WPPR formula change to v5.3 for 2017!


It’s more than just scorekeeping, it’s about a TD being present to make rulings and handle malfunctions on the spot.

Even for PAPA I’ve seen players restart games in Classics, take advantage of malfunctions, etc.

The biggest point being if I have a problem, I’m 10 seconds from signaling down a scorekeeper who is then 60 seconds from calling over a TD to deal with the situation.

Pinburgh and Pin-Masters are fully player recorded tournaments wth respect to scorekeeping, but that same spirit of Doug/Bowen being 60 seconds away from dealing with any situation or Zach/myself being 60 seconds away from being there to deal with it is what I’m talking about (and what I read from Dunlap’s post).

This isn’t a “we’ll just make everyone a TD then”, or a “The bartender actually is the TD and will handle things as they come up.” It’s about dedicated staff being there as the organizer of the event dealing with X,Y and Z.

Hopefully that’s clear-ish? :slight_smile:


Yes. thanks.

Summarizing to confirm understanding:
Best game format games can be considered “verified” if there is a true TD on the premise who is:

  • accessible
  • capable of making rulings
  • generally aware of what’s going on and not some random employee pretending to be a TD.

If the above is met, there does not need to be a dedicated full-time scorekeeper whose only job/assignment is to monitor the bank of games and take scores.


You got it.

When in doubt ask me and I’ll be more than happy to put my big nose to the smell test. It’s pretty good at calling bullshit or not :wink:


I understand the reasoning behind the new ruling of competitors who do not compete in 50% of the qualifying games won’t be submitted as having played at all. I have seen many occasions where a TDs child or wife has simply played a single ball on a single game so that they add to the numbers. This ruling certainly closes that loophole.
However, along with the rule about having to compete in 5 ranking tournaments to bring value to the tournament, it means that there is little benefit in TDs encouraging new players into the wonderful world of competitive pinball.
I run a monthly league in a bar which has 14 tables. The majority of the people there don’t compete anywhere else. So that they can become “official” ranked players they must enter 5 competitions, to get them “official” quicker I also run a high score competition on a single machine, with a 4 player final for the best 4 qualifiers. This is worth tiny points, but along with verifying them quicker, it has also produced 3 people over the 5 months who won their very first “tournament”. That has helped to get them hooked and ensure they are turning up for more competitions.

I can see it getting to a point where TDs who are running comps for WPPR points, simply ignore the newcomers, as they won’t be adding anything to the tournament; and we’ll end up with the pool of players actually diminishing - which has got to be a bad point surely?

Asking how the new changes will change the current points scoring of the league I run.
There are 5 meetings - each meeting consists of 5 games, single game per person, each players score per table is ranked, the winner on the night is the person with the most pts overall.
Final qualifying is based on their best 4 meetings out of 5.

So as not to be excluded from the comp submission, do they need to play 2 or 3 meetings, as only their best 4 meetings count?

Last season we had 34 individuals over the 5 months, of those only 20 attended 3 or more meetings, 9 only attended a single meeting.

The top 4 qualifiers then play 4 4-player games to decided the overall winner.

What would the tournament be worth?

I don’t envisage changing the format, as everyone enjoys it, but would be interested to know how the changes would affect it.


I have been running tournaments for over a year that have consistented of 95% new players. This rule has not deterred me from inviting new players to play at all. All we care about is the turnout and whether people have fun and want to come back. We are constantly looking at changes we can make to get more new players to come.


I agree, and I will still run tournaments trying to get as many people as possible, but with a large number of newbies I’m finding a lot of the “points whores” won’t make the effort to attend - it seems I have 2 run 2 different kinds of tournaments to try and satisfy both needs.


It’s my biggest fear for sure, and one of the most important stats in our database that I check most often.
Player count was up about 4% this year over last year.

We always base things on the data used to qualify, so if only your best 4 meetings count, then a player has to play in 2 meetings to be included in the results.


I had this fear too and still wonder why our more experienced players in the area don’t show up consistently. (We have about 20-30 experienced players that rarely, if ever, show up). Most of our newbies are verified now, so I thought that would increase participation from the more experienced players, but it hasn’t so far.

