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Poll Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017
   WSC and WPC 2017 -> General Discussion about WSC and WPC 201733 posts • Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
We, the organizers of WSC/WPC 2017, are proposing an idea of replacing the Playoffs in the 2017 Championships with more rounds for all players to solve
Please share your opinion and thoughts about "Playoffs in the 2017 Championships"
OptionResults
Playoffs should be held at WSC & WPC 201735 Votes - [50%]
Playoffs need not be held, I prefer better spacing of the rounds and maybe an extra round25 Votes - [35.71%]
Playoffs need not be held, I prefer more competitive rounds of solving10 Votes - [14.29%]

ingmanc
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-01-05 4:20 PM (#22310 - in reply to #22307) (#22310) Top




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:-)

Edited by ingmanc 2017-01-05 4:21 PM
greenhorn
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-01-07 2:56 AM (#22313 - in reply to #22270) (#22313) Top


Wacky Slovak Classics Author

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I believe that Fred talked about official participants. It seems reasonable that the play-off should be for the A-team players only.
Yes, the finals in Senec were somewhat boring. Doing the play-offs without cameras is meaningless.
forcolin
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-01-07 3:19 PM (#22316 - in reply to #22270) (#22316) Top





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Playoffs should definitively be for official participants only. Having eventually taken part to playoffs this year I can confirm it has been extremely exciting (from my point of view) and the number of players admitted should be increased to give more players the taste of it, without the need to wait to be 50 or over. I remember in Minsk the number of players admitted to the playoffs of the WPC was 17 and the event was managed very well. However I admit that in Senec the audience was not involved enough
There must be consistency in what we do. Playoffs were introduced to make more spectacular the event with the aim of making it more attractive for media; consequently, the playoffs should be videoed and broadcast for the audience (and potentially for TV recording/broadcasting). It will be an essential instrument for the newly appointed director of the WPF if he will have to find sponsors. I wasn't there but I was told that the format of the playoffs held in Philadelphia was the best so far.
Playoffs require different skills from the remainder of the championship. You can't choose any more,you have to solve all the puzzles you have in front, and this is why sometimes the playoffs give different results from the qualification tournement. Playoffs on flipcharts will add another variable to the more classical format used in Senec and will require even broader skills. Why not. As long as it will be spectacular.

prasanna16391
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-01-08 10:46 AM (#22318 - in reply to #22270) (#22318) Top


WSPC Organizer

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On behalf of the organizers, I wish to add some points to the discussion.
For one thing, we have an evening event of a Player vs Player knockout tournament planned in order to create a spectacle and provide people with a different kind of outlet. We have a set system for this kind of event which we tried out in the offline finals of Sudoku Mahabharat last year, and it proved to be very efficient and a lot of fun for all involved. So as far as the 'fun' element goes, we're very much aware and prepared for the need to provide something extra.

The more important fact we discussed is that, right now, even going by the replies here, the WSC WPC playoffs have been and are still in a constant state of experimentation. There is still not a sure-fire system which everyone agrees on, and more importantly, which works in terms of bringing in sponsors and getting interest in the event from outsiders, which is the main purpose in our opinion. So the simple question is, should we subject the world's top solvers to an experimental process across two competitions, both the GP as well as the WSPC, while we are still without much input in terms of results from these experiments and a set plan of action to use them?

The Player vs Player knockout tournament, for instance, is much more conducive to experimentation, as a fun event, and is also more conducive to getting sponsors/public interested. It doesn't seem like it would be a big difference to a sponsor or an outsider that a video is "WSC/WPC playoff" or "an event at the WSC/WPC" and a direct knockout format which gets everyone involved will provide the full scope of the event in a way that will probably be grasped more easily by an outsider.
Guest
Subject: RE: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-01-12 4:00 PM (#22332 - in reply to #22270) (#22332) Top


Play off will be better in my opinion
WaterlooMathie
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-01-14 8:09 AM (#22340 - in reply to #22270) (#22340) Top




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I think the playoffs should be included if the solving could be broadcast live to an audience or if it's done on large boards/grid such as in Beijing with the final 2. If playoffs aren't used, then perhaps later rounds should be worth extra points to allow for more movement in the standings.
greenhorn
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-01-15 5:47 AM (#22343 - in reply to #22340) (#22343) Top


Wacky Slovak Classics Author

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WaterlooMathie - 2017-01-14 8:09 AM

Perhaps later rounds should be worth extra points to allow for more movement in the standings.


