Should Pinburgh Allow Practice for players on byes?

As the title says, should players that are on byes for the playoffs be allowed say 30 seconds of practice on each machine before their round starts? Do players that advance without byes have an advantage because they may know how a particular machine may play, feeds, bounces, skill shots, etc? Should every player get 30 seconds of practice?

Some stats from this year.
E division 3/4 players receiving double byes were eliminated in the 1st round they played
D division 3/4 players receiving double byes were eliminated in the 1st round they played
C division 2/4 players…
B division 2/4 players…
A division 0/4 players…

**Full disclosure, I had a double bye and was eliminated in the first round I played :thinking::neutral_face::crazy_face:


Players absolutely should be entitled to practice on byes. I came in cold in division C and though obviously at the end of the day my poor play in finals is on me, players that advance without byes should not have an advantage over players with byes.


I think those without a bye have earned that extra experience on the machines if they have to play a bank more than once, and I’m someone who had a double bye this year.

Why should folks with a bye get yet another advantage over players who don’t? No one is allowed to practice on the games before any round and I don’t see why the playoffs should be any different.

There are plenty of other games to play in the free play area, if you want to warm up, but everyone is walking up to their game bank cold to those specific machines the first time they play them.


Giving byes an extra advantage seems weird. No guarantee the people they’re playing were even on the same bank.

It would be nice in general if everyone got a minute to practice before starting on a game they were unfamiliar with regardless, but often doesn’t fit into tournament schedules :frowning:

Also, imho, 30 seconds of practice, like they used to do in pinburgh A finals on a rotation, is pretty useless. They had everyone walk down the row of machines and I’d spend the first 10 seconds waiting for the last player’s tilt to settle, then 10 seconds getting a ball plunged and bounce around, and then maybe get one flip in before time was up and the next player tilts my next practice game

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The only practise that is worth anything, the way I see it, is on a game you are about to play on. Just before - IFPA style. A bare 20 sec. would mean a lot. And I really wish practise was generally offered more like this. And of course open to anyone about the play the game.

I guess time schedules and traditions are against this.


Time schedule, tradition, sure, but also TD availability. Someone has to keep time, and there are all sorts of ways an honor system wouldn’t actually work for this.

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I think automating check in somehow would be more beneficial to a player than practice. I skipped this year, but in the past when I had a double bye, I had been sitting around for hours at replay before I got in. I drive about 40 minutes to the venue and can’t turn around and go back to bed after checking in.

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I was in D finals in 2016, back when the pre-play 30 second practice was still a thing – even with that given time, the players with byes went out in one round at a higher than average pace. It’s just the difference of coming in cold, it seems.

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It would’ve been nice to have 30 seconds of practice on each pin in my selected bank before playing but I don’t know how much of a difference that would’ve made since I was enjoying the Yuengling during the 1st and 2nd rounds.

I get what you are saying about the disadvantage of some players getting to play bank prior to the byes coming into finals. In my D group I was single bye and got by the round ok . I am not a fan of the practicing before each game but I could see a 15 minute period let’s say at 9:30 to 9:45 where all participants in each division can get their 30 seconds per game if they choose to do it but not allow this during finals have started just before finals start.

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Allow all players a rotating warmup on games they are about to play prior to that round starting. Not sure what an added 80 seconds would hurt the schedule.

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Has anyone said that the reasoning is based on the schedule? I thought the decision was more based on the spirit of the format, having to step up to unfamiliar games and get the job done without warmup.

That said, I’d love to see an IFPA style 30 seconds of practice on the game you’re about to play in all playoff rounds.


IME, having both TDs watching the clock perfectly and everyone actually switching to the next game (especially the latter) is a major issue.

Oh I can’t stand the rotating-down-the-line style of practice across the bank. That’s largely useless for a variety of reasons. The way IFPA events are run, players self-police the “30 second warmup” for the other 3 players in their group on the single machine they’re about to start on. In my experience, that’s been very worthwhile and no additional strain on the TDs.


Ding ding ding! You get no warmup before any round of Pinburgh, hence no warmup before finals rounds. You’re free to play literally anything else in the building.


It seems like straightforward math, giving every player 15 seconds of practice on each game in their bank should only add 4 minutes to each round (4 players * 4 games * 15 seconds) but the effect is not straight forward. Those 15 seconds would likely mean an immense difference in play time on many machines: you’ve gotten the chance to feel out the orientation of the flippers, and find the brick-drains during your practice, find the house ball plunge, measure the tilt, or find the repeatable backhand, any of which would contribute to longer ball times and game times.

That said, I would gladly sacrifice some dinner time, and go for 9am start times if it meant practice time for each bank.

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But technically speaking those without byes can get a “warmup” if they are on that bank already. Normal pinburgh rounds i get because no one repeats a bank. Finals however people do repeat banks so with that right there, there is already a difference.


Agree with Soren on this one completely.

The chaotic everyone practice and “change places” of pinburgh/papa pasts was always a cluster and I don’t think works.

The IFPA style, pre-each-game practice goes really smoothly. I’d like to see it happen.


20 seconds per game on a rotation like they use to do would only be 80 seconds added to each round. I feel like the time I was in finals we went through every game in the division but can’t remember 100%

Ah, you’re talking about Saturday, thought you were talking the whole tournament.