The role of the state representative is becoming more significant


#81

Be glad you had a tournament area at all. Try playing in a public arcade with the general public mixed in all over the place. Add a children’s birthday party and bake for 7 hours at 350. Season to taste.


#82

This is the bracket. I was in the last bracket with all brackets being best of 7 games. Every bracket except one went to 5 or more games and 4 of the games played on the longer side (Guardians, Aerosmith, Medieval and White Water).


#83

But your match didn’t start until all the other first round matches were completed? If so, that’s bananas.


#84

We were able to start while the 7th bracket was still playing.


#85

I’m sorry. I’m just really intrigued/perplexed by this whole situation. Did the 1/16 choose a game first and then the 2/15 group choose a game (as long as it wasn’t the same or adjacent to the first) and then the third group, etc until all available games were occupied (and adjacent games unoccupied)? Then, if the first group finished game one, they would get to choose their second game before the, say 5th group, even chose their first game? If they wanted to play a game in-between two others that were already being played, did the whole tournament have to wait for those two games to finish?


#86

I can tell. LOL

1/16 played several games and then 8/9 started. After one of those two brackets finished their best of 7, the next group was allowed to start assuming they did not choose the game being played or the game on either side of the game being played and so on. Factor in some great play, some long playing games and several brackets going to 6 games and voila! 4 pm. Mine was the only first round bracket that went to 7 games.


#87

That’s probably the worst run bracket I’ve ever heard of. Is the TD new? Are the players involved lobbying for a new state rep next year? If I was in your position I would have pushed for things to be run differently and if they wouldn’t budge, I would have left.

The most surprising part is that there were some veteran players there and it still went down like this. I could see it happening in an SCS with all new players and a first time TD, but it just doesn’t make sense to me that everyone went along with that plan.


#88

State rep has been running tournaments for quite a few years.

It’s easy to say you’d leave but after a year of tournament play invested, your first SCS, a 4 hour drive with gas/tolls and a $200 hotel room, it’s easier to say than do.


#89

Does he use the “no playing next to an active game” rule at his other tournaments, or was that new for this one because the games were close together?

Edit: Those games don’t even look that close together. That’s normal arcade spacing as far as I can tell.


#90

I would have loved to have that kind of space to play in, even if all 7 machines were in use simultaneously.


#91

Sorry this is so long, but it was important to me to express these thoughts.

I wasn’t planning to chime in on this thread online, but seeing posts and replies opining that the Florida SCS event sounded “awful” was “zero fun” , and " lobby to replace the TD" is giving the Florida SCS a bad name for no good reason.

I have played in every Florida State Championship. Here is my perspective (and yes, I won the event, anticipating somebody will probably claim I am biased)

Location: Every…single…year, there has been complaining on the Florida forums and in person about where the event is held. Over the past 3 years, the general (not unilateral) consensus was that Central Florida is a good geographic compromise considering there are players from all regions. Yes, there are still those who clamor for it to be held closer to where they live. What I never understand is: if they don’t want to drive or get a hotel to play for the Florida title, one can only imagine how they feel about going out west for the Nationals.

Why not use venue X?: Also comes up every year. Usually ties right back into location/travel complaints, bias toward certain players, space, quality of games etc.

Timing of announcement of venue: Everything was moved up and accelerated this year. That was due to IFPA scheduling.

Practice time: The games were on location available for play all day Friday (and every day prior for that matter) and for an hour on Saturday before the event. There was only one game that was not at the venue on Friday. Nobody knew the final game list until Saturday.

Pins used: There has always been 7 games used in every Florida SCS. Having a variety of eras and more available would of course be nice, but failing to meet either of those wish lists is not a big deal. Not every bank is going to be a dream bank. Personally I did not like many of the titles used this year, save for 1 or 2, but I feel that a competitor has to be able to adapt to the situation.

Perceived local player advantage: 6/7 games were part of the local arcade. Players who frequent the arcade, have names on the boards or lived within any reasonable commute did not finish in the top 3.

Wait time: The matches were run moving down the standard bracket. 2 groups ran through best of 7 completion each round. As one group finished, another group moved in to play. It has been this way each year.

There was a respect, understanding and agreement among the competitors playing for the State Pinball Championship title that we would not stand right next to each other worrying about slapping hands, getting donkey kicked, dealing with the tech addressing minor repairs or stuck balls right next to a player while competing for the most prestigious trophy in the state.

Further, players were given a chance to pick the game they wanted rather than saying sorry, the game you want is in use, and the adjacent games are off limits, so pick something you don’t want to play so we can get done faster.

