Easy (and the only good) solution: Make the prizes in B, C, and D inconsequential, then take all that money and put it into A. Doesn’t matter if you pay deeper down or increase the prizes for the top 40 so long as the money is no longer up for grabs in the lower divisions.

Now of course, this would never happen because it would make a lot of B, C, and D players unhappy but until you do that you will never completely solve the sandbagging problem.


I can say that i mentally had this conversation with myself in Round 5, and I had zero knowledge of what the payouts in B were. I think this would happen even if top prize in B was only like $1K. People just want to play on Saturday.


That might de-motivate A --> B sandbagging, but I fail to see how it would solve B --> C or C --> D sandbagging.


This solution will also make it look like the tournament exists to pad the wallets of top players (a comment we already hear). It’s been considered, no question!

Maybe just making this a point of focus (in the announcements, for example) will improve things. I don’t think we can eliminate sandbagging altogether, but at least we can eliminate the blatant garbage we’ve seen or been told about, including deliberate tilts and players walking away from a game in progress. Those things leave a bad taste and do not belong in any competitive environment (not even Olympic badminton).


Yeah the only way to stop sandbagging would be to remove the motivation, or possibly to change the division restrictions so that all players have a restriction, based on their ifpa rank (top 175 players restricted to A, next 175 restricted to B and so on).

I think this would likely mean A, B and C could end up overpopulated after the split (rather than a fairly balanced spread as they are now), but not sure if this is particularly bad…?

Also as already stated, I’m not a fan if that also means post tourney IFPA points are awarded based on this restricted division allocation. Just going back on that - I agree with the point that top players (eg Jorian) don’t particulary care for the minimum 10 WPPR pts that A division brings, but it does matter to everyone below who gets bumped down x spots because the elite players get an automatic boost regardless of their day 1 performance.

Anyway - I still think it’s a great event and love the competition format as it is really, so I’ll let people smarter than me figure it out.


Isn’t the solution to add another unenforceable ‘player intent’ rule that states that a player must play to win. “Worked” for F1. “Worked” for badminton.

Better to get on top of this now before Nike is asking someone to throw game 3 of the semis for an already qualified player to help the odds of another Nike sponsored player to make the finals.


Sandbagging problem or collusion problem worse? I just can’t decide :stuck_out_tongue:

Would slowing down the convergence on Day 1 help spread things out a bit? I think sandbagging is more likely to happen when that A/B bubble player (someone in that 150-200 range) finds themselves as the highest ranked player in their group during session 5. It’s reasonable to think as the highest ranked player in the group that your typical playing skills will net you some decent points for the round, so to be sure you don’t get decent points you have to intentionally play worse.

If the convergence slowed down with those A/B bubble players being the lower seeded players in their group for session 5, that might lead to them thinking that even trying their hardest is safe with respect to the skill level of the group?

I’ve always found it a bit odd that things converge so quickly for Day 1, and then unconverge for the start of Day 2 and then make it’s way back together quickly. Has there ever been any thought to slowly converging things across all 10 sessions, and ending Day 1 at about the level of the division cutoff numbers with respect to seeding for Session 5?


Time for perspective.

Whoppers for

Middle of A: 12.02
End of A: 10.22
Middle of B: 8.63
End of B: 6.86

Basement players wound up with:

Jorian (missed by .5): 21.87
Storm (missed by .5): 61.45
Donavan (missed by .5): 12.59
Jason Dunn (missed by 1.5): 11.09
Damien Charlety (missed by 2.5): 11.23
Adam Lefkoff (missed by 4.5): 11.67

Of those players, the only one I don’t have a good idea of who he is is Jason Dunn (sorry!).

The maximum benefit received (if you buy that Donavan (or any of these guys) could’ve finished at the bottom of B) was 5.7 whoppers. The LIKELY benefit is somewhere between 2.3 and 4 for everyone but Jorian and Storm (who obviously benefitted the most by far from his restriction, though again, he missed by half a game).

There are probably other conclusions you can derive, but it seems difficult to me to project where Joe Lemire who was tied for top seed in B and wound up 18th and Brian Smyth who was also tied and ended around 60h would’ve wound up in A. You can try and guess how many points they got “screwed out of” but ultimately I’m guessing not very much.

All of this is meant to be data analysis and no slight intended on any mentioned party.


So the ‘official’ IFPA stance in working with the PAPA guys on how to handle the Pinburgh restriction stuff was this:

Should a player be artificially moved up into a higher division, and NOT qualify for the finals of that division, they will be listed in the standings based on their Day 1 finishing position.

Should a player be artificially moved up into a higher division, and they DO qualify for finals of that division, they will be listed in the standings based on their tournament finishing position. (This was ultimately to handle the situation where say Jorian wins Pinburgh, but only qualified for A because of his restriction . … he still “Won Pinburgh” in the eyes of the IFPA based on the complete body of work)

Now that Pinburgh has 70,000 players with 948 players in various restricted states, Doug and I are both too lazy to care to work that all out :slight_smile:

So Jorian and Sean would be able to keep those points earned based on them battling out of the basement on day 2.

The others listed in Keith’s example . . .

Donavan would have been placed in 200th place (9.75 WPPR’s), instead of 61st place (12.59 WPPR’s). His 61st place finish did not make his top 20 WPPR resume anyway, regardless of that ~3 points bump.

