IFPA US series vs. IFPA EU series

Continuing the discussion from coming soon - Android app to access IFPA:

[quote=“umbilico, post:17, topic:294”]
As far as I can tell, the “Championship Series” part of a player profile includes only US states, Canada provinces, and the general Europe series, but there’s a bunch of EU countries running their own series, just like US states would, and hopefully there will be some more in the near future. Those don’t seem to show up in the player profiles, and it would be pretty nice if they would.[/quote]

Pinging @pinwizj for clarification here. Replying to that other thread, I noticed that the IFPA EU series is fundamentally different from the US, Canada or Australia series:

US is running separate series for 34 states, with the winners being eligible for the national finals, Canada is running IFPA series in 4 provinces, with no national finals, as far as I could tell, and Australia is just running a general Australian series without breaking it down any further. Europe seems to be a very strange mix of those different concepts: there’s the EU series, which only the main tournament of each country is counting towards, and then there’s several different EU country series, which seem to be completely detached from the main EU series in that the winners don’t seem to be eligible for competing in the EU finals.

I get that this system has somewhat organically grown, and that there’s not a lot of EU countries yet featuring their own IFPA series, but are there any plans to adapt the EU series to the US series in that regard? The situation right now is a bit strange, with some EU countries being evaluated at the same level as the whole EU itself.

If there are any reasons for that except that it just somehow came to be that way, I’d be very interested. I don’t think this is a very good system right now. Sure, the EU is different from the US, but basically the current setup would mean travelling to all the states to compete in the one official tournament there, vs. just doing well in your own state to make it to the finals.

Sorry if I’m not getting this right, I’m a bit confused right now about those different setups.

Canadian provincial champions went to the US nationals this year.

The current “US national” champion of the “state championship series” is actually Robert Gagno, the British Columbia Provincial Champion.

Here’s a ‘helpful’ graphic for @pinwizj :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Things definitely grew organically on the European side.

I don’t pretend to know the pulse of competitive pinball in Europe nearly as well as I do here in the US. After getting the SCS started here in the US, with Becker and Eden piggybacking with the PCS up in Canada, I actually proposed something similar to the IFPA Country Directors about getting something set up in every country we had representation.

It was actually met with little interest. Most countries had their own National Championship and the idea of setting up a process to crown the “IFPA National Champion” didn’t move the needle overseas. Also, the idea behind the SCS being a pure WPPR point accumulation thing wasn’t something that many of the European Directors gave much value to. There was also the logistics of needing to set up a new event for that National Championship also meant more work for each Country Director, and that time and effort can’t be taken for granted.

After failing to get things going on a country by country basis, an alternative proposal was to get all the Country Directors on board for a “European” series. The focus turned to highlighting the most prestigious event in each country with the goal of getting players to travel around the continent to participate against one another at these featured events. I think the interest in the PAPA Circuit here in the US made the ECS being set up in this way a much better sell to the Country Directors and players. We then only needed ONE host for the IFPA European Championship, which put far less burden on the Country Directors to each have to organize something every year. Switzerland jumped in first, and I believe Poland is slated to host the 2015-16 ECS Final.

Fast forward a year, and I think the excitement for what the SCS has done for people on the local level has definitely spread. Some of the more developed European countries (Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, France, Switzerland) haven’t seen the need to jump in yet, but some of the countries have seen that interest grow organically from their player base. You’ll see that some of the Country Series have unique rules (their own scoring system, limited events, etc), while some Country Series operate exactly like the SCS, and it’s pure WPPR accumulation.

The IFPA Country Directors are in constant communication (we have a private forum), and I definitely see things evolving over time, while we discuss future WPPR v6.0 plans :smile:

Here in the US in year 3 we’ve added the Canadian Provinces to our National Championship, and will be adding Washington DC this year as well. Do I see a time where all the European National Champions feed the ECS Final . . . perhaps, but only if it’s what the European Country Directors want. I think an easier transition would be to have the ECS still be a separate series, but have all of the individual European National Series each qualify for their winner for the ECS final as well.


Ah, makes sense. I somehow thought those Canadian players in the finals qualified in the US.

Thanks for the detailed answer, @pinwizj. I can see how some countries might prefer to do their own thing. Keeping those individual series separate for now, but qualifying the winners for the ECS final, sounds like a good idea.

It definitely helps where countries are particularly unhappy with WPPR v5.0 (cough, UK, cough). At least with the UKCS they are allowed to create a custom ranking built by the players within the country supported by the players within the country.

It’s of course really tough to make a world ranking system that is fair for everyone around the world, especially where the access to competitive pinball varies sooooooo greatly depending on where in the world you are.

We’ve seen something similar in Buffalo with the creation of the “Upstate New York Championship”. We were able to create a custom ranking for them that didn’t include anything with the NYC limits, as an answer to a group of players not satisfied with WPPR v5.0 and the ability for NYC to bury the rest of the state with respect to SCS qualifications.

We consider this a great tool in our IFPA toolbox to be able to cater to a specific group of players while not upsetting the bigger picture IFPA campaigns that we have going on globally.


A bunch of us in Australia who would have qualified for some sort of national final (as per the page http://www.ifpapinball.com/rankings/custom_view.php?id=132) were quite keen to see something happen, but we have yet to receive any word on what that would be and I think most have lost that enthusiasm over the course of time. All of us know our country director is a busy man so none of us pressed the point (as far as I’m aware anyway) to any great degree.

Would have been fun though. I love invitationals as, even if you don’t win or get in the top 3, you still feel like you’ve accomplished something by just being invited.

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I’ll reach out to Dan myself about this :smile: