the impression that Dave invented it, at least the 4 game, 4 player simultaneous thing.)

Personally, I don’t like it because I guess I’m a “pinball purist”. Seems like the people who perform best at it are the players who can context switch quickly and it doesn’t feel like “real” pinball to me and the games are not very fun to me whether I play well or poorly. I also start getting bored when the entire group has to wait for 5-10+ minutes when one player blows up a game, and I feel like a dick on the rare occasion when I’m that player. Even worse are times when players insist on “jumping ahead”, and things get confused and come close to causing a DQ. I’ve seen several players get DQ’d because things got weird and out of turn order.

I’m just very surprised you haven’t heard of it in Seattle! For the IFPA point-focused crowd, it seems to be the gold standard when used as finals and combined with a regular 5 round Matchplay format event.


The person who told me about it recommended having the players keep their same position on each machine. This means Player 1 plays ball 1 on game one alone, then moves to the next machine to be player one. It’s a slower start, but I’ve never had anyone play out of turn so far (though have only done this a few times).

It also means that if a player blows up one game, the others will pile up behind, and then the dam breaks and that player has three open machines ahead. You also have to make sure that no one else in the area steps in to play a ball on one of the waiting machines if you happen to be in a public place.


One DQ happened in a 3-player group, and one in a 4-player group. But you are definitely correct.


How is making every ball played take as long as your slowest player improving efficiency of play?


If you assume one game plays ever ball slower than all other machines then the total time to play the entire round is the sum of all ball times on that machine and that is the optimal time for a round. Hold true other other assumptions as well. Draw the gantt chart if that helps.


Are you suggesting there is a format that interrupts slow playing players in favor of faster ones?


I’m simply saying this format gains nothing and costs a lot.

If your format does not require rounds but only matchups… it would also be faster than this.

If you have more matches than games… this format is also slower… as queued matches can not start as soon as a game frees up.


That’s interesting… but doesn’t justify this format as gaining anything. There is nothing to be gained from making stars play as long as shadow. In fact it stands to disrupt players to gain what ??


Just reiterating once again: I only recommend using the multi-play format for local level, small events. I would not use this format for competitions of greater significance.


Multi-play works best when games have similar average ball times. You can still gain a small benefit from using widely disparate ball-time games in a multi-play bank, but the benefit it greatly reduced.


I’ve yet to see any advantage at all. So all games finish near each other… so what? If you are playing a round… you wait for all games regardless.

The only ‘advantage’ I’ve seen is it forces players to play different and be at a disadvantage verse playing straight through. So if you are trying to throw off play… sure it does that. But besides novelty competitions, why would you want to introduce that as part of the competition?