The role of the state representative is becoming more significant


While I appreciate the conversation about how an IFPA state representative should or shouldn’t act in support of their players, having this thread move in the direction of directly criticizing individual directors is troubling to me. I suggest that if you have a problem with your state leadership, you begin a dialog with them to get those issues addressed. If you do that and don’t feel as if you’ve been able to resolve your issue, then I believe Josh can help you out. What is probably not the most productive route to take is to use this public forum as a place to air your grievances about these individuals.


I don’t think your # of games or setup is the problem - it’s the rules your tournament ran with that didn’t account for practicality. Waiting to play games because of adjacent games is rediculous in a large event. Maybe in semi’s onward or something… but overall? BLEH


I like the idea of Bowen in a command center with each SCS live stream on a screen. If you have a problem Bowen remotely makes a decision.


Also a suggestion for cramped games (assuming this wasn’t tried and there’s room to do so). Taper them or have them lined up slanted. Should allow for more room and let game occur next to each other.


If I could expand on the topic of the thread (and not specifically on TD participation)…

@pinwizj would you be opposed to writing a suggested set of standads or FAQ for state reps? Your availability and advice has always been appreciated but it would have been nice to have something to quickly reference.


Another trick I’ve learned when machines are side by side as close as possible to maximize machines, is to pull every other machine out 12 inches. This creates space.


I didn’t complain about the number of games, the way they were set up or how the tournament was run. Everyone else did. I’ve only been answering everyone else’s questions about our particular SCS.

I had originally inquired about a balanced bank of games that spans all eras to eliminate the appearance of impropriety at a public location that one of the players had significantly more access to than 14 of 15 the other players. This is a young player who gravitates towards modern games playing on a bank with 6 of the 7 games being modern at his “home” field.


Yeah @alwysmooth does this with his games in his ‘fan’ layout. Basically games are staggered outward about 8" or so game to game to give some more offset. It’s more subtle than over the top… but helps a bit.

I think people are just making something WAY harder than it needs to be. 2 groups playing at a time… insane. Micromanaging what game can be played or not… not needed.

This is a local tournament, not the World Series. Place the games in a reasonable format… play the games. If you need to tech a game where you are moving all over the guys game… ok, yes, wait and avoid doing that while people are playing… but ‘no side by side’ in an event that will have upwards of 80+ games played? Someone needs a reality check :slight_smile:

We play tournaments that regularly go 10+ hours… but thats because of the matches and rounds… not super artificial choke points like outlined here. They simply aren’t needed and have a detrimental effect.


Talking things out amongst friends is often a great way to realize you’re not alone.


What kind of standards?

My advice is always to work to try and “represent” your player base as well as you can. Garner as much feedback and constructive criticism as you can.

What frustrates me more than anything else is getting a bunch of email complaints about the State Rep, with the caveat, “Please don’t share this with the State Rep!”. It’s like how are things suppose to get better without an open line of communication between State Rep and player? We’re all adults (except for Colin Urban, and Aleksander, and Escher, and etc) but this stuff is NOT THAT HARD.

The biggest problem we run into is when State Reps get on a power trip about their perceived authority over anything and everything related to the SCS for their state. Ultimately I’m trusting these State Reps to represent me and the IFPA brand to the players in their community. When those players don’t feel they are being represented, I have stepped in on multiple occasions to get things in line so that State Rep is representing that player base appropriately. I understand there are a ton of states with built in pinball drama, and navigating through that stuff while trying to focus specifically on IFPA SCS stuff is a tough cookie.

Right now we have one State where 4 complaints were officially filed from the weekend, and we’re dealing with that drama right now with the hope of things coming out to be more positive for this year.

My plea continues to be for players to reach out in a mature manner to their State Rep if they are not feeling represented. If you have a group of players that feel the same way, get ALL OF THEM to reach out together. CC ALL of them on the same email so there can be an open and mature discussion about the issues at hand. Copy me in if there’s any sense of not wanting to be the cause of any additional drama.

