IFPA 2018 changes?


Won’t you feel stupid when you qualify with a bye in A division :slight_smile:


Concerns weren’t dismissed. The issue here is that a majority of the country deals with players that play roughly 5 tournaments or fewer every year. There are more areas ‘like that’ then there are areas like Seattle.

When you have 49 out of 50 people thinking this isn’t a big deal because it’s only $5 . . . and 1 person thinking it’s a terrible idea because it’s $500 . . . we see that as a path to work with.

There are methods here to reduce fees in the Seattle area based on reporting results. I can’t blame TD’s if they have no interest in pursuing those paths with me, but I am more than willing to help TD’s through that process of maximizing WPPR’s/minimizing fees.


I think people are missing the obvious “skim off the prize pool” solution that only hurts winners of local tournaments, but then gives it back to a greater percentage of people later at States. It literally is the opposite of a “take from the poor to give to the rich”.


Posted to pinside . . . easy to repost my thoughts:

We don’t plan on screwing it up. We plan on making it better.

There’s a path here where I see 3000 “AMATEUR” events per year, along with 500 “PRO” events per year feeding those systems concurrently.

Having an SCS at the “PRO” level for all the cash and glory, but also having an “AMATEUR” State Championship for recognition but without the issues of the cash at play. Inviting some players out to an “AMATEUR” National Championship isn’t against the realm of possibility as well if we’re already out there and setup for the “PRO” event to also take place.

The ‘have your cake and eat it too’ is my mission on this. Those that strictly want to play for fun can earn AMATEUR WPPR’s and avoid all the fee nonsense. Those that want to take it more seriously can participate in “PRO” events at their choosing for PRO WPPR’s.

Figuring out how to piece it all together will be the challenge once 2018 hits and we see how the ‘market’ reacts.


On a scale of 1-10 how concerned about you about potential “missing” events from the 2018 year? Using the amateur/pro terms: If market reacts by submitting significantly fewer events you’ll have a year without any “amateur” events that can’t be restored. These will affect “amateur” ranking for the next 4 years. Are the accuracy of the amateur rankings a concern or does IFPA only really care about the accuracy of “pro” events?


It’s probably worth pointing out that the one and only weekly IFPA event in Kentucky (run by @h_flex) is a direct result of the Seattle events.

In 2015, Kentucky had, I believe, 3 IFPA ranked tournaments – LAX Main, LAX Classics, and the Pre-LAX tournament. There was occasional buzz about the local league becoming a ranked event, but awareness of the IFPA was low enough that the league organizers frequently confused WPPRs and PAPA Circuit points, and perceived the registration process as more hassle than it was worth.

A few months after I moved to Seattle, I think @h_flex finally had enough of my incessant gloating, and started the work of growing the competitive pinball scene in Louisville. He took on the hassle of convincing the existing weekly tournament that IFPA registration was worthwhile, and started running additional monthly tournaments. This has managed to introduce a ton of new players to competitive pinball.

I think if the IFPA managed to make this change while reducing TD overhead elsewhere, it would see a far warmer reception, but as it stands, the calendar registration process already discourages new events.

I wanna see this thing become even more viral than it is today – not an old boys’ club.

Also concerning is that TDs are effectively being left to fend for themselves on the tax liability situation. Who owes what to whom? Most TDs aren’t CPAs. Many TDs can’t afford CPAs.


This seems like it’s heading towards a point where people are going to have to worry about managing separate accounts, registering organizations with the local authorities, paying taxes, and all the other crap most people don’t want to do unless they’re getting paid.

The people that I know that are interested in getting paid through their involvement with pinball events tend to be the type of people that new IFPA rules and restrictions get created for, not the type of people that work to grow the hobby in a positive way.

Thank you Josh for doing what you do.


Regardless of whether or not this decision grows the hobby in a positive way is not necessarily the responsibility of the IFPA either.

“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.”

“Our goal is to create and promote the world’s greatest pinball tournaments, encourage friendly competition, and spread enthusiasm for the game among casual gamers.”


Similar to the Women’s Rankings it will have to be started from scratch.