The veteran SCS pinball players understand this will be a long day. Many of us who have participated every year are fine with the format. Is it the most efficient? Not at all-we know this. But the first time somebody gets interfered with by a crazy slap save, sweeping ninja kick, a tech removing the glass or whatever, then fully expect the cry of the offended to yell “that’s BS that we have to play on top of each other”. Veteran players know the ins and outs. So choose your poison-something has to give.

Spacing of games: Approximately half of the space in the public venue was blocked off for the SOLE use of the SCS. It would not matter how the game were arranged, eventually someone would want to play the game in use or a game adjacent to one in use. It’s a public place, and still a business. The owners were very cooperative and gracious.

Side Tourney: That was run by the owners, not the TD and was not for IFPA points.

Lobbying for a different TD: Seeing dribs and drabs of information which leads to the suggestion we have another TD is totally uncalled for. The Florida TD does an excellent job, and has done a great job each year at SCS. He has listened to the players’ suggestions and made adaptations to improve things. No matter who is TD, or what is done, there will be someone not happy about something. Perfection is a myth. Change one thing to address the squeaky wheels, and poof, create another situation.

Final thoughts: The SCS is a culmination of battling all year long to earn a spot for the State Pinball Champion title. It is not easy to make it in, nor is going to be easy to win the title. Players get one shot each year assuming they even qualify. Some may only qualify once in their career. The day is going to be a grind. Stamina is part of the process. No way around that. The winner has to play and win 16 head to head games. Call it 10 minutes a game at a minimum and you are in for 3 hours right of the bat if you win every game. Play 20-24 games and call it 4 hours. And people have to eat, use the restroom etc.

The State Championship should not be in the spirit of a 3 strike, afternoon event at someone’s house or barcade on quirky, drainy games just so players can get some WPPR points and move on to something else. The best players in the state are playing and the games are probably not going to be quick.

It is simply not going to be possible to satisfy every dream tourney scenario of perfect location, infinite game choice, 10 feet in-between games, running every match at once, having the tourney ending quickly (and yet allowing players to “play” eat, etc), having games that nobody has ever played on, etc.

The Florida SCS can be improved on as can be said about every event. The concerns expressed in the above posts are legitimate and we can strive for changes, but I really wanted to drive home that it is not reasonable whatsoever to conclude from the limited information posted that the Florida SCS was an “awful day” or “zero fun” or we “need a new state rep”.

Thanks for reading.

Jeff Palmer


#93

I’ve been to (but have not participated in) every Ohio SCS. They’ve always had a combination of games that are next to one another. All 8 groups have always started at the same time. If all 8 wanted to play the same game as their first game, there would be a queue of 7 pairs waiting for that game. It’s always worked fine. The average time per round is always around 2 hours. The picture @jdelz posted above (butt-to-butt) was the only time I can think of where someone would choose to wait for another player to finish their ball on an adjacent game before they started theirs (one player would generally finish a ball on Amigo and the next player up on Demo Man would step up).

With that format, did a lot of players leave/forfeit instead of waiting for their turns to play in the tie-breaker matches?


#94

There were no tie breakers expect to resolve the 3rd /4th positions. Everyone agreed once you are out, you are out.


#95

AHEM
looks at her nails

I agree with most of what was said here. Yes, most people put in the work to run tournaments because they want to play in them. Yes, there is a serious perception issue with a person running a tournament and playing in it at the same time - even though, yes, that is also monumentally difficult, and people who have never tried it don’t see or understand that.

I have 93% faith that Josh has chosen good, attentive state representatives (though that dude he put in charge in Illinois is shady AF). But what you’re describing, @PinballNarcissist , is easily fixed, especially in super states: If you are the state rep, AND you want to play, THEN reach out to any of the other qualified people in your state who are NOT participating and ask them to direct it. The reason your state is “super” is because of your enormous player base. Your player base only gets that large if you have multiple folks running events. Talk to the officials of ALL the leagues in your state, not just the ones you personally know. You are still primarily responsible for all event coordination, but leave the actual tournament directing day of to someone else.

It’s harder in smaller states, yeah. I don’t have an answer there.

I will disagree with something said above: I believe that when a person is running a tournament of a high enough caliber and they WIN, that perception issue can actually do damage. If we want pinball to become a legitimate sport, perception should become an overwhelming consideration. Where’s the line on that caliber? Dunno. Somewhere between “your local casual league” (play on) and “PAPA World Championships” (absolutely not).

I would urge everyone to think about their own personal line, though, and when in doubt to call in outside actors. There are people who don’t really care all that much about playing but who are more than capable of running a tournament, and if they can, they will.

Your SCS representative is… not good.


