TD Guidance - Dealing with a player who "forfeits"

It’s funny, we talk about people acting like adults and yet we are babysitting peoples emotions as they play (don’t say this or that or do this type of action).

The ONLY issue with someone leaving early if they are mathematically eliminated is that they can force someone else out or let someone else slide in based off their finishing point. Me personally, I’d rather see THOSE players make it on their own merit vs my play. I have left two events early when I was mathematically eliminated. One was running 2 hours behind (so shame on the TD for allowing that IMHO) and the other (actually was 2 weeks ago) it was 11:15PM at night, the game chosen was a known game that plays forever and I had to get up at 5:30 in the morning. Plays 1 and 2 were tied and players 3 and 4 (me) were tied with not enough points to even compete for 1st or 2nd even if we won. So 1 and 2 were fighting for 1st and 3 and 4 were fighting for 3rd. I couldn’t care less about the $5 difference or the .5 WPPR point difference so I told the group “I’m out, just plunged the rest of my balls for this game” (I played ball 1).

See, I’m an adult so I can kind of make the decision of what is best FOR ME, not you or anyone else. Let’s not talk about adult vs kids but then in the same type of talk try to tell me what to do. If people look down on me for that, so be it but all the players playing still had equal chance to do what was necessary on their own merit so if they failed, that’s on them. Not me leaving.

Weren’t you one of the people that supported a player participating in a tournament that knew they wouldn’t be able to finish the finals if they made it due to flight concerns? Why the change of heart?


This isn’t true. If going into round 3 Player 1 needs to not take last to seal the win, and you forfeit, then P1 didn’t do what was necessary on their own merit. P1 sealed the win based on your assistance. P1 may not have asked for it, P1 may not even want it. It could taint the victory in P1’s eyes. But in the end P1 closed out the win based on your decision to not play.


I was P1 there and ended up winning- it did taint my victory.

1st and 2nd place came down to 11 vs 12 points in 4-game PAPA scoring finals so another player in the mix absolutely could have had an impact.

A player who is mathematically eliminated, or simply does not want to play in the tourney anymore should be allowed to “resign” and that be acceptable.

The idea of forcing a mathematically eliminated player, or a player who wants to leave the tourney for whatever reason, continue to play it out because it might affect other players is nonsense and in some cases is like torture to the player who is having a bad tourney.

The defeated person already has no chance. They know that, everyone else probably knows it. Players wanting them to continue in order seek a potential benefit based on someone else’s poor performance rather than advancing on their own merit doesn’t seem very sportsmanlike.

In fact, it sounds like a form of collusion: “Yes, I know you can’t advance, but if you could at least get 3rd place, that would help me”

If it’s not collusion, then it’s parasitic.


I’ve personally left a number of events midway through because I had a conflict later in the day or just didn’t want to play in finals. I let that be known, said Bye to everyone, and headed out.

That’s a completely different thing from what I’ve seen a number of times when people rage tilt after ball 1, start screaming at themselves/others/no one, storm out midway through a game, or some variation on that general theme. That’s a way bigger problem than just electing not to play and I’ve seen people that “opt out” take the less classy approach more often than not. I also feel that once you’ve started a game you should really finish it.

See, that is where ya’ll don’t think outside the box (I see several likes already thus the ya’ll comment). P1 did do what was needed on their own merit in round 1 and 2 by already being ahead of them in points. Players 2 and 3 need an “out” to make it in thus needing help now because of their play. Don’t just look at each game, look at the round as a whole. Did P1 beat players 2, 3 and 4 in games one and 2? Yup, so they produced enough points on their own merit. All I did was take an “out” away from the other players for which I say, “Play better”. If you are ever having to rely on other players placements to make it through you didn’t make it on your own merit, is my opinion and no matter what happens you can’t blame anyone but yourself.

As said above. Forcing people to play leads to more collusion than letting them make the choice to not play. ESPECIALLY in lock stealing games. My friend is player 1 and 4th. Let me lock that ball and then"drain". I see that happen… Shoot, wasn’t that common practice in Pinburgh before some rules changes. “If we all fall in ______ places then we all make it through.”

Can you explain how P3 or I could have impacted 1st and 2nd? It was 8,8,2,3 going into round 4. If P3 or I took 1st we couldn’t reach 2nd and only 1 person can get zero so their was zero chance of a tie for 1st. Whom ever between you and player 1 placed higher took 1st. I took all this in account before leaving and I knew my placement had no impact on who won and I didn’t care if I took 3rd or 4th. I actually thought I was doing ya’ll a favor by letting the game play faster, thus also the reason I didn’t play my comp ball on Family Guy the next week when I needed to chase down 20 million. I looked at the risk vs reward and it wasn’t worth the energy.

It was 9,8,2,2 going into the game.

If you had taken 1st on the final game, it would have resulted in Sven and I tying at 10-10 and forced a playoff.

It’s fine and I really appreciate you being classy about leaving when you did after seeing people blow up in the past. It definitely impacted the game though. Hope to see you this week!

What about the opposite? A player has 8 points after two games and is guaranteed to move on to the next round. They decide not to play the 3rd game since it is meaningless (to them). I’ve encountered this as a TD and I’ve always encouraged them to please play it out.


The whole “walking dead” scenario could be avoided by using a 2-strike playoff to reduce four players to two.

Scenario 1: 4 players with one strike each after 2 rounds, all four players play round 3, top 2 of round 3 advance.
1 x x o o
2 o o x x

Scenario 2: 2 players with 2 strikes after 2 rounds, match is done, strikeless players advance
1 x x o o
2 x x o o

Scenario 3: One player with zero strikes, two with one each, one with two. Zero-strike advances and sits out round 3. Two-strike is eliminated and removed. Remaining 1-strike players play 2P round 3 for final advancement spot.
1 x o o x
2 x o x o

No issues with dead players affecting (or not) results, plus potential for fewer games played could speed up finals a bit.

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You lose the advantage for winning (the extra point) but I’d be interested in trying it some time. Anything to speed up the pace of tournaments I’d be up for as well.

Hmm. I thought it was 8,8 for you two. Not sure if it would have changed my mind but something I didn’t account for when making that call. After having a bad day at work, kids not behaving that night, having a horrible day of pinball, having a rare stupid 7AM meeting the next day and it being super late already on a game that has been seen to play 45+ mins with 4 good players I was already rethinking staying. Played ball one and then got those 5 rejects to the MB shot and the auto kickback kicking the ball on top of the plastic, sitting there long enough for the grace to expire and then falling off the plastic into the left outlane I had taken the absolute last gut punch I could absorb. At that point I needed to bow out especially since I felt I was only fighting for 2 position that weren’t going to do anything for my rankings and their wasn’t a financial reason to stay. I’ve stayed in the past but this night, I just couldn’t stomach it anymore.

I’m still debating on coming back. That confrontation with the staff still isn’t sitting well with me at all.

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I tried to do something similar in a pingolf format.

It was a three game match.

Whoever got to the goal on a game in the fewest number of strokes got a point. (And if more than one got it on the same ball, they would all get a point).

If after two games, someone had two points, they were through and could sit out the last match.

It would often be like 2-0-0-0. Then the 2 sits out for the last match.

Because ties were possible using pingolf scoring, most people were really confused and I’m not going to use that again.

(It was supposed to kind of be like “skins” in golf…but without the carryover).

I’d love to see a tournament rule where a player guaranteed to advance DOES NOT PLAY the final round. They automatically get 4th place points for the last round and the other 3 players play for 1st/2nd/3rd points.

I’d like to see the same for players guaranteed to not advance. This would require not using points for placement of eliminated players. I’ve never understood why original seed is used for advancing players, but points are used to rank eliminated players. Use original seed for both. The player eliminated with 3 points and the player eliminated with 4 points played different games against different opponents. Original seed is a far better metric for ranking them if they go out in the same round.

It should be up to the player, not a requirement.

On game 3, I’ve been the one with the 8, and I’ve been the one with a 0. My position is the same. I don’t agree with the concept of forcing other people to keep playing and “try their best”.

Every player in a match has the same opportunity to beat their opponents. A player’s own score or performance on a game is not in anyone else’s hands. Pinball is not a team effort in this context.

