New Pinball Dictionary: Defense
A strategy used during tournament qualification rounds wherein a player specifically looks at the games and scores of someone immediately below them in the rankings who is looking to challenge them. The player then tries those games in an effort to lower the ranking points of the challenger so that they retain their higher ranking.
This strategy is more effective if the challenger has a first or second place score. These scores typically lose more ranking points if they are surpassed. In a tournament like the PAPA World Championship, 1st place scores are typically worth 100 ranking points. Second place is worth 90 points. Third place is worth 85 points. Fourth is worth 84, fifth is worth 83, and so on down to 87th place being worth 1 point.
Example: In a tournament where the top 8 advance to the playoffs, Jimmy Jackpot is in 8th place with 218 ranking points. In 9th place is Sammy Solenoid with 217 points. However, Sammy has a 1st place score on Transformers. Jimmy sees this and wants to play defense against Sammy. He chooses to play Transformers as part of his next entry. Jimmy passes Sammy’s top score which causes him to gain raking points and forces Sammy to lose 10 ranking points. Now, Jimmy is in less danger of being passed by Sammy because Jimmy has increased his lead over Sammy.
See also: “Snipe, Sniping” (opposite)
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