So I just encourage the regulars to attend other regional events and some of the big dogs (papa/pinburgh) and bring those points back to cincy. So far there are a solid group of 5-10 newbies that have really gotten into the scene and traveled around to play in other stuff. So our points awarded each month are creeping up and up.


not having “points whores” can be a good thing for newbies. Often times (based on that term), I infer those people care more about points than playing fun pinball so they might even detract in their focus to ‘win’ and thus, ‘earn more WPPRs’

So the newbies might have a better overall experience without them. I first played a tournament (Rose City Showdown) b/c I randomly was at a bar the event was happening and the woman running the desk invited me to play. That itself got me hooked (i played terribly - 54th out of 67) and I found a tourney locally once I got back home.

At that tourney, the first guy I was matched up against yelled at me and I figured I did something wrong and asked the TD. He was a much higher ranked player and if I wasn’t already hooked that might’ve scared me off…

Ultimately it depends on what your goals are for your event - I’m struggling with the same thing as I like to get new folks involved but I know our top players here like the WPPRs so I try to create tournies that can be fun and still offer OK WPPRs…


@pinwizj if you do a ladder format, each round only four players play in a group and one is eliminated but that would count as 2 games for TGP since it’s a 4-person group right?

And it would just run until it got to a 3-person and then ultimately a 2-person match where it would finish.

Related, if people get byes. Like we have 20 people and top four get a bye, does the fact that people get byes affect TGP? I had heard someone mention it might but wasn’t sure for this year… thanks!


Say you want to run a series of recorded games in an environment like this, as a preburner (qualification) to a finals session. With the finals session being run with all the bells & whistles of direction and rulings.

Will the finals session be an eligible IFPA event (with games played at finals being the only basis for TGP). Even though the participation is limited though “something else” that is not?

I assume this would have to be setup as an IFPA League. And in addition, only the players of the finals session being signup for the event result.

This is really a question for @pinwizj. Sorry it this has been detailed already.


Certain formats (Selfie Leagues, TOPS Tournaments, etc) rely on players
submitting their own results without the verification of a TD or
authorized scorekeeper on site. Any qualifying format that includes
“unverified” results where a TD, league official, or authorized
scorekeeper is not present to record their score, will not have the
qualifying portion included in the TGP calculation. The IFPA will
classify these qualifying formats as strictly for seeding purposes, with
only the finals format counting towards the TGP calculation.

I see. And this covers both tourneys and leagues?


To bring people in, I think Tim Tournay has found a good solution in Pittsburgh. He has been running weekly $5 3-strike tournaments on Wednesday evenings that started at the end of last year. Due to the tournament being on a weekday and conflicting with a Classics league, most of the prominent and somewhat intimidating players don’t show up. On an average day, about 30% of the field is WPPR rank 1000+ and everyone has fun. Beer and whiskey get shared and everyone enjoys some pinball! Plus, nice cash payouts to the top 3 are a language that everyone can speak to.

There have been as many or more winners outside the Top 1000 than there have been inside, and people come back every week. Now all we have to do is convince them to get involved more!


People getting byes absolutely impacts TGP.

Here’s the easiest example on how that math works out.

Let’s say you have 5 players, the top qualifier gets a bye into the finals, while the other 4 players play a PAPA style match with 5 games in it. The winner of that PAPA style group advances to a head-to-head match with the top qualifier to play ONE GAME for it all.

When calculating out the expected number of meaningful games played for the winner, there’s a 50% chance the winner is that top bye player, and only plays one game. There’s then a 50% chance the winner comes from that group of 2-5 seeds, where they would have played 5 games (X2 for 4-player groups), plus that additional finals game.

So you end up with (50% X 1) + (50% X 11) = 6 games played for TGP.

The quick response is that 4 out of the 5 players would have played wayyyyy more games than that, but the impact the bye has is that most of those players CANNOT win the tournament due to being eliminated, so the impact of those games played is minimal.

