Costs of competing and related issues

The current ranking system is already exclusionary. Even if they can afford the equal-for-all entry fee, many players can’t afford to travel to events outside their area. Not many poor people in the top 10. Do you feel that should be fixed too?

Were talking pinball, not whatever personal circumstances dictate how and when people can play. Thanks for trying though.

I was talking about costs associated with competing in pinball. How is that different than what you are talking about?

Do you think you’d be ranked higher if you traveled and competed in more major events?


And if the Houston Astros couldn’t afford to travel they wouldn’t be world champs either.

What’s your point?

Why would you complain about higher entry fees for higher ranked players when the current rules are already biased in favor of players with more money?

Because the whole world is biased towards people with more money. I’m trying to talk about pinball entry fees, not solve the wealth gap.


Just because it’s possible doesn’t make it likely or meaningful.

Good one.

In 1931 David Gottlieb’s Baffle Ball became the first hit of the coin-operated era. Selling for $17.50, the game dispensed five to seven balls for a penny. The game resonated with people wanting cheap entertainment in the Great Depression-era economy.

Sunday I played a minty Paragon and a collector quality Future Spa at The Flipper Room in Concord Cal for a quarter a play. The hobby of pinball has never been biased towards people with more money. The sport may be biased, but the hobby has never been.

Compare that to dialed in going for 12.5k to wind up in a private residence.

I guess it’s a matter of perspective. We’re officially sidetracked and if you wanna discuss the issue further I’ll happily do so over direct messages!!!


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You can’t honestly can’t believe that can you? While you may feel that location pinball is strong that is not a fact. The majority of the country it’s pretty weak to non-existent and comes nowhere close to providing what you would need to be able to become a top player without buying some of your own games.

Hobby = The collectors aspect of pinball. You really believe that it’s not biases towards people with money? How much is IM pro and Prem now? I make every bit of 3 times the average household income in the city I live at and even I can’t afford to keep up.

Sport - How can you say the hobby isn’t (where it really cost major money) but say the sport is? I guess I could say that as their are 3 major tournaments a year locally for me as well as 2 weekly leagues. But then I have to remember this is not the norm. Go live in Louisianan, Alabama, Nebraska, Montana, etc. How much available competitive pinball is their now?

This one is simple as well. What do you consider higher ranked? I have no clue whom you really are but I’m going to make a blanket assumption and say you are in the 100-200 range for this thought. “Elite” is pretty blanketed right now at top 500 (another thing I completely disagree with). you walk up to a tournament and Keith E, Colin M, Josh S, Zack S, Steven B, Bowen K, Adam B, Andre M, (I think you get my point by now) show up at. You will still want to play in the tournament if you have to pay a premium to enter when the chances of you winning or just as good as someone ranked 2000? If you would be OK with that I’d say that California sun has gotten to your head a bit :wink:

Here’s the interesting part. When I made my initial comments I really felt as though I was in the true minority and was likely one of VERY few that felt this way. I played in my local league last night and had several people come up to me and mention this thread in total agreement with what I was saying and that they felt the same. I’m glad to know I’m not alone but it also saddens me as if their is a group of people with the same feelings I’m having it’s not good for pinball and especially competitive pinball.

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Good to know my enjoyment of location pinball isn’t a hobby.

He made an extremely big blanket over generalization so I did as well. I thought that was pretty clear. Guess it’s like sarcasm and doesn’t translate to written text. But to a point, just be glad you have location pinball. Most don’t which is why I used that extreme over generalization as the rebuttal.

The collector community does not equal the entire hobby. There are plenty of players out there who play on location regularly and don’t own any games, including me. Owning a game is not a requirement of the hobby. Many operators these days are also hobbyist. Some compete, some don’t, but they go to shows and keep up on the latest pinball news. And unless you make a living by competing, it’s a hobby for you too. The only folks that don’t fit under the pinball hobby umbrella is the casual players. It’s not a hobby for them, they only play occasionally.

Sounds like it isn’t in your area, but location play is thriving in many areas. If you look at the pinball map regularly, it’s obvious. We finally got our first real barcade in the south bay and every time I go in there, people are playing the pins. Because I’ve been a location rat forever, I know these players are new to the hobby. If they weren’t, I’d recognize them. The other giveaway is that the newest game there, Iron Maiden, is almost always open. The new players are intimidated by it. They often watch me play it.

Who said anything about competing? You don’t need to own a game or compete to be a member of the hobby. All you have do is play somewhat regularly. And again, look at the pinball map. The areas with the highest populations do have pins. New games and areas are being added to the map regularly. If you think location play is dead or dying, you’re wrong. It’s obviously not back to peak earnings, but it’s on an upswing and shows no signs of slowing down.

That’s interesting… mine is almost always being played, and not just by the location rats (though they play it too). It’s generally been the second most popular game after Star Wars and consistantly so for a good couple months now.

This place is definitely the exception. New barcade in a very busy downtown area of a smaller silicon valley town (Campbell). That area has never had many, if any, pins on location. Now, locals have figured out that they can walk to this place with well maintained games whenever they want. It’s really cool to see all the new players. Some ask about league when league is there. They’ll come around to IMDN eventually.

You work for CNN? You just took quotes and didn’t even pay attention to any context at all…

“Who said anything about competing?” - hmmmm… I don’t know, it’s only what this WHOLE thread is talking about.

I’m glad your location is thriving but don’t confuse it with the world and/or country. A lot of big cities do but go outside there and it’s nearly a desert except the occasional one pin here or there. That map is location and personal collections as well. I live in Austin and its thriving. Same with Houston and Dallas. Good luck finding a place with more than one pin in Waco, Hilsburogh, Lubbuck, Amarillo, etc… Let’s not forget the post I replied to with this was one about not needing to own games to grow yourself competitively. Only having one or two pins to play doesn’t fit the bill in my eyes to help some prepare for tournaments.

Who is being excluded? The pinball community, in all of it’s forms (sport, hobby, collecting, etc) is one of the most welcoming interactive avenues available. I see it in the opposite sense, where some tournament players want to be “suppressed” from the ranking system.
Tournament directors are not deliberately setting entry fees high to exclude a certain part of society. They are not that sophisticated and the motivation to do so is not there.
I admire the works of Pinball Outreach Project and Project Pinball Charity (just to name a few) where they bring pinball to the people. And the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas (Tim Arnold) where 100% of the money goes to the Salvation Army.
Saying that competition entry fees are set too high to exclude poor people and they don’t have money to travel is like telling the Grand Canyon to move to New York and don’t charge people to park.

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PHoF no longer donates to the SA and hasn’t for several years according to Tim. 2008 is the most recent one listed on their website.