League finals format w/ no byes?

I’ve got 20 or so players. My plan is to divide them into two divisions: A and B. Division A will be the top 8. Easy peasy. Two 4-player groups, with PAPA style scoring. All 8 play in a semi-finals (3 rounds), then the bottom two are dropped in each group. Then the final four play together (3 rounds again.)

Division B however… I have no idea what to do. It’s almost certain that we’re going to end up with a whacky number like 10 or 11. Two 4-player groups and 1 group of 3? The seeding will be uneven and the 3-player group will be at a disadvantage since only one of them will advance. Also, I don’t think it’s fair to give people in Division B byes, if I’m not doing it in A. I want everyone to play as much as I can.

How can I create a fair finals format without byes, if it at all possible?

The basic answer is you can’t. Someone will have an advantage.

What you should do is take the top 2 from each group, instead of dropping the bottom 2. It sounds the same, but now the three-player group has the friendly edge (2/3 instead of 2/4), and after one round of this you’re back to normal. Players in the 3p groups are advantaged, a little, but they still have to survive and advance like everyone else.

I think that if you’re using either Matchplay Events or Never Drains software, this is how it will run things, but @haugstrup or @kdeangelo would have more to say. Good luck!

I actually have a bug in Match Play that it will not handle 3 player groups correctly in “group elimination brackets”. The lowest two players will always be dropped, even in three player groups. This is related to another bug that in very specific cases will create the wrong amount of three-player groups. I imagine Karl’s Never Drains software does the right thing.

I’ll get my bugs fixed soon. Software is hard :slight_smile:

Nope, mine won’t even start a finals bracket without the proper number of players. I’d be adding a phantom player and scoring it zero the entire time.

I don’t even want to talk about bugs after the show-stopping bugs in B&D divisions at Pinburgh. UGH!


In conclusion:

  • Software is hard.
  • Group elimination brackets are hard.
  • Add dummy players and score them zero.

I’m sorry to hear there were show-stopping bugs in B&D divisions. It’s the worst :frowning: :frowning:


My conclusion is that you are both awesome for attempting to do any of this. Thanks!


May I suggest going back to top x scores advance from the groups?

If you do the 7-5-3-1 thing for 4 players and 7-4-1 for 3 players, opportunity is basically the same for everyone. Then you can take the top 4 out of your 11? Top 8 out of your 11? Top whatever.

That does mean if someone dominates a group, it’s likely only 1 will advance. Those situations happened all the time back in the day of point advancement in PAPA.


Agree 100% with Keefer. “Top 2 from each group” is a relatively new phenomenon, and by no means is the end-all-be-all format that must be followed. Just do top x from y over all the groups

In my experience “top x over all groups” is hard to explain to players (and the person who gets second in their group and doesn’t advance will be ready to punch someone).

Beware that an “top x over all groups” may affect how you report results to IFPA since there’s no “direct play”

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Thats actually not true. The games you are playing are direct because those scores are still only being compared to the scores of that game, not to all the other players in the other groups that play that same game.

Huh? “The X players who earn the most points advance” seems pretty straightforward. What am I missing?

I think I confused myself thoroughly. I thought the proposal was the compare points earned across all groups. E.g. with 8 players and two groups you may end up advancing 3 players from one group and 1 player from the last group (in case the first group has one player doing really poorly and the second group has one player doing really well).

Stop listening to me :slight_smile:

That is actually exactly the suggestion


I’m intrigued. So if I take 12 people from qualifying to finals, and do 3 groups of four. Play 4,2,1,0 scoring over 3 games, I’m allowed to take the top 8 scores over those 12 people? That’s legit even though those groups could obviously be playing a completely different set of games than one another? Would that also get me the 2x bonus towards TGP for four player groups?

Then when I’m down to 8 I could do the same thing but take the top 4.

Seems like most of the time you’re going to take the top two (at least anyway) using this format, but It could help in situations in which you’re trying to maximize WPPRS and avoid byes. (Assuming I understand this correctly)

Yes, that’s legit. In fact this was the format for the PAPA final until quite recently (PAPA 17 was the first one to use the “best 2 from each group” rule).

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You could split B up into two groups and do Round Robin. Have each player play every other player in their group. Then take the top 2 best records from each group and do whatever you want for a four player finals.

Yes, one group will be ever so slightly advantaged if you have an odd number of players…but it’s much less of an advantage than doing some 3 player groups and some 4 player groups.