Its obviously Friday thinking time: A vague idea inspired by (1) the seige queues and (2) the inevitable dominace of high-rated players on all the seige boards:
Purpose: a format that will keep lots of folks playing at their own level in the same on-going event
Awards: Medals for wins-in-a-row and a 'longest run' count in profile
Number of events: one melee per (timout/timebank): 1/7; 3/7; 7/7 (basically we need quick games for the 'number-in-a-row' ideology)
General description: there's a pool of players signed up to play. Won't work unless it's big. The system selects suitable candidates close to your own rating and you go to it. If you win, you stay in, if you loose you are out, but can jump right back in again (the queue is next to nothing, unlike seiges!)
Use "tournament entry" ratings for the selction process to try to avoid poorly-matched games.
Starting the melee:
On the big kick off date, if the number in the pool is odd, select a player at random. They are the queue. Only one, poor wee soul.
Find the middle rated player: then pick a player at random from the 8 players with the closest rating to that player. Those two go off and play: random W/B selection.
Repeat the above (i.e. newest middle player vs. random within 8 of them) till all games allocated.
New players are those who won plus new additions to the pool (either completely new or jumping back in after a loss)
New games only start on a Monday as most folk are about and that allows the pool to build up again.
Allocate games from the new pool exactly like the start and go, but make sure the poor wee soul who was in the queue last week gets a game though... i.e. If an odd number of players in the pool on Monday, select the player to queue from the completely new players first, then the lost-but-back players, then the winners, and finally the previously queued player (nobody to play yet condition).
3 wins-in-a-row = bronze, 5 = silver, 7 = gold. Given close ratings, 5 should be difficult, 7 very hard.
Not thought it through completely: there are no doubt many improvements that could be made. The biggest snag is that it would need a large number of players to work. But who wouldn't want to play? Who?
There could even be an introductory melee: i.e. starless players only, 1/3 timesettings. Its only one game after all. Fast and furious to help the newbies find somebody to play and wet their interests for more RHP...