Tournament finals when a player cannot participate

I want to make sure I’m planning correctly for an upcoming best game finals as I anticipate someone who is going to qualify for finals will not be available to play in the finals and I want to ensure I handle it correctly and submit it correctly. I thought I’d put this question out to the group in case it’s useful for others down the road.

If I have a top 8 finals and qualifier 7 cannot make it, I assume I can pull #7 out of the finals, qualifier 8 moves up one and qualifier 9 gets the last spot in the finals. If this is correct, for IFPA submission, does the original 7 take 9th overall in the tournament when submitted to IFPA?

And if more than one person cannot make it to the finals and I move other qualifiers up, do the people who couldn’t make it to the finals take 9th, 10th, etc. in order that they were originally seeded at the end of qualifying?

I really hope all that above makes sense!

I’m not sure if there is an official rule on this, as I’ve seen it done both ways. My opinion is that the person who qualified should not be able to finish lower than top 8, and that their playoff spot should remain unfilled (they essentially play as a ghost, and take 0’s on every game). This also helps too if people are unexpectedly absent or running late. You can plunge their balls until they arrive.


I prefer to do the opposite of spraynard and advance the next player and put the missing player in the top non-qualifying position. I don’t like the idea of having a ghost player taking zeros in finals since that either automatically advances someone in a two player group or makes it much easier to advance out of a 4 player group.

I wonder how this gets handled at Pinburgh? I feel like I recall no-shows for finals were replaced with the next highest seed.


For CAX no-shows are replaced with the next highest seed. I remember because I was the next highest seed in 2015 :stuck_out_tongue:

I personally think that’s the best way to handle it for the same reasons Jay list. Few things are more annoying than an incomplete bracket


Would you feel the same way if you were on the other end of the deal? Maybe you had a family emergency and had to leave right before the playoffs started? That’s what happened to Neil Shatz in 2012. He was top qualifier for both classics and main. Just crushing it. Them something came up at the last minute and he had to leave. He ended up 9th in both divisions.

After watching that, I now agree that they shouldn’t finish lower than the number of qualifiers. Disruption or not, that finishing position was earned in Q.

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I see your argument and certainly don’t care much either way but since you asked, yes, I would feel the same regardless. Where would you put Neal? 16th? 8th if he would have had a bye? I don’t think it’s great to say to the players that showed up that someone who wasn’t even there should finish ahead of them so 8th seems rather unfair to the field in attenadance. And if you put him 16th, do the extra fraction of WPPRs really matter between that and 17th?


I think it was 16 with a bye for being top qualifier (in both divisions). IMO Neil should’ve finished no lower than 8th. As I mentioned above, I feel he earned that in qualifying.

This was an extreme example. Usually a lower seeded player will drop out. I get why TD’s often do it this way, but watching Neil roll that weekend only to end up with 9th didn’t seem right.

You bet I feel the same way. The tournament is qualifying+finals. Dropping out halfway through means you didn’t complete the tournament. Otherwise you can be sure that I will have something come up any time I qualify in the #1 spot :wink:


The tournament ain’t over until the playoffs are over. Why should someone who qualified, but did not show up for playoffs finish higher than ppl who showed up?


He did show up. Then a family emergency came up. He told the nearest official he had to leave before he left. He did what you would want any other player to do if they were in the same position.

I don’t think competive pinball has gotten to the point where we’re expected to dismiss our family completely when the playoffs start. It might be different if Neil was just hung over and blew off the playoffs, but that’s not what happened. He was there and ready to go.

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By that way of thinking, you could argue that since he didn’t complete the tournament, he shouldn’t have been given any finishing position. DQ. No points or finishing position for you. Should we go that far?

By that way of thinking, you could argue that since he didn’t complete the tournament, he shouldn’t have been given any finishing position. DQ. No points or finishing position for you. Should we go that far?

Seems too harsh to me. I recently qualified fifth in a tournament with 60+ people. Top 16 qualified for the finals, but I couldn’t stay for the finals due to other commitments. I got an automatic 17th, and my slot was filled by the player immediately below me.

DQ seems extreme and not warranted here. You could even argue that I should have kept my spot and been an automatic 16th. (By scoring zero on every machine, I just would have done unusually poorly in the finals :slight_smile: Not that it would have made a lot of difference…)

It really is up the the TD, I believe. Giving me 17th in that case was fair I think, as was the decision to pull the player below me into the finals.


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That’s not what I am saying. I am saying that if you do not show up for the finals you can do no better than the top spot for players who did not play in finals. Which makes sense because you did not play finals.


There has never been a no-show for finals at Pinburgh, but yes, this is how it would be handled. Everyone bumps up (creating new brackets).

[Correction: it has happened, per @Snailman, in 2016’s C Division.]


I hope that you are not deducing from my earlier comment that I think we should dismiss our families Mike. That would not be at all what I said. It’s a simple question of finishing the tournament or not, regardless of the reason why.

Unless I’m mistaken, I recall at Intergalactic (at Pinburgh) they specifically said no replacements if there are no-shows. I remember because I was close to top 40.

No worries guys. You guys kinda took it to the extreme (he didn’t finish!), so I went a little farther. Pretty sure we’re only one finishing position off in opinion.

When it happened, no one was happy about it. In a weird way, that was cool. Neil has earned that kind of respect in the hobby. Win or lose, people want to compete with him. If you guys had been there that weekend, you might feel the same way I do.

If anybody has a link to qualifying results that year (CAX 2012), please post a link. Best qualifying run I’ve ever seen.

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Thank you for the feedback and for the helpful different points of view on the options open to me for the finals!

To make sure I am clear, if I do fill more than one no-show finals spot with the next eligible and available qualifiers, do the ones who could not make it take the 9th, 10th spots in the same order as they qualified or do I tie them for 9th?

Thank you!

Yes, because Intergalactic is a strikes format and not a bracket format. In bracket formats you don’t want to give one group a 2/3 chance of advancing while another gets a 2/4 chance.


Perhaps not in A Division, but it happened in C Division this year. The C div #3 seed didn’t show, and a friend of mine who had missed out on C Finals via the tiebreaker showed up on Saturday morning. Because she was the highest qualified alternate, she became the 40th seed in the First Round, and everyone besides #1 & 2 all moved up one slot.

The #3 seed who no-showed was placed immediately below the player that finished 40th in the final standings.
I think this is a fair way of handling it.