WPPR formula change to v5.2 for 2016!

Yeah that was something I felt at first when WPPR 5.1 came around. I felt like we weren’t getting the value because we were getting 120 players, but not that many rated players since we are in such a rural location (Fremont, Michigan). Instead, we have seen general attendance increase, as well as repeat attendance. We are almost to the point of having 64+ rated players in the Fremont area!

So… I encourage you to run more events if possible. It has worked for us. We’ve had 20 person events all the way up to 150 people. Those 20 person events with a more casual format can seem meaningless from a points perspective, but they are what help grow the rated player base and get them hooked on pinball.

Edit: Just did some quick math and we went from 10 rated players to 38 in one years time. With about 20 or so more possibilities that could be rated once we run our event this month.


I know this is just rubbing salt in the wound, but there are actually 8 healthy leagues in the Bay Area. Not all are WPPR-leagues, but they all contribute to the local pinball community. Belles & Chimes is the prime example of a non-WPPR-league (women’s league == no WPPRs) which continually feeds new players into the greater competitive pinball scene.


True, but quite a few tournaments I’ve seen announced recently (within europe) have a cap on the participant number either at 64 players or lower. I just don’t think I see the need to disregard non-ranked players towards the base tournament value. The ranking and rating of the players participating should ensure that tournaments attended by the top players should be valued higher anyways.

I think it would provide more incentive for TDs and ranked players alike to pull more people into competitive pinball as everybody would gain from it.

Please take this as constructive feedback, I can only imagine how much work goes into the WWPR formula :smile:

We would love to have all players add to the base value except . . . Super League.

Feel free to read back through the launch of WPPR v5.1 as to the reasons why we felt it was important for us to make this change.

How are “direct matches” handled for formats like Pinburgh, where some machines may be played as multiple 1/2 player games to handle machine quircks/ old EMs?

Essentially, are there circumstances where more players than the max number on the smallest available game can be considered to be in direct play?

Even though a game is a single player EM machine it can still be used for direct play. E.g. in Pinburgh you may play Aquarius as four one-player games, but points are still awarded 3-2-1-0 according to finishing order.

I can definitely understand the need to prevent exploiting the system. It just sad that this has to impact the rest of the TDs trying to do it by the book.

Presumably there’s a limit to this, as that approach degrades to high score style at a certain point?
(40 players all play the same machine, top player gets 50 points, second gets 45, third gets 40, 39,38,…)

Is there just a flat cap that direct is limited to a max of 4 for historical reasons? (my hypothetical all sega 6 player games format would be crushed, if it wouldn’t be such a laughably bad idea for other obvious reasons :smile: )

The “direct” cap being 4 people is definitely based on historical reasons. While there are some games that allow 6 players at a time, the majority of games out there (including 100% of games being made today) handle 4 player max play at the same time.

Okay, so max players in a group for it to be considered direct play is 4 players? Might want to add that explicitly to the wording.

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Verbiage updated!

I have to disagree with your analogy, all your examples are of team sports where the league tables are based on head-to-head (direct) matches. Also they are sports where one sides performance will directly effect the opponent. A better analogy would be golf ( each player plays the course) they also have match play events as well as the standard 72 hole (league style) format. Yet at the end of the fourth round there isn’t any play-offs (except ties).

I understand the desire to reverse the ‘Super League’ trend, but feel that it would be easier done by only using players (for TGP and points spread) that have competed in a minimum of 50% of games in that league. This way players that only play one game a month out of 25 wouldn’t effect the WPPR so badly whilst not destroying the league format entirely. If the players all started playing 25 games a month then surely the IFPA would not object anyway?

I can’t speak for other countries, but in the UK the leagues are the best path into competitive pinball for new players because of the nature of having regular meets at the same location. I find it bizarre that the governing body is no longer endorsing these when the idea is to further and promote pinball.


What do you do with a player that doesn’t meet this 50% requirement, but wins the tournament? Does he get ‘not listed’ and the highest finisher with >50% games played win the event?

How do you monitor organizers to ensure that they are only submitting standings for the players that played in more than 50% of the games?

What happens to the motivation of those players that will never have the time to be able to play 50% of the games but are genuinely interested in trying as hard as they can, and are okay with their finishing position based on the perhaps 30 or 40% of the games they played? Should we be creating a barrier to entry for those players to becoming official world ranked players?

I agree the best path into competitive pinball for new players is having regular meets at the same location. We still plan on endorsing tons of events that have this happen. I would feel more sympathy for the tournaments/leagues struggling with the direct place necessity if I felt like it was huge undertaking to add to a format of an event. As an organizer myself that runs a monthly indirect style event at the same location, I’m faced with the same challenges. The addition of one or two playoffs rounds to decide the winner via direct play isn’t turning me into someone that no longer sees value in running the event.

