Good question. In that one country where I live, the main tournament of a weekend is usually Swiss, which wasn’t really available in Match Play before, so organizers made the switch only quite recently after “Strict Swiss” pairings became available. So, doing the finals in a spreadsheet is probably still a holdover from not too long ago when everything had to be done with custom tools, and the benefit of switching to Match Play isn’t as large for the finals as it is for the main portion of a tournament.
In that other country where I play a lot of tournaments, it might have to do with how they have their finals sheet set up to interact with their stream, but I’m not sure about that.
I agree it’s a good idea, but I’m not sure why it should be more efficient. By your estimation, the PAPA-style finals took 30 minutes per 4 player game. If it takes 30 minutes for 4 players to each play a full game of pinball, wouldn’t it stand to reason that those same 4 players would have played 2 full rounds of H2H knockout in the same time, meaning a round would have actually taken 15 minutes and not 25?
I mean, I’m sure you’re right that a round of H2H took 25 minutes on average, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be true for the end of the tournament when only 8 players are left. Each round takes as long as its longest game, and the probability of outliers is higher in the beginning, when the sample size is larger (lots of concurrent games). I don’t see a reason why raw play time per per player per game would be higher in H2H vs PAPA, so what else is there? There’s more rounds in H2H, so I guess there’s more idle time between rounds, on the other hand there’s a higher probability for a player not having to play their 3rd ball. Anyway, all that those factors boil down to is whether the 2x TGP multiplier for 4P games is fair or not, which would apply to any tournament.
In this case, there’s an actual difference in efficiency I can understand: After having played those 12 rounds, with 8 players left, it would have taken them an additional 5 rounds on average to get to only 1 player left, but they would have gotten only 3 meaningful games towards TGP for that, because the precalculated values are lower than the number of expected rounds in H2H.
If the precalculated value were 17, as it should be, I don’t think PAPA-style finals would be more efficient, for the same reasons as above, it would just be more TGP for more time of pinball being played.
And just to make sure, I’m not implying that the organizers who thought of doing PAPA-style finals for strike knockouts were trying in any way to exploit the discrepancy in the H2H values, I fully believe they weren’t even aware of that and just wanted to get to a 100% by playing more.
The plan is actually to read the format data of the MatchPlay submission and through that process spit out the estimated TGP value based on those variables. We’re not reading actual MatchPlay results for this (if I understand what Brian is planning correctly).
We actually do read the results as they appear on the Standings page and depending on the tournament format, it reviews all the rounds to figure out the # of players per group, # of rounds, etc. Over the last few weeks I’ve actually found some tournaments with inflated TGPs because their Matchplay-format tournaments were all 3 player groups and not 4 players as advertised
Right now we’ve been testing Progressive, Fair and Frenzy just to see how things go, but most of the other formats are ready. In the future (~6 months) TDs will be able to provide a MP ID during the Calendar Submission process (or edit it after) and if we can slurp the results in automagically the next day.
Thanks. Are there any plans for making the magic also work for tournaments with a separate finals portion, if that is run through Match Play, too? I.e. submit multiple MP IDs and just add up the meaningful games?
Yeah, I’ve already been testing that scenario quite a bit, as it’s most likely the bulk of our submissions. If you use MP for both qualifying and finals (and are linked), it will automatically get both results and merge them. If you manually create a separate MP tournament for finals, then you must provide both links/ids.
No. Because in the strikes H2H format, and given the high ratio of modern (longer-playing) games at Fulda, there is very high probability that one (if not all) of the up-to-four H2H matches get put on a modern.
In the PAPA-style finals, at least at Fulda, they have a bank of 3 games pre-selected by the TD’s, so they can also control the finals’ banks to ensure that they aren’t three long-playing modern games. I know that they typically use one shorter-playing classic such as Nitro Groundshaker or Power Play. You will also have zero time between each game: as soon as one game is done, they move onto the next.
The final 8 are those who have been playing the best throughout that day, so it stands to reason that they will have the type of longer-playing match similar to the max duration match in each H2H round up to that point. The 25 minutes was taken directly from a quick clicking through the rounds, and noting the typical longest-duration match in each round.
I agree that they weren’t “exploiting.” But I can say with high degree of confidence that they chose to use the hybrid system, and switch to PAPA-style finals, because it optimized and increased their TGP. And it was a brilliant decision. Once again: not an exploit.
And, I think others have mentioned: it also eliminates the possibility in the very last rounds, of one player getting the benefit of a bye.
They certainly did it in order to increase their TGP, not sure about optimize in terms of time efficiency. I mean, I totally give you the manually chosing finals machines thing, and that’s probably the best argument for why those PAPA style finals actually would be more efficient. Other than that, I don’t think there would be a meaningful difference between one group game and two H2H games (apart from that H2H TGP guide thing, which actually is sort of an exploit).
I don’t know how much the chance to pre-select finals machines was part of the consideration, or, even assuming it was a big part, how much of it was for efficiency reasons vs. machine diversity, or guaranteeing that all finals machines can be streamed, or whatever.
Avoiding byes is definitely a great reason to play finals. Random byes at the end of a tournament is total bs—so much so, in fact, that I can sort of understand why the TGP guide thinks they don’t exist.
Interesting… I did my math wrong, which actually paints the PAPA style (with pre-selected bank, containing one classic) even MORE efficient:
After Round 16…
PAPA-style finals: total 3 hours, with 12 TGP added. 4 TGP/hour
Finish out the 5-strike: total 2.08 hours, with only 5 TGP added. 2.4 TGP/hour
So you’ll finish an hour earlier finishing out your 5-strike, but you’ll miss out on 7 TGP (it’s only missing out on 4 TGP with the 25 TGP cap right now).
I just had a deeper look into the stats of the tournaments we’re talking about here, and I honestly don’t think you’re right about the assumption that the preselected finals machines are a lot quicker playing than a random selection:
For the tournament you’ve played in, the machines that could have been selected for H2H by Match Play had an average average play time of 11:39 (i.e. each machine has an average play time over the whole tournament, and this is the average of those times). The 6 finals machines that were on stream (don’t know what the others were) had an average average play time of 11:20, so not a huge difference between preselected and random selection.
For the latest Olympics strikes tournament, the average average machine play time was 12:35. The 4 finals machines that were on stream had an average average play time of 13:50, so this doesn’t seem to have been preselected for shorter gameplay at all.
If the hybrid format actually is more efficient, I would guess it’s because H2H knockout has so many synchronization points where everybody has to wait for everybody else to finish playing, while PAPA style has only one between semis and finals.
That’s definitely the case. I wasn’t trying to estimate H2H round duration, though, I was trying to figure out the reason why PAPA style finals might be more time efficient.
I thought you were saying that the main reason is the fact that the machines are not randomly selected in the PAPA style finals, but manually picked by a human with time efficiency in mind, so I looked into that hypothesis: it isn’t true for the tournaments I’ve looked at, because a completely random selection wouldn’t have made those finals games significantly longer, on average.
If PAPA style finals are in fact more time efficient, it seems to be for some other reason intrinsic to the format, and I wonder if it’s the fact that 3 games are being played in a row without having to wait for any other groups to finish. If it isn’t that either, then it would seem that group matchplay would just generally be more efficient than H2H, period. What are your thoughts?