Max Match Play tournaments
Max Match Play is a new tournament format available exclusively in the new version of Match Play at https://next.matchplay.events/
It’s meant as an alternative to Flip Frenzy tournaments. It provides the same efficiency of matches being created as quickly as possible, but ensures that every player plays the same amount of matches and prevents a ton of repeat opponents.
Max Match Play can also be used as a replacement for Round Robin and Double Round Robin tournaments.
At the basic level a Max Match Play tournaments works by creating as many matches as possible. As soon as matches finish the TD or a scorekeeper can create new matches based on the players who are available to play. Rinse and repeat until all players have played the number of matches required.
Configuring a Max match play tournament
When creating a tournament pick the “Max match play / Roundless round robin” option. Before the tournament starts you have to decide how long the tournament should run. This is pretty straight-forward: You decide how many matches each player should play. You can change this amount after the tournament has started.
A second setting can limit how many active matches to have going at one time. You can use this if you always want to keep a certain number of people waiting.
How does this replace Flip Frenzies
Just like a Flip Frenzy you have a bunch of head-to-head matches in progress and a list of players not playing (because there aren't enough machines to accommodate everyone). I've changed the name from a "queue" to a "waiting room" because players aren't guaranteed to exit the waiting room in the same order they came in.
Once one or more matches have completed the TD or a scorekeeper can click a "Create matches" button and the software will create as many new matches as possible. If several players are reporting results close to each other you can wait until all results are in before clicking the button. That will give you a better balancing of machines so people aren't stuck playing the same machine over and over.
This process repeats until all players have played the number of matches you chose.
How does this replace Round Robins
If you set the number of matches to play to fit a round robin then players will play an actual round robin. For example, if you have 10 players, set the tournament to 9 matches for a round robin. Or to 18 for a double round robin. The software will make sure players only play each other exactly once (or exactly twice).
The main advantages over the current round robin tournaments are:
- Easier to navigate matches because only active matches are being displayed
- Player starting positions are much better balanced (I can't promise perfect, but it's good)
- Machine selections are handled better because only the active matches are assigned a machine
How are players paired against each other
If there are fewer matches to play than a round robin (like 10 players, 5 matches) then players will face a new opponent every match as long as possible. Priority will be on opponents who are available just like a Flip Frenzy you'll just play someone who doesn't happen to be playing. In some cases it’s not going to be possible to provide a new opponent for every player towards the end of the tournament and players will have repeat opponents — the more player and the more matches played the less likely this scenario becomes.
If there are exactly the right number of matches for a round robin (like 10 players, 9 matches) then a round robin will be played. Each player will play every other player exactly once.
If there is a remainder of matches, that is the number of matches is larger than needed for a round robin but not enough for a double round robin (like 10 players, 14 matches) then the process is different. First players will play a round robin but for the remainder games players will get balanced opponents, but with a priority to availability. So if there are only two players in the waiting room and both players have already completed the round robin then those two players will always be paired with each other no matter how many times they have played against each other previously.
For that reason it can be helpful to wait a bit to create matches near the end of the tournament if you're using remainder matches. That way the balancing algorithm will do a better job of preventing repeat opponents.
What else is new
I've added a bunch of audits/stats under the "Stats" page so you can see how many repeat opponents each player has, how good the arena balancing was etc.
I've also added a "Predictions" chart on the "Matches" tab. It looks like the same chart I recently added for pingolf tournaments. While your tournament is in progress you can go to the predictions to see the range of possible finishing positions for each player.
What are the limitations
The biggest limitation is that if a player leaves early all their matches will be deleted when you deactivate the player. For this format all players must end up playing the same amount of matches. So leaving early means treating that player as if they were never there.
If a player arrives late it's a different issue. You can add a player after the tournament started, but that player will have to "catch up" to the others. The late player will be playing non-stop (will always receive priority) until they've played the same amount of matches as the other players.
Adding a late player also means increasing the duration of your tournament. So keep that in mind!