B / Novice Division Thresholds, Sizes and Prizes


Funny… there was a whole thread of people who argued that suggesting money would play into outcomes was absurd… who knew?


I’d like to void all my scores from the following events:

IFPA World Pinball Championship 6/3/2018 20th
Pinburgh Match-Play Championship 7/29/2017 2nd
IFPA World Pinball Championship 6/3/2017 38th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 4/9/2017 5th
Pinburgh Match-Play Championship 7/30/2016 6th
IFPA World Pinball Championship 4/14/2016 2nd
PAPA World Pinball Championships 4/10/2016 13th
Pinburgh Match-Play Championship 8/2/2015 17th
IFPA World Pinball Championship 5/24/2015 12th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 3/15/2015 13th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 8/17/2014 2nd
IFPA World Pinball Championship 5/25/2014 12th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 8/11/2013 34th
IFPA World Pinball Championship 6/2/2013 42nd
Pinburgh Match-Play Championship 4/14/2013 31st
PAPA World Pinball Championships 8/12/2012 6th
IFPA World Pinball Championship 6/10/2012 20th
Pinburgh Match-Play Championship 4/1/2012 7th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 8/14/2011 2nd
IFPA World Pinball Championship 5/29/2011 12th
Pinburgh Match-Play Championship 3/20/2011 7th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 8/15/2010 10th
IFPA World Pinball Championship 5/23/2010 12th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 8/16/2009 14th
IFPA World Pinball Championship 7/31/2009 4th
European Pinball Championship 2009 7/24/2009 11th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 8/14/2008 4th
IFPA World Pinball Championship 3/28/2008 12th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 10/11/2007 6th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 8/17/2006 9th
PAPA World Pinball Championships 8/11/2005 31st
PAPA World Pinball Championships 9/9/2004 14th


Glad you didn’t void the 1st places…oh wait. Nevermind. #TeamJosh


As a tournament organizer you have to carefully look at all payouts as this can lead to major sandbagging and tons of butt hurt. I hate to say it but in most cases organizers do it to themselves with bad payout structures or loose rules. The majority of people will do what is in their best interest, make sure you are tight on your payouts and rules it will save you a lot of grief.

Hate to see this happen at any tournament as it demotivates the organizers from running the tournaments in the future and it provides a bad wrap to the organizers of the tournament. Always keep in mind running major tournaments ain’t easy to pull off and try to cut them a bit of slack. The majority of organizers are not doing this to fill their own pockets they have good intentions and just trying to create a space for all of us to compete in high level pinball tournaments.


Good points. Mistakes happen. We are all human. There’s a way to correct it for those directly involved that had money taken from them. That’s the action I’d like to see.

This was a good money maker for the organizers for their tireless efforts & long hours. I’m fine with that. There were a lot of expenses. As @gammagoat pointed out, this WAS a very good tourney/venue etc. I’ll be back for my 4th year in 2019.

But the issue here is a ruling, and rules that need to be enforced that are clear cut. As @diehardpinball and @Snailman mentioned, more calculations in figuring out what makes sense prior to the event could have avoided this.


I kinda can’t get over this. How on earth was this allowed? Void is a void is a void. Did the player specifically say “I want to void the score so I can win the bounty.”?


That conversation was about viewers wanting to watch a stream of something where the top 4 players agreed to pot split.

Amazing how you leave out all the real details of that debate to suit your personal preference of what occurs. Yes, some people will lie, cheat and steal to take someone else money when they can. What we debated was if it should be any of your business if I want to split a pot with other willing parties.


You cant pay bills with WPPRS.
None of your friends know what a WPPR even is.
WPPRS cannot be exchanged for anything of value, anywhere in the world.
I bet 75% of the players in our league dont even know they exist.

That being said, when an organizer creates a payout structure that rewards someone more money for winning B division, than making it to A, why wouldnt someone take advantage of that?


I’m your friend and I know what a WPPR is. AND I’ll trade you a bottle of Old Rasputin for all your WPPRs, what say ye?


I disagree. I “exchange” my WPPRs twice a year: (1) for an invite to SCS, and (2) for an invite to the IFPA world championships.

