IFPA 2018 changes?


What @Waltino said


Right, I’ve now read through EVERY single post on here AND Pinside(yes I’m that sad) and want to put my 2p into the pot.

i) It REALLY pi$$es me off when someone starts a post by saying “I haven’t read anything before but here are my thoughts…” If you have something to say at least have the decency to read other peoples opinions first. If you can’t be ar$ed to do so, shut up.

ii) A big issue (on Pinside) seems to be the funding of the prizes SCS and Nationals, by people that have no chance of getting there. It’s seen as unfair. I would suggest that every tournament still qualifies for WPPR points, as now, BUT only those events which pay 1$ per person are eligible for inclusion in the State standings.
That way if you are attempting to get to the State finals you have to enter the comps with the additional 1$ levy. It will not have any impact whatsoever on the smaller, more local kind of events or charity events. People will still enter the charity events if they are only focussed on WPPR points.
It will also mean that free entry events, which are the most likely events to attract newbies, will still contribute to WPPR and allow people to track their progress.

iii)I don’t see how people can enter multiple State Finals. Each player should have to pick which State they want to compete in at the start of the year and only comps held in that state contribute to their state standing. they are of course welcome to travel to out of state competitions and earn WPPR points and prize money the same as they do now, but they won’t be able to compete in those finals. This will again help those players who don’t have the opportunity to travel extensively to compete with people local to them and reach the Nationals, rather than having to contend with those people flying in and trying to qualify for state finals in multiple states, to give them a better chance of reaching the Nationals. (This is the way the UK Pinball League is ran. You are free to compete in any regional meeting, but only results from your chosen home region will actually count towards reaching the League final - I travel to many other outer regional meetings to meet up with others, see how they run the meeting, play pinball and have fun)

iv) I would not be adverse to paying an annual “admin fee” to have my ranking/results/profile on the IFPA website, but would want ALL competitors to be included in any WPPR calculations for tournaments entered, why should I be punished by lower points for winning a tournament of 100 people in if only 50 of those have paid up?. Those players that don’t pay their admin fee could only have limited access to the website. It’s likely that those players who don’t pay up aren’t interested in their ranking so wouldn’t be losing anything anyway.
However this money should be used for genuine admin costs, not given out to tournament winnings. Why should someone in the UK or France or anywhere else contribute to a competition in USA?

v)Another issue people seem to have a problem with is the fact that the IFPA is ran by people competing in the biggest events and so it is “seen” that they have a conflict of interests and are making decisions for their own benefit. While I do not believe this to be entirely true, it does open up that accusation.
Could it be possible that the IFPA committee was made up of elected individuals? That way there would be more respect given to them as they had been voted for by the people who have paid an admin fee (see how this all links up?). It would also be seen less as a closed clique as it is now.

vi)It is not clear whose opinions were asked regarding these, and any other, changes? It is clear that there are a number of people on here who feel that their voices should have been heard (whether that’s the case or not). Having the elected IFPA committee would help combat this feeling of not being included.

vii) I think that the idea of running Pro and Amateur ranking systems stinks.


This is an interesting state things have gotten to. I am not trying to agree or disagree with anything you said, but instead just make.some observations.

  • much of the community thinks they should have a voice, or that the IFPA has become an organisation for the people. There is nothing in their charters or mandate that express this as a goal (that i see)
  • @pinwizj is engaging the community about this, but that is actually Brian Woodard’s role at the IFPA according to the IFPA staff page. “Brian is responsible for implementing the policies set forth by the IFPA, recommending policy changes and action to the President and Vice President as appropriate, and acting as a liason between the player base and IFPA staff.”
  • This is bringing to light a lot of discussion around various state laws. This is really good, it highlights places our community really does need to help. I would love to see someone (maybe the IFPA) setup an legal aid fund around this. There should be a central rallying force to get the legal status fixed where it is broken and fight in the event that individuals are charged. I imagine something in the flavour of the CBLDF. Even being able to get legal advice on local laws / tax issues would be a good service to have.


