Stern Circuit Event Qualification


If BOP was classified as a major or PAPA was moved there . . . you could argue the same exact thing.

Pinburgh didn’t need to be classified as a Major when it came on the scene. It dropped the mic on what an event can/should/would be to get the top players to show up.

I have no doubt INDISC has the potential to grow into that, as do a couple of European events on the other side of the pond. Get there first on your own merits and then we’ll talk.


PAPA sends out surveys already…


If Pinburgh only had one division would it still attract enough top players to be considered a Major?


It would be an interesting experiment to have INDISC as the 2nd US major until PAPA returns (no stones throwing please). Would the “major boost” by itself be enough to attract enough/most of the high ranked East/Midwest players over to CA?
Travel distance is an important factor for quite a lot of people, waiting for a critical mass of people to travel cross country to make INDISC a 3 year running event at 75+ points may never happens due to simple logistics.

No main stream events has actually met that qualification without being a major and/or historical PAPA gold standard, have they?


Pinball Expo 2014 was above 75 WPPR’s.

We’ll see what this year’s Expo comes in at with some ‘new top players’ coming in for the Power100 as part of that weekend.

(The other +75 events like LSC and NWPC were in conjunction with the IFPA WC)


An alternative to the Major designation could be to expand for Non-Majors the “64 player” count of players whose rankings count to, say 1/3 or 1/2 of the head count, if that’s higher, up to some other limit, say 100.

But otherwise, something is a major when there’s almost no debate about it or vs. some other possible choice.


I’ve heard much of this myself. I try to tell people to speak with their actions. They don’t like an event and complain so much about it but go back every year. When the events are worth so many points they disregard everything and play anyways. If everyone keeps doing that same thing they are the event keeps getting bigger while still being a bad event in their eyes. Then points go up even more and and keep compounding. Organizers won’t see that they need to hangs because number are wpprs keep rising.

Just like you said. Speak with your actions. Play in events that are fun. Don’t play in events because they are valuable only.


And to the original topic. When it was just the papa circuit this was done solely on critiquing of the event from surveys by the players in each event. None of these factors you mention were part of the survey ratings.

I don’t see much merit in a lot of these. Hours of streaming for merit points? We run 24 hours non stop. We do stream it. Do we have like commentary the whole time? Hell no. Format matters too. Pump and dump for 3 days straight? Who wants to watch that many hours of repetitive grinding solo gameplay? Not me. It’s all in context.

Prize pools? Again this is just and inflated thing. Everyone charges differently. Mag fest was pointed out as they can’t payout. Other events have a low entry free and low payouts? Do we want everyone to jack tournament fees to 200$ just to boost the merit value?

Being attached to shows is a double edged sword. As the organoer of a circuit event. It attaches to the show it allows us to Fully focus on the tournament itself and not it’s surroinsongs. I’m able to make sure people have fun PLAYING the tournament. What they do outside of it isn’t my business :). On the other side I run a tournament at a major show as well and it has a chance at also being on the circuit. This has a whole different approach. I have to cater my tournament around the show. Schedule the hours within certain restraints. Be aware of what else the show is offering and allow people to also partake in that if they choose too. Just because a show is attached doesn’t mean the event has more merit. Same with having several “side” or “classic” tournaments. Some players like those. Some don’t. Sometimes it’s fighting for people’s time. At a show multiple tournaments really kill people chances to enjoy everything the show has to offer. We’ve been lucky and I think struck a good balance at lintastic where people fully enjoy what the show has to offer but also get to play in a fun and fairly valuable tournament.

Sponsorship is great for helping boost prize pool or covering operating costs sure but it’s by no means necassary. I e enjoyed not having sponsors myself so far as I don’t have to worry about selling my soul to them for a few dollars :slight_smile:

Number of players is the only one I kinda see but even then it’s hard. Not many places can fit over 60-70 players besides shows. We squeeze 100 into the 24 hour. I’d love to expand but our facility is at max capacity with all the games needed for a matchplay event. I wouldn’t knock a kick ass event down if it had a cap of 64 due to size of the venue especially if it had like a 400 person waitlist.

Most of these things I think have pros and cons and doesn’t do much good for rating events for the circuit.

If you wanted to do something where on top of current system there is also the survey system of the players at the events make it a 0-100% rating or something and if the events average rating drops below a certain threshold it gets knocked off for a year or two and then can come back on if the points are still there. That might work ok.


shoot, if anything I think location should play a part. Half of these tournaments are all in the NE. If you live their it makes things much easier and cheaper for you to play in multiple tournaments thus have a much greater chance of qualifying.

Here is a map I roughed in of locations:


Top 100 players in US/Canada using IFPA profile addresses…


Unless I’m missing something, several players are missing from the SF bay area.

I don’t think there’s any question that there are more players and more location games on the west coast. The pinball map and tournament attendance shows this. The first Golden State Pinball show event in May was 100% charity, no cash payouts, yet 169 folks competed. The same weekend, the NYC Championship had 84 players and nice payouts. If player or location count mattered, half of more of the SPC would be on the west coast.


I can see it now, there’s going to be a lot of pissed off people when Delaware hosts one of these events :grin:


We should get NYCPC in there next year


Little late to this fun train, but I did want to capture this.

I think it matters from a visibility perspective. Maybe we could start thinking about ways to not “Bob Ross” it for hours on end, and instead do some background on players during that time, check in with different games - you know - bring some ENERGY to the broadcast! Bring in more people to watch, create a better presence, and for god’s sake put some people in the booth with some character. Go watch E-sports broadcasts and you’ll see what I mean. They need color and they need emotion. The only reason we’re constantly “Bob Ross-ing” is because we aren’t challenging ourselves to do better. It’s not an audience education thing, and it’s not a “pinball is complicated and boring thing”. Video games suffer from the same challenges, and they seem to nail this pretty hard!

More about the players, the action, the competition, and less about what you ate for dinner, the last game you bought, “here’s what i would do’s” et al.

Don’t want to derail this thread from SPC, but I think it definitely ties in, I’m of the opinion that every event on the SPC should include minimum streaming requirements, and have some consistent, recognizable talent to continuity of commentary.


Are we expecting people to do it for free? Are we expecting people not to compete and become full-time streamers? You are talking about increasing an already burdened broadcast experience by threefold and reducing the broadcasters in the booth to the good ones.

I think pinball would benefit more from losing the stream altogether and running a 30 minute post-production piece than from running a continuous qualifiying stream. The old PAPA / Pinburgh streams done with voiceovers are quite good.