WPPR formula change to v5.2 for 2016!

Since the release of WPPR v5.1 back in April 2015, the IFPA has continued investigating ways to make the World Pinball Player Rankings more accurate for how we rank players across the globe. This latest change to the formula is not nearly as extensive as the change to version 5.0 where we completely overhauled how the value of a tournament was calculated.

These latest changes will be incorporated into WPPR v5.2 which will be implemented starting January 1, 2016.

Please note that for all 2015 IFPA related activities (qualifying for 2015-16 SCS, 2015-16 ECS, IFPA13, etc), version 5.1 will be used for that qualification process.

Below is an overview of changes for the updated 2016 formula:

  • The IFPA will no longer endorse tournaments that don’t have a DIRECT play component as part of the format. DIRECT play represents multiple players playing against one another on a given game (head-to-head or in a group). Many tournaments use an INDIRECT qualifying system where everyone plays the same game (PAPA style qualifying, Best Game qualifying, Pin-Golf). Those tournaments that use an INDIRECT qualifying system must now run a Finals round that consists of DIRECT play between the finalists to crown the winner. A tournament must advance a minimum of 10% but no more than 50% of those players to the Final. Examples of tournaments no longer eligible for WPPR points would be simple high score tournaments without finals, or Pin-Golf tournaments where you simply play your round/rounds.

  • Originally WPPR v5.0 rules used the longest theoretical path to determine the number of meaningful games used for TGP. This made for situations where the tournament was being given credit for a “longest path” that had an extremely low chance of actually happening. We are changing this to ‘expected value’ for # of rounds played for bracket/strike/match play tournaments. We’ve included a detailed breakdown of a few approved qualifying and finals formats, and the number of games that should be counted towards the TGP value here: http://www.ifpapinball.com/tgpguide2016

  • RATED players will be the metric that is used to determine the Dynamic distribution part of the WPPR points awarded for an event. For example a tournament with 300 players in which only 50 were rated will base the dynamic distribution of points as if it was a 50 player tournament.

  • Match play formats or formats that utilize PAPA style group finals with 4-player groups will be allowed to count each meaningful game played at 2X. For example, a 3-game round with 4-player groups will now count as 6 additional games added to TGP instead of just 3. This is detailed in the TGP Guide under the “PAPA Style Match Play” approved format.

  • The IFPA no longer gives additional credit to matches that are longer than 7 games towards the TGP calculation. For example, best-of-9 matches will still only add 7 games to TGP.

For full detailed information on the 2016 formula, visit (http://www.ifpapinball.com/menu/rankings-information-2016). Any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at ifpapinball@gmail.com. Please check back when for announce that WPPR v5.2 has been implemented for 2016 as the details may always change prior to launch.


Thank you for continuing to iterate over the WPPR system – I really like that you are not afraid of making changes. Some questions:

I’m sad to see that you can no longer do a round of pingolf with another round of pingolf as the finals. I understand that you need to keep things simple, but I still get to be bummed :slight_smile:

For Best Game qualifying: If a player’s two best games are awarded points instead of just the one best game will that count as 2 games for the purpose of TGP? E.g. there are 5 machines available and each player can play each game 5 times with all 5 games counted for points. Will this be 25 games for TGP or 5 games for TGP?

Fantastic to see four-player groups being rated higher than head-to-head matches for match play tournaments! I love four-player groups because I get to talk to my opponents while playing and I hope this will mean more four-player group play in my future :smile:

For four-player group match play: Some groups may end up as three-player groups because the number of players isn’t divisible by 4. I assume that as long as the majority of groups are four-player groups the 2-game bonus applies?

Will the IFPA endorse knockout tournaments with four-player groups (3rd/4th place gets a strike)? If so what does the TGP table look like?

Will the IFPA endorse group brackets other than the PAPA-style match play bracket? E.g. if only a single game is played in each round of the bracket (with 3rd/4th place eliminated)? Will this kind of group bracket get the bonus game towards TGP? How about a group bracket with 5 or 7 seven games played each round of the bracket?

The TGP becomes simpler to calculate in 2016. Maybe it’s time to create an online TGP calculator…

Shameless plug: Apart from PAPA qualifying, double elimination and ladder play all these formats can be played using https://matchplay.events/ :wink:

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Does this apply to tourneys with division restrictions? For example, would Pinburgh need to have 10% of the overall player base make it to the finals? Or is the division restriction technically a round of playoffs already?

We run Pin-Masters, so we’re feeling this too :smile:

It’ll work out for the better I think. We plan on switching to a PAPA style final with the top 16 guys, but instead of doing 4-2-1-0 scoring we’re going to use Pin-Golf scoring for those groups. Hopefully there will be some good drama on game #3 of those rounds since anyone can still earn a score of between 1 and 10 strokes for the hole.

WPPR v5.1 put a limit as to how many times you can play the same game and have it count for this kind of tournament (the max is 3). With that said you could take your best 3 scores for Herb style and it would count as 3 games played towards TGP.

Yep. I think included in the TGP breakdown we say something like “4 player groups whenever possible”, so it has some flexibility for dealing with numbers that don’t divide by 4 easily.

Dave Stewart has been helping a ton on the expected round count for all the strike formats. I believe we only included 2 and 3 player groups for strikes because that’s all that Brackelope supports at this point? I can certainly see if Dave is up for updating his spreadsheet for 4-player groups where just 4th place gets a strikes, 3rd/4th does, 2nd/3rd/4th does, 2nd place gets 1 strike, 3rd place gets 2 strikes, 4th place gets 3 strikes . . . at some point he may tell me to fuck off :smile:

Yep, listing the 3 games per round and 4 games per round on the TGP guide was simply because they are “popular”. You can have any number of games played and the 2X bonus is still in effect.

Is there a way for you to know what formats are getting played the most in your app? I know that when I was throwing the TGP Guide together, we quickly kept adding formats to help out the organizers. If you know a format is getting played often we can add it. TGP Calculator I’m sure will be here eventually . . . gotta save something for v5.3 :wink:

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We consider Pinburgh advancing more than 10% of the players into A division to ‘check that box’ . . . it helps they also then advance more than 10% of those players into the finals.

Ah, that’s a fun way to do it!

I thought you had to have some special build of Brackelope for 3-player groups? I don’t see it as an option in the copy I got from the app store, but I also don’t have the Pro version…

Anyway, I ask because Match Play Events does group knockout tournaments as four-player groups with 3rd/4th place receiving a strike as one of the standard tournament formats. It would just be a bummer if people can’t easily find the TGP value on the IFPA website.

Dave is too nice to say no to you :slight_smile:

It goes something like this:

  1. Head-to-head or group match play qualifying
  2. Single elimination head-to-head brackets
  3. Head-to-head knockout tournaments
  4. Best Game tournaments played in Australia
  5. Everything else

It’s only group knockout tournaments with 3rd/4th receiving a strike that can’t be looked up in (or inferred from) the guide you made. Everything else is already there*. It’s a very exhaustive guide!

  • You might be able to configure some bastard tournament using my app that can’t be looked up, but really that’s the TD’s problem.

We use to make that the IFPA’s problem, but as we move towards these “approved formats” we get more and more likely to just simply not endorse the crazy bastard formats because they are a pain in the ass :smile:

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As an added bonus that attitude from the IFPA will also make it much easier to manage player expectations. A TD can start describing their tournaments as “an IFPA endorsed knockout tournament” and we will all know ahead of time what to expect. It’s a nice bonus, I think

Thanks for iterating and releasing this early for people to poke at :smile:

Related to your question to Andreas and re: Brackelope I think the only issue with that question is that the answer will be something that’s supported by apps is what’s most popular. I’d also be interested to see what tournament formats people have ideas for that could be both fun, non-overly time consuming, and not too hard to run from the TD perspective.

One of the biggest limitations you have with locations is the # of machines vs the # of players. I personally love head-to-head strikes play but match play can get you a ton more players all playing at the same time even if the bar only has eight machines (my local spot).

