WPPR nationality exclusion rules discussion


They have never chosen that event to be included in the ECS.


In Europe, we have a long tradition of annual national championships for citizens only. To crown a national champion. Which, generally, also qualifies for participation in a European championship and/or a World championship.

In sports, certainly, but also within the fields of the cultural and the educational.

In addition to this, the associations may hold “open” national championships too. With participation open to foreigners.

This tradition has carried into pinball. And I hope IFPA will (continue to) endorse one competition annually, per country, held under these terms.

Side note. For open competitions, there is not anywhere near as much participation from foreign countries, as we saw 5-10 years ago. More options to play pinball nowadays.


Nothing against national championships as such, it is definitely a very interesting tournament format.
The main discussion point here was around those events result counting for toward a “World” ranking system.
Is there such example in sports were a restricted national tournament results build toward an international ranking?

I am not a sport specialist so I genuinely have no clue :slight_smile: I do not think there is a similar case in Tennis and the ATP ranking for example.


@Wizcat, @KCB:

Something, something, World Series, something?


It would be beneficial to know if you’re planning to host a U.S. Championship (or not) just so that in case you aren’t going to do it, that would leave the floor open to someone else who might be interested in hosting an event of this sort.

My personal opinion on these country championships for citizens only, is that it’s not a bad idea as long as it’s open to every country to host one. (Which seems to be the case!)

Well, what about the Nationals then? Isn’t that the same thing? I love the SCS but the Nationals wouldn’t be the same as a new U.S. Championship tournament, since the former is a tournament that limits the participation of the gathering of best players (or at least mathematically makes it impossible to include every U.S. top 100 player). Not to mention that our Northern neighbors are also participating in the SCS Nationals.


Toronto is part of the world!


I Am Groot!


Having Closed tourneys based on citizenship or residency doesn’t make sense to count toward World ranking – outside of those invite-only events that are a culmination of a series of Open qualifying events held in that country/state/province/region. Particularly when it’s that country’s BIGGEST tourney – by a long shot. I understand that this was discussed by the IFPA leadership team and agreed upon some time ago, and that every country is allowed to do it, but that doesn’t mean that it makes sense.

Using that same logic, it sure would suck if the organizers of Pinburgh decided that it was for Pennsylvania citizens or residents only. It’s probably an equivalent (or more costly/lengthy) travel/flight for many of us in the South and West to travel to Pittsburgh as it is for many Europeans to travel to the Orebro/Stockholm area.

Similarly, I can’t fathom the thought of making the Texas Pinball Festival tourney limited to Texas citizens/residents, and still have it be eligible for World Pinball Player Ranking points.

It’s a cool concept to have a huge event that declares a country’s champion among solely ts citizens/residents… but that event shouldn’t count its results toward World Ranking.


Looking at other individual sports and games … there are no restricted events that count in golf, tennis, bowling, minigolf or chess that I’m aware of. There are a few country-only events, but those are used to qualify for a national team of some kind, rather than counting for ranking.

Still, since the Swedish Championship predates most of what’s out there now, and there are other large fully-open events held in Sweden each year, I don’t see a problem in this instance. But I think that no new future exceptions should be permitted. Grandfathering this in, fine, letting others start now, no.

Trivia question: when’s the last time an Aussie won the Australian Tennis Open? Or a Canadian the Canadian Golf Open?


I’m not. I don’t really think the US “needs” one. Personally I’m not particularly a fan of the countrymen only thing as a ‘closed’ one-time event.

From my side of things with the IFPA we’ve promoted Country Championship Series for any countries that want to take part. By going the SCS-style route, we’re able to have a qualifying system that makes it very challenging for an out-of-country player to make the cut . . . so there’s no need to explicitly not allow players from outside to participate.

The hope is that over years and years and years, the prestige of these series crowning the “IFPA Country Champion” in that country becomes a reality.


I had a feeling that would be the case, as @Snailman said it does not make a lot of sense. I get the grandfathering into the WPPR at the time but shouldn’t there have been a time limit? Isn’t the WPPR hold enough to stand to its own rules? :slight_smile:


A lot of good arguments for both sides above. I’m fine with it for now for one simple reason: No one in the sport can come anywhere near make a living by playing pinball alone. If your ranking someday has a dollar amount attached to it, then I would have a problem with it.

There was talk a long time ago about Zach getting a sponsor or two. Does he still have sponsors? Does anyone else have any sponsors? I’m guessing no.

Seems like lately bowling alleys around here are closing faster than arcades did back in the day, but take a look at the 2016 bowling earnings.


5 guys over $100k and 23 guys over $50k. Pinball would love to have those numbers, let alone tennis or golf numbers. Until we get within a sniff of those earnings, I’m fine with it.


Tradition still counts for something in my book. If the Swedes want to keep it that way, no problem. If they choose to change, it should be their choice. As for it counting, it is both a prestigious and a high-quality event, and has in the past, so I think it should continue to, for consistency as well.


But that would not be fair to the rest of the pinball world, would it?


Yes, but try comparing Bowling and Golf payouts about 1960. Pretty close back then; not even in the same zip code now.


i cannot stand this logic.

the “pinball isnt worth anything so it isnt worth fixing” mentality.


As I said in my post, when the day comes where points (pinball) is worth something, then I’d have a problem with it.

There are a couple of much bigger issues IMO with the current ranking system that I’d rather see fixed before this, but I’ve accepted the fact that the rankings will never be 100% accurate. Just like every other sport’s ranking system. In this case, I think IFPA has made the right call, for now.