IFPA Dollar - 2018 Q1 Perspectives


I’m not a TD per-se, but I don’t think many in the Maryland scene are on here so I’ll speak for them. We have a bit of a split here, some events take a dollar from the prize pool, some collect an extra dollar from signups. I haven’t heard of much grumbling either way.

Initially, one rather large club opted to continue doing weekly events but not sanction with the IFPA (see below). A lot of their players complained about this, and they have since started sanctioning again. I think a goodly portion of their playerbase really doesn’t play anywhere else and was missing the WPPR opportunities. In fact, a second weekly at the same location has sprung up. Different TD/group, basically same playerbase, so attitude towards the dollar is either neutral or well-received.

Our FSPA leagues have continued without disruption, paying the dollar per player from the league coffers, not increasing dues.

Not yet. I think as we get closer to the end of the year we’ll get more excitement. It’s common for players in this area to qualify in more than one state (generally, MD and/or DC and/or VA) so it will be very interesting to see what the final prize pools are and if that affects state choice.

Continuing from above, the club that initially was resistant didn’t want to provide the majority of the funds for MD from their weeklies, among other reasons. I think that concern has mostly gone away, since a great many participants from that club are likely to qualify for MD on volume. There’s always the chance that the pool will get big enough to draw some out-of-staters looking for a snipe, but we won’t really know that until it happens.


Quick plug for a previous thread I did at the end of 2017 making predictions about IFPA growth in 2018. Forecasting IFPA Tournament Growth: Is There a Fee Effect?. In a nutshell, I used a forecasting model to predict what 2018 should look like, based on growth from previous years.

Here are the observed and predicted events so far.

It is too early to talk about march, because TD’s have until 30 days after an event to submit results. There are still many events from march that have yet to be submitted.

For january and february, here are the observed and predicted events. I’ve included 2017 for comparison.

In January, we saw 337 tournaments, which was an improvement over 2017, but a bit shy of the predicted 363. In February, we saw 335 events, which was a drop from 2017. However, note that this drop was predicted by the forecasting model. This was because SCS finals was moved from February to January. Indeed, 335 was only about 9.5 events shy of the predicted number of events.

In sum, there doesn’t appear to be a fee effect.


Cool data. Long shot but is their data like that for number of players? I personally see that more of a factor on if we are growing or declining as a sport.

If it shows the same or more player participation then that would clearly answer the question at hand.


One thing I have done for the MI SCS players is provide a GoogleSheet depicting various stats. I have no doubt MI. will be a super state so list top 24. Feel free to make suggestions if have any.

Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14p8otudDb4xZXQFiv-DYhPFhi4_Dcz08wYA_66kG3IM/


How? Every one of my leagues in different. Two bar leagues, one the operator has always collected $10 registration. Some amount was payed back in Pizza and credits at end of season tournament. Now the $2 (one for season, on for open tournament) comes from that.

My other league is free and the bar is covering the $1. Although we are moving to a fee for the season to hire help to clean and repair the machines and get them tournament ready, so the dollar will likely come from that.

Resistance. None. Although there is no material change from the players perspective. Our basement league has seen attrition about general alignment with competition / IFPA, but we have somewhat backfilled with new members drawn by WPPRs.

Excitement. Right now no. I think having 24 potential spots has more excitement that money. Maybe once all you top player leave us your IFPA dollars and we are fighting for outside money :slight_smile:


This is for my experience running a weekly league in AZ:

  1. collecting the fee: Everything I ran in the past was free so I didn’t have prize pools to pull from. I set up our league as $10 per season this year because I figured if I was going to have to deal with money, I’d make it enough to add a B division and trophies and prizes. I let all players get one week free to try out the league (since they aren’t submitted until they attend at least 2 weeks per 4-week submission) and it’s either pay the season dues or $1 per week played after the free week. It does mean I now track a lot more data on who has paid for the season, who used their free week, etc. I keep a google spreadsheet of all the money for transparency that anyone can access to see how I’m spending it throughout the season. I don’t love dealing with the money but I do love giving away more prizes. Anything else I run is just a dollar per person so I don’t have to deal with excess money - I just take in what I send to IFPA.

