Arena assignments

An arena is a place where players are assigned to play. It can represent a pool table, bowling lane or more typically, a pinball machine. The arena draws option determines how arenas are assigned to players.

Arenas are assigned after players have been paired. As a result, the arena assignment algorithms are less effective than they otherwise would be. Players are paired first because optimal player pairings are more important to the tournament integrity than optimal arena assignments.

Balanced (default)
In a similar way to the balanced player pairing, Match Play will make a thorough attempt to avoid assigning the same arena to the same player multiple times. Because arenas are assigned after players are paired with each other, the arena balancing will not be as effective as the player pairing balancing. This is especially true in smaller tournaments and those with fewer arenas available.
When arena assignments are disabled, Match Play will not assign arenas automatically, and you will not be able to assign arenas yourself.
Manual arena assignments mean that Match Play will not assign arenas automatically when each round is started. The tournament organizer will have to manually assign arenas to each individual game. It will not be possible to save game results until an arena has been assigned.
A random arena will be assigned to each game. This will result in players being assigned the same arena multiple times.
Arena banks
Arena banks are predetermined collections of machines. Each group of players will be assigned a single bank of machines to play. Arena banks only work when the tournament is configured to have more than one game per round. See more details below.

Too few arenas

If a tournament doesn't have enough arenas to cover all games in a round, Match Play will assign as many arenas as possible. The tournament organizer will be unable to assign arenas to the remaining games until one or more of the games have finished, freeing their arenas. The tournament organizer assigns arenas by clicking the "cog" icon next to a game and then picking the "Select arena" option.

Multiple games per round

Arena assignment works slightly different when there are more than one game per round. In those tournaments each arena is assigned at most once per game in the round. If the tournament has three games per round each arena can be assigned up to three times, once for each game in the round. In addition, each group will not be assigned the same arena more than once.

This can lead to gaps in arena assignments when there are not enough arenas to cover all games as illustrated by this example where the tournament has three groups of three games but only two arenas.

Game #1Game #2Game #3
Group #1Arena #1Arena #2No arena
Group #2Arena #2Arena #1No arena
Group #3No arenaNo arenaArena #2

Because of these gaps in arena assignments, it's often better to use arena banks when there is a lack of available arenas.

Arena banks

An arena bank is a collection of arenas that are assigned as a single unit. Before the tournament starts, the organizer must configure each bank of arenas they want to use. The main advantage of using arena banks is that each bank can be assigned more than once. It is the only way to ensure all groups are provided a full set of arena assignments if the tournament uses multiple games per round and there are not enough arenas available to cover every game.

Each arena in a bank is always assigned in the order it appears in the bank. Arena banks are always assigned using the balanced approach, that is a thorough attempt is made to assign players a random bank they have not played before.