Player Profiles

I’d like to gauge people’s interest in and suggestions for expanded player profiles. These could be either in a new database or, if Josh is okay with it and Brian has the time to help link it, incorporated into the IFPA database. I hope to be on air for the Women’s and Nationals events next week. One thing I’ve heard from several people is that it would be nice to have some background on the players to chat about during the broadcast of their games. What I’m asking here is, is this a good idea or not, and if so, would you want to provide your information or not and what items to include. I can think of several possible things off the top of my [slowly balding] head. Many of these would of course be “if applicable,” and a player could fill in as few or as many items as they chose, and at their preferred level of detail [e.g. if you own 40 games, maybe just list your favorite few and the total count]. Comments?

  1. Events / Shows [may or may not have had a tournament in which you participated]
    a. first
    b. favorite
    c. most memorable

  2. Tournament experiences
    a. first
    b. first win
    c. most memorable
    d. most satisfying
    e. noteworthy matches

  3. Machines - owned
    a. first
    b. own now
    c. others you used to own worth noting

  4. Machines - play
    a. favorites for fun
    b. favorites in competition
    c. favorite hard-to-find ones you look for at shows
    d. favorite mode or shot
    e. favorite machine call-out

  5. Players
    a. who you learned from
    b. whose style you try to emulate
    c. favorite opponents [and / or least favorite]


It was definitely interesting when Karl added some additional information on the player profiles during streaming at INDISC last year.
Your list cover a lot of topics but since it’s up to each player to fill in as much as they want I think it would be fine

I think that’s a great idea. I think in general the “color” portion of broadcasts have been lacking and it would definitely make things more interesting for viewers…especially when you are on hour 2 of a Godzilla match. :)smirk:

I like the concept, and your suggested list

Thanks for making this post Bob.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how does pinball commentary become better, and this kind of thing is a step in the right direction. I thought what happened for this last INDISC was great - player photos, some information, and the telestrator all go a long way towards making the viewing experience better.

Hopefully to not derail from this too much, but what’s hard sometimes is that the actual commentary is, from one tournament to the next, wildly inconsistent. Commentators should know some basic information: 1) who’s playing; 2) what ball they are on; 3) what machine they are playing. You might laugh, but these mistakes happen quite a bit. Also, knowledge of basic game rules/game state should be pretty much required for people commentating. I have seen many a stream where the commentator(s) get something as simple as what multiball someone is playing, when it is displayed on the DMD camera.

Keep in mind these people are volunteers and not professional commentators, so mistakes are bound to happen.

It’s a great idea. It would be nice for commentators to have a quick resource nearby to reference as a new match is introduced.

Give one commentator access to the chatroom to field any questions and concerns, if for no other reason than for quality control.
A color commentator will have close access to these player profiles to chime in during slow points in a game.
Play by play announcer can keep his/her eyes on the game and keep everyone informed.

yeah I like a balance of game knowledge and play by play. It’s nice too when the person commentating might say what else could be done. I feel like when Steve Bowden and Sean Grant are on they do a great job. More color is also nice for sure! Definitely appreciative of all the work everyone does for these broadcasts. Sometimes there are folks on who seem to enjoy being on air more than providing good commentary though :slight_smile:

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lol @genex if i have to pick my favorite pinball commentator lineups…

Karl and Modica is almost like a classic Abbott and Costello routine

Any combination of bowen, grant, bowden, and schober you can’t really go wrong.

I know he’s taken a back seat as of late, but I’d also like to hear more Steinman from time to time.


While it’s not intended to be a permanent repository, I did ask via Josh for Nationals/Women’s/Pin-Masters attendees to fill out a smaller profile and to send a headshot (credit to @stevevt for getting the ball rolling). Unfortunately I’ve received only a small percentage of responses at this time, and it only covers a small portion of what Bob’s asking for. I don’t know if players are reluctant or simply don’t care, or perhaps they haven’t had the time to fill it out. Only one more week to go.

The larger issue is having the information ready to go in an easy to read format during a broadcast. Adds another layer for the commentators to worry about and keep track of. I have hooks into my finals bracketing to show players on the current game but for events where that’s unavailable, such as Nationals, it’s going to be a bit more hectic to find the current player information.

For those curious:


In my case, I’ve just been putting it off. Maybe I should do it tonight.

Hopefully most others will get around to it soon, because I think it’s a great idea and would love to see everyone fill it out.

We had a laugh at LAX.

The scoring software matched the player numbers with the picture of the player that had that number at INDISC. For example, every time I entered a score for Phil Harmon, I got to see Gene X’s smiling face,

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As someone who also may soon need sunblock for the top of my head, I’m fine without the extra details. They are nice, but I’m pretty much focused on the game rather than the commentators. Most of the tourneys I watch are the ones where I know a good number of the people competing, so the extra details aren’t really news.

On the commentators, I haven’t heard one yet that I didn’t like. Johnny gets a little goofy sometimes, but he doesn’t need a camera or microphone near him to do that. Makes me feel like I’m there. And as I’ve mentioned before, I prefer the commentary be higher level. If you don’t know what a death save is, go practice some more before you get into the competitive side. I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but it’s how I feel. I very much don’t want to see pinball become a spectator sport. Small broadcasts, sure. ESPN Ocho, no thanks.


Double D’OH!

I sent MHS an email about using the profile pics…Why didn’t anyone tell me, I would’ve turned them off :laughing:

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I did my best to make my INDISC photo as awkward as possible when setting up my profile. So my apologies to player 118. :grin:

Yes, there was more Godzilla than we in the booth wanted. Midway through one of the rounds [not the tiebreaker], the chat room asked if we could switch out from Godzilla, but our director declined. I’m sure he had his reasons.

I like the idea of this and agree that it will help to make watching live competitive pinball more interesting.

Karl, because it was funny!

I saw at least one pic that was amusing. Not sure if it was you. If we’re gonna do this, I encourage guys (and gals) to make goofy faces when being photographed. Might as well have a laugh before the match begins. d:^P

Bob, the reason for not changing is because they want to focus on a group to completion. While it may be dull at time, it does allow for a complete picture of a group to be painted. You never know when a drain is coming, and we don’t have instant replay yet :wink:

Karl, it wasn’t a big deal. The pictures only showed up on the tablets, and allowed for some motivational speeches.