Oh no, this is not a smart idea :(

EDIT: Now I am not sure, if I understand it correctly... Did you mean harder puzzles/rounds with more points at the end of the championship or rounds where the points will be inflated (as in the last race of the F1 championship)?
Neither does make sense to me...

Edited by greenhorn 2017-01-15 5:55 AM
prasanna16391
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-01-30 6:23 PM (#22410 - in reply to #22343) (#22410) Top


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Hey Matus,

As you have said there may be two ways to interpret what David said, and we discussed both options.

Having a longer/harder round at the end while releasing partial results to raise the stakes and create anticipation is something we may consider as an alternative to playoffs.
Having a round with inflated points at the end is not something we are considering because in some ways this is what a playoff is without the restrictions on puzzle order selection a playoff has.

We would like to know why you think the former does not make sense. We also encourage David to elaborate his point further to make his thoughts on the matter clear.
Fred76
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-01-30 6:52 PM (#22411 - in reply to #22410) (#22411) Top



Diagonal Vision Author

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WaterlooMathie - 2017-01-14 8:09 AM

then perhaps later rounds should be worth extra points to allow for more movement in the standings.

prasanna16391 - 2017-01-30 6:23 PM


Having a longer/harder round at the end while releasing partial results to raise the stakes and create anticipation is something we may consider as an alternative to playoffs.


It's not evident that a longer/harder round provoques more movement in the standings, in my opinion.
Statistics on previous competition could be done to answer, but I think short round can lead to as much movement in the standings as long round. We have seen in the past lot of cases of very good players loosing lot of points on a short round, because if something goes bad (mistakes for example), the player doesn't have time to recover and the round ends to be catastrophic for him.
In my opinion, long rounds tend more to reproduce the hierarchy, producing less surprise than short rounds.

Fred
AndreyBogdanov
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-02-06 4:18 PM (#22463 - in reply to #22316) (#22463) Top


Snowmen Author

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It's very hard to balance interest in competition for top players and medium solvers. Leaders gain 2-3 times more points than the middle of the scoring table at WPC - I don't know other sports with such a difference. Having this is hard to be completely concentrated at the second day when you are around 50-th place after the first day - there is no real difference between being 60-th and 30-th. I think that the extension of playoff to more participants could extend interests for the middle of the table. But this extension should not lead to more solving time for leaders. Participant who finished at 30 place should start finals earlier and have less probability to win than leaders.
detuned
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-02-24 1:20 AM (#22577 - in reply to #22270) (#22577) Top




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So one issue the playoff has to get around is that hours and hours of puzzle solving can potentially be overturned very quickly and give potentially unsatisfactory results. For example at the 12016 WPC, it was clear that Ken was by a mile the best solver - the gap between him in 1st and Ulrich in 2nd was as big as Ulrich in 2nd to outside the top 10. My personal view is that the playoffs failed in this case as it doesn't seem right that Ken did not win.

From that point of view, the playoffs has to balance giving a fair advantage to those who deserve it, versus having a competition that is interesting. I disagree strongly with the opinion that playoffs should only give a marginal advantage because it demotes the importance of the main competition. If you are a top solver, and there is no advantage offered by the playoffs at all, then there is an incentive to do just enough to qualify for the playoffs, perhaps to the extent of skipping rounds (Ken could have skipped several rounds and still made the top 10), to make sure that you are well rested and well prepared for the playoffs. Its the kind of thing that would ultimately demean the integrity of the main competition.

