IFPA North American Championship Series – Starting in 2018!


Sure, makes sense to have to consider it for free events. In those situations I would first ask the location to cover the endorsement fee as cost of doing business. We have a good relationship with our locations in town so I wouldn’t see this being an issue. Worst case, ask for the buck from the players, which I can’t imagine being a problem around here.


It’s not an extra dollar on top of the entry fee if it’s being taken automatically from the prize pool. People running tournaments like that aren’t going to suddenly charge $26 instead of $25 to cover it, so it’s not costing players more (unless they’re in the money).

If you ask players up front ‘hey do you want to spend an extra $1 to have this event count towards your state championship rankings’ a lot are going to say no. SCS are a concrete enough thing that most people know whether they’re going to have a shot. If you ask them if they want to spend a dollar to be counted in the international rankings, a lot are still going to say no. If you take it from the winnings, you’re only taking money from a few people, and they’ll be more likely to be the people who’d say yes anyway.

In any cases where you give players a choice of contributing money towards the state winnings pot, they’re going to look at their chances of seeing any of that money back. The less that money gets them (only counting towards state vs counting internationally) the more annoyed they’ll be. I think that giving them a choice, and especially as framing it as ‘money for the SCS pot’ vs ‘IFPA fees’, isn’t going to end well.

That’s nice for your area… Around here most of the locations won’t throw in a cent, we’re lucky to even get them to have machines. Our selfie league as one example, it’s almost certainly going to stop being an IFPA event next year. Only maybe 3-4 players even know their IFPA ranking, the rest are just locals and regulars who enjoy playing pinball each month. If a free event suddenly costs a dollar, they’re going to ask why, and I doubt they’ll like the explanation.


I agree, but adding a dollar to the entry free IS an option. It might not be used much.

That’s exactly why I wondered about why the fee blocks the WORLD rankings, versus just being contained at the SCS level. As it stands now, money will be siphoned from other sources to fund a tournament that only a few people have a shot at.


It’s us using our leverage. There are people that don’t care about SCS but do care enough about following their word ranking.

Ultimately this fee is about paying for the service to be world ranked, full stop. What we do with those fees is a separate issue.

We are hazarding a guess that there’s enough players interested in WPPR’s to collect a larger amount of fees, so we’re exploiting that with this initiative.


All I know is for something that is supposed to be making it so we have less submissions and less tournaments, it sure as fuck isn’t slowing done the number of submissions:


That’s all pending for 2018 and doesn’t count the other couple hundred for 2018 I already approved.


That is within the last 3 days as well :dizzy_face:


It’s too bad it’s gotten so linked to the SCS pots


If that’s the full-stop reason, then it is deeply unfair that only NA players have to pay the fee. Everyone else gets the service for free.

Well, that’s going to happen when the announcement explicitly states that the fee will exclusively be used to fund the pots.


It’s deeply unfair except for the fact that it helps us do a great job of balancing the US versus the rest of the world. At the IFPA we actually have a pretty big global problem with respect to the access of players and tournaments that we have access to, that the rest of the world simply doesn’t.

If this initiative shrinks the “US market” so to speak, it actually helps to service our “non-US market” who have been pretty firm that we have no right to even call it the WORLD Pinball Player Rankings, and it should be changed to the US Pinball Player Rankings.


Absolutely . . . bad messaging on my part, although I do wonder how this would have gone:

IFPA --> “We’re going to be taking in fees to run the organization of $1 per player per event for North America.”

Player --> “What are you using the fees for?”

IFPA --> we have a bunch of different directions here. Do we LIE about our intentions? Do we avoid answering the question altogether? Do we come out with our plan to sponsor the SCS prize pools? At some point “messaging” is all about putting whatever shade of lipstick you want on the pig. The reality would have set in at some point, because the announcement regarding the use of these funds would eventually have to come out.


Thanks for that insight. I don’t have a complete history of competitive pinball in my brain but it does seem to be rather North American-centric. At some level this makes sense I guess, it feels like it has much more of a foothold here. The main manufacturers are here, for example.

Regarding international events, is it more a question of desire or availability? Like, are there passable places to have leagues and tournaments but the playerbase isn’t as interested, or is it simply impossible right now to find locations? If the fee is truly about providing the service, then you could use a portion of the intake on efforts to help grow the game in those underserviced areas instead of just sweetening the pot for more NA tournaments.


