Need advice on league finals - for tomorrow night!

Hey Tilt People - League finals are tomorrow night and I have no idea what format I should run. We have 2 divisions and the upper division has 8 players. The B division has 10 players. I’m looking for a way to run two separate tournaments simultaneously using MatchPlay in a format that will last about 2 hours. I want it to be fair so that the upper division players don’t feel like they worked all season and their rank doesn’t matter - or is that not important? We ran group matchplay all season with balanced pairing. I heard that I can’t rerank lower division per IFPA rules, so that will be just for trophies. Any help figuring this out will be much appreciated - bonus points for MatchPlay settings. I was thinking double elimination or? Help!

Head to head double elimination is what we do. But that’s gonna take more than 2 hours even if you do best of 3. Probably 3 hours.

Not sure what you mean by rerank lower division?

Whatever 2 comps you run

A Division should be playing for 1st - 8th B division should be playing for 9th - 16th.

That way at least qualifying has some meaning.

I don’t know how long your league has been running, but I would have thought having the finals rules decided prior to the day before would have been a good idea - what did you submit to the IFPA at time of registration? Or are people just making up the rules and format as they go along?


Notwithstanding the questions posed above about not having it set before, one answer to your question would be papa style group elimination (3 games per round, scoring of 4210 for 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th, top two players advance) - which will get you a champion ideally in 6 games barring tie’s. matchplay has that exact setup and will help you manage it. For B division, a strike tourney is a good way to give everyone a chance to play and can run itself mostly - just set it up as a separate tourney in matchplay, it’s easy to switch between the two as the tourneys run. You are correct, finals are supposed to only be for the top 50% (or less) per ifpa, so your b division is for trophy or glory or both. When you submit to ifpa, only rerank the top 8 according to your playoff results, the rest of the field should be listed by how they did in the qualifying.
Good luck -

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One thing you could do to make the “regular season” count some for the upper half is use a strikes event where the top players start with no strikes and lower players start with one or more. Do a head-to-head or 4-player 0-1-1-2 six-strikes finals where seeds 1 and 2 have no strikes to start, seeds 3 and 4 have 1 strike, seeds 5 through 8 start with two strikes.

Ladder match. That seeding heavily rewards players for their regular season finish and should be possible within your time frame unless the games play very long.

Seeds 5/6/7/8 play one game selected by seed 5, last place eliminated
Then seed 4 picks the game vs the 3 players remaining from game 1.
Then seed 3 picks the game, and so on…

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chiefbrody gives a good suggestion that is commonly used. The first round is two groups of four: 1st 4th 5th 8th and 2nd 3rd 6th 7th. After three games with 4210 scoring, the top two from each group advance to the final four, where again three games with 4210 scoring are played. The usual way to reward players for their placement in the regular season is to give the highest seeded player choice of game or position for each game. The second highest seeded player then gets choice of whatever is left. The third highest seeded player then gets choice of whatever is left, and then the fourth highest seeded player then gets choice of whatever is left. No player can pick the same game twice at any point.


chiefbrody and dennis have good suggestions imo and I would read their posts in case I forget something here…

FYI Downtown Pinball League (which has been going for 20+ seasons) has generally done the following:

top 8 go to A finals: two groups of 4 with seeding like

Group A: Seeds #1, #4, #5, #8
Group B: Seeds #2, #3, #6, #7

Each group plays 3 rounds, 1 game a round with “PAPA Scoring” (4/2/1/0 for 1st/2nd/3rd/4th). Top seed picks the game/position every round. Then next seed picks what is available (e.g. if seed #1 picks game, seed #4 picks position, then #5, then #8…if seed #2 picks position, seed #3 has choise of game/available posoitions)

No player can pick the same game twice.

At the end of the last game, top 2 people in each group go to the final four and then repeat 3 more rounds with 4/2/1/0 scoring. If necessary, break any ties with a random game, top seed involved in the tie breaker picks position.

…this is all assuming you want 8 in A, if you want like 9 you could do like 3 groups of 3 and then one final group of 3.

everyone else is in ‘B’/consolation: a group strikes tourney with 0/1/1/2 (“Fair Strikes”) and like 5-6 strikes to be eliminated. Play in the order MP gives you, and first player picks an available machine. I suggest 5 strikes for elimination since things always take longer than you think haha. The key is to have last place take more than 1 strike so when it comes down to 2-3 people the tourney “accelerates” and finshes. There’s also “Progressive Strikes” which is 0/1/2/3 but that might be too quick even at like 8/9 strikes to be eliminated haha…

Thanks everyone (except for Dennis who is trying to collude with the TD - haha) you guys are always so awesome and helpful.


There’s also a TD slack that you can join to ask questions like this and for rulings, etc.

It’s pretty useful, I highly recommend it.

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OP stated 9 players to finals at the final round of league regular play, then ran top 8 on their finals night. Bummer.

Im not sure what you mean by that - we had 9 make it to finals and 8 showed up - the no show placed 9th by default.

Just to elaborate - I can’t promote someone to division 1 because of a no show after they qualify for D1 the lowest they can rank was 9th.

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