Best game with Mulligan

I take part in 4 best score leagues that play 6 games in a night. One of those leagues we get 2 attempts per machine, which adds a lot of time, but I really enjoy the format because I can take different risks knowing a have another attempt. However, it takes a really long time.

I have been thinking about adding a Milligan to the bar league I run, to get a little bit of this without the time investment of a second round. Once per night you can void an attempt and replay.

Has anyone tried this?

European tourneys do this all the time in their commonly used Very Limited Entry ™: you get one play on X pins. But have the option to replay one pin. They typically call it using a Joker, and… if you use your Joker, your new score replaces your prior score on the pin – it’s not a “keep the better of the two scores on the one pin” situation.

So it sounds like you want to use the Joker system. And Mulligan would be a good term to use instead over on this side of the pond, but only if the Mulligan replaces the original score, regardless of how you do on the Mulligan.

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usually only helps good players IME.

I am worried about that. I would love this, but in reality it would probably disproportionately benefit me.

Hopefully that’s a good thing? I’d hope any pinball format is designed to let the best players bubble to the top.


Mulligans all around for Slick Chick

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Well I hate high score format as a rubbish player though :slight_smile: and best players should be at the top without the need to have two goes!

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The joker - the choiced replay - is more or less a thing of the past.

Back in the day, qualify was common be be two games on each of 4-7 machines. Best game counts. With occational joker option to improve one of them. Either risk free, or, this will count, style.

This changed over night when IFPA changed the rules. Then everything became, all games count. And now match-play qualify is the dominent. Either Pinburgh or round-robin. Few want to deal with taking scores down and do the tally.

But with Very Limited Entry, all games (except the one replaced by the Joker) do count.

However, that’s awesome that you’ve switched to match-play as the dominant qualifying format – it’s more fun!

When we started up the Philly Pinball Club with @juanlargo just over two years ago, the first season we did “Mulligan Best Game”. We had a venue with four machines at the time, and the idea is that you had a two-hour timeframe to show up and play your games. Once you were done you could check your position and go back and re-play one of your games if you wanted and log the score. If you did better, great! If you did worse, no worries.

We did this because:

  • It was the start of a new league, and having a proper start time (like Match Play requires) didn’t seem to be in the cards.
  • We only had four machines, so if we had more than 16 people we’d have to do staggered rounds.
  • It was a more casual introduction for newer players.
  • The Mulligan was nice for players to have in their back pocket to give it a go and try again, as we wanted to encourage players to come back in the subsequent weeks. was great in order to run this format. We ran it across four nights meeting every other week, and then we did a direct head-to-head event with seeding based on performance.

One of the nights:

I personally thought it was a fun thing to do, but it’s just a different type of competition than Match Play which worked for that season given the constraints.

What you’re missing (as other have noted) is the direct competition element and the loss of WPPRs.

In the seasons following, we moved to a venue which had more machines which opened up the ability to do Match Play. We tell people they need to be there by X o’clock or else you don’t get to play that night. There was a Finals there this week with I think about 23 people.

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We run best game for our bar leagues for exactly what you said above, flexible start times. At the end of the season we run a playoffs to get the direct play requirements satisfied.

That’s what we did for that season too. Finals was Direct Play with everyone who played in the qualifying portion to make sure that we could submit for WPPRs.