I’d been wondering what other players did for their regional/national championships… Could they also use dollars for their pots, etc? I know there are some places in Europe with pretty good collections and events to rival ours in the US


LOL yeah . . . it’s easy to think of us in our own little bubble, and believe me when we were trying to get traction with the WPPR system outside of the US it was EXTREMELY CHALLENGING to get that buy in. The Netherlands as an entire COUNTRY pretty much boycotted support of the system.

Over the years I’ve seen as much passion/interest/desire from international players as I have compared to North American players. I’ll defer to the actual international players on Tilt Forums that can answer better, but I think the issue is availability (certainly once you get outside of Europe and try to give Australia/New Zealand/Japan a fighting chance to be seen as relevant in the WPPR system).

It’s certainly an option, but I would rather focus on the time/money analysis of that initiative and figure out a budget needed to execute it FIRST. At this point we have no idea how much money is coming in, so I’m not sure it’s right to say we’re going to do X, Y and Z without knowing how much that costs and how much revenue we’ve taken in.

For anyone that has been paying attention we actually did change the allocation of the endorsement fees. The original allocation was 75% State, 25% NACS. It’s now 75% State, 20% NACS, 5% IFPA HQ.

What we do with that 5% is NONE OF YOUR F*CKING BUSINESS (j/k). We’re going to use that 5% to cover all the processing fees, but on the off chance there is a surplus we could start coming up with something to do with those funds. Do we pay our volunteers, do we donate to the Replay Foundation, do we run additional events with it, etc.

Perhaps 2019-20 the allocation goes 70% State, 20% NACS, 10% IFPA HQ . . . and we start having an idea of what 10% of the fees will get us, and start designing initiatives to run based on the estimated revenues collected.


There’s a HUGE disconnect between US and Europe tournaments with respect to prize money. One could argue the size of the pots are the biggest determination as to how many players show up, and who shows up for those particular events. I can’t even imagine what it would be like traveling around the “pinball tour” knowing that there’s a 0% chance you pay for that travel even if you win EVERY TOURNAMENT YOU PLAY IN. @cayle can probably speak to those differences, but I imagine a large portion of the US player base would give a giant “f*ck this” to the way European events are organized with respect to entry fees and payouts.


There were definitely a lot of question marks over the heads of the US players during pre IFPA week in Denmark. But hey, the winner of DPO got the biggest Toblerone I’ve ever seen.


as a european (and asian) IFPA Country Director/TD of a ECS event I am/was rather alone with my opinion and ideas

  • as the ECS started 3 years ago, I came up with the idea that participating tournaments should pay something for the prizepool (only @pinwizj liked the idea)

  • as far as I know, I was the only european CD, that supported the 1$ fee worldwide (that was the original plan, or not?). And I still think it would help competitive Pinball in Europe (yes, I know - maybe not legal in some countries) and I am totally sure it elevates it in North America.

  • Since I started organizing tournaments (almost 9 years ago), I always wanted some prize money for the winners, but - sad but true - it doesn’t attract more players. Some participants even think I organize the tournament to rip off the casual players and don’t attend anymore… our ECS event has a decent pricepool, total about 2500$ for two tournaments and two highscore tournaments, but it was never close to be sold out and there were always some last minute spots available…


What % of US players do you think have any expectation that even the slightest portion of their expenses will be covered by prize money? My guess is less than 5%. Even if you restricted it to players that frequently travel to large events, it’s still a pretty small percentage.


What’s the typical qualifying rate, assuming qualifying gets you “in the money” . . .~25%?

I guess a better question to ask is:

96 players participated in INDISC in 2017. How many players would participate in 2018 if there were the same exact entry fees, but ZERO prize money (but a giant Toblerone bar for first place because they are quite impressive)?

If less than 5% care, then one would expect 91 participants at INDISC 2018. I would take the “UNDER” if it was set at 91.


Does Europe do paid Pump and Dump with zero payout (minus Toblerone)?


Not that I’m aware of, so bad example . . . so let’s take TPF!

Limited entry, $60 entry fee . . . no prize money (this kind of format does exist).

157 players last year . . . would they get 149 players dropping the payout to nothing?

Being objective this answer could be YES (it’s just a question of which players you pull in).

During the dark days of TPF they had 180+ players in their event, but NOBODY in the top 100:



Now I’m interested. So how is Europe able to get players to play in $60 entry tournaments with no prize pool? Must be one awesome Toblerone.

Where does the money go?