#96

@pinballcorpse has inspired me to write about my own experiences in Maryland. I do this not without some sense of trepidation, because any criticism of anything pinball in Maryland is often not received well. But reading this thread and looking at all the other State results makes me feel worse and worse about what we’re getting in my home state and I feel compelled to share. I’m going to do this as objectively and generically as I can, but I fully expect to be pilloried for this locally.

I’ve seen a lot of posts about needing or wanting space to play, of having dedicated space in public venues to hold an SCS tournament, or about wonderful private collections to do battle on. Please, if you are happy with what you are getting, please reach out to your state rep and praise them for the job they are doing. Encourage them to continue to find venues who will give the tournament the respect and honor it deserves.

In Maryland, the five SCS tournament locations have included 3 public locations and 2 private residences. Both private residences went off without a hitch in my opinion, and I don’t recall any problems surfaced after the event. Those were the 2nd and 3rd tournaments.

The first year was at a local dive bar with a limited selection of machines, some in disrepair, and no dedicated tournament space. We had to jostle with nearby pool tables, so close that at times we had to stop play or get a cue stick in the ribs or face. That was a rough experience, but most chalked it up to growing pains for the first tournament and all that.

Last year, year four, was held a local mall arcade. I did not attend that year but spoke with many participants over the course of the year and disappointment with that location was nearly universal. It was cramped, there were machine issues, and as far as I know the location was not dedicated to the SCS tournament.

Full disclosure time: I was involved in the selection process for this year’s tournament, which ultimately ended up at a combination local seafood restaurant/bar/arcade. We as players were under the impression that we would have use of the party room here to move games into and have a semi-private area to hold the tournament. This did not materialize, as the location booked a children’s birthday party in that room at some point, kicking us out, but we as players did not find out until the day before. The public arcade space is rather crowded, with three walls of pins (20+ in total) and many rows of video games in the middle. It’s typical for backboxes to be touching, that’s how crammed in the machines are to maximize the number of machines in the space. On a Saturday afternoon, it is typically quite busy with locals. Throw in the birthday party plus the State tournament and it was quite crowded. Tournament machines were simply tagged with signs in the open arcade saying “reserved for tournament play,” sprinkled about, most with “open” machines next to them for any of the general public to play. The game list was announced many weeks prior to the tournament, yet repairs to these games for issues reported weeks ago were happening literally minutes before we started. Other games that had received recent full shops weren’t used at all. These are the conditions we contested the Maryland SCS under this year. To the location, it was just another Saturday.

I was able to follow along with neighboring states via Facebook updates, Challonge brackets, things like that, which was quite fun. Maryland had zero social media presence this year, and only an initial, unpublished, and unmaintained bracket. I still have no idea how the bracket went down. We only found out who won through friends’ FB postings.

EDIT: Apparently there was a Facebook group where announcements were made, I just wasn’t part of it or aware of it.

I see a lot of players raising concerns about issues in their states. I do not mean to diminish or dismiss those concerns at all, they are all completely valid for everyone that raised them. I guess the moral of this story is that this Maryland player would have loved to have those problems instead.

I now don my flame-retardant full body suit, have at it.


#97

Not sure where this is coming from, and hopefully this does not turn into an ugly thread.


#98

It’s coming from his entire saga. He has serious and legitimate complaints with how his championship series was run; I was only quoting the last post he made in order to respond to his series of posts on the subject.


#99

State Rep selection process:

Step 1 - A state exists with no rep

Step 2 - Someone, Anyone sends me a message about being interested in helping set up the state to be part of the SCS

Step 3 - Collect underpants

Step 4 - ???

Step 5 - Profit


#100

Yeah, but wasn’t the initial round of picking way more gerrymandered? You absolutely prioritized Pittsburgh over Philly, and yourself over @Smack847 . The vote was RIGGED.


#101

Josh put me through a rigorous approval process. I had to wash and wax his car, sing Golden Earring’s Twilight Zone to him softly as he fell asleep one night, and had to swear a blood oath to uphold the IFPA mission and values.

I’ve thought about letting the state rep mantle pass on to another here locally, but I just don’t see anybody who is quite ready to do so. It’s not difficult, but it does take a certain mindset to do it in a way that’s as fair as possible to everybody in the local scene. I goofed and sort of allowed myself to be talked into choosing a certain venue for our event. The venue worked out great, but one of our players that almost qualified (thank goodness he didn’t) is a minor, and we held the event in a bar. Utah laws prohibit minors from being in a bar. Next year I’ll be more mindful of that, but I was legit the only person that was concerned about that issue. That worries me a bit.