Thoughts on Group Knockout/Strikes format w/ 3 strikes per group?

Just recently participated in a group-play 3-strikes format, but instead of 2 players in each 4-player group receiving a strike, everyone but the 1st place finisher in each group received a strike.

At first, I was not a fan, because this format doesn’t differentiate between 2nd and 4th place at all. And my first game there was a 17M Dr. Dude score for 2nd place vs scores of 2M and 3M for 4th and 3rd… and 17M got you the same result as a 2M score. (thankfully for me, I put up 22M)

I think I still prefer 2 players per group getting a strike, but as the format continued, it wasn’t without its merit: instead of focusing on first beating just the next score above you, it forced you to always be aiming for the top score, requiring players to go for more high risk/ high reward strategies in a match play setting. It turned out to be fun.


I don’t think I would like it. You might as well be playing head to head at that point.


I’d rather the number of strikes be rounded down. I enjoyed the Critical Hit format last year where only the last player out of a 3-player group would receive a strike.

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Seems to me too many players would be eliminated too quickly to have much fun. Also seems to take the fun out of the 4 player group format.


we did that for a Pingolf finals, which with tie for hole in 1 keep the drama going a bit longer but it is definitely a blood bath :slight_smile:


Seems a bit too brutal for the semi-competitive crowd or newbies. A lot of the newer players we have introduced the 3 strikes format to like it because they feel they still have a shot even with one very strong player in the group since they can focus on beating the other 2. If you know you have to place first no matter what and someone is crushing it, it feels like a waste of time.

Resurrecting this thread because I had a shower thought on the n-strikes format.

People are worried about advantages/disadvantages with 3 vs 4 player groups. I think I have a solution that fairly addresses the issue.

  • Probably need more strikes. If 3 strikes, maybe not necessarily 6, but 5 might be OK in that case.
  • 2 player groups score:
    • 1st place: 0 strikes
    • 2nd place: 2 strikes
  • 3 player groups score:
    • 1st place: 0 strikes
    • 2nd place: 1 strike
    • 3rd place: 2 strikes
  • 4 player groups score:
    • 1st place: 0 strikes
    • 2nd place: 1 strike
    • 3rd place: 1 strike
    • 4th place: 2 strikes
  • Fairness analysis
    • Number of strikes awarded commensurate with # players in group
    • Win and get no strikes, always
    • Totally lose and get 2, always
    • Come in the middle and get 1, always

What say ye?


I played in a ten strikes a couple weeks ago. Second place got one, third got two, fourth got three. @gorgarsupperlip ran it, there were about ten players. Took around four hours. When it got down to the last couple players it took about five or six more games to finish. We discussed changes to make a shorter overall tournament. Considered lowering the number of strikes or in groups with less than four having a phantom player(s) one or two so the last two players would accumulate strikes faster.

It was a fun time.

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Sounds like players on a losing streak will still be out in 3 rounds, even with 5 strikes. I like the idea of P2 and P3 getting 1 strike in a 4 player group. It makes aiming for 1st that much more important, and increases tension. I’m all about high stakes!

I’d really like to see some of this in practice, I have a feeling it might speed the tournament up, since even good players but not people getting first are slowly being chipped away…

How would you choose to do groupings? Random? Balanced? I don’t think progressive strikes would be fair for Swiss pairings.

In my past experience balanced, since it tries to pair like strikes, is a death spiral for anyone that gets strikes early on. So I agree with you that swiss is probably a bad idea for progressive strikes.

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I’ll just sit here and watch while @cayle’s head explodes…

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For the last three weeks I have hosted a ten strikes you’re out tournament. So far its gone off without a hitch and the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The group scoring is as follows:
1st: 0 strikes
2nd: 1 strike
3rd: 2 strikes
4th: 3 strikes

To stay within the theme of this thread ill only explain what i do with groups of less than four.

I implemented what i call the “phantom loser”. In any event in which a team has less than four players, one or more phantom losers takes the highest amount of strikes. So in the case of a three player group, only second and third place will take one and two strikes respectively.
In a head to head match, only one strike will be given to the loser of that match. Since the losing groups are the last to be assembled, the advantage of the phantom loser always stays with the “losers bracket”, until the final two players remain, with only the loser getting a strike until one of them is eliminated and a winner is declared.

Not only is it a blast, the final showdowns have been epic, they are thrilling to be a part of and watch.

for the record, our average night goes for a little over three hours, with about thirty minutes of that being the final two players.


I like the general concept, but I think you need to deal with a potential end of tourney situation where the remaining players have few strikes. If two players completely dominate, they could conceivable each have 4 strikes at the end of 10 rounds of matchplay. (i.e. both start 2-0 and then trade 1st/2nd in the top group every round after that) Best 6 out of 11 to find a winner could be pretty rough.

Maybe when you get down to 4 or less in any round you increment everyone’s strike total evenly until the bottom player has 9 strikes?

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the tournament seeding is weighted by performance. The winners play eachother making it harder for win streaks to occur. If someone makes it through to the last two with a substantially lower strike total than the other, I feel they have earned forcing the other player to climb that hill.

How many players did you start with for the average to be a little over three hours? Any idea on what the TGP% would be for this? Thanks!

The first week we had seven and it took about two and a half hours, second week we had fifteen and went to about three hours, fifteen minutes, last week we had eleven and it took right at three hours. It really depends on how long the final two play. The bulk of players are eliminated in rounds 4,5,and 6. After about two hours or a little less of play

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We’ve been doing 3 strikes. 2 Strikes per group. We start at 7:30 in Monday. We have 40+ people and wrap up around 10:30.

Would be nice to find new ways to not boot people so quickly but we already are at max time and it’s anazing we get done in the window we do with the number of players.

Liking some of these ideas even though they won’t work in our case I don’t think.


Just finishing up a progressive strikes tournament with 10 strikes.

Final four all have 9 strikes. I bet that never happens again. Haha


Progressive Strikes really seems like the new direction to take knockout tournaments. I just ran one last night, 11 strikes, 14 people, 0/1/2/3 strikes per game. Started a bit after 7 and it went until about 10 or so. Everyone really seemed to enjoy it more- more guaranteed played games and more chances to survive. Nobody even struck out until round 6- double the minimum games for knockouts.

I’m definitely going to run these instead of regualr ol’ knockouts from here on out!