Max Match Play discussion

I love the MM Format!

There is one point I mentioned before.
I know, one of the idea of MM is like “endless round-robin” if you take off 1 player all his games are deleted. I understand well that it makes sense with small amount of rounds. I organized a MM-tournament with 36 rounds. One good player wanted to quit after playing around 30 rounds. (Maybe he saw he will not qualify for finals?). That means TGP will go down for everyone!
My suggestion would be that in a future version of MM the tournament director should have an option to decide if all games will be deleted or not, if a player decides to quit after at least 50% of the rounds played.
Just need to tell the person who want to quit, that he may only leave the tournament after pair rounds (Like 28, 30, 32, etc) So it will be sure that all players have the same amount of games in the end of the tournament. So it is fair for everybody and no TGP is lost.

What do people here think about this?


I think people shouldn’t be douchy and quit when they don’t have a chance of winning or leave early if they do IMO they shouldn’t count towards TGP as it just supports more of this behaviour. As a TD my job is to explain that this format is very inflexible and if you are going to attend these are the restrictions.

No one will admit that they don’t want to play any more because no chance for finals, but will find some excuse why they have to leave. You can’t force anyone to stay in the tournament. According to IFPA rules, at least 50% of the games must be played in order to be scored.
In Germany, we play Round Robin in average 12–16 rounds, If someone quits, his games must be deleted, because otherwise the others would have different numbers of games at the end.
In MM it is not necessary to delete the player, because all the others can still play the same number of games. And like Flip Frenzy you can easily play 36 Rounds during 1 Day.
Did anyone run already MM with 36 rounds or more?
This is just my opinion for future updates of MM.

Life events are outside the control of both TDs & players. It’s inevitable players will leave sometimes.

Best to have a plan for dealing with that whether it’s dropping all their games, pairing them with a placeholder for the rest of the event, or some other solution.

Ive been testing out Max Match Play for an upcoming tourney and figured if a player leaves early, I can just wait until they are assigned a match, change their opponent to a ghost player, change their arena to a ghost arena, increase the max matches by 1 and then never enter results for them. Then they will not be added to new matches and when everyone else has played all of their matches, I can close the tourney. Not sure if there are unseen issues that will come from that, but I don’t like the idea of taking an legit earned win away from a person.


It also takes away losses as well.

And you can’t just give players an free pass / free win and that may have TPG issues as well.

how about everyone pays a $100 deposit in addition to their tourney fee that they get back on completion of the event but they forfeit if they leave early?

In Germany not practical.
Why don’t let the tournament director deciding in a future MM version if all games will be deleted or not if someone decides to quit early? It only needs to be ensured that in this case, all remaining players have the same number of games at the end.

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I don’t really see why an earned win would be a free pass. If you play a player and beat them, then you earned a win, if you lose you “earned” a loss. As for TGP, you’d still be playing the same number of games as everyone else.

If you were playing a strict round robin format, then things would be different but I’m just talking about playing Max Match Play where you won’t play everyone or will play some people multiple times.

free pass when the gone player trun comes up and you don’t remove them.

That’s actually not an issue though. And it’s kind of the fundamental function of my workaround. When their next match comes up, the Gone Player will be intentionally paired with a “Ghost (fake) Player” and not a real competitor so as to keep them (and the Ghost Player) out of the player pool in subsequent rounds. The first time Gone Player is assigned a match, you can go in and change who they are playing (and their arena) so you switch Real Player to Ghost Player (Real Player returns to the waiting room). Gone Player remains locked in Absentee Jail for the remainder of the tournament.

The biggest issue I can currently see is that any wins against Gone Player will be less valuable when it comes to automatic tiebreaker stuff but I figure that is more acceptable (to me as the TD) than fully deleting game results.

The thing is, I don’t anticipate players leaving early since we are aiming for our Max Match Play to run like 3 or 3.5 hours. But I prefer to run test tourneys and over plan ahead of time so that I don’t have to come up with solutions mid-tourney while I’m trying to play scorekeeper and also compete.

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@Shaub I like this workaround that you’ve proposed. It seems to me like it’s an improvement over what I had planned on doing. I had planned to just manually assign a different active player each time a pairing was made involving the departed player. That would get frustrating because it would need to be done every time Create Games is clicked after the player left. It would also be difficult to avoid creating a repeat pairing this way.

Your approach would be even easier to do if @haugstrup is interested in implementing a “Pause player” feature (suggested earlier). You could use this to leave the departed player indefinitely paused.

