Tournament Formats & Rules

Tourney Rules will typically be posted for each individual event, but here are some of the tournaments and formats we enjoy playing and our approach to the rules.

The emphasis within the Mystic Krewe and the events it runs is always on fun and cooperation. We are more interested in casual competitive play than serious, pro-level events. However, we always set the games up to be as difficult as PAPA-style events, and use rules and methodology similar to IFPA and PAPA pro-level events.

One area where the MK may differ is in the distribution of points based on rank within a tournament. We tend to award a tighter distribution of points between 1st-2nd-3rd place players (5 points [on a 100-point scale] separates 1st and 2nd as opposed to 10 points in other tourneys). We emphasize consistent play over a longer period, more than the ability to simply beat an opponent in singular contests.

We also tend to favor older games that have more simplistic rulesets. We recognize not everybody has the time or resources to study all the complicated dynamics of the more modern games. We prefer our events to be focused primarily on raw pinball skills, and less on knowing the “tricks of the table/ruleset.” We also encourage discussing play objectives with each other so that there is as best a “level playing field” as possible when it comes to knowledge of a game’s ruleset.

As a result, MK-events tend to be approachable by both novice and expert players. Anybody can win our events, and often do. It’s about making the game fun.

Here are some of the formats we like to use in competition:

BRACKETED ELIMINATION

The most common competitive format in most sporting events. Players are ranked in a bracket and must play individual matches against each other to rise up within the bracket.

Each match can consist of a single game, best 2-out-3, 4-out-of-5 or best-of-7 depending upon the number of players. We usually opt for 2-out-of-3 for matches. A max of three games per match will be played. Whoever wins 2, advances.

Variations: Players can be placed in brackets manually, randomly or based on IFPA/LA ranking/seeding. In the case of seeded placement, brackets are often lined up with high seeds playing low seeds in the early rounds.

Bracketed tourneys often require competitors in multiples of 4 in order to foster fair game play with a minumum number of bye rounds.

Some bracket format may be double-elimination, meaning competitors may have to lose two matches to be completely out of the tourney, and a separate “losers bracket” allows players to battle their way back for a win if they lose one match.

The main factor in determining the bracket format is how many competitors there are and how long we want the tourney to last. Some formats like double-elimination with large numbers of matches per game can go on for many hours – so we try to balance fairness with a reasonable competition time so players aren’t burned out.

SHOOT OUT

Shoot out is a format similar to bracketed where we use computer software to match players against each other and X strikes until you’re out. So if we do 2-strike Shootout, players have compete against each other until they lose 2 matches. Variations and other rules are similar to bracketed format.

PIN-GOLF

In Pin-Golf, players compete to achieve a certain game-specific goal (usually scoring x amount of points) with the fewest number of balls. The objective is to get a “hole in one” by hitting the target score on ball one. Each machine is a “hole” and the match will be played on X machines. Each player is scored a number from 1 to 7 indicating the number of “strokes” needed to reach the target goal. If they cannot reach the goal by ball 6, they automatically get a 7. Extra balls count as extra strokes. At the end of the match, everybody’s stroke count is added up and the player with the lowest score wins.

We also like to do a team version of Pin-Golf where players go from hole (machine) to hole in groups of 3 or 4 and work together to improve the overall team score. Prizes are often awarded based on the team score, and if the event is an IFPA-sanctioned event, individual results will be reported, but otherwise the tourney prizes are set based on team performance.

MACHINE QUALIFICATION

Machine Qualification is a style of play that allows competitors to not have to be in the same location at the same time. For this format, we designate x games that will be used for “qualification.” Usually over a period of a week, players are required to play one or more games on each machine, and the scores are recorded. At the end of the match period, players are ranked per machine based on their best score(s).

Variations: Standard machine qualification allows players to practice on games, but they must announce when their qualification games are to be played and someone must watch. If they are to play more than one gay, they must play all games consecutively. Cold Machine Qualification is a variation where no practice games are allowed and the games are only allowed to be played by qualifiers during the period of the match. Another variation is called “Ticket Qualification” which is used by PAPA, where players get one “ticket”, a chance to play X games. One game on each machine is recorded and that round is taken as a singular entry. Ticket qualification rewards players who are able to consistently put up high scores on all machines in their attempt. They may be able to buy-in or play another ticket, but previous ticket scores cannot be combined with a new ticket.

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