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


Your people are rated after event one. So only nine weeks in your example.


From the IFPA rules…

Only Rated players will be included in the player count with respect to base value. A player becomes Rated after participating in 5 events lifetime.

Edit: (i’m assuming you’re confusing ranking with rating)


I’ve thought of this too!! It would be cool if a league meet counted as an event. I understand why it doesnt, but it sure would get the ball rollin when it comes to helping our huge novice crowd get rated faster.

Our league was created by a small amount of players who were very low on the totem pole at the beginning and has grown to what it is today. Because of this, I encourage anyone who thinks that they’re small group of novices will take too long to be of any value, to just keep rocking. Make sure your new players are familiar with the rankings and encourage them to focus on their own growth, rather than the growth of the scene as a whole. Even if the events are dinky, watching yourself move hundreds or even thousands of places each event is what keeps novices interested.


There were a lot more cases than that. For example, for years and years TPF handed out a “one free tourney entry” ticket to all show attendees. No one that used that free entry by itself had any realistic chance of doing anything meaningful in the tournament(s), but they would have made it onto the IFPA submission and padded the points nonetheless.

Most of these tournaments were back when all tourneys had a fixed value but the issue was easy to see after WPPR 4.x or whatever switched from fixed points per event to points based on number of participants. Is that ancient history already?

NY Superleague and some others exploited that until the rules were updated to account for it. I feel the 5 events and 50% minimum participation have gone a long way to get rid of that kind of thing.


But don’t you have something like 3-4 one day events a week in Houston now? At least that is what I see reported for players in IFPA results. For a location that only had one event and it was this scenario I’d agree with the concern but in a location with nearly an event every day of the week I don’t think it’s much of an issue.

Ironically enough that is how I got into competitive pinball. TPF 2013 I went just because I heard about it while searching for my first pin purchase. Showed up and had the entry and played. Really had no clue I needed to play more games but I got hooked anyway. So whomever did that, it’s your fault I got addicted :slight_smile: This is actually one of the reasons I HATE that nearly every tournament is sold out the min it’s announced. If this was the case when I first started I never would have got involved as I never would have been able to walk up and give it a try as a newbie.


Does this happen a lot with tournaments in Texas? I can think of about 5 tournaments that sell out instantly and they’re mostly Circuit events spread around the country. TPF, City Champ, Pinburgh, Sanctum, Portland Pinbrawl… What else?


It feels like all of them lately - Houston Arcade Expo, Bat City Open, and TPF are the big ones here. All are limited entry for the main events and all have been selling out pretty quickly. No chance to walk in and play without committing months ahead, that’s for sure.

TPF does have a side classics tournament that is open entry this coming year. I’m not a fan of pump and dump either but it is something that’s open to everyone that attends the show.


Their really are only 3 main tournaments in Texas (that I’m aware of). TPF, Bat City and Space City. All 3 this year sold out. TPF and Space city in hours and I think Bat City only took a couple of days. These are the only events that I feel really have a strong ability to draw in newcomers. The rest you have to either follow facebook or IFPA for which a newcomer wont know about. They could stumble across one of those main 3 though due to their advertising campaigns and also branching out to arcade players.

It’s a nature of what we live in today but I just know without what I ran into in at TPF I never would have gotten started.

TPF kind of solves for this again, now, with the add of the pump and pump classics. I know why we have to limit things but it’s a challenge to growth IMHO.


Yes, but don’t forget that Houston is huge and traffic is terrible. The weekly tournaments that happen north of the city might as well be in Austin for most of us.

Our league is by far the most accessible location, because it’s in the center of the city and therefore everyone is driving against rush hour traffic. For some, this is their only opportunity to compete.


Still being exploited in West Michigan. More changes coming I hope.


My local league is exactly the same: 9 week season, 5 games per night. On the basis of league alone, it would take players years to get rated. Meanwhile, other local “leagues” that function essentially as weekly tournaments and submit each night as its own tournament might end up with their players rated after one season. There’s obviously no meaningful way that their players are any more experienced than our players. I assume this is not an intended consequence of the 5-event rule, but it is a frustrating one for the diminishing number of leagues that have kept a traditional format instead of splitting into nightly tournaments.


What’s that?


Before our league, there was one that was eight weeks of play, then a playoff week or maybe even two. Can’t remember. Also around this time I think the downtown league was also ten weeks long. When you find something you love, it’s difficult to be told, you only play once a week, and that it requires ten weeks of commitment and maybe two years before you contribute. Because of these things and the exponential growth of pinball, these multiple month leagues are outdated. I definitely don’t miss waiting three months to see my score move, I definitely don’t miss tellin excited new comers that were in week three and if they wanna play next time, come back in six or seven weeks. The more “traditional” tournaments are phasing out because they are just miserably inefficient at earning WPPR’s when compared to newer style monthlies and weeklies


I disagree. I would hope that players considering joining a league would consider other factors other than just how quick they get points. Like who else is in the league, how advanced (good) the players are, where league typically plays and how well the games are maintained at the home base, among other things.