Your approach may hit problems if you end up with a number of rounds that’s more than a round robin. In that case, the Create Games button will refuse to get past the first round robin stage of pairings if anyone had not played against the departed player. You can use the Emergency Valve to get around this. I don’t believe that problem will come up if your tournament is shorter than a round robin.

Why is increasing the number of matches part of your strategy?

General question… why is Max Matchplay so popular if it has so many logistical issues? I haven’t played one yet and I’m not feeling motivated to try running one since I see so many complaints and cases of messing up the format with players leaving, etc.

Genuinely curious what the appeal is. Is it just high TGP in a short timeframe? What makes it preferred over old fashioned group matchplay?


It’s a head-to-head format that scales up well. Similar to other formats that use a waiting list or queue concept, you can accommodate more players with fewer machines. Though obviously it takes more time than it would take with more concurrent games running.

It does feel a lot like Flip Frenzy. Some people like that faster pace of pairings with head to head matches. But they also like WPPRs, so this seems to be a good compromise.

When doing an exact round robin (number of rounds = number of players minus one) it works better than the round robin implementation in Match Play Events. In particular, your event will take less time because you start games without waiting for a full round to finish. It also does a better job of displaying the matches that should currently be active. (In the actual round robin format implementation it shows all rounds at the beginning of the tournament, sorted last round to first round, which players find confusing.)

The problem of “someone could fall behind and run out of pairings” is the price you pay for the efficiencies gained by taking this “roundless” approach. It’s a problem, but with the recent UI changes I think it will be easy to avoid as long as the TD knows to look out for it.

In my opinion we will settle on good solutions for the “what if a player leaves” problem. That problem already comes up in other formats and is handled without substantial issues. The current problems stem from the particular approach that Andreas took in the Max Match Play implementation. If consensus is that a deactivated player should not have their past matches stricken from the record (and if Andreas is willing to accommodate that feature request), then I think that we can settle on good solutions for the “half game” problem that can arise from dropping a player mid-tournament.

I don’t think it’s particularly high TGP per hour.

I’ll also say, that I agree with your overall sentiment though. In my opinion it’s an OK format, but not great. It has some flaws that can be improved, but overall it’s not going to be as popular as group match play or knockout. I think it has the potential to be a little more popular that Flip Frenzy was in previous years.

I’m so engaged in these discussions because I like experimenting and problem solving (so I’m trying to help make the format better), and because I was already in a head to head round robin league so it’s kind of perfect for some complaints that group had about the previous round robin implementation.


Interesting point about the round robin thing, I never considered that but will definitely test it out.

As for increasing the Active Matches by 1, the reason is that the Gone Player will be in an “Active Match” taking up one of those spots and I want to keep the same number of real active matches going.

Its a new tourney format that was implemented in MatchPlay and people are just working out the logistics and potential issues that may arise when using it.


Thanks for clarifying. I thought you meant that you would change Duration, I had forgotten about the Max active games setting.

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For those that have run Max MP with a constrained # of pins (more players playing than 2x the # of pins), by a fair margin… has anyone noticed an optimum % of empty pins before creating more matches?

If you have substantially more players than 2x the pins (e.g. 60 players for 15 pins), then I think you could start matches pretty frequently. My thought process here is that while the next selected arena might not be too random, the player pairings will feel very random with a big waiting list. I’d try out having at least 3 pins available so that there’s still some randomness in which machine the new pairings get. With a large number of players in the waiting list, I think it’s unlikely that someone who just finished their match will get repaired right away, so the chance of them getting a repeat game is lower.

If you are closer to 2:1 (e.g. 25 players for 10 pins) then I think you want to aim to have about half of the pins available before starting the next set of games. With fewer available pins you run the risk of a player repeatedly getting assigned to the same game. Obviously every time they’re in the waiting list their previous game is one of the available options so they’re more likely to get it.

Every time that I’ve gone into a tournament with a clear plan of when to start matches it always seems like the general chaos of TD’ing leads to me departing from that plan and waiting longer when I feel like I have to (for a player who is falling behind) or delaying because I got busy with a call or long ball or going faster than I had planned (because someone didn’t get paired the last time I clicked the button due to having already played the other waiting list players at the time and they’ve now been in the waiting list for 10 minutes and are getting antsy so I click the button again with only an arena or two available).

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24 players to 18 pins (link)
This one hit the problem where a very good player got a few games behind and we intentionally held off on creating games so that they didn’t get stuck. If I had noticed it earlier it would have had a smaller impact.

31 players to 12 pins (link)