  2. player response to the fee: if I’d known my player base was going to jump up from low 30’s to mid 40’s I would have added a fee sooner. It’s not really cause and effect of course - I think there’s growing interest in our league (because it’s pretty darn awesome) so I was going to see growth this year regardless, but it was crazy to me on the first night when I was worried I was going to lose people with a $10 charge and people came out of the woodwork to sign up and hand me money.

  3. excitement for state: I haven’t noticed any change. The people who are focused on qualifying for state seem to want the glory, not the prize package. Now, as the prize package grows, I think we’ll probably see a bit more interest. And if we actually manage to reach super state status (we will have enough tournaments, tbd if we can reach the player count), I think we’ll see more excitement from that too.


Our league takes the fee from the money we collect for the hosts. None of them have complained they’re getting a few dollars less.

Our formerly free monthly tournament has started collecting $1 from participants, but there hasn’t been a negative impact on attendance. If anything there’s now more visibility for IFPA and the NACS because the TD has been explaining where the money goes and I made up a sheet he displays to encourage players to register.

I originally created it because I noticed a lot of the women playing in these tournaments weren’t being included under the Women’s rankings for the WPPRs, and as much as I’m sure @pinwizj loves hearing from me, it’s easier for everyone if the players just register with IFPA themselves.

Here’s a link to the document, if anyone wants to use it: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1KjPNzcgP4IvsLrb9urz3Uy5dsL8HCOoB_45Z3zNIqNs/edit?usp=sharing


In the FSPA, each of our league commissioners decided to skim the $1 from the existing league dues / prize pool without raising dues. Accordingly, there has been no player resistance so far, as there hasn’t yet been a discernible change. Prize distribution hasn’t happened yet for any of our Spring 2018 leagues, so TBD on the long term effect… for our leagues that do prizes, I would expect any reaction to be delayed, since leagues tend to carry prize inventories, so the effect probably won’t be felt by players for a season or two. We’ll see shortly if there’s any reaction from our cash-payout leagues.

Not at all that I’ve heard. Of course, I wouldn’t expect much added excitement, since 1) only a very small minority of players will make the state finals, and 2) we recently learned in the “splitting prizes” thread that most people apparently don’t care about the money, they only care about title and WPPR’s, which are unchanged.


Not super hard. Here is the same analysis, but for # of players. Note, this is not unique players, which is possible to get, just a little trickier. I’m just summing up the number of players in each tournament each day, so there may be some double counting. The number of players falls a bit short of what would be expected, but not at a level that I would consider it abnormal.


For our weekly Flip City events, we chose not to increase our entry fee ($5) and take the WPPRdollars out of the pot. At the risk of outing my poor accounting practices, I just front the NACS money and pocket the dollars. Our average event attendance has remained consistent, and we’ve fielded few if any questions about the whole process. Like @Waltino said above, what is much more exciting for Oregon’s player base, in Portland as well as in Eugene/Covallis/etc., is the Super State expansion.


OHIO!! Wow, over $1,000 in the Ohio SCS purse already. And 424 unique players already?! Nice!


BTW…The Ohio Show tourney’s are not even included yet.

The National Players thank Ohio.


I’m pretty sure that the $1,011 for Ohio is JUST the portion that stays in Ohio for their SCS. Granted, having the highest SCS purse also means that you’re currently contributing the most to the NACS Finals purse, but the much larger portion stays in Ohio.

Will Trent1 stay home for the Ohio SCS this year?


Questions for tournament directors

How have you been collecting the fee? (off the prize pool, adding $1 to entry, location pays, etc)
Started off collecting fees from individuals for free tournaments. Minor stress and I simply pitched in for anyone who didn’t have the dollar with them. Then the locations started picking up the tab (Thanks Game Preserve and Einstein’s Pub).

