suggestion for 2018 SCS


All joking aside, there does appear to be a conflict here. If I’m under 21 and want to play in a local tournament that happens to be held at a local bar and I’m denied entry, have I truly been given an equal opportunity?

I’m not suggesting that bar tournaments be excluded, but I do wonder about this sometimes.


Anything that protects us from @Sparky7 longer I’m in favor of :wink:


This is the one exception we make . . . we can’t force that bar to break actual laws just to accommodate our IFPA rules.

With the growth of public tournament play being very bar-heavy, I felt okay rolling with this as an exception.

So yeah . . . I’m a total hypocrite :slight_smile:


Fair enough. I figured that was the case.


Intra-state rivalry is fun, but I hate seeing it turn into actual bad feelings, and I think accusing people of cheating is a good way to cause bad feelings! Is the concern that there is actual “cheating” (breaking IFPA rules or falsifying results) going on, or is it more about “exploiting” (TDs do whatever they can within the letter of the rules to maximize tournament value)? The latter is the mole that the IFPA is constantly whacking, and it’s a problem (sometimes), but it falls short of cheating, in my view. The former is really serious and I would hate to see people publicly accused of it (or implicated in it) without solid evidence.


I don’t really care that much about this issue (although I do think it’s a strange exception…why give the best players, who already earned points along the way to reaching the circuit/series finals, the opportunity to earn even more points not available to the rest?), but for the sake of argument…

I’ll run a 128 player tournament in January and award points for it.

Top 64 qualify to play in the February tournament, which awards points.

Top 32 qualify to play in March, which awards points. Etc, etc.

The players still left in July got to play in six tournaments that had a pre-determined restricted field of players.

(A less ridiculous example would be; 128 person tourney that awards points and top 64 qualify for the Winners Tournament the following month. Both tourneys would be max value (since base value caps at 64), but most people can’t play in the second one because they didn’t do well enough the previous month. A state that did this every month could essentially offer double points to the best 64 players…points not available to everyone else). (Also ignore the fact that few states could get 128 people to show up each month). :slight_smile:


I think this is a useful/logical exception, because without it there are hundreds, if not thousands(?) of events that would no longer be allowed to award WPPRs.


Assuming the series of tournaments met our requirements outlined here:

You will get sanction for the 128 person tournament and none of the subsequent tournaments after it. Your single tournament wouldn’t meet the requirements for a “series” of events that would warrant the 64 person tournament afterward.


The 32 player tournament in March made up of the subset of the 64 player tournament in February would also get a thumbs down from us :slight_smile:

You know . . . unless Comet Pinball wants to become an IFPA sponsor, and then all bets are off on what we’re willing to accept :wink:


I figured that was just a given :smiley:


In fencing, the US national championship for one year is the first event that counts towards qualification to the next year’s championship. The 2015 world championships (limited to 4 entries/country) was the first event counting towards qualification for the 2016 Olympics. It’s not that unusual for individual sports.


I’d never seen that series/circuit definition before. Thanks!

So, I could run a Boulder Championship (top X number of players based on points earned in Boulder County events during the 2018 calendar year) that would be for WPPRs…as long as no more than 50% of the events included in the circuit were held at a particular venue?



Not only COULD you . . . you SHOULD! :slight_smile:


And assuming the events are across state lines this wonderful final event would count for both states?


Counts in the state where the FINAL is held.

For example, Nationals from this year counts towards the Texas SCS for the 2017 season.


Okay thanks.


Would inclusion in my circuit by some sort of whitelist ahead of time, or based on a radius, or all events at certain locations…? I’ll do whatever is easiest from a technical/db perspective.


We can filter by “City” very easily if you wanted to limit it to any events within a specific city or cities.

We can also filter by “Tournament Name” that do have to be added manually. I’ve volunteered to do that for anyone looking to create a custom Circuit/Series.


Sharing thoughts on a few items:

  • Number of people - I am in support of an expansion to 24. Regardless of 16 or 24, I have a second post below on a suggested format change.

  • State declarations or restrictions - I am against anything that puts restrictions or forces declarations of which state you are competing in until the entire results of that year are complete. Anything that forces a person to declare early in the process introduces a potential negative incentive not to go for events that are out of state. I live in Philadelphia, and there was recently the very first event in Delaware held two weeks ago. There were some Delawarians, but people from PA, NJ, NY, MD, and VA showed up for the event. There’s still regular ol’ WPPR points to go for, but there’s now there’s an extra incentive of the potential for a DE tournament. If I, or many of the others, were “locked in” to a state, it’s less of an incentive to go if SCS is what we’re chasing. The fun (and the value) of the current system that it’s all positive right now. Every event is helping me gain something in some kind of standings, whether it be my Top 20 card, or the SCS where every event counts for something.

