After playing a very LONG playing tournament here in Colorado last week I sat down with the tournament directors and spoke with them about how we could make the tournament flow more quickly and stop being held up by those frikkin’ playoff games.
Here is an idea we came up with. I’d like to hear what you jokers have to say about it and any ideas on how to make the format a better one are greatly appreciated.
First example of Outrun the Bear:
The first 3 rounds are 4 player match play. The 7-5-3-1 scoring is to establish ranking into the 4 ranked groups that will compromise the next phase of play. There will be 4 divisions (tie breakers will be adjusted for with a coin flip as these initial rankings are not critical) will then split players into groups of players from one of each of the 4 ranked groups playing a single game (there will be adjustments to 3 player games as noted below).
We now have groups of 4 (or 3) players on pinball games and we now get to the strike phase of the tournament and we let loose the bear. The bear is hungry. This bear likes tasty-tasty pinball players. The bear catches the pinball players who do not run as fast as the other pinball players with their pinball scores. The bear deals out strikes. The player who finishes last (or the last two, or if that bear is REALLY hungry, the last 3 pinball players in a 4 player group) gets a strike. We don’t know how many strikes to set this phase of the tournament to, but it may have something to do with how many pinball players the bear eats when each game of this phase is played. This is where the power of the rules kicks in.
Do we have a set number of players who get eaten by the bear for every turn? Do we start out with only one player who is bear food and as rounds progress, the bear eats more players? If a player has only one strike, does that mean that only the last player gets eaten (25%- 33% fatality rate per round). If there is two strikes for a player, does a bear who doesn’t catch the first two players yield similar harvesting statistics? Three strikes, but only the fastest player in the group isn’t mauled to death?
Second example of Outrun the Bear:
Now what if we let loose the ursine from the start and the rounds simply become more and more savage as the tourney progresses? The bear only catches the last player in the first round. Then the bear catches the last two players in the second round (you really don’t want to be in a 3 player group). And when the third round comes about, only one player gets away from Smokey.
For example, we could just jump right into bear-time and then have a triple (quadruple, or any number really) elimination format with the rounds reaping:
Round 1: last player eaten.
Round 2: last player becoming cubby-chow.
Round 3: last 2 players mauled. (first players are now out with 3 strikes).
Round 4: last 2 players becoming consumed. (first players are now out, if set to 4 strikes) .
Round 5: last 3 players being held down whilst being eaten alive. (Unless you are in a 3 player group, then it would be the last 2 players).
Round 6: and so on with the “circle of life” continuing as it did in round 5.
In the later rounds, many players will be knocked out at once in a single round with this increasing intensity of bear-strikes. Large amounts of players may be tied for 5th. Chaos may ensue. Once 4 or fewer players are still alive, a single game may be played for placing. If the last round took out a large number of players for the top four placings a single playoff game may need to be played to determine said placing.
To summarize, what we are trying to do is balance the amount of play (we want players to feel like they are getting their money’s worth with at least a few rounds of play) and not have tournaments that take 7-11 hours to complete. This format is also fascinating as the amount of “pressure” can be adjusted as deemed necessary. We have many games to choose from. About how long will each 3-4 player game last on average? How can we give players a good 2-3 hours of intense competitive play instead of consuming an entire day? For those with a bad case of wppr-itis, how would this affect the amount of points for an event like this?
Alternative names for this format:
“F^$k bears, I’m on team people.”
“Alcohol and bears, bad for your liver.”
“Never play pinball with Tonya Harding”.
“The winner gets a fur coat.”
“Bad news Bears.”
“Got the noms?”
“Don’t shoot momma, you’ll just make her mad.”
Thank you for your consideration and feedback.