I LOVE constructive criticism because even 20 years into being a TD I’m still able to ‘do better’ the next time. For many State Reps they have far less experience than that, and it’s really up to the players that have been doing this for a long time to be the catalyst towards making those State Reps better TD’s.

I’m rambling now . . . I’m getting off my soapbox . . .


Standards was the wrong word. I was thinking more along the lines of helpful suggestions on game choice and setup, venue choice, etc. Something like the PAPA director’s guide except state rep specific. It would include some of the things you just stated in that post.


As a rep and player, imo it can be a big disadvantage to the TD. After setting everything up, ensuring game settings are correct, games are level (meaning on my hands and knees for 10-20 games getting them level), getting food and drinks, setting up online brackets, printing off everything, checking everyone in, gathering money, stressing about no-shows and ensuring the field is full days leading up to the event, sometimes driving for 2+ hours morning of, etc., etc., etc.

It can really suck trying to change gears from TD in an instant and start playing the first match. Oh yeah, and good luck with practicing beforehand during the practice period like all other players get to do.

So yeah, some of the reasons posted could be an advantage, but once you subtract the exhaustion and effort put into making states a great tournament, it’s overall a disadvantage. At least in well run state venues with a lot of organization.

And as I say this, it is more important to me to run it well than play well; otherwise I wouldn’t do it. In my case, I could have played as #1 seed in a different state and had a fairly good chance to win. Instead I lost first round as seed #2 in the state I ran. Oh well. Mission accomplished with a good state championship. Maybe next year I play better :smile:


As I read the comments it’s becoming clear to me that I worded the initial post in a way that communicates that the TD has an unfair advantage. That issue has been talked to death on another forum topic IIRC and was not the main point I was trying to get across. The bullet points given were just examples of ways that a TD can affect the outcome whether they intend to or not.

If I had to choose a hill to die on (which I won’t because this is pinball), it would be that a state rep also participating in their scs finals is ultimately doing a disservice to the other participants because they might not be focusing their full effort into making the tournament the best it can be. If this some sort of feeble idealism in my part, it’s only because of my ignorance and naivety. :slight_smile:


As an outsider to VA this year, everything I’ve heard about the tournament in Richmond has been positive.


There also seems to be a sense of you have to be a TD in a vacuum. I don’t run any events where I’m the ONLY TD. For SCS Zach was there as the other TD. For Nationals we’ll have me/Zach/Brian Woodard/Shepherd/Becker . . . that’s SIX TD’s.

Our rule is “Never make a ruling alone”. There’s always corroboration between at least two of us that we’re making the correct decision. That usually leads to better chances at getting to the correct ruling, and also gives it a sense of there being a committee that has ‘reviewed the situation and given a ruling’ . . . it’s less personal and typically the ruling is taken in a more professional manner by the player receiving the ruling.


This is the most impactful change we made in our local league some years ago (where we have 8 officials for 65-80 players). It’s very easy to get flustered by yourself – it’s much harder if you have to explain a situation to another official before making a ruling. If you do nothing else, follow this rule.


You could be right there. If the TD is more focused on playing, the tournament could suffer. The other side is the TD sucks in the tournament but it is run well. This year we had a lot of extra help with the venue so it did relieve me a lot, although I was done pretty quickly too :disappointed_relieved:


Helpful suggestions for TDs running SCS
Rule 1 - Don’t be a D***
Rule 2 - Have atleast 8 games with adequate space
Rule 3 - Have 3 TDs with atleast 2 making every ruling. Any rulings for me would be done by 2 other TDs
Rule 4 - See Rule 1


Is this common, in a best of 7, with 8 groups 8 games just doesn’t seem great. I know our rep was looking for locations with 20+ machines. I know we are lucky as there are several private collectors that have collections in this range. But with 7 or 8 machines, one or two breaking is going to cause problems.


Only having 8 games to choose from for SCS Finals is pretty crappy.