ONLY Amateur (non-points) events would be included, so it would be a completely separate system. The #1 ranked Amateur player would add the same A-WPPR’s to the pot that KME does for the system today.

It would start day 1 with everyone ranked as #1, and we would build from there from the ground up.

Missing events in 2018 is meaningless besides being able to start this process a year earlier. Every time we’ve worked ourselves into creating a separate Amateur WPPR system the interest has been next to nothing. Perhaps the endorsement fee will be the thing that will trigger this interest and allow us to cater to all players better than we can now.

We’ll decide whether it’s worth putting in the effort to get A-WPPR’s off the ground sometime during 2018 when we see how it’s going. If you look at the Women’s WPPR rankings now and how it’s integrated into the player profiles, you can toggle between those systems pretty seamlessly.


Yeah Andreas, you better LIKE that s*it :wink:

Let’s not all jump off the ledge yet . . . I really think about this stuff . . . like all the time . . . it’s unhealthy.

I want 500,000 players competing annually in events. I want ESPN 1, not ESPN 8. I want hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate sponsorship for the best players of our sport.


I only liked your post because of the possibility of calling myself “the #1 amateur pinball player in the world”. :wink:

I’m disappointed that the “pro” events would be considered canonical and “amateur” rankings would start from nothing because of the potential loss of data from 2018 events. (it’s all potentials)

I still Have Opinions™ and am impatient in general. Don’t worry!


Day 3 of swallowing this pill (well 2.5 if you were on the fence about the April Fools joke).

I show 272 days before implementation . . . looking forward to continuing these spirited discussions :slight_smile:

The idea of “AMATEUR” rankings couldn’t include past events because all of our events up to this point have been considered “PRO” events by default. Gotta start somewhere . . . you should have seen the WPPR rankings in 2006. We started with barely any canonical data back then, and slogged our way into building up to where we are at today.

It helps that I’m the most patient person I know (although these two f*cking kids of mine have ALMOST broke me a few times) :slight_smile:


Please don’t make my boarder crossing more difficult. The only question ever asked is are you a professional? Please let me still answer No.


I thought this was an opt-in per tournament SCS endorsement fee, with WRRP running as we know it, until I trawled this thread tonight. Now I am surprised.

I recommend a firewall between a desire to grow prize money. And the need to limit or cover administrative overhead. I understand the WPPR system has become heavily loaded and respect the need to take care of this.

An idea (if in demand). A one time fee for registrering as a TD. And perhaps a fee for registrering custom tournament formats, which value will have to be calculated and approved by IFPA staff. With a selection of standard formats, and combinations of which (qualify/finals), free of charge.

This scheme seems to go in hand with the administative impact. And from the perspective that a veteran TD running weeklies of a set of recurring formats to a known army of players seems more lightweight (to the IFPA) than rookie TD running his first gig or maybe one a year.

A bit of guessing here. Admitted.


Not to speak for @Vengeance, but while we complain about the workload, we’re mostly kidding. We’re not kidding that it’s a TON of work, but we’re HAPPY TO DO IT.

If things move forward, I can see things shifting to a “Professional” and “Amateur” ranking system . . . hmmmm maybe change WPPR to PARS (Professional and Amateur Ranking System)? :slight_smile:

The workload stays the same if you capture the same number of events ‘in total’ between the events that opt-in and the events that don’t.


PAPRS (professional amateur pinball ranking system), and I’m only supporting this if TDs are required to wear dictator garb and ask “PAPRS PLEASE!”


Yea I’m generally fine with the work load

I like knowing that I’m helping the community in some small way

I am very curious to see how this change will affect things, we have been talking about it for a while and the local people in my community that I spoke to about it, the idea was generally well received. I’m still convinced that while initally we will take a hit tournament wise, I expect once the initial shock is over and people start to see the value that will be built in the SCS/PCS they will want to get more involved and we will see a later influx of events.


I did NOT say you could speak! Time to get the hose again . . .



I played in 54 ifpa tournaments last year. About 15 of them had a fee. 10 of those 15 the fee went entirely to a charity, so really only 5 had a fee for a prize pool.