How prevalent do we think this is? It feels to me like it may happen in a few (out of hundreds) of groups…but word always gets out and so it seems like a bigger problem than it really is.

I’m all for rules meant to deter it, but there is certainly a threshold past which the measures taken will do more harm than good.


Very interesting, but nehh. If final ranking is A-B-C-D, I guess peoples taste for whoopers (at even the smallest fraction of a point), would have some very out of A skill level players volunteer for a 0-60 day 2. Sitting ducks with nothing to play for will just mess up the tournament.


Why would they go 0-60 day 2?
They’d be playing in the division they choose from the beginning. By day 2, they would be grouped closely with people who have similar records.


(Wow, really??!! I never realized people did this!)


Curious. How did they prove he was sandbagging as opposed to just playing poorly. Ball in the shooter lane when tilting? Did he say he was going to throw the game?


The player basically tilted on purpose soon as they walked up. I wasn’t there, but from what I heard, it was pretty obvious.


One way to reduce the likelihood of players sandbagging, or to make it much harder to do so, would be to not publish the overall standings after round 4 going in to round 5.
If people do not know their relative rank in the tournament after round 4 when round 5 is starting, and only know their own point total, it would be much more difficult for a player to determine if they are on the low end of one division or the high end of another.

After round 5, resume publishing results as normal.

Its probably a shit idea because of the confusion this might cause, but I think it would be reasonably effective without altering the spirit of the current format.


The rules exist and they have been enforced. If anyones sees actions like the ones described above, please report it to a TD.


That’s not ‘exactly’ what happened… but it’s pretty close.


Word. I personally wasn’t there and only heard about it third party, so my information isn’t 100%. Playing telephone at this point. Sorry for any confusion.


I think because people generally know about what the cutoff will be for each division, a sandbagger is more likely to target a specific record (say, 33-27) than to seek a specific relative rank. Someone else suggested not publishing the standings at all.

It’s not a terrible idea! But yes, there would be some confusion then about who has priority game selection in Round 5 or why the website is broken :slight_smile:


For the 24 hour final battle we never break down into divisions for the whole duration (19 rounds in 24 hours of pinburgh play is our record so far). When we approach the last round we treat every group as a final 4. Similar to your idea of A-1, A-2, etc. starting at the bottom group there is around a 10$ bounty prize for the winner of that group. It then goes up by small incriments around 10$ or so for each group higher. Final 4 obviously are playing for the big prizes and even group below could have a shot at taking a top prizes if the point spread is t too far apart. It was our way to keep everyone playing the whole 24 hours even though they feel they can never catch top 24 again. Playing your best can move you up a couple groups at the end and that group ends up having a slightly larger prize bounty to play for at the end. Results are still submited with top points down so it is possible for someone who took a small prize bounty to place higher than some one who was playing for a bigger bounty but it’s very minuscule. The prize bounties are also no huge several hundred dollar handouts so sandbagging overall has really died off. No real incentive in anyway but there is ins entice to just not walk out 1/2 way through and go to bed. Granted we are a little different format with only 100 players. Collusion I haven’t seen at all either. No one is thinking clearly enough in those last hours to properly cheat or scheme :wink:

Maybe that’s pinburgh a solution. No sleep Thursday night. Half of us stupidly stay up till 3-4 AM anyways. Round 6 will now start promptly at 10:45 PM. Sleep during the day Friday until Saturday morning and everyone’s super refreshed for finals!


Here is my proposed solution.

Sandbagging is dictated by money combined with people that try and game the system.

It seems to me like the payouts should go to:

  1. The top 50 in the tournAment. If you finished in The top 100 then you should get something.

2). The players that have moved up the most ranking in wppr points. I would think that the biggest movers should get at least as much as the top 25. This rewards those that have done well and those that have improved the most. If it is your first tourney and you kick ass then that should be rewarded as well to keep you coming back.

