WPPR formula change to v5.2 for 2016!

My issue with the proposed changes have nothing to do with any perceived additional work load. The changes with 5.0 created a much bigger work load, but I defended them as I believed that sporting integrity was at the root of it. Adding a play off is easy, but its the fairness aspect that concerns me. If you qualify all day (or weekend) and then go into playoffs that is one thing, but to play all year and then potentially move 10% down the results because of a one off (enforced) playoff is another.

I understand there may be some cultural differences at play here as in America it is (as you quoted) not unheard of to basically ignore the winner of the league and then move into another competition. Here in Europe that would be considered detrimental to the integrity of the competition. We have cup competitions for this which are separate events but not seen as a true measure to determine the best team/player each year.

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Maybe, maybe not. You might be surprised to see how geographically spread out the Bay Area player base is - I have plenty of regular players who travel over an hour each way for my tournaments.

My point was simply that just because you don’t have a huge pinball scene now, that doesn’t mean you can’t ever have one.

Five years ago, San Francisco and Oakland were a wasteland for pinball. That changed because people worked hard to make it change. You can do that too! You have already started that with your league! You obviously put a lot of time and effort into it, and it sounds like you have had awesome participation for your first season. Just keep doing what you’re doing and you will be surprised how rapidly these things can grow. Who knows, maybe in five years all the Bay Area players will be upset at how many points opportunities there are in SoCal.


[quote=“pinwizj, post:55, topic:872, full:true”]Direct play consists of a game played by 2, 3 or 4 players where the scores on that machine are directly compared to one another (and not generally compared to all other players in ‘the field’). Typically this is seen as Head-to-Head matches, and 3/4 match play style matches. You can use golf scoring, wins, points, strikes, etc. as an appropriate way to score those matches.

A Rated player is a player that has played in at least 5 IFPA endorsed events ever. Players become Rated starting with their 6th event played.

Thank you for the responses. So direct play means the competition is done in groups of 2 to 4, and the players’ standings are calculated based on the results, and a player becomes rated on their 6th lifetime IFPA event, if I follow correctly. Follow-up question: Some pinball machines allow more than 4 players. Most of SEGA’s, for instance, allow 6. Would those no longer be considered direct play if there is a group of more than 4 players playing at once?

Technically, Lake Alice is in Riverside County and not Los Angeles, but yeah, thanks! I was not familiar with Pinball at the Lake, and I didn’t know it had a weekly official league.

Places like Casa de Carlos and Neon Retro Arcade have “leagues,” though in the loosest possible sense. They’re really informal weekly gatherings where players in the know come over and play some pinball with nothing recorded afterwards.

[quote=“skov, post:64, topic:872, full:true”]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.

Unless it’s for legal and/or space requirements, I don’t see why these places should have a cap on the number of players. Indeed, that sort of thing would mean the most dedicated people would come to the event, and the less dedicated or passers-by would be unable to join.

Hmm, interesting. I didn’t know that. I got into pinball in 2013 (but I had been interested since I was little–I just didn’t understand pinball until then), so I never knew the San Francisco region was starved until recently. I’d be curious to know how it grew and how it even happened in the first place.

I traveled up to San Francisco recently and I noticed that what locations there were for pinball were run by operators who wanted people to play pinball. The players were passionate, and the operators were passionate. While there are plenty of passionate players here, most operators are not passionate at all.

While I would love to start a league myself, I don’t have the money or the time to do so, and I wouldn’t even know where to begin with trying to set one up at an already-existing public collection or attracting people over. I mean…wandering around by myself looking for public collections to drop quarters into and play, and doing general people-watching, the interest is there. It’s just dormant in Los Angeles. (Of course, another issue is that some of these locations are clearly not interested in any kind of events going on at their place. It’s clear some of these operators just have several machines out there to collect money, and they don’t want to be associated with the pinball community at all.)