This is where the ladder format gets DESTROYED for TGP, as you move up the ladder, you’re consistently bringing in a new player that is ‘just starting’.

Here’s the ladder TGP breakdown:


Yes, there’s no difference between the grading whether an event is classified as a tournament or a league.

Unverified play doesn’t count for TGP either way, although the participation of those players still DOES COUNT.

If it’s strictly open qualifying during that time with scores being put towards the same global standings, then it’s a TOURNAMENT. Most selfie leagues are this method where you have some games you need to qualify on, but they are available for the entire qualifying period.

If it’s a situation where players are required to attend multiple sessions, then it would be a LEAGUE. A version of this would be 10 games used for qualifying, but it is limited to only allowing 2 games as ‘active’ each week for 5 weeks.

In the TOURNAMENT example, I can show up the last day, play all 10 games, and qualify.

In the LEAGUE example, I can’t show up the last day and qualify because 8 out of the 10 games would already be locked out.


Dave Stewart actually listed out some of the common bye structures and how they impact TGP on our TGP Guide:


This is not new for this year, and was part of the 2016 grading system.


Thanks for outlining this, @pinwizj. I like the freedom to find a structure you like. And that at least some can be sanctioned. Instead of the entire event being disqualified.

In continues to puzzle me, exactly what a “league” means as US casual sports term. Some day, I hope.


Not sure there’s an “exact” answer, since anyone can call themselves anything they want. Generally, a league is a collection of events at which participants earn status (e.g. points, wins) that is accumulated over the course of all those events, usually called a season. At the conclusion of the season, either the leader outright wins, or the top few participants move on to a playoff to determine the overall winner.

Most major US sports are leagues, with some (NFL, NHL) explicitly calling themselves that.


My trouble is that league talk show examples of some highly complicated systems. Plus I see some casual participation rules that do not require players to attend all sessions. Which seems to contradict the direct play rule of IFPA.

Some more questions, sorry…

How is the requirement for direct play? In sessions? In season final?

How is a season result WPPR value (TGP) set? For a league with only sessions? And for one with a season final as well?

How is the 50% cut for finals rule with leagues (with a season final)?

How is the 50% participation rule understood? Is it “of sessions”? Or games, like unlimited qualifying?

How is the 50% participation rule enforced, when only the league season result is submitted?


Either, most leagues if they have indirect league play on regular league nights will add a finals to meet the match play component. If they have regular match play they generally just submit the final standings.

If they run a final that runs into your other question

It’s exactly the same as a tournament. I’ve had to deny leagues their entire year of play because they took more than 50% of their players into a final. If they want to run a final that determines the final positions of their players it can’t have more than 50% of the players participating in the final otherwise the “season” is deemed as not meaningful and excluded from the TGP calculation.

Calculated normally. If a league players for 4 weeks, groups of 4, 4 games a night, that is 32 TGP right there.

If a league plays indirect qualification, 1 game a night for 4 weeks, that is 4 TGP. If that same league then plays a 3x final with less than 50% and more than 10% the TGP for that final is added onto the 4TGP they got from the season

It’s games, just like unlimited qualifying.

If you have a league that plays 10 games of indirect qualifying a night, for 2 weeks, in order to be able to include a player in the final rankings, that player would have had to play 10 games in the league over the 2 weeks.

Match play is a bit easier since it’s less likely a player is going to leave in the middle of a match but does happen, but the same rule applies. If you are playing groups of 4, 4 games a night for 4 weeks, the player has to have played in 8 games (or 2 full matches) in order to be included.

We trust that our Tournament Director’s are aware of our requirements and are submitting accurate data. We police and verify when we can but obviously with the number of submissions it is impossible to vet every single result submission. So we also rely on our player base to police the community as a whole and we investigate anything brought to our attention via a player.

So far that has been working just fine.


Looking at some of the people at INDISC, I want to make sure I understand how many games some people played.


Played 1 game, despite playing 6 entries correct?


Less certain here. Did they play 3 games or 5? They played BBH and CFTBL but voided the entries. Doesn’t change wether they are included or not, but it is a good example.