And guest appearances on pinball podcasts. :wink:


It brings up another good debate. I know the purpose is to drive more new people to pinball as they feel they have a chance at winning something but I’m not really a super fan of C Divisions players getting the same or more than those making playoffs for A (or B for that matter) especially when their are restrictions on what group you can play in.

Example (just making up numbers)-
A takes 24 players but only top 16 get payout.
B top 4 get 200,100, 50, 25
C top 4 get 100, 50, 25, 10

I just don’t understand why the 4th place C player should get more than the 17th player in the whole tournament. I fully support payouts but if their isn’t enough money to make sure all whom qualify higher get payouts then I’m of the opinion that those lower tiers should be for Trophy only.

Another example, since you are both in the league I play in and mentioned most not knowing about WPPRS, I’ve never been super thrilled with our payout structure either. $20 for first place in A, B, C and D. The D group (where it’s normally just the 4 people that showed up) get the same payout as the other groups that have to fight through knock out rounds as well as qualifying.

I know it’s about driving in new players, and I’m cool with that, but sometimes I think we are tipping the scales a bit far to where their is less and less advantage/reason for the competitive players to show up unless they are the top of the top (Colin’s, Bowden, Elwin, Sharps, etc…). Take a player like me where in the last 4 major tournaments I’ve only qualified one time (or 4 times in the last 15 over the past 3 years) and is restricted to “A” due to nearly everything limiting players 500 or better to “A”. Take away my league points and I’d be in the thousands. I’d be lying to you if I didn’t say I wasn’t on the verge of throwing in the towel as a competitive player myself. Their isn’t a $$$ incentive and not being as consistent/skilled as those that qualify for everything I find myself rarely even qualifying for events anymore.

Sorry, post vomit over but this thread hits on some of my frustrations with competitive pinball as the the environment changes.


I wasn’t there. I wanted to start the conversation, but I don’t think I can answer questions of this detail accurately enough. Maybe someone in the room will comment.


Me and you are in the same boat (and league). It seems the general attitude is: if youre good at pinball, thats all the motivation you should need to keep playing, If youre not good, dont worry, we’ve got all kinds of divisions, and payouts designed to motivate you to come back.

I can kind of understand it from a local league perspective, but it makes no sense at the large tournaments. If you finish in the top 24 at BCO or TPF, you are an elite player. the A and B divisions are based solely on your performance that weekend. There is no reason why 17th place should take home more than 16th. This year at BCO i finished 6th overall, but took home less money than a player who made the B finals… a player who performed better than me in both side tournaments and had a higher SCS ranking. These players are literally being rewarded for underperforming.

But then again, we wouldnt want someone who has played in every league and tournament for the past two years, or the guy who was hosting tournaments before i was playing to lose their motivation to keep playing because of an unbalanced payout structure. /s


The player was very aware of the consequences of the action they were taking.

The player who took the bounty was merely playing by the rules of the tournament. I don’t think a score should be allowed to be revoked (void or submit, not both), but if it’s allowed then there was no foul. It didn’t cost anyone money. When you enter a tournament you agree that someone who plays better than you may take a portion of the prize pool.

It’s too bad the bounties were poorly designed, but in the end it’s no different than if that player had chosen not to play that last game of Fastbreak.

If the player had not voided that score, and finished in 24th place, would he owe Fred Richardson compensation because Fred no longer had a chance to win money?

Edit: Well, looks like there may be a rule addressing this and it should not have been allowed post-submission.


Going to respectfully disagree with that statement in this case, as I don’t believe something like this should be a matter of “TD discretion” at the Circuit level. Standards must exist.


I understand your opinion. But one of the primary points of having the opportunity for non-elite players to earn a non-trivial portion of the prize pool is to provide hope/incentive to the vast majority of competitors who have a MUCH smaller chance of qualifying for A. In the case of TPF, I think it is more than appropriate to have a B and Novice finals to make the event more fun for the other 136 competitors out of the 160 (under the assumption that there were 24 “elite” players). Many Novice finalists catch the competitive pinball bug and become B competitors, and many B finalists then evolve into A competitors.

I’m one of them. I’m glad I had the opportunity to compete in PAPA B Division for a couple years as I improved my pinball skills and tournament skills.