  • I am in support of a structure that rewards regionally-based performance or splits a state into sub-regions. That being said, I am having difficulty in determining a way to achieve this that does not add a great deal of overhead in determining how a state is broken up, how many sub-regions a state is assigned. That being said, here are a few thoughts that I am sharing:

The first thing that we have to consider is how many spots will be in Nationals? Right now, one state gets one spot, right? The premise of splitting up states into sub-regions implies that each State would then get multiple spots into Nationals, correct? Do you determine the number of National spots and divvy up the extras to specific states, or is it a bottom-up approach that says if you make a certain criteria, you’ve earned extra regions and we add those up to determine the number of spots for Nationals.

Let’s assume that you pre-determine the number of spots for Nationals. Let’s say you determine that it’s “Every State with enough tournaments gets at least one, and we’re going to give out 25 extra spots”, similar enough to how the number of representatives are determined in the US House of Representatives.

You then have the fun task of figuring out who gets those extra, and my proposal is that it’s based on the aggregate number of points earned by the state in the year prior.

Let’s pretend it’s something like the following:

CA - 10,000 pts
WA - 9,000 pts
TX - 8,000 pts
PA - 7,000 pts
… etc, etc.
DE - 100 pts

Then, you award the extra spots in proportion to the states that have earned the most. CA and WA get three regions, TX and PA get two, etc., and you run down the list.

I don’t know what those state totals look like and how distributed the number of points are by State.

At that point, the State Rep (or Reps at this point?) get to declare their regions. PA gets a Pittsburgh and a Philly. When you register an event moving forward, you declare not only a State, but a sub-region if it applies to that state. The event organizer declares which sub-region it counts for, and it needs to pass a “smell test” where events that are in the Philly suburbs shouldn’t be trying to claim that it’s a Pittsburgh event and vice versa. This gets re-evaluated once a year based on the prior year’s performance

What I think this doesn’t address is where there is a high number of points in a state, but not enough geographic regions to warrant extra spots. Let’s say CO “earns” two spots, but it’s really just the Denver region. What about the opposite? Let’s say Ohio only “earns” two spots, but how do you split Cincinnati/Columbus/Cleveland?

Any way you slice, it’s going to add extra work to determine sub-regions, decide which regions those are, and extra leg work on the part of the tournament organizers and the IFPA.

Another reaction is to say, forget about sub-regions, we’re only going with state lines. I should then focus on a Philadelphia-regional set of events or introduce some kind of City Championship concept and hope that we’re putting together enough high-value events to get people to qualify for States.

Yet another reaction would be to petition your sub-region for US statehood, and while putting together your marketing materials your sole platform is “so we can have our own State Pinball Championship”.


One I would like to put out there is the format of the State Championship itself. One thing that has bothered me about it is that it’s a straight-ahead single-elimination, and if by chance or by choice you go up against a monster player in the first round, you’re one-and-done.

A idea I am proposing is to emulate the structure of the World Cup with a group-play round, but you still have individual match-ups in a round-robin.

A) 1-8-9-16
B) 2-7-10-15
C) 3-6-11-14
D) 4-5-12-13

Within the Group, you have six match-ups that happen. Best-of-3 matches, where it’s the same “top seed picks Game #1, with loser picking next game” format.
1 v 8
1 v 9
1 v 16
8 v 9
8 v 16
9 v 16

Then, you rank the four contestants by # of Match Wins. Top two move on.

If there are ties, you resolve them by looking at the head-to-head of the people involved in the tie, and if that ends up being circular (A beat B, B beat C, C beat A), then a once-game playoff to decide.

You then resume best-of-7 with the remaining eight.

You can re-seed at that point with the remaining competitors 1 to 8 based on incoming seed, or emulate the World Cup where your finishing place in the group determines where you go in the bracket. As an example:

A1 v D2
C1 v B2
B1 v C2
D1 v A2

Why I am in support of this format:

  • You play (at a minimum) three different opponents across at least six games, as opposed to (at a minimum) one opponent for four games. If I’m going to travel a great distance to attend a SCS, I’d like to get at least some variety in opponents and games.
  • At most, this only adds +2 games (max 9 vs. max 7) to the opening round, and then everything else proceeds as normal.

If the field were to be expanded to 24 as is being discussed, something similar could also be done, either by expanding play so that everyone participates in the opening round-robin, or the Top 8 are rewarded with a bye and bypass the round-robin.

Another item that I am not sure if this happens or not, do the players eliminated early on play out for position? If I get knocked out in Round One, it would be fun to play out finishing position (perhaps in a best-of-5 or best-of-3 format to speed it along) among those who were also eliminated that round. Again, if I’m making the investment of the trip it would be fun to get more games in.