Five game "experience" requirement for IFPA rating (split from Fee Effect thread)

Maybe better in another thread but can we expand on this just a little bit? When a player reaches 5 events do their first 4 events now get added to those event pot points? If not, why not (assuming resources).

Only rated players add to the value of an event. In the first 5 registered events the player is not “Rated”.

When the player becomes Rated, the experience they now have triggers them to begin adding value to the event based on that skill and experience that has been shown.

We don’t go back in time and pretend that player was an “experienced” player at their first event. The value calculation for every single event is based on the data available at that specific point in time.

This goes for not only whether a player is Rated or not, but if someone was ranked 1000th 3 events ago and is now ranked 89th, the value they brought to the tournament 3 events ago doesn’t get re-graded based on that future activity that eventually took place.


It’s more like a $5 rule for new players, because of how easy it is to just fabricate 5 “events” simply to get rated.

I.e. have everyone who wants to get rated play a single one-ball game for a dollar, top two play one more ball for “playoffs” and boom, you’ve got a “tournament” for 0.01 points. Do that five times, now all those people count for future events.

As a TD, that’s way more trouble than it’s worth to me. You’d have to register all 5 “tournaments” at least 30 days out. Then make sure you’ve Striped enough dollars to IFPA to cover all 5 “events”. Then type up or otherwise upload the results for 5 “tournaments”. Not to mention you have to create a facebook event or webpage for each of the 5 “events” to get approved. Just WAY more work than I’m willing to do rather than just doing it 1 event at a time over time and giving the players some real experience and hopefully, fun.

But back to the previous question. I always thought the player became rated and contributed their 1/2 point AT their 5th event, but I guess it’s actually at their 6th event. Is that correct?


I think so.

Is there any reason for the number five being the required amount of events? Is it just because it’s nice and round? Why half a point? How would people feel if it took only one event, then on your second you contributed .1 or something?

Not suggesting any of this, just wondering.

Here in Austin, we’re switching to weekly tournaments rather than month long leagues with weekly meets. The main benefit to myself being that now new players won’t take an entire half a year to contribute. I suspect many local leagues have this problem, considering the majority of players might not stick around for six events.

More dollars for the SCS and National Finalists if done that way as well. They will thank you.

Can we get a mod to split this latest conversation off?

The logic generally is there is a bit more effort required to get 5 events in.

Some rando can luck their way into 2 or 3 events if you end up at a show running multiple tournaments. 5 events for us seems like a number that will weed out the 1 offs who have no real intention of competing long term.

(Unless you go the 5 high score tournaments in a day route)

I’m guessing it was to detract from people farming out points from their friends. I.E. - Having a company event that involves a side pinball tournament. 60 people play and only play in that one event all year. IFPA wouldn’t want one person taking 30 points on it.

As for Austin league. That’s the most disappointing and depressing thing I’ve heard all year :frowning: I was really hoping they did the 3 week event with a monthly for the 4th and 5th weeks of the months (those that have them). Appeases both types of players. If they are doing this I sure hope they expand past 2 hour long events, if not, I think it’s going to become nothing but a social league and the competitive players will stop coming as the points wont be their with 50-70% TGP events …

I think five events might be a little excessive. New players get a kick out of being ranked and having to wait five months to appear in the IFPA rankings might cause some minor harm in terms of getting a scene started in a city with few current pinball events. The rule is also applied unevenly geographically in practice. In Seattle and Portland you could bang out five IFPA events in under a week, or at least you could before the dollar fee went into effect. In a city like Boise, you’re looking at maybe a four or five month wait to be ranked assuming you play in every possible event.

They are ranked, they just don’t contribute any WPPRs to an event until number 6. They can still get on the IFPA site and brag about being a world ranked player.
Case in point:


Oh, I thought they couldn’t get points either. I saw some people with Not Rated or something like that in tournament results. Still, I think three events or a sliding scale (first event 0.1, second event 0.2…) might be a better solution.

Haha I might have spoken too soon. As far as I know, the weeklies and the two week league are about neck and neck in the polls. I do know that either way, the main motivation was to get new players to stick around, and to diversify the winners. Sorry for any confusion!!

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Like this guy?
In this case Gerry’s results ‘timed out’ so have zero value, hence he’s no longer ranked.

Haha. If Gerry ever has the time to spare outside of all his Multimorphic work to resume playing in events, I pity the person that thinks, “Sweet, I get to face an Unrated player!” Besides innovating for pinball, the guy can flat-out play.


IMO 6 events for a rating (because it’s really the 6th event that gets you “in”) is way too many but I’d be shocked to see this ever change in favor of loosening the restriction.

Look what I started :grinning:. The reason I asked as I was curious if the IFPA ever had any thoughts of reducing this now that there is a charge for each player you add to a tournament. The fee already provides a bit of a deterent for hanky panky but obviously not enough as Josh was pretty clear this ain’t changing.

We are working on this now as we are trying to build a competitive scene at a new location where I am operating pins for the first time. We have 2 IFPA events in the books, and welcomed a good number of first-time players at the events. The WPPR value was very low (only a handful of previously-rated players attended) but we expected that as we try to get our new “regulars” up to 5 IFPA events. For now though, we are in a bit of a Catch 22: we need more rated players to add any WPPR value to the tournament, but the local players who are already rated will not show up for a tournament that is of such little value. Under the current system, we understand that we just need to continue holding low-value tournaments for now until more of our new players get up to 5 events on their card.

First off, I think the overall effect of the 5 game rule is very positive. Before the rule, plenty of tournaments were farming newbies to pad their WPPR value. This put an end to that and I’m very happy for it.

That said, there are a few edge cases that affect our area directly. We have had a few players in our league that took almost two years to become rated. Our league seasons are 9 weeks long, and we play 5 games a night. A new player in our league could attend 40 weeks before becoming rated, which is a little silly. I understand there are “hacks” to get them rated faster, but I have no interest in running a bunch of meaningless events just to get people rated. That seems contrary to the purpose of having a competition in the first place.

One potential solution to this problem would be to base whether a player is rated on the number of meaningful games played, rather than the overall number of events played. They could play in a few events that have a large number of meaningful games, or a small number of events with a few meaningful games. The threshold of meaningful games could be set so that few players would “luck” into becoming rated, and players who invest the time in a few events with a large number of meaningful games don’t fall through the cracks.