Posted to Pinside but worth mentioning here:

Ultimately on paper the IFPA is a for profit LLC. Giving up control personally on this is a non-starter.
We are setup with about 70 volunteers that serve in some ‘official’ capacity (Country Directors, State Representatives, Board Members). We then of course have hundreds of TD’s that choose to have their tournament endorsed by us (additional hundreds of course do not).

I enjoy engaging in discussion because I find it all positive. When it comes to the group I run all ideas beyond, it’s those 70 that drive the bus of where we take this IFPA thing.

Similar to PAPA/Replay Foundation . . . they reach out for feedback regarding things, but it’s the staff of their “company” that ultimately makes the decision for the foundation. Same for IFPA.



props to Phil Grimaldi for the data porn.


Wow. @spraynard Impressive.


Keep the change, you filthy animal


I tried to read most of this thread before chiming in, but I did skim a few sections so I apologize if I am rehashing anything.

I just wanted to quickly speak to the representation issue. Every state (or province or in my case city that should be a state) has a representative. If you live in a state with a pinball scene that has strong feelings about the new tax, be sure that you have a state rep that is willing to voice those opinions regularly and engage in a lot of back and forth about it. Before the announcement, Josh floated this to all of the state reps and asked us to go back to our scene and talk to our players so that he could answer any questions that came up and work on any new issues before enacting the plan. So in theory, every state with an active scene should have known this was coming and should have had input into the plan. In reality, that may be a different type of work than what some state reps signed up for so maybe the method for choosing reps needs to be changed if it’s going to involve actual representation and, ya know, work. Defining the state rep role better and what input players should have could actually be good for the logistics of the state finals too. For example, I know some players really want more say into which locations their state championships are held at. I think the SCS and the IFPA in general already have a good structure in place for representation, it just needs to evolve a little bit!


agreed thanks @spraynard or all the data!
As a TD who enjoys running weekly, biweekly, and monthly tournaments, obviously my numbers will be going down in $2018. Perhaps turn them into “leagues” where we have the same format anyway, but add a “finals” (see @timballs Stern Army tournaments in Middletown)
Or perhaps still run non-wppr weekly’s. Gotta ask the locals I suppose!


The WPPR system and the IFPA are really important to me, but also to new pinball players as the draw of a ranking can encourage increased tourney participation and more people in the sport.

I have no problem paying $1 for every tournament, and I have no problem spending that $1 on people’s prizes who are better than me. It seems most of the opposition is from tourney directors. The players don’t know the nuances of the submission system and don’t care. And I think a diminished prize pool is mostly a non-issue. When I was a regular bowler our league submitted results to the WBC and we had to pay part of our league dues. Where that money went? who knows. but if you wanted to bowl a 300 and it be a ‘sanctioned’ recorded perfect game your league better have submitted the WBC dues.

I strongly disagree with a tournament where some % of the players opted out of points. This makes the tourneys weaker; and if you live in a small state with a small competition pool or list of tourneys to start, it only further empowers the larger tourneys and creates confusion. I also strongly disagree with ‘pro’ points vs ‘amateur’ points. The system right now is pretty simple, everyone can be in the same system as the big names in pinball, which is part of the draw.

I really hope the TDs and the IFPA can come together on this. My chances of moving up the WPPR rankings will drop significantly if the TD for the New England Pinball League opts not to record our results with the $1. I will have to travel to NYC to find endorsed events which is 3 hours away and really tough to do with a family.


People always get excited when they’re playing their first tournament and I tell them they will be a world ranked pinball player after the night is done. Its definitely a draw.

After mulling the change over for a while, I don’t think the $1 fee will bring about huge regression in IFPA sanctioned tournaments. People see the value in the organization and enjoy being a part of it. If @pinwizj and others ran the IFPA sloppily I would be much more afraid.