Oh and an online app to see what a potential tourney could be worth would be awesome :slight_smile:

thinking outside the box on tournaments. We have a wonderful place to play in N.C. in Flippers who has a abundance of games to choose from. I am thinking about with some help from others having a 5 minute pinball tournament on a set amount of games with the highest score getting points for first then on down to the last player with a formula that is fair to all. Then have the top 4 or 8 go head to head in 5 minute games with a double elimination format for final 8. Just a thought on something different and to make the cradle hoggers actually play some pinball. Just kidding all you cradle hoggers.

Play groups of 4 but give strikes to the 3rd/4th place. Problem solved, Gene! :stuck_out_tongue:

I will make this once we get a little closer to January

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I’m not sure I understand the logic behind killing pingolf as a valid tournament format without playing some other “finals” format, especially if you’re moving toward IFPA approved formats as a basis for WPPR rankings. I’m also a bit confused why I can’t let in more than 50% of my players for a final. Running a 24 person league and letting 12 in feels less than accommodating for those taking the time to travel for hours in both directions (and we have about 10 people who do just that, it’s SoCal after all) just to have more opportunities to play, and now I’ll have to tell 4 more people they won’t get to come to the finals event and have another chance to improve on their qualifying rounds.

Personally, I don’t particularly worry about my rankings, but I’m hearing a lot of grumbling from players and I completely understand the frustration. We have a state championship series that feels more like the bay area championship series. Are other states dealing with this? We’re absolutely crippled here in Southern California and the state rankings show it clearly… unless you’re top 100, played well at INDISC, or traveled up to the bay area for CAX and various other tournaments, you have a nearly zero chance at qualifying. The last time I looked, there were a total of 5 players in the top 50 from outside the bay area, but from within the state. There are players currently qualifying that have never left SF for a single event, and that can get as many points for finishing 8th or worse as one of us might for winning an ordinary tournament here. I started my league knowing that many of us wouldn’t have a chance at state without more opportunities to play for points, but after seeing how few it will be worth, I’ll be interested to see how many of the players that are traveling will bother to come back.

We’re not killing Pin-Golf, we’re simply requiring some “DIRECT” play as part of the Pin-Golf format for it to be endorsed. (See my description of how we’re modifying the Pin-Masters format to fit within these rules)

That “DIRECT” play part can still be Pin-Golf ‘style’. The idea being that the ‘everyone plays a round’ and we tally up the scores just takes away from the excitement of what competitive pinball is all about - it’s about situational play against other players on a given machine.

This isn’t a change for 2016 . . .this was part of the WPPR v5.0 rollout. We consider anything less than a reduction in 50% of the field to be “seeding”. You CAN do it for your league/tournament, those games simply don’t get counted as “meaningful” towards TGP.

The idea being that I can’t sign up for your league, gladly take the lowest seed by not playing the entire season, and then “WIN” the league by winning finals.

We let CA handle this within their state. I believe they alternate the State Championship between north and south for this reason, along with the size of the state being such an issue for travel. I believe it is back South for 2015/16, so all those Bay area points are meaningless for people that don’t plan on purchasing a flight to play in the State Championship.

We have issues in IL with “Chicago” and the rest of the state. Many states deal with these problems where a big city can dominate the competitive landscape for that state. We can only say sorry . . . do the best you can . . . petition your local government to break away from the Union and make your own state :smile:


In San Francisco we combat this by having A, B and C finals where only the A finals is the “true” final according to the WPPR authorities. The top 3 B and C finishers get nice plaques just like the A finalists.

It allows us to have a big event with 48 players (16 for each division playoffs) where everybody has something to play for. This is out of a total of 80 players in the league. It works exceptionally well for both experienced WPPR-hunters and rookies.

As a NorCal resident I don’t like it any more than you do. We have a large league in SF with a ton of people playing a ton of pinball. On the other hand the actual championship will be in SoCal next time and not many people will travel down for the championship. I am curious to see how far down the roster California will go to fill the 16 seats. My personal bet is that we’ll comfortably pass #50 to fill the 16 spots.

I think California is in a bit of a special situation. Many states have one pinball center with the rest of the state complaining. In California we have two very active pinball centers 400 miles from each other. Most importantly: Super awesome! But also: A bummer that you can only really participate in the SCS every other year (unless you live in the Bay Area and can travel to SoCal in which case you can participate every year).