Jason Dunn would have been placed in 251st place (8.63 WPPR’s), instead of 133rd place (11.09 WPPR’s). This artificial 2.46 point bump moved him up 8 spots on the world ranking (from 489th to 480th).

Damien Charlety would have been placed in 293rd place (7.87 WPPR’s), instead of 126th place (11.23 WPPR’s). This artificial 3.36 point was included in his top 20 WPPR resume, but he would still be ranked 71st in the world either way.

Adam Lefkoff simply would have been better off leaving after Day 1 :wink:


Well, that rule already exists, and it can and has been enforced.


I think some of that enforcement comes on the players. If I’m in a group in Round 5, and I see a player plunge a ball and walk away, it is on me to stop play and call over a TD. If I see a discussion happening about colluding so everyone purposely gets 6, its on me to call over a TD. There’s a lot of talk here about people seeing collusion and sandbagging happen but doing nothing, but we can’t expect TDs to be everywhere in a 700 person tournament. If you see that happening call it out.


The convergence was slowed significantly this year compared to others … so, I guess I’d say no? :slight_smile:

I don’t think all the rounds on Day 1 should have a maximum or half-field width, which is what IFPA does for its first half. I wouldn’t mind making it even a bit wider next time, it seemed better than before.


…and of course all the players in between those spots would be bumped up by X spots. That was my point really. (eg for me in 133, were the rules to have been applied I should have gained an extra 4 spots, an enormous 0.05 WPPRs or so)

Anyhow, I’m not complaining, like I say - the fact that someone even considered this ahead of time and made a ruling (which seems sensible) demonstrates that smarter people than I are doing a great job.


That rule is still kind of a mess to deal with.

Sometimes the best goal to WIN THE TOURNAMENT involves NOT winning the game at hand, and I fully support players that execute a strategy that they think gives them a better chance to win the tournament. (see Free Play Florida example from a couple of years ago with Brian Dominy and I both racing to DQ ourselves to be paired in the ‘better’ semifinal group).

Where I think that line gets crossed is when you are no longer focusing on giving yourself a better chance to win the tournament, but rather focus on ‘helping someone else’ win the tournament. For example I’m eliminated after 2 games, Zach is in my group, so I intentionally tank game 3 to ensure he gets the point he needs to advance to the next round.

Obviously the goal is to structure a format where there is never a benefit where not winning the game at hand can be more beneficial than winning the game at hand, which Free Play Florida moved to the following year.


I’ve stopped even trying to compare these two . . . the animal that is Pinburgh is just far more complex to deal with as the skill level varies so insanely across the participants.

At IFPA we’re fortunate that it’s only 64 players, and that everyone is “good”, so even session 1 offers some ‘group of deaths’. Going forward from there every session is a blender of minefields everywhere.


Yep, everything was considered, including the general rule of, “Well I guess you have to submit Pinburgh results after Day 1, because Day 2 play involves restricted play which makes it invalid for IFPA endorsement.” :slight_smile:

Ultimately the immateriality of the WPPR’s at hand from these handful of restricted movements led us to not worrying about it, but we’ve definitely been aware of it since the beginning.


Right, this is precisely the reason we do have to narrow things quickly. Definitely an open question of “how quickly”. One interesting thing is Round 6, the narrowing is deliberately not “full division” because the reward for players who barely made it into A would be an instant date with the top of the field.


Everytime I think I have the rules down, I keep getting proved wrong. For others interested…

Any collaborative effort between players in an attempt to unfairly affect the outcome of the competition, or to “lock out” a third player, or to otherwise refrain from making the best possible competitive effort on each and every game played, will be looked upon very poorly by tournament officials, and may result in disciplinary action, including disqualification and/or ejection from the tournament.


I was disappointed to have missed A by half a win — I’d have rather played Friday in A (and most likely wound up in the bottom quartile) than started at the top of B.

Making A would have locked in an extra 1.26 WPPRs from where I finished. Believe it or not, that’s not inconsequential for me ranked currently at 729 with a bunch of 1-point results decaying off the back end of my card. The tenth of a WPPR (approx?) that I “lost” because I was bumped down by six players (whom I would have had to beat anyway), isn’t consequential.

Also, I’d have rather played better than “consistently mediocre” on Friday, but that’s another story.


You beating them on Day 1 isn’t “beating them” for the tournament.

This is because of your Day 2 play. You ultimately finished in 236th place.

Jorian and Sean would have finished ahead of you regardless because they qualified for A and ‘earned’ their A level finishing position.

Donavan would have been listed in 200th place (above your finishing position).

So that leaves 3 spots you would have moved up, roughly 0.08 WPPR’s. This would have put you in the exact same world ranking position . . .729th either way.

That’s the biggest reason why we ultimately created the rules on how to handle the restrictions the way they are for WPPR’s. You can’t assume you would have finished ahead of those other players after Day 2 just because you did after Day 1. They never had the chance to compete in B division and finish ahead of you (at no fault of their own).

Edit: You included the point differential for “making A”, which Bowen would have to explain if there were no restrictions would the cut line still have been in the same spot? (i.e. you set the cut line, and then ADD the restricted players to that list)