Also, In New England, I feel we are used to paying to play. Every tournament or league I run or am a part of has a fee to play already (except for a barcade selfie league I ran for a few months last year, but the bar gave prizes).

It will also be difficult to move up if you keep not winning our RI tournaments. :wink:


Oh that’s weird, maybe you were on the moon the day I won the first weekly knockout? :wink:


For those not following the Big Buck Hunter trajectory, we were approached by Twitch who actually produced a mini-documentary highlighting BBH and one of the best players in the world at it:


Media impressions, spreading awareness, garnering sponsorship . . . all the things we’ve done in BBH that I’m looking to bring to the competitive pinball world. I’ve seen what we’ve been able to do in the last 8 years for BBH (really the last 5 since we dialed in our process), and think the game of pinball shares many parallels with it.

Site bug

It looks like an interesting idea. How much money do you guesstimate this will generate for the SCS, Josh?

And if only 20 people in a 100 tournament opt in, how is the point value for the tournament determined, is it based on the 100 players or the 20? If the latter, this is a big blow to the tournament and unfair on someone who battles 100 people only to win points as if they were playing against 20.


Personally I would be happy to pay an annual admin fee, too, however as a TD who is trying to bring new people into competitive pinball WPPR points and a world ranking is a big drawcard for boobs, and a big upfront fee before they have had the experience is a huge turn off.


So that’s why so many people chase WPPRs so aggressively… it all makes sense now. :wink:


I’m hoping to generate $20k the first year, but don’t have too many actual expectations. More interested in just finding out how its going to play out.

The hypothetical examples of a TD allowing an opt out option, and 80% of those players taking that option isn’t something I see happening too often. I think a community of that breakdown will result in that event simply being non-endorsed. Again we’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.


I agree, but seeing how they don’t “add to the tournament value” until they’ve played 5 tournaments- maybe that fee could be deferred until then. By then they should either be hooked anyway, or have lost interest.

Anything “that’s a big draw for noobs” has got to be a win


friggin autocorrect, i’ll be appearing on the sexism in pinball thread next


After reading this thread I wanted to chime in. I’m a TD in Grand Rapids, MI. I run a quarterly league (4 times a year) and a monthly tournament. Our league averages around 60 players each season. To make the league accessible to everyone and to help encourage people to participate, we don’t charge a fee to play. The venue graciously pays for the trophies (previously I was paying for them out of my own pocket). The venue doesn’t care about WPPR points and I can’t see them paying the $240/year for the league to be eligible for them.

A couple years after running the league, I decided to start up a monthly tournament. Our monthly tournaments have a $5 buy in which gets paid out to the top 4 players. Our average turnout for those is around 8 players. Even tho it’s only $5, a majority of the players in the league have no interest in playing in the monthly tournament as they feel they are just giving their money to the better players.

“The objective of the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) is to elevate the awareness and visibility of pinball across the globe and generate media coverage and corporate backing to bring the sport of competitive pinball back into the spotlight.” Why not put more effort on getting corporate backing to put more $$ in SCS? It seems to me this would be the logical way to do it instead of charging thousands of players, who will never make it to SCS, $1 for each event they play in. Stern Pinball or Jersey Jack Pinball would be the logical partners. It’s in these companies best interest to get more people playing pinball.

I feel putting this fee on players is going to make it harder for me (and other TD’s) to get new people playing competitive pinball. I’m also really not looking forward to collecting $1 bills from every player. Sure, I could take it out of the prize pot for the monthly tournaments, but that is a VERY small portion of the people that play in events that I run.

I could also just run events that are not IFPA sponsored or have players opt-in/opt out, but that just makes a mess of things. Telling new players that they will be ranked against other players throughout the world is a great selling point to get people to start playing competitive pinball. I really like how things are now with WPPR points and I feel all these pro/amateur, opt-in/opt-out changes are just going to muddy that.

Just my $.02. Thanks for listening.