Max match play

Max match play is a type of head-to-head match play tournament. Instead of playing a predefined number of rounds, a Max match play tournament creates new matches as soon as possible. This means a Max match play tournament can fit in more matches than a head-to-head match play tournament based on rounds.

The two core concepts in Max match play tournaments are:

  • Every player will play the same number of matches.

  • Players will not face the same opponent repeatedly.

Because of those two ideals, Max match play can be used as a replacement for a Flip Frenzy in cases where the tournament organizer wants to avoid the IFPA penalty for Flip Frenzy tournaments. Max match play can also be used to execute round robin tournaments more efficiently.

Configuration options

See also: Common configuration options.


This setting determines the length of the tournament. Set this number to the amount of matches you want each player to play.

A Max match play tournament will not be able to conclude if you have an odd number of players and an odd duration. To avoid this situation, make sure to pick an even duration.

Max active games

If you wish to limit the number of active games, you can set a limit here. This is useful if you want to make sure you always have a set number of players waiting.

Scorekeepers create matches

If you wish for scorekeepers to be able to create new matches, set this to "yes."

Configuring a round robin

To play a round robin, set the Duration to one less than the number of players. Set it to two less for a double round robin. For example, if you have 10 players, set the tournament to nine matches for a round robin, or to eight matches for a double round robin. Match Play will make sure players only play each other exactly once (or exactly twice). The main advantages over the robin tournament format are:

  • Easier to navigate matches because only active matches are being displayed

  • Player starting positions are much better balanced

  • Machine selections are handled better because only the active matches are assigned a machine

When should I create new matches?

If the tournament's Duration is not set up to create a true round robin (see above), then the tournament organizer should be mindful of when they create new matches to avoid a situation at the end of the tournament in which the same two players may be forced to play each other multiple times in a row.

As the tournament progresses, use the Matches tab to keep an eye on how many matches each player has played. You do not want a player to fall behind due to the playing longer games.

If one or more players are falling behind by two or more matches, wait to create new matches until those players are waiting (i.e. they are ready to get on a new game). When creating matches, you can even limit the number of matches created so you only create matches for the players who have fallen behind while keeping players who are ahead waiting.

What if a player arrives late / leaves early?

If a player arrives late, the tournament organizer can add them to the tournament at any point. However! Keep in mind that this will increase the time needed for the tournament since more games need to be played. It's also important to make sure the new player can "catch up" to the other players in the tournament (see section above).

Removing a player from a Max match play tournament is quite destructive and should be avoided if possible. If you often find yourself with players having to leave tournaments early, then Max match play may not be the right choice for you.

When the tournament organizer deactivates the player, all their matches will be deleted. This is a necessary step to ensure that all players play the same amount of matches (one of the core concepts in this tournament format). Match Play will not include that player in the tournament standings—it's like the player never participated in the tournament—though for IFPA submission purposes, the tournament organizer should include the player in last place.

Deleting matches is the most fair way to handle a difficult situation. Even if it was possible to conclude the tournament, letting those results stand is unfair to the remaining players. If the player who left had a habit of losing, it's unfair to the players who did not yet get a chance to beat the player who is leaving. And if the player had a habit of winning, it's unfair to the players who did play them since the rest of the field won't have to face a difficult opponent.

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