I play in BAPA. One of the oldest leagues around. 12 weeks, 4 games a week and an all day playoff. 20 - 30 players every week. We voted a long time ago to keep pretty much the same format. It wouldn’t be as fun being a weekly. Would be more work for the unpaid league manager too. I want to say three of the regulars in league are ranked around 500. Despite the infrequent points from league, they manage to keep gaining ground elsewhere, mostly local. League doesn’t need to be a points grab for them.

I wonder if the trigger could be changed somehow to measure games played rather than ‘events’ that aren’t really events. It sucks that folks are trying to exploit points, but I’m glad the numbers are still rising. Playing pinball is always good, no matter what your motivation is.


I can’t give enough hearts to @phishrace’s reply above, so I’ll reply instead.

Leagues are the gateway drugs to competitive pinball for so many newcomers. They tend to provide a friendlier, less tension-filled environment for players as compared to tournaments. They tend to be cheaper: a player can have a couple months of competition for (say) a $40 entry fee, vs just one or two days at a tournament for the same money. And with the longer league schedule, it’s easier to shake off a bad night and still be competitive in the overall event.

At least in the Washington DC area, FSPA leagues are having better success than ever… over 150 people come out each week to compete. I can’t recall a single one of those people complaining that WPPR points are only issued three times a year… they’re just having fun playing and competing at pinball.


Youre right. players joining a league mostly have no idea about points or anything. I was referring to mostly when people get the points bug. First they discover pinball just by playing, Then when they catch the bug they wanna know all about how to get high scores, etc. I think the same is true of when people first learn of their ranking. If they catch the bug, theyre obviously going to want whatever has the most bang for your buck points wise. Those players are the ones who become TD’s so we will always be dealing with events that border on exploitation of the system. Its in a pinballers blood to maximize points.


Go on…


League play has definitely been great for the Seattle scene. Many times casual players balk at playing in tournaments because they don’t feel they’re good enough, they’ve told me this directly. And often they’re not wrong, what with 5 IFPA top 250 players being in the same room. But our bar league is free to play aside from coin drop. The bars pay something like $100 per season per team and the more casual players love it. It also helps we divided the league into A division and B division, so on average, your playing people closer to your skill level than before where it was all one division. Our particular format isn’t IFPA eligible, but that’s by design.

No cash prizes. Some teams treat it like a giant party, others barely drink at all. I can’t even remember any time a rules issue came up where there was serious disagreement between teams, though a few times we needed to text the commissioners for a rules clarification. Still, 99% of the time, the players work it out themselves. One team literally made us a buffet with chicken wings and cookies. We’re up to something like 270 people on teams and perhaps an additional 50 substitute players. I like playing in tournaments, but there’s something special about playing often slightly janky bar games with some old friends and new ones and not particularly giving a shit about the outcome.


No matter what rules, or restrictions, are put in place someone will always try and find the best way to exploit the rules to maximise pts. That’s just the way it is. It’s not just pinball, it’s in every day life. Almost every company has a team of lawyers and accountants looking to exploit tax laws, how many people get acquitted through a loophole in the law?

The problem comes when the rules become too restrictive to allow for variation in tournaments, and everyone starts running similar drawn out tournaments to try and max out pts, often to the detriment of lesser skilled players who are knocked out quickly.

I ran a league in a local bar. It was played the last Monday of the month and ran for 5 sessions, with a final on the 6th month. Averaged over 20 players per month, the ‘problem’ was that it would take a person 2 1/2 years for a player to add to the tournament value. Although this didn’t mean a lot to the newer players, it did mean that the league was worth very few pts, and thus was harder to attract players chasing pts - thus limiting the appeal and growth potential of the league. The simple solution I took was to run a high score comp on the night (1 game in qualifying, followed by a single 4 player final). What this meant was that not only would players who attended every meeting be adding to the league pts, but it also gave the newer players a chance to start noticeably climbing up the rankings (albeit slowly) by getting some pts on the board straight away.
It also meant that a few players were able to achieve their first final, and a couple even their first win.
The fact that the pts for the highscore comp were so low (rarely over 1.5 pts) meant that it was treated as a bit of fun by the majority of players, and led to a much more relaxed atmosphere.


Here’s how we got a few players to the “Five Game Minimum” quicker:

While submitting results sometime late last year, I noticed that the Pin Asylum had done a “Three Strikes” Bonanza tournament where it was something like 7 3-Strike events in one or two days. So, I scheduled a “West Virginia Weekend Of Strikes” event, which was four 3-Strike events over two days at two separate locations. This got a lot of the newer players that had only played in one or two tournaments or one League season their necessary five events. Simple, fun and benefited both them and the established players in that they had more events to earn State Championship points in…