Have you had any resistance from players? Feel like you’re losing anyone?
One player opposed completely. Principle - not expense. No longer came to tournaments. After a couple months, we’ve compromised where he comes and plays, but is left out of the ifpa reporting.

Has it added excitement to your scene with players knowing there will be a bigger prize pool for state finals?
Not much, but have had a couple people say they hope to be in the money. Most of our players know they have no chance to be included at the end of the year and just shrug it off.


Pretty much same in Michigan (becoming a super-state). No push back and much excitement.


Off topic, but thank you, thank you, thank you, for implementing this. I think it makes so much more sense and the optics are way better.


I take the dollar out of the prize pool, whether it’s the league I run or another tournament. I hate doing this as it’s 5% of our dues. And I just hate the idea of the $1 fee in general tbh. I do like that others are having the location cover the fees and may start doing that instead.

I have had no resistance from players. I’d say that the vast majority don’t even know it’s happening but the few people I’ve specifically asked—knowing they’re casual players who would never make state finals unless their interest and skill levels changed dramatically—didn’t care enough to be bothered. Most of those asked did think it was lame but all were like “it’s just $1…” I wish I agreed.

Again, most players in my league don’t even know about the SCS. As for the players that actually may have a chance at making it, I have noticed no difference in their excitement levels. I have noticed one player (who did squeek into the CA SCS this year) that has been particularly irritable over not fnishing first in events as of late, but no idea if there is any correlation.


I have kept the fee for my charity tournaments the same and taken the $1 out of the proceeds before giving the rest to the charity. Since it doesn’t affect the players, there’s no concern from them, though I find it a bit awkward that I have to qualify my previous claim that “all proceeds” go to charity. The majority of my players are people who don’t expect to win money in the SCS, I think, so don’t have any particular excitement about that.


Far more pushback before launch. Most have settled into this being the “new normal”. I think the Tournament Manager system that Shepherd released has helped the process immensely.

I’ve been on record about a 30% drop being my expectation for 2018, both in events and attendance. Some of that was going to be ‘endorsement fee efficiency’ with weekly events submitting monthly or quarterly, and I figured there would be a healthy does of “F*ck This, I’m Out”.

I’m personally incredibly pleased to see where we’re at so far, especially some of those that have publicly stated “F*ck This, I’m Out” that I’ve now seen create a Tournament Manager account and begun submitting events again.

We’ve banked on being able to leverage the large group of players that fall into the “not interested SCS but are interested in WPPR’s” to make this work. You see it in all the posts from the other TD’s commenting, and I see it as a TD myself in Chicago. Being a “world ranked player” matters to people, and for those TD’s that make the winners pay the ‘tax’, then these casual players can still be ranked ‘for free’.

Absolutely, and this was expected. Watching how this impacts communities has been very educational. As expected the power of all this continues to lie in the hands of the PLAYERS. If a community has a TD that is fully against IFPA at this point, but a large percentage of the players are for it, we’re seeing new TD’s from that player group emerge to run sanctioned events to support that community of players that want it.

It’s certainly heading down the right path IMO. A reminder that there seems to be this quick expectation of “where’s the sponsorship Lebowski” . . . and this stuff takes time. When Zach and my dad craft the messaging around this year’s State Championship, we certainly plan on pointing out that we’ll have ~1000 WINNERS taking home their share of ~$80,000 (or whatever the amount will be) all on this one crazy day.


For all of the initial bitching about this change this really proves it hasn’t has an affect on anything. It also sadly demonstrates that some people just want a reason to complain about something. Pinside is a perfect example of this single or pack negative mentality on a number of various topics. I appreciate the IFPA taking the brunt of the negative noice and implementing the change regardless of the few that tried to make it bigger than it really was. I believe this new fee will help strengthen the NACS format and raise the profile of competition pinball overall.