Match Play Events Open Thread


Okay, then, allow me to solicit votes for my submitted suggestion:

As a player in Match Play Events tournaments, I elect to get notifications via Slack. When a new round is created, my locked phone shows a truncated notification from Slack about my next match which tells me: the tournament name, “New game”, and the first two or three players involved. Which game I will be playing is the last piece of information in the Slack message, and it’s too far down to be included in the notification. I would like to have the machine I’m about to play displayed earlier, so that the truncated notification includes that information. Basically, moving the arena up in the order of information sent to Slack.

Then I don’t have to unlock my phone to figure out what machine I’m going to. I don’t consider this as vital as some of the other requests coming from TDs about running tournaments, but it would be a nice thing for players and information hierarchy. No rush.


I don’t mean to derail your question, but can you explain how notifications are pushed to players? Sounds like a really neat idea if I can find a way to get it implemented.


If your players visit on their phones, they can find your running tournament (a variety of ways) and see details about it. If they create a player profile, they can also identify themselves as a player in your tournament, and elect to receive notifications via email, text, or Slack. So far, the notifications I’ve gotten are simply about my match when a new round is created by the TD.

And thanks to @haugstrup, this suggestion has already been implemented! Woo!


I had some spare minutes this morning before work. You caught me at the right time. :slight_smile:

@Spyderturbo007 The Slack notifications work just like the text message notifications you can receive when you have a new game to play. Except that they are much more cumbersome to initially set up. :frowning:

You have to sign up for a free team at recommend you create just one team for your local community! It would be very silly if each player created their own team. By creating a single team and inviting other players into it you’ll also have a place to talk pinball with each other (we have a thriving SF Bay Area pinball slack team with almost 80 people).

Once you have a Slack account you can go through the setup steps outlined in Match Play. You have to add a “webhook” integration to your Slack team. That will give you a special URL to feed into Match Play. Same rule as before: Create a single webhook and share the URL will all the players on your Slack team.

I will eventually make it easier to setup Slack notifications, but right now only a few people use the feature…


Some would say I’m procrastinating finishing player merging. Others would say I implemented the second most requested feature. IFPA results now give tied players the position IFPA expects.




I was so happy to wake up this morning to find an email saying my suggestion had been completed. Thanks for all the work you do on this!


What are my options when the same players get matched against one another multiple times in the first couple rounds due to showing up late or having to move games around and assign points manually? Is there any way to reassign groups or force a re-shuffle with updated data from round 1?

It’s not going to be long before some players will show up late on purpose if they know it’s a matchplay event knowing that they’ll probably get an easier round two.


Not a software fix, but if you stop allowing late players this problem disappears!


So what may cause players to play the same game twice when there are more arenas than needed?
Here’s the tournament - 2 players played Walking Dead twice in a 4 round tournament with 14 machines and 36 players.

This will help me give a better answer when players question me about playing the same game :smiley:



This happens for all kinds of reasons, lately it’s because people are present on time but haven’t added themselves or asked someone else to add them.

On the flip side, sometimes people register but don’t show up and it’s not fair to have a one- or two-player group so you have to redistribute.

Heck, this happened at the Silverball showdown last week. The seeding got messed up due to no-shows and a few of the same people ended up playing one another across eight games (two rounds).


True, there are definitely lots of situations like you mentioned. In general I’m a fan of a hard cutoff time and a roll call before hitting start on the software. It makes players take the start time seriously and the roll call keeps anyone from being left out, or “left in” as the case may be.


@Law I’m personally firmly in agreement with @jdelz. I don’t see this as a software/technical problem to solve. Stop accommodating people who show up late/can’t be bothered to sign up when they arrive and their behavior will change.

For knockout/match play type tournaments have the player sit out the first round (remember to assign a strike manually!). The loss of points/strike awarded has been enough to encourage people around here to get their act together. If you punish late players instead of rewarding them, they will do what you want.

For brackets/finals type situations I would not allow a late player to play at all.


@TracyLindy same reason as above, really. Of the 1000 randomly generated arena pairings, the one containing the one duplicate was the best one. Doesn’t mean there aren’t better solutions possible, but of the randomly generated ones, that one was the best one.

You can tell them that the creator of the app says that “computers are hard”


That’s not tenable. Real-life cases where this has happened:

  1. I’m never going to turn down a new player that just showed up for an event advertised at a certain time but didn’t know who to talk to and finds us at three minutes past the hour or whatever. This has happened a few times due to either people showing up AT the advertised start time or being too shy to approach the large group of people present. We do what we can to get returning players showing up on time, and in that case sure they can take a strike.

  2. At the Houston Arcade Expo this past year the TD advertised three different start times on different web sites - should the player be penalized for that or should the TD have a way to try and correct for a group of players showing up late? In that case, enough people showed up “late” to assemble full groups from those people, but they ended up getting matched against the same opponents in round 2.

  3. People pre-register but don’t show up, this leaves groups of one or two people. Is that fair when everyone else has three opponents?