We have an interesting hobby/sport in that the events/venues for the elite tournaments are the same as those for B Div tourneys. I think a lot of that has to do with the hurdle of assembling enough tourney-quality pins in one place.


That is factually incorrect.

If the player didn’t ever play that last game of NBA Fastbreak, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

If the player played that last game of NBA Fastbreak and voided their score with the scorekeeper, then we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

From the description of events, neither of those things happened, but what DID happen, was that the player voided their score after submitting it to the scorekeeper, which should NEVER be allowed because a single score in the system can affect many other players there, so once it’s in, it needs to stay IN.

“Oh wait, my last score knocked Escher out of the bye and now he’s going to be in my first round group ?! Well, nevermind then, i would like to void that score now, please!”

“May I submit this score, then check the standings to see how it affects everyone else in the tournament and then decide whether to keep it or not ? No ?? Why not ??”

etc. etc. etc…


I’m comparing two situations, one where he played Fastbreak and and then ultimately voided, and one where he did not play Fastbreak. In either of those cases I believe he ends in 28th place.

It does appear as though it attempts to prevent this from occurring, but TDs are capable of making errors, and unknowing players and scorekeepers may perform actions that they shouldn’t.

“At any point during play or immediately after play has been completed, the player may elect to abandon his or her ticket by notifying the scorekeeper that the ticket in question should be voided. This will void the score for that specific ticket, and the ticket will not be entered into the scoring system except as a “void”, which does not affect scoring in any way. No money will be refunded for a voided ticket.”


Funny story from the “olden days”. A few years after WPPRs started, and just as it was gaining steam, players at PAPA realized that finishing at the very bottom of the “A” Division awarded them small, but non-trivial amounts of WPPRs, whereas winning the “B” Division awarded them no WPPRS. Back then at PAPA, you couldn’t ever move to a lower division, but you were allowed to move to a higher division, so a lot of players would try very hard to make the cut in the “B” division all weekend, but if it was looking bleak towards the end of Saturday night, they would swap over to “A” to get an entry in and secure those precious, precious WPPRs points for that sweet 75th place in “A”! The first year this happened, there were only a few savvy players who decided to do this and no one really paid much attention to it, but the following year a LOT more “B” players jumped on the bandwagon and when 10pm rolled around on Saturday night a solid dozen (or more) B players jumped ship and went to try an entry in “A”… So all of their scores in “B” were “voided” out including some top scores on dead tickets etc., and you can’t imagine the chaos that ensued when the current “B” standings COMPLETELY and FUNDAMENTALLY changed… Players who were comfortably above the cutline, suddenly found themselves “bled out” below the cutline and other players who weren’t in, were suddenly safely qualified (since different players suddenly became the benefactors of newly minted 1st and 2nd place scores that before were just 3rd and 4th place scores…). This was before our phones were “smart”, so the only way to see updates was on the big overhead screen by the tables (or the three PCs there), and it took a while for the massive changes to sink in and be “understood”, lol. Needless to say, the following year was the first year to implement the “you-can’t-change divisions-after-noon (?)-on-Saturday” rule to avoid that potential for massive, unintended side effects from a group “void”-fest…


well have to agree to disagree on this one. In my eyes their incentive should be that they want to get better at pinball, paid 60$ for a tournament, 60$ for a show pass, plus whatever other expenses they may have from the trip. Not that they will still have a chance at a significant portion of the prize pool regardless of their performance. Competitive pinball is not financially lucrative (for the majority) and giving people the impression that there will always be financial incentive to play is misleading. Case in point, myself: The first year i played was all rainbows and prize money, then i got better, now im caught in the grey space between being too good to play in B, but not good enough to win majors. Two years in a row ive watched players who did worse than me, take home more money at TPF, BCO, and Houston. Thats how players get the opinion that me and @85vett share. Its just kind of a weird double standard: Novices should be encouraged to play well by being given a shot at winning money, advanced and elite players should be encouraged to play well because of their passion for the game and hunger for WPPRS.

also, FWIW, i’m not bashing these tourneys, theyre just the only ones I have access to, therefore the ones im using as an example.