Now if @pinwizj would allow states to set their own dates and their own qualification systems we could do a NorCal championship and a SoCal championship with the top finishers duking it out at the California State Championships and hold it in conjunction with INDISC and SF City Champ (to keep dates around January). That way people would have more incentive to travel.

Or we can all meet in Fresno every year. Everyone will be sad that way :slight_smile:

I believe the proposal was for Six Californias, not just two: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Californias


Pinball at the Lake!


Geez Andreas, are you the guy behind this? :smile:

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Besides, Pinburgh already has a direct-play component baked into the format; only tournaments with indirect qualifying are affected by this change.

[quote=“pinwizj, post:13, topic:872”]
We’re not killing Pin-Golf, we’re simply requiring some “DIRECT” play as part of the Pin-Golf format for it to be endorsed. (See my description of how we’re modifying the Pin-Masters format to fit within these rules)

That “DIRECT” play part can still be Pin-Golf ‘style’. The idea being that the ‘everyone plays a round’ and we tally up the scores just takes away from the excitement of what competitive pinball is all about - it’s about situational play against other players on a given machine.[/quote]

I understand you’re not killing the pingolf format, I was purely commenting on the direct play requirement. Pingolf is my favorite format because it combines both direct and indirect play together in one. And though I actually prefer to have a direct play format for a final round rather than just more pingolf (and have set up my pingolf league as such) I completely disagree that direct play is what “competitive pinball is all about.”

[quote=“pinwizj, post:13, topic:872”]
This isn’t a change for 2016 . . .this was part of the WPPR v5.0 rollout. We consider anything less than a reduction in 50% of the field to be “seeding”. You CAN do it for your league/tournament, those games simply don’t get counted as “meaningful” towards TGP.

The idea being that I can’t sign up for your league, gladly take the lowest seed by not playing the entire season, and then “WIN” the league by winning finals.[/quote]

That makes sense but I don’t understand how to count the games then. We’ve played 27 holes for qualifying and have 16/24 making the finals. 9-16 play three holes of pingolf, top 4 advance, 5-8 seeds (plus previously advanced 4) play 3 more holes, top 4 of those 8 join the top 4 qualifiers for an 8 player stampede (everyone plays the same game, highest pingolf score eliminated). So the fewest possible games played in the finals for the winner would be 7. So is the league only worth 7TGP?!?

Doesn’t this accept that the rankings are an inaccurate reflection of the quality of player, and only a reflection of the quality of player in the most active communities? I really think this needs to be addressed, and not by the competitive pinball committee at the CA state legislature… they’re too busy hanging out at Free Gold Watch to be bothered! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

We can agree to disagree about it. The biggest thing with enforcing direct play is that it also helps with the biggest exploit we’ve seen under v5.0 so far.

I think indirect play is great . . . for qualifying. I don’t think it’s great leaving a tournament and not knowing if you’ve won or not, and then finding out a few days later that you may or may not have won.

This is easy . . .

Because you didn’t reduce the field by 50% during the qualifying portion, it’s considered “seeding” and those games don’t count towards TGP. You would need to reduce the field to 12 or less for those games to count. (If this wasn’t correct for the tournaments you ran in 2015 let me know as this MUST be corrected - it’s a 2015 rule)

For 2015 we would look at the longest path of finals, which would be someone playing in that initial round of 3 games, second round of 3 games, and then all the possible games played in the “Stampede” portion (sounds like this is an additional 7 games if you eliminate one player each round?). So that would be 13 games total for TGP.

For 2016 I don’t see any ‘DIRECT’ play going on here, so the tournament wouldn’t be endorsed at all.

The SCS isn’t meant to be a rankings system to accurately reflect the quality of the player (so we GLADLY accept that it’s not incredibly accurate) :wink:

It’s meant to be a qualifying system similar to a normal tournament, except players have the ability to qualify over a bunch of a events earning points throughout the year towards their standing.

Yep! (This goes for a lot of leagues as well which typically run match play style formats)

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