Spent my Friday reading through this thread and I couldn’t be happier :D.
It’s very great to see the feedback from players who are not from the east coast/mid-atlantic area. A lot of feedback is coming from SoCal folks. I personally live in upstate NY and see that SoCal and not NYC are facing a lot of similar issues but for some different reasons.
Currently, 16th place in California is 78 WPPRs. Realistically, Zach Sharpe, Robert Gagno, and Kevin Birrell probably won’t be playing in states, so cutoff is 19th. Of these players, it seems like everyone has a top 3 finish in some Bay Area event or is named Jim Belsito, and that these players are typically competing in many unique events!
Here are a couple of the players from the top 16 in NY (cutoff is 94 points).
So while I do empathize with the SoCal folks who are pretty much out of the running due to lack of events like we are, I think this change is very warranted and necessary. LA, in theory, being the 2nd largest city in the country potentially has the resources to do exactly what SUPERLeague is doing now if we were to continue down this path.
Our solution in Upstate NY is two-fold. 1. Drive to Connecticut, Ontario, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania if you’re feeling really bold and compete there. 2. just have our own pity party with our own rules http://www.ifpapinball.com/rankings/custom_view.php?id=147
Californians may have a tougher time getting to a place where there are pins to play in state, and within their own city where it takes 18 hours to drive 3 miles, but at least your State Rep is switching off the location of the finals every year. Our state rep does not seem interested in doing that
On a side note, I lived in Southeastern Pennsylvania until this year. Although the lack of events on our side of the state compared to Pittsburgh prevented many of us from qualifying, it still felt fair since the Pittsburgh people are purely interested in growing competitive pinball and did not do so in any way that felt exploitative. Eastern is catching up slowly but surely now with Pincrossing, and a new Harrisburg-area league.