On reflection I think having more people in the playoffs is a bad idea. I think that 10 is probably too many, and the playoffs in recent years drag on for too long. If you want to make this media friendly then you probably want no more than 4 people to really focus on. I think in general in 2016 there were too many playoffs, and people who weren't directly involved got bored and did not watch. I suppose it's great for those who otherwise wouldn't be involved, but my feeling was the balance was not right.

One good idea from 2016 I think was the "Tour de Senec" which introduces side competitions alongside the general classification - although as with everything the initial idea can always be refined and improved. I think that the closest sporting parallel to the WSC/WPC is indeed a multi-stage bike race and I think there's good scope to transfer over some of the devices of competition.

One idea that comes to mind is to have the last round delayed until the scores to that point are available - that way the solvers know what they have to do. Then have a mad sprint round to see who comes out on top.
prasanna16391
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-03-01 3:36 PM (#22608 - in reply to #22270) (#22608) Top


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Poll closed

Thank you to everyone for voting and providing input on this topic. We will discuss the polling results and comments, factor that in to our decision and announce it on 31st March. In the meantime, please look at our other ongoing interactive initiative, the Puzzle Innovations Contest. We will have announcements of more interactive contests and discussions soon, so check back regularly.

anderson
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-03-02 4:30 AM (#22612 - in reply to #22270) (#22612) Top




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I just want to say that I strongly agree with forcolin's statement that "the playoffs should be videoed and broadcast for the audience (and potentially for TV recording/broadcasting)" and I hope the organizers take that into account if there are playoffs. I fully support something like having a camera focused on each solver's puzzle, while puzzle authors/experts provide live commentary, which is what I hear was well-received at the 2010 Philadelphia WSC.

This is more tentative, but I wonder if live-streaming the playoffs would be a good idea. I dunno whether people not at the WSC/WPC would be interested in watching, but if you had live commentary while puzzles are being solved, and maybe interviews with the finalists or more commentary during downtime, I imagine it could be very entertaining (at the very least, I have a bunch of friends who'd enjoy watching something like this). You could also keep the videos for posterity, which helps with another publicity problem: there are almost no videos of previous years' championships, at least none that I can find. I would love to be able to search youtube for "world puzzle championship" and find videos of top puzzlers competing, but doing that right now only gives me some WSC 2012 videos and Stefano's recording of the WPC 2014 team playoffs.
prasanna16391
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-03-31 6:04 PM (#22721 - in reply to #22270) (#22721) Top


WSPC Organizer

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Poll conclusion

The voting for this topic has been very closely contested, so we discussed it very carefully. There were three main factors leading to our decision.
- The votes for the option of Playoffs vs No Playoffs are divided equally.

- There has been a lot of valuable discussion on the pros and cons of all playoff formats that have been tried out over the years, so reaching a consensus on a universally agreeable system is still a work in progress.

- We were angling towards not having playoffs originally and have thought of good alternatives to achieve the same goals and are confident that we can execute them.

With all this in mind, we have decided to confirm that there will be no playoffs at WSPC 2017. As for what to do with the time saved, here the majority is clear, so we will not add too much extra solving time, and focus more on spacing the rounds nicely. Thanks again to everyone who voted.

NikolaZ
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-01 6:30 AM (#22724 - in reply to #22721) (#22724) Top




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Oh, what a terrible news! Actually, for me this is not so bad because I've never done much in the playoffs, but I am afraid that this decision could kill the essence of sudoku and puzzle world championships. I still hope that you will reconsider the decision and change it.
greenhorn
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-01 3:55 PM (#22725 - in reply to #22270) (#22725) Top


Wacky Slovak Classics Author

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Spacing the rounds nicely? I can't believe it...
This is the World championship, not a holiday.

