Scenario: Tournament Thoughts

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isoaker
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Scenario: Tournament Thoughts

Postby isoaker » Thu Jul 17, 2008 12:00 pm

Scenario:

You are helping organize a water warfare tournament. As an open tournament, pretty much anyone willing to participate after paying the entrance fee, and signing a form stating their agreement to follow tournament rules and code-of-conduct. To offer the greatest amount of flexibility, the tournament will be played as a series of scored free-for-all games that last 20 minutes with limitless refills, but no safety at the refilling stations. Each game will have 10-20 participants each. For the first round, all participants are assigned to a particular game and the soaking begins. The top 5 players from each game in the first round advance to the second round where another round of games are played. Again, the top 5 players from each of the second round games advance to the third round (and so on) until eventually an overall winner is decided. The total number of rounds is dependent on the total number of participants (if the total is 30 people to start, it'll take 3-4 rounds of games to declare a winner). The prize is a cash prize based on the total number of participants minus set-up costs.

While all seems good to go, the problem is, no one is quite sure how to do the scoring to determine who are the top players at the end of a game. As there is real money to be won and that the game is open to the public, the fear of cheating is definitely present. What scoring system would you suggest for such a tournament?

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If anyone thinks this is a loaded scenario with ulterior motives, it is. :goofy: Consider this another way to get members to come up with plausible ways to score a water war when honor alone may not be enough (or do you believe honor should always be enough?)

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HBWW
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Re: Scenario: Tournament Thoughts

Postby HBWW » Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:03 pm

In any situation where a prize is involved, we need refs, and lots of them... No refs, no prize, period.

The gridded specialty shirts or the simple honor system are still the best ways to go. If an electric target based system thats reliable is available, that may work too (like the one at ToySplash) but honor/refs are still involved since 2 sounds may go off near the same time.

One thing I should make clear. Doing muilti-hit kills is impossible due to the nature of streams. Say, 3HK wouldn't work because 3 tap should could cause a kill while a long stream wouldn't count. When someone is running and get several tap shots fired at them, it is almost impossible to tell how many actually hit.

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DX
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Re: Scenario: Tournament Thoughts

Postby DX » Sat Jul 19, 2008 10:08 pm

I'm confused by the use of the term "free-for-all" in this context. It sounds like you're describing lone wolves with an undetermined scoring system. Because I've been writing theory, I personally have strong set definitions of what things like "free for all" are. Not trying to nit-pick, but I've always seen "free for all" as a no-team, no-score soakfest game family...the most common in soaking, but the least organized. The only real way to score such a game is relative wetness...is that really tournament quality?

Anyway, I would not do lone wolves in a tournament unless in very low quantity or in partnerships / duels. With 10-20 individuals...you're going to get people making natural and temporary alliances with each other. All it takes is simple body language, so it's not even something you can have a ref target without great effort. I fought in a major Nerf war today, our round of 6 teams of 2 showcased this phenomenon quite well. Even if you make a conscious effort to avoid allying...it happens anyway. A player trapped between two others will be shot by both, and both will ignore each other even if they are relatively close in position.

Rather than that, why not with 30 individuals use the 1-1 or 2-2 dueling system and just put many of them in motion at once? Like a tennis tournament with singles or doubles on a dozen courts at the same time. That way there is no allying and there is a limited ability to cheat. Less tactical opportunities, but this is an individuals scenario, not a team one...individual tactics are much different than team tactics and teams would have to be handled in their own format. If partners, they'd be placed at random...they wouldn't have to know each other or even be able to fight well together. It is both balanced and fun to have the challenge of working with a total stranger of abilities unknown to you in order to outwit and defeat a similar enemy partnership.

Now for scoring, I'd prefer OHS over OHK, even for a duel. In an OHK duel, the better player only wins some of the time...you can simply get lucky and then it's just done. In an OHS duel with a reasonable time limit, the element of luck will not save you - one kill won't automatically end it. The score could end up being 3-2, or 4-1 for example...the better player wins most of the time. It is like backgammon, my most favorite of board games. In a 1 game set, a beginner can take on a master and win. In a 5 game set...the beginner is absolute toast. People usually control for firepower, numbers, experience...but do they think of controlling for luck? It can screw up these things like any other tangible variable.

As for the scoring target itself...well let's work through it:

- Size of the stream can be controlled. You can simply provide the guns for the tournament and pick a standard that has, for example, 5x as the smallest nozzle. This will not control for droplets of water or the stream spreading, and is

- A physical target must be large enough that it cannot be covered up by an arm or by crouching. Placement on a shirt would work best, preferably both chest and back open to be hit.

- Said target must control for sweat. 10 minutes of fighting in super-90 degree weather is enough for a person to be drenched in sweat, even if they do not have a large frame.

- Said target must not damage clothing, nor leave marks/residue.

- Said target should be cheap, easy to make, easy to mount, and stay mounted during vigorous activity.

Given that, I'd say a target should be a "thing" that is attached, but it still doesn't resolve the disputes over how wet. The direct hit system can lead to disputes just as easily as fist-sized or other type. Basically, a combined honor/ref system could work. In Ridgewood, we required the shooter to physically see the shot hit the player. Assuming that tournament players will do anything to win, refs should also be required to see the shot hit the mark...if a dispute that the ref didn't see...then no kill. That means that the refs must do their job well...

As a sidenote, refilling stations, I wouldn't make that the only way to refill. If you do, you naturally limit the amount of fighting, players will be conservative and will not take risks as they would if they are allowed, say 1 bottle per person. The refill station result would be boring and low scoring in comparison to where at least one refill can be made from any point on the field at any time. Especially with individuals...how would you have people refill at one place when the numbers are small...
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Adrian
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Re: Scenario: Tournament Thoughts

Postby Adrian » Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:57 pm

For a scoring system I'd recommend a piece of paper about 3 inches by 3 inches square safety-pinned to the center of a t-shirt. And a baseball cap. A hit anywhere on the hat is a kill, as is soaking the paper. No need for funky soakertags that turn into multi-colored sludge and stick to your shirt. Just get a bunch of safety pins and start cutting up priner paper.

Adrian
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HBWW
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Re: Scenario: Tournament Thoughts

Postby HBWW » Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:34 pm

Like I said, the problem with targets is that it limits hit area and people can often shoot them off at the same time; determining whether you're out or not takes too long. (given there are shoulder targets and back targets too, if front only, thats a problem on its own)


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