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Match Play Events

Tournament documentation

Match Play Events is not limited to running match play tournaments. Below you can find a description of the tournament formats and their various configuration options.

  1. Tournament formats
    1. Swiss style tournaments
    2. Head-to-head match play
    3. Group match play
    4. Round Robin / Double Round Robin / WCS-style Round Robin
    5. Knockout / Strikes
    6. Group knockout
    7. Best Game
    8. Super (Selfie) Leagues
    9. Card-based Best Game
    10. Golf / Pingolf
    11. Pinbowling
    12. Single elimination bracket
    13. Group elimination bracket
    14. Pingolf elimination bracket
  2. Arena options
  3. Pairing and seeding options
  4. Scoring options
  5. League / Tournament series

Tournament formats

Swiss style tournaments

You can play swiss style tournaments as either head-to-head match play or group match play. See below for details.

Head-to-head match play

This format is a twist of the match play format used in golf tournaments. In each round players are paired against each other with the winner earning a point/win. Play continues for a number of rounds determined by the tournament director. The winner of the tournament is the player with the most wins at the conclusion of the final round. This format works especially well with swiss or balanced pairings.

Group match play

Group match play is works like head-to-head match play with the difference that people are paired against each other in groups of four. Match Play Events will automatically create three-player groups if you don't have enough players to create all four-player groups.

Instead of a single point for a win every player will earn a number of points depending on their finishing position. This format works well with swiss or balanced pairings and playing multiple matches each round.

Round Robin / Double Round Robin / WCS-style Round Robin

In a Round Robin tournament each player plays every other player exactly once. Each game is head-to-head. Each win awards one point and the winner is the player with the most points after all matches have finished. In a Double Round Robin tournament each player faces every other player twice instead of once.

In a WCS (World Cup Soccer) style round robin players are divided into smaller groups according to seeding and a round robin is played within each group.

Knockout / Strikes

Knockout tournaments are also known as "strikes tournaments". In each round players are paired against each other. The loser receives a "strike". Once a player has received a pre-determined number of strikes he or she is eliminated from the tournament. The last player standing is the winner.

The tournament director can decide how many strikes it takes to be eliminated. For Match Play Free 2 or 3 strikes are available. Premium subscribers can choose anywhere from 2 to 10 strikes.

Group knockout

Group knockout tournaments are very similar to regular knockout tournaments with the difference that people are paired against each other in groups of four. Match Play Events will automatically create three-player groups if needed. After each match the bottom two finishers will receive a strike—also in three-player groups.

Best Game

The tournament director assembles a bank of arenas. Each player plays each arena in the bank one or more times and their best game is ranked against the best game of all opponents. Match Play Events lets a tournament director configure how many times a player can play an arena, how many results counts towards the player's point total and how many games to award points for on each arena. Read a guide on Best Game tournaments.

Super (Selfie) Leagues

Super Leagues and Super Selfie Leagues are variants on Best Game tournaments. Start by reading the guide on Best Game tournaments. Then you can build on that with these tips on how to setup a Super Selfie League complete with photo uploads and sharing to Facebook!

Card-based Best Game

A variant on the Best Game format. The tournament director assembles a bank of arenas. Each player completes a "card" consisting of a set number of games. Points are awarded for each game on the card and players are ranked based on their best card. Match Play Events lets a tournament director configure how many cards a player can play, how many games make up a card and whether all cards are counted or if a player's newest card will always replace previous cards.

Golf / Pingolf

When playing the golf format the tournament director decides how many holes to play (for non-golf sports a "hole" is typically a single game). Each player records how many strokes they used on each hole. The player with the fewest strokes at the end of the tournament is the winner.

Pingolf is a variation of the golf format used in pinball tournaments. We have some tips for deciding on Pingolf target scores.

Pinbowling

When playing the pinbowling format the tournament director decides how many frames to play. Each player records how many points they earned for each frame. The player with the most points at the end of the tournament is the winner.

Single elimination bracket

Single elimination brackets are probably the most well-known tournament format. Players are organized in a bracket—typically according to seed. The winner advanced in the bracket, the loser is eliminated. Match Play Events will automatically create a bronze match for you to determine 3rd and 4th place finishers.

Single elimination brackets are perfectly suited for running the finals or a match play tournament.

Group elimination bracket

This is a variation on the single elimination bracket where players are paired together in groups of four. The first and second finishers advance in the bracket, while 3rd and 4th place are eliminated.

If you combine this with playing multiple games per round you can mimic the finals format used at the PAPA pinball world championships.

Pingolf elimination bracket

This is a variation on the group elimination bracket. Players are paired together in groups of four. For each game you enter the amount of points/strokes for each player. The two players with the fewest points/strokes advance in the bracket.

If you combine this with playing multiple games per round you can mimic the finals format used at the IFPA Pinmasters.

Arena options

Arenas are places players are assigned to play—pool tables, soccer pitches, pinball machines, bowling lanes etc. There are three different ways you can have Match Play Events pick arenas for your matches: Balanced draws, random draws or you can disable arena selection all together.

Arena draws

Balanced draws means the software will do its best to make sure players do not play the same arena multiple times over the course of the tournament. Random draws are completely random. Finally you can disable arena selection completely. This is useful if your tournament calls for players picking their own arenas (e.g. if the top seed can select which pinball machine to play).

Matches per round

In addition to drawing a single arena you can also tell Match Play Events to create multiple games per round of play. This works well with balanced draws as the app will take care not to assign the same arena multiple times and will pick arenas that the players have played the least.

Pairing and seeding options

Player pairing

Player pairing determines how players are matched against each other. Match Play Events has a handful ways to handle pairing. Random pairings matches players with random opponents. Balanced pairings matches players with a random opponent they haven't faced previously in the same tournament—it's an excellent option for most tournaments.

Swiss pairings tries to match opponents against other players with the same win-loss record (i.e. the same amount of points) that they haven't faced previously in the tournament. Tiered swiss is a specialized pairing method for swiss tournaments with a large amount of players. Players are grouped into tiers that narrow as the tournament progresses. A visualization of these tiers are available as an interactive tool. Tiered swiss tournaments are capped at 128 players.

Player seeding

There are three options for player seeding. Random seeding is just that. Manual seeding allows a tournament director to manually seed players before your tournament begins. IFPA seeding is for pinball tournaments. Players will be seeded automatically according to their IFPA ranking at the time they are added to the tournament.

If the tournament seeding is manual or IFPA the tournament director also picks how players are paired in the first round of the tournament. Possible options are random, adjacent, cross or slaughter pairings are available. See descriptions of each type.

Seeding only affects the first round of a tournament unless you are planning a bracket tournament or you have player order set to original seed.

Player order / Player choice

The tournament director can control the order of players in a couple of different ways. Players can appear in a random order in cases where player order doesn't matter (the disabled option is identical to random). For tournaments where player order/choice does matter the balanced option is usually the best. When player order is balanced the player with the fewest amount of play order choice will receive choice for the current game. Finally you can have play order be determined by the original seed. This can be useful for tournament finals or brackets.

Scoring options

The tournament director has a small handful of configuration options when it comes to scoring and points. When playing a group match play he or she can decide between IFPA, PAPA, Pinburgh and a bonus point scoring system. When playing head-to-head match play tiebreakers can be calculated automatically using Median-Buchholz and Solkoff scores. You can also decide if a bye round should equal a loss, half win or a full win.

League / Tournament series

You can combine several tournaments into a tournament series. Match Play Events will then keep track of the overall standings based on the individual results from each tournament. You can also use this feature to string multiple tournaments together to form a league season. Several scoring options are available. Read a guide on tournament series.