You are absolutely right, which is why I feel it’s even more necessary to have many locations in the region. Southern Californians are willing to drive out to places up to a certain distance, however, because of the extensive highway system here. But if they’re dedicated enough, they’ll make the trip. I mean, look at the L.A. Fair. It’s way over in Pomona, which is quite the drive from most major population centers. But it all comes down to the interest level, which, after wandering around much of the region, is incredibly low in the mainstream. (But that also is because most people don’t know anything about pinball besides flippers, bumpers and “TILT” which causes cartoon characters to become dizzy.)

And while the region is spread out, some places have much denser populations than others. Places like Pasadena, Burbank, Glendale, Downtown L.A. and its surrounding areas, Long Beach, and the San Fernando Valley have enough inhabitants to maintain a league all by themselves. The entirety of Orange County (which has its own league, but it doesn’t seem to have a regular play area, or it’s in a private location) is urbanized and rather compact.

I think that it’s a vicious cycle, really. Because there are so few places with official leagues and competitions, people have to drive very far to get to them. And because people have to drive very far to get to them, they’re less willing to go.

Of course, some places also have an everyone-for-themselves culture that isn’t conducive to a get-together of any kind that welcomes in strangers. And some other places have very high crime rates, which can attract vandals and thieves. (Indeed, Family Amusement Corporation is located in one of these high-crime areas, and their machines get vandalized frequently. This place is an interesting case, though, in that its Lord of the Rings machine had become competitive all on its own–there is a small group of people constantly trying to outdo each other on that one machine, ignoring the other 9 machines there. These guys get 9-digit scores pretty consistently, and it’s a sight to watch. I have not seen anyone reach Valinor on it, but they’ve come close. To my knowledge, these guys do not compete in pinball otherwise.)

This is getting off topic, but if you can find even one well maintained machine you can start a regular tournament. As far as I know the popular Tuesday tournament in portland which draws 30+ every week started in one guy’s house on one machine. There are a lot of resources and easy to use apps out there for tournament directors. If you start developing relationships with operators and location owners and they both realize they can make more money from tournament players if they provide well maintained machines, that’s how you can start to get good location pinball. It doesn’t have to be PAPA… 4 or 5 people in a bar or arcade is all it takes.


This is the floor for the simple reason that there’s ties only if two players get the same set of results (eg. 1-2-3). All additional ties result from equivalencies between sets of results, such as 4-2-1-0 implying that 1-4-4 is as good as 2-2-4. There’s only 14 distinct sets of results, so if you’re interested in minimising ties you just have to decide on their relative order and come up with a set of points to get that order (some are easy, 111 beats 222, but 144 vs 224 vs 233 is a more difficult question that might depend on what you value in a player).

On a semi-related note, wtf is up with 7531 scoring (@pinwizj?)? I can understand two-number gap to allow for 3-player groups with integer points, but the 1 point for 4th place makes it harder to track points as the rounds elapse. Why not 6420?

I think the new WPPR changes are great.
Though, I really hope we could just get it over with and have a list of approved formats.


Caveat here. If you only have a list of approved formats, then what is there to encourage someone to create the next Pinburgh? because if there was a list of approved formats before Pinburgh was created, then Pinburgh might never have been created

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Yes, there would never be a way to add more formats to the list, and that without wpprs there is no motivation to organize competitive pinball. :wink:


I don’t think it’s possible to implement this the same way we do the Rated players thing . . .

The Rated players change was literally replacing “Player Count” with “Rated Player Count”, with Brian then needing to simply monitor the players number of events to check them as rated or not. (This is all done on our side behind the scenes as the formula chugs through the results)

With players that didn’t “fully participate” or whatever we want to call it, wouldn’t that number have to be submitted by the organizer? You then have to worry about checking off those players that didn’t participate that already weren’t being counted because of the rated player metric. It becomes something we don’t control, versus something we do control now (from a logistics standpoint).

While I understand that we always have to trust TD’s submissions, this is mostly self policing with players that are able to speak up about the metrics currently give value to (meaningful games played, whether that person actually played in a tournament or not). The fully participation metric is simply easier for a TD to get away with fudging (especially for results that aren’t available online).

