In my experience directors and organizers tend to be people who play a lot, often times are strong players. SCS and Nationals are very appealing portions of the year for pinball players of all different skill levels and dedication, but it’s the ongoing draw for playing a lot to seed high for SCS and increase your chance at nationals - which helps grow pinball. Now with the higher purse that will be the case even more so. Don’t punish the people willing to help run things as volunteers by making it a choice between hosting a good tournament and playing in it. The players who care most about high level competitions are often those who know the rules best, and know which venues are best fit for a tournament of this magnitude. I would never want to ask, or be asked, for a director not to compete if they want to and can manage the tournament. Trust your director to make the right decision, its a volunteer situation, and report something you see wrong if so to be looked into by the IFPA. One day if we have sponsorship and players earn thousands per year for winning and we can have organizers on salary so be it. In the meantime I think of INDISC and Karl and Jim , or IFPA and Josh … the list goes on, I would never want high magnitude tournaments to not be run by the best players in the world, they are the best at doing it - and asking them not to compete would be unfair. Same goes for SCS in my eyes, asking competitive players to step down from trying to compete to run the event might actually hurt the quality of the event when someone else steps in who has less experience. Almost no matter what venue is picked as long as rulings are made fairly it’s the same for everyone. Even if it’s at someones house everyone has the ability to win. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. The system of checks and balances works in that co-directors are around to make rulings on games the main director is playing in, or help counsel on rulings that aren’t crystal clear. I would never run all the events I do if people thought it was unfair for me to play, that’s one of the biggest draws of creating pinball events is competing more!
As 1 seed the last 2 seasons I had to play with 9 games and 10 games which felt like it wasn’t that big an advantage because at some point you’re really just picking from the remaining choices you may not even usually pick in the crunch time of the match. SCS reps should be encouraged to pick a place with as many games as possible, but not every state even has those kinds of options. It is what is it. You can defer and go 2nd which in many cases is as big as an advantage as game choice. As long as a place has 8 games I wouldn’t be mad at the director as long as they work well. The quality of the games is more important to me.
Tough to say, “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” after the format has been changed (fixed?) by the IFPA with dollar entries. The situation has changed with the presence of significant prize money for States, especially for superstates which was the original focus of having a non-playing TD. This one day when players are earning thousands per year, as you mention, will likely be next year for Superstate Champions depending on how dollargate affects total tourneys and tourney entries.
We aren’t talking about having non-playing TD’s for weekly knockouts or leagues or monthly tournaments. We’re talking about State Championships that the IFPA hopes will be considered highly prestigious and fairly lucrative titles.