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


You are supposed to include format details when you submit a tournament. I found out people were exploiting this because I was curious how it was possible to run six 55+ WPPR tournaments in four days and was able to find the format on the web site linked to on the results page.

If you are doing things that are outright banned, then someone is probably going to notice and say something about it (especially if it’s a large tournament).


More as an FYI since I submit and run tournaments when you submit your results to IFPA they do ask for the format and how it played out so they have that info and/or can ask for more details. Not sure if they scrutinize every single submission but they are able to ask for more info etc. when people submit results…


I’m much more lax on Calendar submissions then I am results.

If the calendar submission sounds like it will be a pinball tournament and points to a pinball related website I don’t hammer them on format till they try and submit results.

If you try and submit results with the only details as:

“We played a pinball tournament” (that has happened)

You won’t be getting your results approved.

I won’t approve anything unless I know:

What the format of qualifying was
How many games were used for qualifying
Was there a finals
How many players participated in the finals
What was the format of the finals

If the above doesn’t get answered, it doesn’t get approved.

We still rely heavily on the community for local policing and that our tournament directors are being honest with us. But we are doing the best we can given the volume of submissions.

As an example this morning I started working on the 86 tournament results waiting for review after that I’ll get to the 84 calendar submissions.


As an FYI to any TD/Potential TD’s if I have to email you to get clarification, it goes to the VERY BOTTOM of my list of shit to do. I deal with results submissions that don’t require extra details, then calendar entries, then player profile changes and THEN if I feel like I don’t have much of a backlog I look at emails. Which is why it usually takes me a week or more to answer emails.


As an example, this is the results submission I’m looking at right now:

"Registration begins at 6:30pm with the tournament starting at 7:00pm.

The tournament buy in is $5 with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place getting all of the pot. Games are all on $.50 except for our new games which are Metallica, Star Wars and Rob Zombie, those are all $1 for 1 credit or $2 for 3 credits."

The above tells me absolute zero on the format, so it does not get approved. I then email the TD getting clarification which goes to the bottom of the pile.


Where can I send donations to the IFPA? Haha.


I accept “donations” (bribes?) here:

Donations (bribes?) can get your results approved much more quickly :smiley:

Donations (bribes?) don’t count toward your $1 fee :slight_smile:


you should set up a Patreon with different level for approval priority! :slight_smile:


Here’s what you do:

  1. Organize to have your office holiday party at an arcade.
  2. Run five high score competitions with a 4-player single game finals.
  3. Have everyone compete in a fun group match play tournament for a few hours.
  4. Make sure the match play tournament is the last one you register on the IFPA calendar.
  5. Rake in those WPPRs!

Better hurry up and do it this year before the rules are changed to require the five games be from events on different days. :wink:

Frankly it seems like a lot of effort for a few points. This coming from someone in a “small market” pinball scene who typically has to travel for any significant points and frequently TDs events.

If you want league participants to “level up” faster or similar, I get that it might make sense to run something like what I propose above at the beginning of a season, but it defeats the purpose of requiring someone to wait before becoming Rated. Maybe to follow the spirit of the requirement, make it so that only players who have competed in one season already are eligible?

Based on @pinwizj’s comment above, the theory is that someone doesn’t add value to a tournament until they have experience playing in tournaments. It’s not a measure of how many hours of pinball you’ve played.

And it kind of makes sense. Playing at home in your basement or on location is different from competing against someone else. Or many someone elses. There are specific rules you need to follow in tournaments that sometimes take a while to learn.

Looking back, did you fully have the hang of things your first tournament? In my experience as a TD, there’s a lot less intervention required for players who’ve competed in a few events compared to those new to competition, even if they are skilled players. YMMV.


One thing to remember is that ll IFPA events must be submitted 30 days in advance and be public on the event listing page for that area. If you make something private in an attempt to limit legit local players from attending, I predict a 100% chance of those players complaining to Josh and the event(s) in question being revoked. So while this is good way to level up a class of players, its not a good way to win tournaments.


Oh apologies Adam I think I might be one of the troublesome chaps who is new to being a TD and didn’t give enough info! In my defence I read all the docs I could find and thought I’d done the right thing! I just replied to your email :slight_smile:

Donation made!


PS new Metallica code just been dropped!


That wasn’t what I was intending to propose at all, but you do make a good point that it would invalidate the option of limiting the “levelling up” events to players who’d already competed a season!

