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


Significant time savings. Much less time spent by players waiting around, and more time per hour actually playing pinball. You end up having many balls played that overlap with your “critical path” of each round. As @gammagoat suggested, lay it out in a Gantt chart if it works better to visualize it. In traditional round of 3 games, EVERY ball time is on the critical path. In multi-play, many balls played will overlap with the critical path, meaning the total round time is greatly reduced.


There must be something you’re not understanding about this @flynnibus.

A normal four player, four game match takes the sum of the length of all balls played by all four players.

A multi-play four player, four game matches takes only as long as it takes the slowest player to play all four games.

That’s significantly faster. Around 3x faster in my experience.

I’ve only used it in small events. And then only for a four player finals. (Never for semis or anything earlier).


Flynn, think of it in terms of simultaneous players. Traditional 4P group have one playing and three watching. 2P groups have one playing with one watching- this is the most efficient you can get with traditional matchplay and requires one machine for every 2 competitors. 4P multiplay, at best efficiency, has 4 playing and zero watching (if everyone’s ball times are exactly the same). You’ll never have best efficiency, but you’ll almost always do better than 50/50 that 2P groups get. This has the heaviest equipment requirement at one machine per player, so works best with smaller groups.


If we visualize it as playing left to right in a bank…

As I finish my ball… I can only avoid waiting if the player to my right drained before I did.

You can’t move faster than the longest playing ball unless you allow queuing verse requiring synchronized starting. And queuing means a heck of a lot more confusion.

The gain is not uniform… and only appears if you were the longer ball.

I can see what you all believe because you are not waiting for three players each ball… for each game… but it makes each game play longer… and worse imo… at the gain of the match running faster.

I say preserve the game over faster tournaments


But you’re still only waiting for half of one player’s ball instead of three other player’s balls before you start playing again.


that is the main thing, enough players, events and format out there for everyone own preference. That allow to mix and match, try different thing. Not everyone has to like every format clearly :slight_smile:


yeah I’m seeing what people are saying when we frame it in the context of ‘a set’ vs ‘fastest way to play a game’. It’s the slowest way to play a single game, but has gains for playing a set of games… that increases as the # of players per group increases, but at the expense of confusion and disjointed play.

The way people were trying to describe the gains were totally off. The gains really come at great structuring while avoiding the brittleness it introduces.

I quoted the last line of the post because I think it epitomizes what this kind of discussion evolves to… “how do we change to best fit WPRRs”… and I know that’s the topic of the thread, but the whole thing is vile to me. The very notion of structuring the competition around how to gain the most WPRRs is the very definition of ‘gaming’ the system IMO. It’s one thing to say “how do I make sure I don’t penalize myself with my format”, but when we start off with the objective being most WPRRs… It’s all ass backwards to me. The WPRR formula is intended to be a means to measure the event… not to be a goal itself.

This thing really struck a chord with me because it broke past the line of altering the match itself IMO. And when we start changing the way we play the game itself… mid-game… to chase WPRRs… to me that is over the line.

It’s just as vile to me as people playing 1 ball games to try to boost game count (which of course you can’t do now…). Or people who would meet constantly in their basement with a few buddies to create ‘events’ to boost their cumulative points.

It crosses the imaginary line of ‘optimizing’ an event’s format… into disrupting the game itself.

I would avoid events advertising this format… and if they introduced it midstream as a finals format. I’d protest and demand a refund.

In the case of the pinfest gauntlet event where this was used… it’s description is beyond cryptic…


There are also people who simply prefer playing pinball to waiting around, or who want as many games as possible played to determine a winner.

I don’t think you have to worry about multiplay becoming a common format, especially considering the possible player confusion and required machine to player ratio. However, it is a good tool in the TD toolbox for those instances where quantity really matters over quality. Plus, I bet TD software will improve to help it be less confusing.


You and I are well out of the ranking area/ability where this matters to us. It DOES matter to others. If you’re a tournament director you should put on events players want to compete in. Generally that means a couple hours long, the more players and the closer to 100% TGP the better.

A round always takes as long as the slowest game. With multi-play you’ve played 2-4 games in that time instead of just one. I could look up the round times of the Matchplay events if you really care.