Edited by greenhorn 2017-04-01 3:56 PM
rob
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-02 10:19 PM (#22727 - in reply to #22270) (#22727) Top


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Just as a counter point, I like to hear the focus on spacing the rounds nicely. The schedule is one of the things that made me enjoy Beijing and London quite a bit more than Sofia and Senec. It would be good if you did not feel to have to say cut a team round from an adequate hour to 40 minutes just to fit in the schedule, and instead give a few more teams the chance to finish!
tamz29
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-03 9:41 AM (#22728 - in reply to #22727) (#22728) Top




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Playoffs give solvers, say, in positions 10-20 some incentive to try hard during the last few rounds to gamble and play aggressively to qualify for that top 10 finals.
Without this, would be a shame :(
Yuhei Kusui
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-03 12:17 PM (#22730 - in reply to #22721) (#22730) Top




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prasanna16391 - 2017-03-31 6:04 PM

- We were angling towards not having playoffs originally and have thought of good alternatives to achieve the same goals and are confident that we can execute them.


At the present moment I can't say excluding play-off is a bad decision because I don't know what "good alternatives" are; they should be revealed as soon as possible, as new ideas require plenty of time to be understood.

Edited by Yuhei Kusui 2017-04-03 12:24 PM
Anonymous
Subject: RE: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-03 7:49 PM (#22731 - in reply to #22270) (#22731) Top


Playoffs is equivalent to the finals of a Championship.

And playoffs must involve a good majority (if not all) of the participants. But, off late, very few people turn up for the playoffs...because there is probably nothing to watch. Except for the players and the organizers, others have minimal involvement with the event. Except for the knockout playoffs in 2012, which appealed to some extent to the audience.

So, it may not be a bad idea to have a championship without a playoff and see how it works.

And, having multiple playoffs - for Sudoku GP, WSC, Puzzle GP and WPC - brings down the interest levels as well. In 2016 also, there were a bit too many playoffs perhaps. The two playoffs for the GP should be good enough and the remaining time can be utilized to probably execute something more interesting and, more importantly, which involves a majority of the community.
NikolaZ
Subject: RE: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-03 11:59 PM (#22732 - in reply to #22731) (#22732) Top




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I agree with Anonymous that maybe there is too much playoffs. I suggest to cancel live GP finals from 2018. Grand Prix is a tournament, an excellent one, but only a tournament and we are bringing it here because it is an annual world meeting. Please, be honest with yourself, who wants to replace their participation in world championship finals with the participation in the tournament playoff?

WSC and WPC playoffs are great culmination of biggest world events and they must be preserved. Formats of the playoffs should be altered every year since, as I already said, the perfect system is not invented yet.
Kalaiyarasan
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-04 1:45 AM (#22734 - in reply to #22270) (#22734) Top




Posts: 1

I agree
Fred76
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-09 3:11 PM (#22765 - in reply to #22734) (#22765) Top



Diagonal Vision Author

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It's a courageous decision, that breaks the tradition.

Please let me do a few comments (in english, sorry for the non english-speakers):

  • Do you have the consent of the WPF Board for doing that?
    The current document (guidebook) mentions explicitly the playoffs, and although we can be sad by the poverty of the document, it seems that the decisions of the board are actually taken based on that document ("The guidebook does not currently have restrictions on Sudoku vs Non-Sudoku elements of the WSC, so in the end it is a personal opinion you hold").

  • I strongly disagree with the opinion that this competition really need playoffs:
    If we make analogy, we have to admit that the playoffs in other sports are very different competition. All the examples that come to my mind are sports where players or teams fight against each other, with direct elimination (it's possible to do similar things (2012) with puzzles, but it's not the purpose of the whole world championships, you can't ask a player to come and then be eliminated after having solved 2 or 3 puzzles, so it's possible only for the playoffs), and most of cases are annual competition. While it makes sense to say the best one of the season is the one who is the best at the end of the season, I don't see any reason to say that the best sudoku/puzzle player of the year is the one who is the best in the last 30 minutes of a 2-days competition.
    The more accurate analogy with sport is a run involving lot of people. And here I've to say that I sometimes have the impression that the WSC/WPC playoffs would be similar to organize a 400m run with the 10 best marathon runner. Or make the winner of the Tour de France be the one that win an extra stage consisting of climbing the Ventoux.
    In the few recent WSC/WPC playoffs, best players had to solve 4 or 5 puzzles in the final. Finally who is the best player? The one who was the best in solving the 100+ puzzles of the 2 days competition or the one who was the best at solving the last 4 puzzles? This issue led the organizers to think about system that favour the best players of preliminary rounds. But then it's very hard to find the right balance between fairness and excitement. And in my opinion all system invented yet look artificial.
    Another problem which comes specifically with our discipline are the puzzles themselves: We all know the result of a competition is depending on which puzzles are to be solved, especially when the competition (the final) contains only 4 or 5 puzzles. If you get another set of puzzles, you'll potentially have another world champion. The question then comes: Who is more important at world championship: players or authors?

