IFPA North American Championship Series – Starting in 2018!


@pinwizj I’m curious what you consider your metrics of success to be for the 2018 year. Apologies if I’ve missed this among the bazillions of posts and threads on this topic.


I’d be really pleased if we hit 12,500 players and 2500 events for 2018.

After your endorsement fee analysis maybe I should ask you :slight_smile:


Yeah, this is what I was getting at. I assumed they were free to enter if there was no prize money.


Ha. Part of my motivation for asking was because Im trying to figure out what to track in 2018. I’d like to do something that looks at the real time effects of the new fee, if there are any.

As for goals, you might want to look at the projected growth of the player base and then compare the real results against that. If you match or exceed projected growth, then its a win. If you don’t meet it, then it’s a loss.

Just curious, how many new players were there in 2017?


I just added a charity event where the entry fee is now $21 instead of $20. $20 will go to charity and $1 to IFPA which i state in the event description. Im going to require pre-registration with payment online so whether it was $21 or $21.50 i won’t have to worry about change at the event.


There were roughly 9000 new players in 2017, although the number of new players hasn’t been growing the past 3 years. 2015 had roughly 10,000 new players.

The number of active players continues to grow year over year (unique players that play at least once per year).


10 pounds!


As a european citizen (Swedish) I’ll have a go at answering this, without the Toblerone bars. Can’t really speak for the $60 venues, but close enough.

Swedish Championship is around $55 entry fee for entering both the main and the classic tournament. By law we are prohibited to payout cash prizes in Sweden, but we do have medals and other throphys of nominal value. For this years tournament, 281 people turned up to try to win one of the three throphys in main. As we have a lot of really good players in Sweden the chance to win these were slim to none if you’re not ranked in the top-100. I’d say most of the people that play in these no-cash tournaments are there just because playing pinball is so damn fun :slight_smile:

I don’t think there are many free tournaments in Sweden. They are not overly pricey though, around $15-$30 depending on who organize it and where the tournament are held. Mostly I say the fee goes to the organizers to cover the cost of rent, throphys and maintenance of the machines. Tournament are usually played in local basements as there are not that many arcades left that could be used for tournaments. Getting to play other players personal machines is a privilege so paying a few $'s to do it is not really a big deal, to me at least.

How it is in other European countries I cannot really say, but I think it’s quite similar.


Thanks for the explanation! I agree with Josh. Trying to do this kind of event in the US would not go over well. Haha

I’ve had two tournaments at my house this year. The first one was $20 per player and 100% went back to them for prize money. The other was free and I just went and bought cheap ass trophies for the winners.

As an accountant though 281 times $55 doesn’t add up for me. 15 thousand dollars went to the organizers of the event??? Wow. Depending upon how many run the event, that’s a serious pay day. I know parts are more expensive as shipping is crazy for international buyers, but I wish I could get 300 people to show up to an event I ran for $55 a pop and get to keep it all. Haha

One more question. If these events did not award WPPRs would everyone still show up?

Thanks again for the insights.


I don’t have the actual budget, But I think that the cost for the hotel that served the venue, the cost for transporting and hiring the machines (70+), material for fixing the machines if they broke, administration, man-hours needed to make it all happen all made this event a loosing project. I’d say that the organizers got little to no money left over. We still show up for it though and we’re all glad if someone will host it next year, but the main drive is not the money. It is after all a once a year event, with preparations for at least half a year before that (if not more)


Okay I see now. This is set up more as a mini pinball expo that just happens to be a tournament. Still impressive to get that many players to come and play for glory.


You could say that, yes. So in hindsight, maybe it wasn’t the best example to explain a normal Swedish pinball event… :slight_smile:


I don’t play for the prize money, full stop. I traveled to Pittsburgh twice this year (took AMTRAK 13 hrs, and stayed in the sketchiest airbnb known to man), flew to Dallas, and I think I netted one $500 2nd place at PAPA? There still could be zero prize money and I’d still outlay the thousands of dollars because I want my name in the PAPA rafters. If pinball gets cool enough that we get giant novelty checks a la the PGA tour great, but all the payouts could go to zero and I’d still attend. I know that makes it a bit of a ‘rich mans game’ because not everyone gets a months worth of vacation days or makes enough to travel several times a year, but if you really love pinball I’d be surprised to see anyone in the top 200 say “hey great event but zero dollars so I don’t want to try to win that trophy”


They also play in some pretty amazing places, this was where the Dutch pinball Open was held:


Oh wow. Yeah for $55 bucks to be there AND play in two events for WPPRs and trophies, count me in.

I misunderstood that this was a typical event that was held regularly, meaning the overhead was much much lower. One look at that picture and I don’t doubt the organizers were underwater on it.


Sometimes tournament fees in Europe go to pinball clubs or associations putting on the event. People here seem to be fine with $X going to these clubs to cover the cost of the event (perfectly reasonable), but also into their account to help fund their clubhouse or association going forward.

I’ve had a similar shock, where I see and event take in $15k and think, hmm welp, thats a lot.

Some events seem to burn that money on expensive venues, others seem to use it to cover the event and pay into their clubhouse.

I don’t really care myself, but if I were running an event, id pay out the cash that doesn’t cover the event its self - and if that is unappealing than I would just charge less so the event is cash neutral.



Assuming there were no legal reason why this was not possible… :slight_smile:


I remember this like it was yesterday . . .


Like I said…


No prizes that year QQ :sleepy: