At last week’s PAPA TV, they were discussing the possibility of having more broadcast friendly pinball tournament formats. Here’s an idea that I wonder if anyone else has thought of, it’s called “Beat That Score!”

Take the bidding concept of the Name That Tune “Bid-A-Note” round and smash it together with a PinGolf-like target score or goal and you get “Beat that Score!”

Let’s use Stern’s Star Trek as an example. A match between two players, “Bill and Ted” could go like this:

The tournament director randomly selects from a pre-determined set of goals for Star Trek.

Some goals could be:

  • Get to Warp 9.9
  • Score 100,000,000 points
  • Get to the Kobayashi Maru and score 50,000,000 points
  • Defeat the third Vengeance Battle

Let’s say for this example, the randomly selected goal is to score 100,000,000 points.

After the goal is selected, the higher seed (in whatever way you’ve determined that beforehand) chooses whether to bid first or pass to their opponent.

The bidding starts:

Bill: “Ted, I can beat that score in 6 balls.”

Ted: “OK, Bill, I can beat that score in 5 balls.”

Bill: “Well, Ted, I can beat that score in 4 balls.”

Ted: “Bill, beat that score!”

Now, Bill has to beat 100,000,000 points in 4 balls. So now, the tournament director sets the game to 4 balls and off Bill goes to try to beat it. If he does, he wins the match. If not, he loses the match. It’s that simple.

Why might this be more broadcast friendly? This match takes less time to do because only one person is challenging the score. Also, to really bring some personality into the match, give each player a microphone and a dais like they have on Name That Tune. This way, everyone can hear them strategizing, contemplating and taunting their opponent or whatever.

Or, how about having the tournament director hold the microphone and go back and forth between the two players, sort of like the way it was done during the PPL/FSPA League Challenge.

Speaking of challenges, this is easily expandable to a team concept. How about a best 3-out-of-5 with 5 players on each side. Now teams can strategize about who will face each other… or make that random as well.

Fun With Bonus is the home of the semi-coherent, misguided ramblings of professional and amateur pinball players.

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