2018 IFPA Pin-Masters - Scoring averages/target scores

I always end up getting a bunch of questions about the target scores we used and how hard our course ended up being. Figured it was worth just posting it here as a reference:

4 Queens - 20K [4.45 average]
Abra Ca Dabra - 35K [5.24 average]
Aerosmith - 40mil [5.31 average]
Barracora - 500K [4.94 average]
Game of Thrones - 250mil [6.55 average]
Ironman - 10mil [5.05 average]
Royal Guard - 2K [4.31 average]
Sorcerer - 700K [5.75 average]
Torpedo Alley - 1mil [4.6 average]


Course doesn’t look especially hard to me. Were the median scores higher or lower or similar?

You may have covered this elsewhere, but how do you set the target scores in the first place? Have a group play 4 balls and see about where they end up (since you said par was 4 at some point on the stream) and then make up a number based on that?

I dig pingolf (and pinbowling) style competitions, but setting the point goals properly always seemed rough.

Are you looking at the target scores or the averages? :slight_smile:

We’re fortunate that we have Women’s/Nationals running the day before. We have the players record every score from every match, and then I spend the day logging those values for each game.

We’ll take an average ball score for each machine and multiply by 4 to get our target scores. Seems to have worked pretty well for us to use this method. We have made adjustments on Day 2 of qualifying if we find a bottleneck of a game. This year that game was GOT, although there were plenty of people under 50mil after 5 balls so our feeling was that there was no removing that bottleneck by lowering the target score.

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We didn’t track median scores. With the cutline being +4 while the course may not look especially hard based on the target scores listed . . . it was very windy on the course both days, rain everywhere, grass in the rough was not cut for the last 3 months . . .


Averages. Target scores are (relatively) meaningless being so dependent on what the game setup is like.

I always try to have a pingolf course average out between 4 and 5 and for the most part, this course looks to have played close enough to that I wouldn’t consider it a hard course. Only 4 out of 9 holes played enough over 5 to be above par and only one significantly so. If I were using that same bank, I would lower GOT to 200m and probably look at the median to figure out if there was a big disparity in the number of players getting 1s and the number of players getting 8s to make further adjustments. I would always lean towards trying to have lower scores for the less skilled players but not while sacrificing too much difficulty for skilled players.

Unrelated to your question side rant: I’ve also never had anyone that shot 58 at one of my score based tournament/league courses tell me they haven’t had any fun because their scores were high. I’ve seen a ton of people having no fun on score based courses where the one shot they must hit seems to be eluding them, the game is setup to make that single feature unbearably difficult or a mechanical issue is preventing people from completing a goal. If you’re running a pingolf event, try it IFPA style score based, I think you’ll be surprised how many players will enjoy it.

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If you have scores in a spreadsheet it’s half a second to figure out but not important to me. Was just curious. I find median scores give a better indication of how easy a course is for better players or hard it is for newer players so thought it might be interesting to see the differences.

Go nuts . . .


Is GoT setting to Novice to force Stark the new tournament standard?
Curious. Taking the Martell add a ball out of the equation seems to make things tougher.
Also was the ball save turned off at Nationals (I think it was from what I saw)?

I wouldn’t call it the new standard by any means. It allowed us to try something new, and avoid the potential ‘player gets locked into a house they don’t want’ that has crept up in our pinball league in the past. It was definitely tougher, and the inability to “Pass for Now” made it more challenging to stack things how you would normally prefer to stack them.

You better believe it :slight_smile:

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Replace the barrel spring on the outside of the machine. Mine has been 98% fixed since I did that.

This probably had even more impact than the loss of the add-a-ball. I saw a number of players strategically timing out a running mode with ball 3 lock lit and another mode ready, so that way they’d be able to have 2 modes running during their MB. Thankfully, the mode timer for Greyjoy is short!


You should have heard what they were considering doing to Sorcerer: remove the bracket that holds the ball after a ramp shot, rendering the game as a single-ball play only pin, with no opportunity for PF multipliers.

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Still bummed we didn’t go through with this one :slight_smile:


Just use paragon instead.

Yeah I heard that from the announcers that it was considered. Just one of those games that if you get locked on the ramp it is going to be a very long game.
Too bad the software doesn’t make the player requalify the locks after the first Multiball. Would be cool or maybe brutal if you had to spell out Sorcerer before the locks are relit again.

Yup. Or perhaps complete the top lanes once after exiting multiball to re-light your lock(s).

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I’d settle for the drops, even.


We could have just changed the lower right flipper to a 2" flipper :slight_smile: