Running a tournament---time taken for double elim vs. strike formats

So far I have held two tournaments at my location (on pool tournament software). I have 4 pins there. We had 17 and 19 players. I ran a single game, double elimination format. The turnys lasted about 2 hours.

I was thinking of switching my software to match play and trying out a triple strike format.

I also am able to add one more machine to the location.

I would like to keep the time frame roughly 2-3 hours.

Do you think this would work?

There is a good chance that my numbers will be getting bigger so I would guess maybe 24 players for the next one.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Mike

1st: Match Play software is great. I recommend it.

2nd: Without running the numbers, I’d say no. That’s not enough time for 3 strike, when you have to play each round (initial) as three sub-rounds due to only 8 people playing at a time.

But then again, at your prior tourney of 19 players, 2x elimination, only taking 2 hours… your rounds only lasted 12 minutes each, which is ridiculously quick games considering only 8 people are able to play at a time.

OK thanks. What if I bought in a 5th pin?

Why isn’t there already a 5th pin? :wink:

The more pins the merrier! And in this case, the more players you can handle at one time, and the faster your rounds would play.

I’d encourage you to plot out your tourney time based on past tourney duration information.
Go back and look at the time it took for a 19-player single-player double elimination on 4 pins. Was it really just 2 hours?? If so, that’s remarkably fast for only 4 pins available, unless all your pins are 2" flipper luck-box pins like Slick Chick. Find the bracket you used, or if not available, pull up a sample blank bracket from the internet of what that looks like, and count the total rounds that had to be played (start with the lead-in round and the first full round of the winner’s bracket, and then count the Loser’s bracket all the way to the championship match). Then divide your total tourney duration by the # of rounds, and that’s your average time it took per round.

Next, go to the IFPA site on TGP Guide, which tells you how many “meaningful games played” your tourney will have for a 24-player, 3-strike tourney (this tells you the estimated # of games that the eventual will need to be played by the eventual tourney winner). Multiply this # of games by the duration per round from above, and voila! There’s your new tourney duration estimate.

With only 4 pins, if you go beyond 24 players, then your intial rounds will take approx 33% longer, because each round will involve 4 groups of head-to-head matches instead of just 3. (For the first 3-5 rounds: 24/2 = 12 matches per round. 12/4 pins = 3 sub-rounds because people are waiting their turn to play a match.)

Last, keep in mind that if you’ve got a lot of the same repeat players between tourneys, and if it’s the same 4 pins, the players will naturally get better and better at the pins you’ve had on location – as they play the same pins from prior tourneys or from all the quarters they’re hopefully dropping in those pins during usual business hours.

In addition to the rules at, they’re also a great resource on pin-specific notes as it pertains to setting them up for tourneys. And in some cases, noting which pins are not appropriate for certain types of tourneys, depending on skill level.

Have fun!

Awesome thanks for the great info. I have decided that I will put the 5th machine at the location (my nice WH2O) and run a triple strike turny using the matchplay software. Turny submitted to the IFPA already :slight_smile:


So I ran my 1st triple strike turny last Saturday on 5 machines (wh20, t3, ts, rfm, es) and we had 22 players. We played 11 rounds total. The turny took 3 hours. I used matchplay to run the turny. My TGP was 10. I see if I run the format below with triple strike I would double the TGP. How much longer do you think it would take to run this format? Also what exactly does “receives 1.5X bonus for 3-player games” mean?

Best-of-1 Matches (3 player matches – 3rd place get strike – receives 1.5X bonus for 3-player games)
6 players –> 11 games towards TGP
7 players –> 13 games towards TGP
8 players –> 14 games towards TGP
9 players –> 16 games towards TGP
10-11 players –> 17 games towards TGP
12-15 players –> 18 games towards TGP
16-19 players –> 20 games towards TGP
20-25 players –> 21 games towards TGP
26-34 players –> 23 games towards TGP
35-44 players –> 24 games towards TGP
45 players –> 26 games towards TGP

I can’t speak to specifics, but I can say that it will take a lot longer. With only the third place finisher receiving a strike you’ll be handing out so few strikes each round that you will be playing many many many rounds.

As for the bonus: With the changes in 2016 three- and four-player group play gives the tournament a bonus multiplier to games towards TGP. It’s already been factored in. That’s why the TGP numbers are so high for this format

Yep that is what I was afraid of. I like the 3 hour time frame for now. I was trying to find a way to increase my overall IFPA points for the turny. I will be running it every 3 weeks or so.

With 2, 3, and 4 player matches, TGP should correlate pretty closely to event time. If you’re running a format where the machines are in use for most of the entire event (like your example of 22 players on 5 machines) - then switching to a format that doubles the TGP is going to double the length of the tournament.

If there was an easy way to max out TGP in a three hour event, everyone would be doing it. Instead, you’ll need to have an all-day tournament to do that.

That makes sense!

totally, with the version 5.2 it is very well balanced. The only way to increase pts is more players or playing more games for longer.
MatchPlay tournament allow you to decide exactly how many rounds you are playing so you can set your tournament duration and TGP.
7 four players qualifiers rounds then top 8 moves onto a PAPA final (semi and then final rounds) would give you 100% TGP for your 22 players :slightly_smiling: It would however likely take 6+ hours

That might be good to do once in a while but I would not want to hold up people that long for a biweekly turny. Thanks for the suggestion.

I am about to run a charity turny soon actually. I am ok with having it run for maybe 4-5 hours max. What format do you think would work best? I was thinking maybe a simple 4 strike?

Remember I have 5 machines (at that location) and with triple strike and 22 players it took 3 hours.

4 players match, either 4 players 3 strikes or 4 players matchplay are fun for people. It makes more a group feeling and social atmosphere contrary to ‘head to head’. However if you don’t have enough machines to make sure everyone play from the get go, waiting for a group to finish a 4 players game isn’t so fun… Maybe if it’s one or two group max and you have a couple of fast playing games it could still works?
We do a “compact” evening matchplay tourney, 5 qualifiers rounds then we thin down to top 8, while keeping their points they play 2 more rounds to make the top 4 for a 2/3 rounds final with 4/2/1/0 pts were pts are reset. That usually takes 5 hours with longest playing machines taken out of the game selection (or machines set hard) for 9-10 rounds (72-80% TGP).
We use the app, I like the IFPA initial seeding (having people of same rank playing together the first round) then “Balanced” match up (so you end up playing everyone and contrary to “Swiss” ‘bottom’ group do not end up having to wait a while for ‘top’ group to finish).
Machines are usually assigned on ‘balanced’ and game pool ‘optimized’ as needed depending on schedule.
There are lots of variation on the settings but that is a way to go about having a “shorten” MatchPlay event.

OK thanks for taking the time to explain that format to me. I will definitely consider that for the event!