  • We could do a list of issues that appears in the recent playoffs. It was mentionned that the perfect system is not yet found. This is worst than that. To take few examples:
    -2012: If I remember well, some players specify before the competition that they'll consider that the world champion is the best player of preliminary rounds, because they didn't find that the system was fair. There was an issue in the quarter final of WSC.
    -2013: No real issue here, but we can ask ourselves what was the purpose to eliminate players after 3 and 6 puzzles in the semi final. Moreover the "run throuh the tables and see if there is one more free" was particularly ridiculous.
    -2014: Issue in the final of WSC, which led to give two bronze medals.
    -2015: No particular issue (!), but the audience could not see how the players solved the puzzle, and it is my personal opinion that it was quite boring for the audience.
    -2016: There was so many playoffs that the time limit had to be very strict, which led the final of WSC to be finished by only one player. I think the final should be finished only after the 3 best players completed all puzzles.

  • The GP final seems to me to work far better. The sport aspect has more meaning:
    -It's a yearly competition, and not a 2-days competition.
    -It's more different than the preliminary rounds that are online, thus having small time gap between players is not a problem, it leads to an exciting and fair competition.
    -The finalists play under the same conditions, which is potentially not the case in the online rounds (fast/slow printer, noise/external disturbance, speed to enter the codes, etc..)
    -The whole format seems to work well so far.



So in my opinion, if one of the playoff should be remove, it's better to be the world championship playoffs than the GP finals. I agree with the fact we need such competition with the best players during WSC/WPC, it can be excited, but it also should be used by the WPF to make more advertizing/promotion.

Fred

prasanna16391
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-10 11:37 PM (#22778 - in reply to #22765) (#22778) Top


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Fred76 - 2017-04-09 3:11 PM


  • Do you have the consent of the WPF Board for doing that?
    The current document (guidebook) mentions explicitly the playoffs, and although we can be sad by the poverty of the document, it seems that the decisions of the board are actually taken based on that document ("The guidebook does not currently have restrictions on Sudoku vs Non-Sudoku elements of the WSC, so in the end it is a personal opinion you hold").




Hi Fred,

I checked in with the WPF Board on behalf of the organizing team earlier this year about a few things, including this topic of whether playoffs are a must. I also communicated to them that we plan to have a poll to this end. The Board confirmed that playoffs need not be held and that the organizers can make a decision either way, and it was only after this that we started the poll.
prasanna16391
Subject: Re: Playoffs at WSC/WPC 2017 @ 2017-04-13 8:32 PM (#22811 - in reply to #22730) (#22811) Top


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Yuhei Kusui - 2017-04-03 12:17 PM

At the present moment I can't say excluding play-off is a bad decision because I don't know what "good alternatives" are; they should be revealed as soon as possible, as new ideas require plenty of time to be understood.


Hi Yuhei,

The alternative we are thinking of has been mentioned before, but I will elaborate once again. We are going to have an evening event, a Player vs Player knockout event open to everyone. As I have indicated before, we have a set system for this which worked at the National level last year and we are confident we can replicate that. This event will be exciting, fun, can be used for media and publicity, and most importantly, everyone can participate without worrying too much about 'fairness' and 'choosing a worthy World Champion'.
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