Handling withdrawals in long Group Match Play tournaments

Hi all. I am planning one of those 24-hour Group Match Play tournaments people are always talking about. :relaxed:

One thing that concerns me is people getting fatigued and wanting to drop out of a couple rounds and come back or just getting frustrated and dropping out altogether. Should I permit temporary withdrawals? (And how would I handle this in MatchPlay - just deactivate the player and reactivate?) And what if a player drops out too early? Would I have to deduct them from TGP?

I am trying to find a way to compel people to play the whole tournament while being humane to those who will find this type of endurance event difficult. Do you have any ideas? Thanks in advance!

From what I understand at the sanctum, pretty much everyone always plays every round. Not sure how Chad handled things at his, @djreddog, but yeah if they leave for a bit, de activate, then re activate when they return. If they drop out all together, not sure how that would work for TGP. I would just keep track of all that stuff and let the IFPA know What happened.

I’ll take a stab at how they would handle it. You’ll get 2x TGP credit for all rounds where more than half the groups are 4 player groups. As long as a player has played in 50% of the rounds, they will count towards TGP.

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12 posts were split to a new topic: When do TGP multipliers apply in Match Play format?

I’ve played in one of these. Only one or two player dropped out early and I believe they knew in advance that they would be doing so.

As mentioned, hardly anyone drops out of the Sanctum event, so I don’t think this is something you need to worry about.

Part of the challenge is making it through the whole thing, and I’d be tempted not to write language into the rule set about how someone can drop out and reenter. They’re going to lose if they do that, plus won’t have bragging rights as to having finished the event.

No one is going to complain if you don’t allow re-entry. No other tournaments allow that anyway.

We just ran our first ever 24-hour event. 44 people total. One dropped out with about 4-5 hours to go. I simply deactivated that person in the software. They went home so it never came up about re-entry.

Part of the allure (to some) of a 24-hour tournament is wanting to be able to say you made it through the whole thing. So really I don’t see a player leaving/dropping out any differently than a player who had to leave in the middle of any other tournament - legitimate reason or otherwise.

This is all good info. Thanks, guys.

To recap: It sounds like I should require pre-registration before this event (usually not my personal style) so I can get a sense of who is really committed to this marathon. To be humane, I could let people sit out one round of their choice (to nap or relax. I may want to add a couple of forced breaks in there somewhere for these reasons.) Otherwise, like a '50s dance marathon, I could say that when you drop out you stay out!

For this tournament to have maximum potential, I should strive to pre-register in multiples of 4. (In other words, open it up to 16 players, then increase to 20, then to 24, etc.).

Finally, the Group Match Play results at the end of the 24 hours would be the final results. I don’t think we’ll have a Finals round. (People will already be too exhausted to even think about gearing up for more stress.)

One other thing I thought about doing to keep people from dropping out was some kind of periodic “door prize” or “mini-tournament” with start and end times throughout the day/night. These would not be for points, just for fun and maybe some cash/prizes.

Anything else I have not considered?

This appears to be the easiest way to do all this.

Surprisingly people will NOT be too exhausted for more pinball! Should you have a Finals? No. My point is that I allowed 2 hours of practice prior to my tournament starting and I didn’t really think too many people would come 2 hours early for practice, yet, by 9:30am we have 30 people in the house playing pinball. Additionally, I allow “practice” on any game during the entire tournament and throughout the 24 hours numerous people played pinball instead of resting. Finally, when the tournament ended, people continued to play pinball and $1 games. I was shocked!

General feedback for you based off of my experience:

*You have to have all attendees pay in full in advance. Offer refunds all the way up until like 1-2 weeks before the tournament date. You need this money to offset all the upfront costs of food/beverages/expenses/trophies/etc.
*Everyone is going to want a medal or trophy for finishing the 24 hour event and its a nice little touch if you do it right. I could have bought cheap 2" medals for $2 each, but instead I bought 5" Custom Olympic Style medals that cost $11 each, another reason you need to know how many people are coming beforehand
*I don’t think you need to let people sit out one round. There will be PLENTY of time to rest throughout the 24 hours.
*We stopped at 8pm for exactly 60 minutes. This allowed people to rest/nap/whatever. More than half took a power nap, and the other half played dollar games or practiced
*You don’t want too many breaks or additional breaks. Part of what keeps every pushing forward is constantly doing something. Once you start breaking too much, your body is going to lose energy and momentum
*Not too sure on the “mini tournament”. The 44 people that played in my event all came to win the event. I don’t think too many would have wanted to be distracted with a mini-tournament.

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I think you’re spot on. Pre-registration to get players to commit, and an understanding that this format means that if you leave, you’re done. You’re correct that there doesn’t need to be a finals for this format, and I love the idea of door prizes or side tournaments to incentivize sticking around.

As far as “sitting out” goes, I mostly agree with the people who have said that there will likely be built-in breaks where you’re waiting for other groups to finish and that allowing too much downtime probably does more harm than good. If you do want to build in a “sit out” rule, I recommend having the details of it codified in writing in advance. For example, does everyone get one “sit-out” but if you sit out of a second game you’re out of the event, or can you sit out as often as you want, taking last on the game you’re assigned to for that round? How will you keep track of who has used their “sit out”? When must people declare that they’re sitting out? Can they wait until they see their draw for the round and decide “I hate that game/I won’t win against those people so I’ll sit out” or do they have to declare before the next round has been called? If you do some sort of “unlimited sit-out” rule where people can play as many rounds as they want and skip as many as they want, make sure you’re only including in the results players who played in 50%+ of the rounds.

I’m honestly impressed that people are running local 24 hour battles; I would not have guessed there was enough demand, but it seems like people are into it. Good luck!

Also, mod note: I’m going to move the posts that are specifically about TGP and not 24-hour battle to a separate thread, since they’re not technically on the topic of withdrawals and may be of interest to people who aren’t reading this thread.

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One break for dinner is good enough. People don’t want nap/relaxation breaks - it’s boring and kills motivation. Those in the bottom groups are already going to be waiting 30-45 minutes for the top groups to finish, and surveys have shown they’d rather not even have those breaks.

You can try, but if you cap it at a multiple of 4, and then one person doesn’t show up or drops out at the last minute, you’ll probably just wish that you had not bothered with the cap.

Follow the lead/format/timing/rules of the Sanctum. They’ve been refining it for many years. Every bit about their is set up intentionally based on past experience. Take advantage!

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