Best scoring format: best game qualifying 20-30 players?

I have a tournament coming up with probably 20-30 players. It is best game scoring for qualifying, 10 attempts all counting across 8 machines. So some players might play 5 machines twice, or all 8 machines and double up on 2 of them (no machine may be played more than twice). What this means is there will be a different number of players scoring on each machine.

I am thinking the 90% decay scoring format in matchplay events might be the most balanced while duly rewarding the top scores.

What do you think is the best scoring format for

  1. low numbers of players
  2. uneven numbers of plays scored on each machine?

imo, I would do a classic Herb scale but just smaller at say a 30-0 spread. do a small bump in points for top score.

1st 30, 2nd, 28, 3rd 27, 4th 26, 5th 25… 0.

The uneven number of plays usually takes care of its self. Players will recognize “value” in playing the machines with less scores on them and things usually even out.

I am much more a fan of set points for rankings on machines, rather than a system that is dynamic or variable based upon number of plays.


Thanks, Cayle. I forgot to mention this is the format for qualifying, then best of 5 single elimination for the finalists. Doesn’t change your answer in my view.

Wait how does this work if someone chooses not to play all eight machines?

The possible combinations are play:

5 machines twice (5 different machines)
4 machines twice and 2 once (6 different machines)
3 machines twice and 4 once (7 different machines)
2 machines twice and 6 once (8 different machines)

A simpler way to say the same thing…
8 machines, play 2 twice
7 machines, play 3 twice
6 machines, play 4 twice
5 machines played twice

I am explaining the rules to everyone in the tournament today so came up with this approach.

Does every one of your entries count for points if you play all eight games?

Edit: cause I think if they do then playing 5 games twice is a big disadvantage. Maybe. Haha

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Every player must play exactly 10 games and all 10 games count. It is up to them how many machines they play twice.

I should have also mentioned that no machine can be played more than twice (I have edited OP to reflect this.)

Oh okay. This is cool. I think I would still play all eight. Unless everyone else plays all eight too, your odds of scoring higher overall should be better. I’ll let the mathematician chime in though :sunglasses:

Interested to hear how this plays out. I’m always looking for different types of formats to use.


Sounds like a fun event, i got nothing to add. :smile:

His proposal was still a set points system, but with 10% “decay” at each rank, so it would be something like

1st 30 2nd 27 3rd 24 4th 22 5th 20 etc

Further down the pile you even get some ranks where there is no change in score. The decay scoring gives some advantages to “streaky” players (for example, 1st + 20th beats 7th + 7th). I like it but I think it’s generally not used because it’s not as clear how many points players drop when someone cuts in front.

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I mean, you can have fractions of a point (:wink: ) and I would suggest it for any kind of exponential system. Just make each place worth (9/10)^(n-1). (Multiply everything by a large number if it makes you players feel better, I suppose.)

(Boo, tiltforums doesn’t support TeX :frowning: )

I think fractions and decimals in scoring systems are confusing. Rounding off is fine.


I ran the tournament on Sunday, 26 players. Qualifying went smoothly, everyone seemed to get their head around the format OK. Not a single complaint. Machines were evenly picked. It seems a good way to get the TGP up for the qualifying round.

Using Matchplay Events to do the scoring was handy since it locked people out of recording more than 10 attempts or a third score on one machine.


Hey Greg, what scoring did you end up going with?

Hi Tim. I went with linear 25-1. I wanted to reward consistency as Bowen suggested. I would have adopted Cayle’s suggestion (25, 23, 22…) but matchplay events didn’t support it. Individual machines were chosen 27-42 times (my memory is a bit hazy). It seemed to work well. I didn’t receive a complaint.