I think Flip Frenzy will get you to 100% TGP faster but I don’t have data to back that up. My locations are generally priced per game and 25 games is expensive.


One of my primary goals as a TD is to increase interest in competitive pinball. I’m fortunate in that I live in a pinball mecca, so the interest for tournaments is there. My dilemma is how to draw players to my tournament when there are already four other pinball events that week. Choosing a format that maximizes TGP is my best tool to do that. Going from a three strikes format to match play with PAPA finals almost tripled the turnout. While great for TGP, it ran later than I wanted so I needed something to cut the time down without impacting the games played. Multi-matchplay is perfect for my goals. Finals take one third the time they did playing the standard one game at a time.

Multi-matchplay is only mildly confusing the first time you do it. Key is to wait at your machine till everyone has drained, shift one game to the right, plunge the next ball at the same time. Don’t jump ahead because the next game is open and it is easy to keep track of everything.

Choosing a format that maximizes TGP isn’t gaming the system. The whole point of points is to generate interest in competitions. Higher value events benefit all players, from the most skilled who are battling for states to the beginner who is thrilled the whole point they got for 15th place which moved them to the top 100 in the state. While I totally want myself and my friends to get more points, my true overall goal is to increase interest and attention the the hobby I’ve basically made my life. Using multi-matchplay to speed up the finals is nothing like playing one ball games or having daily tournaments in my friends basement.


I’d be interested in seeing the event durations. Flip frenzy would take ~4 hours (in my experience)


This was from the one I just held, which reached 100% TGP. (I had expected 96%, honestly, but IFPA decided on 100%.)


January- multi-play, 2/round. Six rounds in three hours with majority 3 player groups, then 3 game multi-play finals for top four (done on paper so not reflected in stats.)

August 2018, 7 rounds in 3 hours

October 2017 matchplay, eight rounds in three hours, one game per round (8 players, two groups)

Sept 2017? matchplay, six rounds in three hours, one game per round (13 players, 1 four player group, 3 three player groups)
Note the final round duration isn’t accurate. The round wasn’t closed at the end of the last game. It was closed after I got the finals started.


Not sure what you are trying to say about my abilities or ambitions… but if you are going to the ifpa to capture either… that’s not a great place to look.

The big constant for me is if you put on a good event… the players (and points) will follow. Chasing points first, or structuring major elements (that impact game play) to chase points is in bad taste IMO.

Holding events just to pump points is just as bad to me. Thankfully the iterations of the wprr formula has nerfed most blantent abuse… but the fact people still hunt… or make it their purpose to have an event… saddens me.


In this instance, it serves a far greater purpose than chasing points (which has been explained in multiple posts above, but you continue to ignore): it allows players to spend more time playing and less time waiting when they attend an event. This makes it more fun for players (based on the feedback I’ve received). As an additional benefit, it also earns more WPPR points per event through higher TGP%, which makes the event more attractive to those players that place a high value on that aspect. Win-win.


To @flynnibus’ point: the title and original question of this thread was about how to create an event that’s a WPPR factory. Essentially: how can players fly through 20+ games in a couple hours? And while everyone likes more pinball, IMHO it’s good to savor the games. I’ve been reading the discussion of multi-multi-game thinking that format is like putting your dinner into a blender so you can pound through it faster. Technically true, but… ewww.


Agreed. The competitive pinball purist in me doesn’t like it for “best format of competition.” But we’ve received enough positive feedback from player base to continue it, on the merits of them wanting to play more pinball.

Another point: Ops like it better, too, because it means more coin drop per hour during events.


I didn’t ignore… Previously I was asking what the benefit was. And once people conceded the extremes you must embrace to make it work… I saw what people felt like the gain was for completing a set. But the three posts leading up to the one you just quoted was about my statement on the consequence and prioritization… not if the format worked or not.

I still think the format disrupts some basic tenants of play. If we just want to get together and play pinball… do that. I do not like the pretense that rankings are mixed in with these kinds of variations.

Call me a purist or whatever :slight_smile:


Except that you rotate left instead of rotate right like we do in Seattle!!! Would be great to have an option to Rotate Left vs Rotate Right :).


So many options…