I have long since wondered… why is number of players participating in an IFPA event the primary factor in determining the tournament’s final value? We saw with Super League and others that this was exploited by simply forcing more and more people to “participate”, in which we then needed to more strictly define what “participate” means to stop some of the abuse. But my question is… Why? Why is number of players the important metric to begin with?
Consider this crazy extreme example:
What if one year, only 32 people show up to PAPA with HERB qualifying, but it’s the who’s-who of best players. Whoever the scariest 32 names you can think of, they are all there. Now consider the scenario where PAPA is a THREE day qualifying event with only top 8. You spend Thursday, Friday, and Saturday pumping and dumping. Playing and playing. Hundreds, thousands of games being played all weekend, trying to get the high scores to qualify. Because the finals is only top 8, they decide to have each round be 5 games instead of 3. You go through the most grueling finals of your life playing against the best of the best, somehow edging out your competition and go on to win the event.
Countless hours played, hundreds of games played, huge scores, great pinball, against the very best in the world.
Guess what? Your event would be worth a whopping 20 points or so. That seems odd doesn’t it? Even though you played MORE than previous PAPAs. Even though you had to work so hard and get such huge scores. Because more people didn’t fly out to PAPA and throw their name in the bucket, the event is worth basically nothing.
There were some things to address this, mainly TGP, or Tournament Grade Percentage based on Total Games Played. However, this maxes out way earlier than the number of players does! 25 games played and any extras do NOTHING. However, you keep getting points after points up until 64 players. In my PAPA example, if you include the qualifying (which I think you should since it was THREE DAYS OF THE TOURNAMENT), and the extra games added in the finals, it can be shown that you clearly played more pinball than you would at say, Pinburgh. But, because there aren’t 650 other people hanging out, you get nothing.
Shouldn’t a three day tournament be worth more intrinsically than a one day match play tournament that has been optimized to 100% TGP (like the ones in Seattle with multi match play finals that just barely squeak in the required 25 games)? Regardless of how many people attend? I think so.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any real solutions here, which is why I’m bringing this to tilt forums for discussion. I do think that currently the IFPA puts too much emphasis on number of players in a tournament, and not the length or quality of the tournament, or quality of players… butttt I don’t really know what to do instead as to not throw the whole system off balance