I used the example of a holiday party with my colleagues in mind, i.e., people who do not play pinball and therefore would be unrated and probably easier to win against. :wink:

Since the five high score events would count as their “experience” events, they’d contribute to the value of the match play event, thereby making it worth a good number of points, depending on how many participants you had.

Our holiday parties are usually held in public spaces, so nothing stopping others from joining.

It reminds me of this exchange from the High throughput, easy to run tournament thread earlier this summer:

Btw, I’m not actually advocating for events that skirt the experience requirement, I’ve just identified a way they could be done under the current rules, if someone wanted to go through the effort.


Can you tell us more what happened in Germany? Sounds wunderbar.


Hopping between head-to-head and group matchplay for the finals in order to backload the TGP and grade out to exactly 100%.



My name is Tobias, I am the Country Director of Germany and also the TD of the IFPA Pinball Olympics.

Thanks for sharing our tournament series here. It is really “wunderbar”.

And in fact, we jump between different systems to make the tournaments more exciting. If you mean “exploit” with bug using, that is absolutly wrong.

At the Pinball Olympics we play 7 full tournaments in 4 days. Most of the European top players visit us very often. In Fulda we play 5 tournaments of this kind next year. Including the German Championship Series and the European Championship Series. :smiley:

If you have any questions regarding anything, just ask. :heart:️:sunglasses:

Cheers from Germany


But that isn’t the point at all. If someone is considering doing this, it’s to get people rated quickly so they count for future tournaments, perhaps for one you’re about to have. The outcome of the fabricated quick “get rated” tournaments are irrelevant. For example…

That is the point. You sidestep the requirement to wait for organic experience to be gained, giving your new players full value immediately.

Yes, this is work (and cost) and most people aren’t going to do this. But it is an exploit (for now) and it does exist for the motivated.


To whom it may concern

It has been brought to my attention that my previous post where I was accepting “donations” (bribes?) for preferential treatment with the IFPA approval process was unbecoming for someone of my station.

In hindsight looking back at my post I can see how the potential opportunity for others to “jump the line” so to speak could be seen as biased and unfair to the community at large, so for that I am sorry…

SORRY that I didn’t think of what an amazing source of INCOME this could be!

Forget patron and donations, we are going straight to Ebay with this shit! Starting Bid for preferential IFPA treatment will be $10,000!

I’ll post the EBay link as soon as the auction is live!!

(PS, It was actually brought to my attention that someone thought I was serious and someone apparently doesn’t enjoy my sense of humor and I assume they won’t enjoy this joke either so I’ll clarify THIS IS A JOKE! GET A SENSE OF HUMOR! The END!)


Sounds like a fun event for sure, I am not sure we have something quite like this in the US? several large tournament but the most tournament open to all in a weekend would have been… PAPA with 3x Classic and 1x Main maybe?


Welcome, Tobias. I’m impressed that you were able to run so many large tournaments at full value in such a short period of time. That must have been tons of work! I don’t think you did anything wrong and actually think it’s quite clever, but do think that it’s an exploit/loophole/whatever you want to call it based on the current TGP rules. You didn’t do anything extreme, but based on the current rules I could run the following:

32-players group elimination, 4-player games, 1 game per round, bottom two in each group eliminated until 2-players are left. This would be 8 games for TGP. I could then take the two players remaining and run a head-to-head best-of-21 (or whatever is necessary for max TGP) to decide the winner. It certainly seems like an exploit to backload TGP to me.


Hi. Thanks for your welcome.

Yes, it is a lot of work, but with organising more tournaments the experience raise up. So, most of the steps are automatically and the most exciting point is hosting those events :wink:

In fact, we don’t use such exploits to bring 1oo percent TGP. Normally we play head2head in swiss mode (very nice mode btw), semi final best of 3 and the final in Papa Style (4 players with 3 machines).
So you have different ways to play till the final.

At the Olympics we play several modes to make it as interesting as possible. We have 5 Strike Knockout with a semi final where you take your remaining lifes as points with you. We play with groups and round robin. We have the “normal” classic tournaments and so on. It is getting crazy when we reach midnight and play another Midnight Madness tournament for those who don’t need to sleep. :wink:

But (also in fact) we start at 10am and play till midnight and later. But the guys like it.

The only mode no one is interested in is the high score tournament with entrys. :man_shrugging: But with your number of players it would be hard to play other modes.


Todd- your baseless accusations are tiring. I don’t understand what you’re trying to gain from this but it’s very childish of you.