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There is no reason this has to be a permanent situation! You could have said the exact same thing about Bay Area just a few years ago.

100% agreed that Bay Area residents are incredibly lucky to have so many awesome locations to play pinball and so many events to compete in.

But the thing to remember is this: that didn’t happen by magic. We have a thriving pinball culture because a lot of people worked and continue to work very hard to build one.

San Francisco has a huge organized league because @JimiWolf started one and he and a lot of other people spent time and energy building up a player base. It’s not like they had 80 players on day one! The Bay Area went from hardly any tournaments in 2011 to 27 in 2012 to 28 in 2013 to 47 in 2014 to 42 already this year with 12 more on the books (and at least 6 more in planning that I’m aware of) because @JimiWolf, @genex, @dropshot, @nicoleanne before she moved away, me, and many other people who I don’t think are on here spent a ton of time and energy organizing and promoting them. We have all these locations with multiple well-maintained machines because a bunch of people who love pinball harassed location owners and operators and anyone else who would listen until it happened.

I totally get how it can feel frustrating to look at the IFPA calendar and see so many NorCal events and think it’s just impossible to compete - I have similar feelings when I think about what goes on in the Pacific Northwest.

But try looking at it this way instead - you have that much more room to grow! It’s 100% possible and it doesn’t take anywhere near as long as you think. Organize an event if you can, ask how you can help out those who are putting on events if you can’t, focus on having fun, and the WPPRs will come in time.


The nature of this city, and how spread out it is, and how difficult it is to get around, will always be a HUGE barrier for SoCal to achieve the level of participation you have in the bay area.

The other problem with So Cal is that we have too much ‘Beach Weather’! :wink:

I agree with this, and we already do this for our league. Players who do not attend over 50% of NEPL league sessions are not eligible for finals and are not listed in the league’s report to IFPA.

This seems like a very simple solution to the Super League issue, where the majority of players do not play even 20% of the games.

I agree with Josh that this could become a monitoring issue, but the same could already be said for just about every event: submissions come in independently and are trusted as accurate. There are ways to determine whether submissions are truly accurate, but in general, you have to trust TDs’ submissions, or the whole system breaks down.

To Josh: for players not meeting this requirement, you’d treat them identically to what you plan to do for unrated players. The condition is then about play, not about a count of previous events. If a player won a tournament without playing 50% of the needed qualifying games (how??) it would be identical to what you plan to do when an unrated player wins a tournament.

Long-term, I also feel the “rated player count” is short-sighted about the impact of Super League. While most one-off Super League players do not return month to month, those that do will become rated, and the league will easily reach the same level of WPPR madness in 2016 as 2015. Using the count of players who competed in a minimum of 50% of games will more realistically depict the size and activity of all leagues, and will encourage league administrators to ensure all players have a true competitive experience.


I think even a general “Tournaments or leagues that utilize tactics like blatantly padding the player pool with non-competitors will not be endorsed by the IFPA.” Give a few examples like handing out free single entries at shows or signing up anyone who walks off the street. I think it’s really clear when this is happening and when the spirit of competitive pinball isn’t being honored to pad WPPRs and I’d rather there be less specific language that covers people from just coming up with new ways to game the system than specific rules that can hurt leagues and tourneys that are competing in the spirit of the IFPA.


I love your thinking that we don’t know what we will invent in the future. Way to keep an open mind!

So this is only slightly related to current discussion, but it was an interesting question posted to the pinside thread:


I’m off of pinside for now due to rampant toxicity, so I’ll respond here.

What score formats result in the least ties?

I’m sure there was a better way to do it, but since I’m tired I just brute-forced it in excel with copious cut-and-paste and much usage of $ addresses. Here are my results:

4-2-1-0 results in 5808 matches (out of 13824 - 242424) with ties and 6912 total ties (whether groups that have 3-way ties, 4-way ties, or 1 or 2 2-way ties)
3-2-1-0, 4-3-2-1, 7-5-3-1, etc. are all mathematically the same. In these setups you get 6096 matches with ties and 8640 total ties.
10-5-1-0 gives 3360 matches with ties and 4032 total ties.

Those were the only ones asked about, but it’s easy to try anything now with how I did the sheet. So here are a couple other interesting variations:

8-4-2-1 results in 3360 matches with ties and 3744 total ties.

16-9-4-1 results in 1920 matches with ties and 2304 total ties. This is the floor, as I also tried 1000000-10000-100-1 and got the same result.

Hope people find this interesting, I know I did.