If a player with 8 points tanks on game 3 is there now some committee that decides if they really tried? If they play and end up placing in a certain position that then creates an advancement or elimination for someone else is it that up for debate too?

The person sitting at 8 points has earned the right to play or not play. Same for those mathematically out. They earned their position. Nobody else did that to them.

Those who are in “advancement limbo” relying (hoping) on a specific placing outcome by an established advancer or one who is certainly eliminated are playing a game of chance, not a game of skill, since the time to play with skill has passed.

Lamenting that someone who has played very well or conversely, had a terrible outing, should have continued playing in order to give some other person a chance just seems like sour grapes by the “have nots”.

Each player should own their victories as well as their defeats. End of story.


Absolutely not. I think you know me well enough to know I wasn’t suggesting that. If there ever was a strong suspicion of collusion at an event I was TD’ing (which thankfully there hasn’t been), I would use the @pinwizj method. I would ask the player point blank and if they said no, I would have to take them at their word.

It’s interesting that there are those in this discussion that see this as a “good sportsmanship” issue, and those that see it as an “infringement on someones right to do as they wish” issue. I mean, I totally get the example of the event running late and having to get up early. I would’ve done the exact same thing! I’m just in the camp that I came to compete and play my best. I’m going to do that until my opportunity to continue playing is over. And then I’m probably gonna pump some more quarters into some other pin as well!

Of course I didn’t take it personal or mean my reply as personal.( I try as much as possible to avoid using “you” in my replies) Internet writing is always challenging. :slight_smile:

I’ve made my position known, I won’t belabor the point :slight_smile:


I understand this logic, but using points motivates me to play hard, even when I know I won’t advance. For some people, there is a meaningful difference in WPPRs between 9th and 16th.

But if it’s direct match play that decides who wins the tournament, it’s a bit strange to fall back into (potentially) indirect qualifying play to determine final standings.

In Pingolf events, I have done something different for final standings (since comparing points across groups is even more problematic…say if one group plays a harder set of games that result in more total strokes).

Let’s say we’re deciding how to rank 9th-16th (where the top two advanced from the groups to the final 8):

  • Highest finishers: anyone who lost in a tiebreaker to advance
  • Next highest finishers: anyone who took third outright in their group
  • Next highest finishers: anyone who tied for third in their group
  • Next highest finishers: anyone who took fourth in their group

I would much prefer something like this, to “everyone who lost in the quarter finals will rank according to their seeding”.

As honorable as that is, there are some competitions where withdrawing when you don’t have a chance to win is pretty standard. I’ve brought up player behavior in the Pokémon Trading Card Game before, but I should point out that by the time the last rounds before the finalists are decided (top 8, 16, or 32, depending on the number of entrants), about two-thirds to three-quarters of the participants will have left. (They always notify an official though. I’ve never seen anyone simply just walk out and go home.)

This is the case in every Pokémon TCG tournament I’ve been in. The only people remaining by the last round to determine the standings are the people guaranteed to be in the top X, the people who could make it in if they win the next one, and a group of people who are just there to play the game and socialize, usually toward the bottom as far as win-loss records go. (If it’s held in a location where the TCG is usually played, the regulars will typically remain too, but if it’s in a hotel ballroom or convention center, the room will get noticeably emptier and emptier as the competition goes on.)


@ryanwanger Yea pingolf has too many variables for this situation, whereas the 2-strike method will play out in one of those three scenarios every time. However, strikes play eliminates some of the nuances that the current points system allows for. I do think that expecting eliminated or already-advanced players to “play their best” is silly… the player who has already advanced wants to save their energy for the next match; the eliminated player may just want to see the world burn, or go home early. I agree with “play better so it doesn’t fall on others” theory.


As a TD I had that situation come up after 2 games, P1 had 8pts, each of the other 3 had 2pts.
I simply asked P1 not to play in the final game (for time issues) as his performance had no relevance to the final positions.

I’ve also seen it where a player had to leave after 2 games and 1 ball to catch his last train, the TD plunged his last 2 balls on TWD and that was enough to give him 3rd place on the game and secure the win overall.

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