The rated player count thing may be a short term solution (believe me I compare the Super League results between the current site and test site, and you can already see the shift between Jan-Mar results being a complete blood bath, while Apr-Aug are starting to not drop as big). Gotta leave something for v5.3! :wink:

We welcome leagues and tournaments to implement their own rules with respect to being eligible for that league/tournament . . . 50% participation rate sounds good. I know in our league in Chicago we have 6 sessions per year. If you miss 3 you are OUT OF THE LEAGUE. It’s not a WPPR-thing, but it’s more about making sure those players are prioritizing the league appropriately with their life schedule.

That scoring came from the old PAPA team scoring events. I’d have to check with my dad and Epstein, but maybe this just wanted to make sure players weren’t leaving with “nothing” :wink:

We’ve used it in our league forever, and the IFPA World Championship format was really just an extension of what we use for our league . . . so I just continued down the path with that same scoring system.

By now most people are very used to knowing that they need to get into that 94/96/98 range to qualify above the cut line.

Oh no! Louisville Arcade Expo just got un-endorsed! So did Pinball Expo! :smile:

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From what I’ve heard of from our European Country Directors, the most popular format over there is to run a Swiss style system that does end without a “final” . . . but that also includes a ton of direct play between competitors.

Outside of golf are there any other individual sports that don’t involve direct play between competitors over in Europe?

The best example I can think of over here is probably bowling. You bowl a ton of qualifying games (scores compared against everyone in the field), and then that typically flows into a ladder format final. The top person during the much longer qualifying portion knows that they will finish no worse than 2nd place, but that they still could lose the tournament because of one single match even if they bowled “better” during the portion of the tournament that involved much more bowling.

By “most SEGA’s” how many are we actually talking about?

Tell you what . . . if you want to do a match play style on a tournament consisting of 100% 6-player SEGA games (and I’ll even give you 6 million dollar man as a bonus), email me and we’ll work something out :wink:

Of the 10,000 tournaments held over the past 10 years, I can safely say that zero of them have ever been 100% 6-player match play.




Up to 666666666666666666 can play!!!

There was an instance of a tiebreaker played on a baywatch years ago that involved 5 or 6 people I remember reading about on rgp. That may be the only 5+ player game played ever that wasn’t at a show where everyone hits the button to get a ball to the plunger lane.

True story: At replayfx I got asked to support >4 player games. This was after being the last group to finish when I played Cayle, Modica, and Jochen on Spiderman/King Kool/HS/Flash. And we had 0 malfunctions or rulings or issues.


Fuck that . . . I want the guy who posted to Pinside talking about 25 PLAYER GAMES!

“Wake me up when you’re done” (in my best Elvira voice)

OK so AFAIK every Sega Baywatch and on support 6. That’s at LEAST 16 games. There seems to be some question whether Golden Cue supports it (not that it really matters) and I’m not 100% on SX (first Stern). We definitely dropped support on Sharkey’s, that much I’m sure of. IPDB seems to indicate SX isn’t 6.

That brings your 6-able games to the following:

Batman Forever
Apollo 13
Space Jam
X Files
Starship Troopers
Viper starring Mancow
Lost in Space
South Park
Harley (any model)


But pinball isn’t player vs player. Like a very small other number of sports it’s about player vs the game. Score is used to rank players by performance, in much the same way as time is used to rank performance in slalom skiing for example.

How do video game tournaments operate. I can’t imagine they have a direct-play requirement?

The only major video game tournaments going on now that I’m aware of are EVO and they’re ONLY fighting games. So, nothing BUT direct play.

Everyone should check out EVO footage to see some quality streaming work, IMO. See how “the other guys” do it, etc. Not vastly different from most pinball streams, but often times a different energy.

ReplayFX had basically a limited Herb format with a direct play at the end.


It was at a tournament in Minnesota, me and a bunch of the Chicago people drove up for it. It had a qualifying system of some sort, and there was a six-way tie for the last spot and they played off a six player game on Baywatch. This was also the tournament where the infamous Big Hurt billions loop bug manifested itself.