It comes down to - for whatever reason, these things happen and have been happening consistently when using the software. Most pinball events I’ve been in have to have a game or group reassigned at some point. Right now that causes issues with match assignment in matchplay and it sounds like there is no way to resolve the issue?


I have plans to give the TD the ability to add/remove players from any group (could potentially extend to creating new groups as well), but it hasn’t been super high on my list. It would be an excellent thing to add to:

New players: They’re non-issues, right? Just keep doing what you’re already doing. They’re not showing up late on purpose to get easier opponents in round two. I’d try to be proactive as the TD to grab people that look like they want to be playing. Also yelling “if you’re here for the tournament come see me” 10 minutes and 5 minutes before the start time helps a ton.

TDs announcing wrong start times: This will mess up any tournament. I hope the TD learned a lesson? See also: Why facebook events are terrible.

Pre-registration: Even using the pre-registration feature I would insist that players check in with the TD prior to tournament start. In practice I would:

  • Close pre-registration an hour before the tournament starts
  • Deactivate all players in the tournament
  • As people check-in, re-activate those players


I usually tell them that the software tries its best to assign them different opponents and different machines but won’t always be perfect. I like the idea of adding “computers are hard” :smiley: Thank you very much!


It sounds like I’m not going to get any traction here. This bad matchup issue with repeated matches due to uncounted manual score adjustments or “invisible” matches is something I’ve seen in most matchplay events I have run, participated in, or watched on a stream.

Re: new players - that’s the worst. I explain the swiss format and that they’ll play people that do as well as they do, and then after round one do the points adjustment and … they wind up with the exact same group on a different game and think the thing is rigged. Yelling is fine, but I usually run events in a very loud 13000 square foot arcade with hundreds of games, poor sight lines, and a BYOB policy that has people heading out to the parking lot at odd intervals. It’s just not possible even with the overhead speakers. Someone gets missed, then I need to pull people from two or three other groups to make a full group for the last leftover person.

Sure, I hope they learn too. Either way this isn’t a solution and when something like this happens, you need a way to correct for it appropriately.

This sounds like a good idea and I’ve tried it multiple times. It makes it even worse!
-The player list is unmanageable on a smart phone. No wifi slows things down. Finding a player in a list of a couple hundred names to re-register them is a huge pain. Sometimes people have a different profile for their newly-registered account and their old events, they all show up in my list. Removing duplicates will help this, but it’s still quite hard to find names in the list as they check in.
-The pre-registered list is my only list of who’s actually planning on participating. When I remove everyone and they get added back to the giant “every player” list, it is even more difficult to manage.
-People want to know why they don’t see their name any more after registering yesterday. I didn’t think this would be a problem, but it has been and takes more time to explain.
-People show up 15-20 minutes early for an event. There is just not enough time to have face time with 30-40 people as they are arriving. I need time to discuss the rules and basics with new players and allow the regulars to self-register.

I know you’re trying to be helpful, but saying “your’re doing it wrong, it works under these conditions” doesn’t help, there will always be issues. I run four to six events a month and have for years. Even under the best conditions you have to shuffle things around sometimes. When this results in people saying “why did I play the state champ twice but not my friend at all” (or vice-versa) it’s a problem.

When there are issues, I need a way to fix them without imbalancing the event or providing an advantage to certain players. Right now I’m seeing issues that I would be able to resolve if I was manually assigning matches but the software doesn’t allow me to fix. If you don’t want to or can’t address the problem, fine, but it’s a thing I’ve hit a lot and saying it can be worked around by being Super TD isn’t helpful.

If I read your prior post correctly though - it sounds like steps are being taken to allow manual group swaps and adding groups mid-round, that will definitely help!


I apologize if I came across as dismissive. That was certainly not my intention.

In order for MP to take any “invisible” matches into account, they must be made visible somehow. If the software doesn’t know that a player played another player, that can’t be taken into account when generating pairings.

MP does take point adjustments into account when pairing players for swiss tournaments. If you give someone a +7 in the first round they will be put into the “7 points” group for the second round. This didn’t used to be the case, but I fixed it up not too long ago. If it’s not happening send me an email at with a link to your tournament.

But for repeat opponents or repeat arenas to be avoided, proper games must be created in the software and you can’t create those manually.

The tournament organizer was really not designed with phones in mind. Can you tether a laptop or tablet to your phone?

I’m in the process of improving how you add players to a tournament to make it less error prone, but I can’t promise it’ll be smooth on a phone. It’s quite time consuming to make everything work well from a laptop screen down to a phone screen. I’m just one guy making tournament software on nights and weekends. Sadly, Match Play is not an endeavor that pays the rent :slight_smile:

Add this as a suggestion on or it will drop off my radar. I use those feedback forums to gauge interest for various suggestions so please add this as a suggestion there!


I’ve had a similar experience several times in my tournaments. Would 2000 random pairings improve this problem?