The winners of B, C and D can get some hardware because coming on top in any tourney is tough but no guaranteed money because really they are the winners of the losers. Put the cash into the hands of those that have performed throughout the entire tourney and bias it a bit to those that are just getting into the competitive pinball scene.

In the end it is about growing the game. Just my two cents.


Thanks for the suggestion. Since WPPR rewards play at multiple other events, the “biggest movers” would probably be people who haven’t played in any tournaments or only play in Pinburgh. Also, this would lock out much of the top half of the field, because it would be impossible for them to “move” as far as someone who is far down the rankings and plays well.

I agree that this solution would stop sandbagging at Pinburgh! It might discourage some people from playing other events in order to make as big a “move” as possible.



I just had another idea on sandbag discincentivizing. It’s a variation on the “let people choose their division” concept that reduces the advantage of doing really well during qualifying going into rounds 6-10. Since many B players do want to play A if they get in, but some (based on the chat here, well less than half) won’t, your concern was that a “B” who scored well into A-level would have too much of an edge over the other B’s. Rather than use their raw score, how about using a capped score? If you “choose” B and do well, you get to take your good score, but only up to, say, 5 points above the cut line. So for this year, a “B” chooser would have been limited to 38.5 points starting round 6. That’s a maximum of 1 point per remaining round margin over the field. An edge, yes, but (a) you earned it and (b) it’s far from a safe margin. Alternately, you could use 5 points over the median score for the B’s, in this case 32, for a cap of 37.

Not sure how effective it would be; what do you think?


That sounds a bit convoluted from an “average” player perspective. I think it would be a tough sell.


If such a cap existed, it would be no higher than the highest true B qualifier, and perhaps lower. It would be unfair to put the highest true B qualifier behind someone who opted out of their real division.


I think the issue is that the sandbaggers don’t think “A” [or “B” for those otherwise in C or D] is their real division. People argue for having more rounds before making the cut to improve the chances of more people [especially themselves in some cases] being in their perceived “right” division. I’ve had the same comment made to me outside of this forum. The current convergence pattern won’t do that effectively, but keeping the seeding spreads wider for rounds 1-5 likely would. Two rounds using the initial seedings [with mildly randomized repairings for round 2], then two rounds using current convergence level one, with pairing randomization for round 4, then a convergence level two paring for round 5? I think that the very pairing convergence that keeps things interesting right up to the end of round 10 [my prior post] is making things a bit too random for when the cut occurs after round 5. I could probably prove it given the data and time, i.e. compute the odds of someone being “mis-divisioned” given the tournament format.


Oh, before anybody jumps in here, I personally would NOT change the convergence pattern. I think having a system where some non-A players DO get to play A, and some C’s and D’s play in B, is good for the game. I also think that having a high a portion of the players “still in the hunt entering round 10” is good. I’m sort of playing Riker’s role … “I bring all the options to the Captain’s attention” … I think having exciting rounds and mixed groups is worth the price of some sandbagging.


Just found this thread, and here is my opinion.
If anything like you guys are talking about went on at Pinburgh, I certainly did not see it.
Preston Moncla who won B division this year is my son.
My brother, Preston and I, all went to Pinburgh for the first time this year and had the time of our lives.
Every one of us played our hearts out and let the chips fall where they may.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that Preston would have much rather made A division and played against the best. That is just the way he is. Also the other three finishers in B division Todd Mculloh, Greg Defeo, and Tim Sexton were all awesome players that none of us saw take a fall to get where they were. And the idea that cash would have been the motive could not be further from the truth. Preston had no idea until he made it to the final 4 what the payout for B Division even was. And then to top it off, he tried three times to give away his $4000 pot by splitting the money evenly between all four players which would have given everyone around $2100 or so. But he was told “no” on each occasion. So it just worked out that he got to keep the entire first place pot. I can tell you right now we will certainly be back next year and he is very much looking forward to playing in A division.
And hopefully I can move out of my disappointing D division finish. lol.
Pinburgh is a truly remarkable achievement for all who put it together and we can’t wait to do it all again.