Inconsequential ties and finals seedings

Is this something people really like to do? Because the only reason I’ve ever heard of anyone using head-head results for tiebreakers is that they are concerned about schedule/time and usually say they would prefer to play off if possible. I understand this, but wish they would just build a schedule to accommodate it.

Here is what I don’t like with the round robin and ties not being played out but based on head to head results:

From a high level, it just always feels better to play out bubble ties. Even if its a 1 ball playoff. All the tied players got to the same point one way or another, and given the rules used to rank players for that event, they ended up ranked the same. Any method used to break that ranking outside of new play feels arbitrary as is was inconsequential up until that point in the tournament.

You can also think about it different ways and it can feel crappy. Say 32 players are in a round robin, top 4 advance for easy of discussion. seeds 1,2 and 3 make it in clean. Myself and someone else tie for slot 4 with 3 losses each.
I lost to the other player (seed 4) I am tied with, and seeds 16 and 17. His losses were to seeds 1, 2 and 3… So now I lose the tiebreaker because I lost to the other guy I am tied with, however, arguably my qualifying “run” was stronger because I beat “better” players during my qual. This all of course, would be highly debatable.

Another thing is, during the round robin, you never know when a match will be putting you in out of the event at the time it is played. I much prefer to know when my tournament life is on the line, and with that tie-breaking procedure you wont know until qualify is over.

As for people complaining after a tie breaking playoff game “but we’re 1-1 against each other, why do they get to advance?” - I’ve honestly never, ever heard that. To me, a tiebreaker is a whole new round of advance yes/no. I mean if the quote was a legitimate concern, then we would hear people whining all the time at a PAPA style finals “But in the Semis I got more points than player X, how come they won in the final 4? we should be tied!”

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Couldn’t agree with Cayle more on this. We use head-to-head record to break non-bubble ties for IFPA, but anytime a player’s life is “on the line”, we always play it off. We have ended up adding an hour to the schedule to specifically deal with these bubble ties because yes, it unfortunately does take time, but is well worth it IMO.

I couldn’t imagine letting someone know, “Sorry, you didn’t advance because remember that game of Scuba you played against John in Session 1 yesterday morning . . . THAT GAME actually decided your fate in the tournament.”


To be fair, in my tournaments it has been: “Remember when you lost to John 10 minutes ago? Yeah, he advances”.

But given the opinions here, it sounds like I should try doing it the other way.

Mine recently was “hey, remember that game of shadow you played, where you had a 1 ball KAHN multiball on ball 3 because the trough gave you a screw job and instantly ended your multiball? That game where you lost by 4M points on bonus? Yeah, that has determined that you don’t advance to the semis of this yearly tourney with 150 people”

boooooo :slight_smile:

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Wow. That’s garbage.

Agreed on all points of playing out bubble ties.

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Aren’t you all forgetting what the subject is here? INconsequential ties. This was supposed to be about ties that do NOT affect advancing to another round - - ones that impact things like position choice in the next round. And for this kind of tie, I think things like score on game X or where you stood going into the latest round are fine. Of course ties that affect moving on should be played out.

You would think that, but they often are NOT played out. There are people int his very thread stating they don’t play them out.
Sure the topic got derailed a bit, but the point was to highlight that the baseline on which this topic was formed isn’t even standard (though, I feel it should be)

Definitely need some rigor in tiebreaking rules when advancing is involved. BTW, I wholly agree with your comment on head-to-head being crap when “strength of schedule” is involved, i.e. average quality of loss is a far better measure. [That’s one thing the US football rankings voters consistently get wrong - - teams A and B are both 9-2, but A (at home) beat B, so they vote as if A must be better … except B’s other loss was to the #1 11-0 team and A’s two losses were to unranked opponents. Give me a neutral field for a rematch and I’m taking B all day.] The strength of opponent is the exact logic for the match play tiebreaker about the player with the better record going into the last round winning the tiebreak, since they’ll have faced tougher opposition in their final round the way the pairings converge. [Although it doesn’t address strength of opponent over the rest of each player’s qualifying rounds! What if one player was in higher-point groups for rounds 2-8, then in a lower group in round 9?]

While we’re slightly [but usefully it appears] off-topic, comments on one-ball vs. full game and random machine vs. selection of some kind? I’ve been at events that used one or both, and I think one ball stinks out the wazoo for advance-or-not ties, as does letting either player have a say in which machine is used.

Just caught up on the thread. This happened in my first selfie tournament. Basically, there was a tie for 5th and a tie for 10th place after qualifying using modified Herb scoring. I didn’t anticipate a tie but makes sense now considering we only had 17 players and best 5 out of 7 machines were used. I simply used a coin flip before the day of finals to determine who got 5th and who got 6th seed (and same for 10 & 11). From that point on, there was no other decision to make, those were the seeds.

This was better than a playoff day of finals because then there was the chance the last spot would have been played off for a tie-breaker. That might make sense for a one-day tournament when players are actually there, but not for something like a selfie tournament. I’m not going to ask someone to drive an hour to play one game and not make it into the tournament.

Now that I know of this possibility and likelihood of a tie in qualifying, I’m now simply instituting a tie-breaker for qualifying based on total # of 100 point games, and so on until ties are broken. This only for selfie tournaments. Any tournament where players are still there, any significant ties get played out head-to-head.

And yeah, I agree that in no way should a significant tie-breaker use anything outside the realm of the finals format, e.g. anything in qualifying or IFPA rankings, etc. Finals should be a distinct and mutually exclusive component of a tournament that only relies on qualifying to determine players and seeding.