WPPR v6.0? :)

Some chatter on pinside from a player in the UK offering some suggestions for a better system. I’m away for the weekend for a wedding and figured it was worth discussing some of his points to see what people think … Comments are welcome if you have any opinions on his comments :slight_smile:


if I could come up with a solution which would please and fit everyone I’d put my skills to better use, like solving the Middle East problems - just different ways of trying to achieve the same goal.

###IFPA come up with a standard set of tournament formats and rank these accordingly, based PURELY on format.

There could be any number of different formats, but to qualify for WPPR points your tournament MUST be taken from one of the approved formats. if you want to run a tournament with a different format it can be submitted to IFPA for consideration to be added to the ‘approved format’ for the following year.


  • Everyone would know what a tournament would be worth before entering and choose whether to enter or not.
  • It would stop tournaments being made overly long, just to gain max points in current system.
    Tournaments across the world would be easier to understand the format.
  • Tournament Organisers would simply be able to go on to the IFPA website (or other source) and get the pre-approved format that suits them best, along with scoring sheets to download, software to display tournament details etc.
  • Tournament formats can be set for different skill levels / time constraints / machine availability etc. (obviously these will earn different WPPR points)


  • It could stop different formats being trialled
  • Decisions will have to be made as to the rankings of various formats against each other (but that already happens).

###Rather than basing the number of games a tournament consists of by the number of games the winner plays, make it the average number of games played by everyone entering.


  • Deters weighting the back end of tournaments with superfluous games
  • Allows the lesser plays to play more games and thus feel more encouraged/involved.


  • I really can’t think of any

###Don’t count the players best 20 (or whatever number) games, just the last 20 games. Still include depreciation so a recent win, will be worth more than a win 3 years ago.


  • Will benefit/reward those skilful players who can’t attend as many comps. Whatever the reason.


  • The potential to deter people entering new comps if they’ve had a good result in the past for fear of losing that good win. (this doesn’t really stack up, as the majority of the higher level players enter comps, not just for the points, or the prizes, but because they actually enjoy it)
  • Currently it’s an equivalent of playing a game of darts where one player has 3 darts the other has 6 but only counts his best 3. Yes, the player with 6 still has to perform well, but they have a safety net for half their darts. (PS I actually played a number of games of darts against a World Champion - John Lowe - a number of years ago and did manage to beat him. Although only once out of 4 attempts)

###Do away with tournaments gaining points based on who enters. It is the opposite of a vicious circle.

I used my moderator super powers to add some formatting to your copy/paste job. It was making my eyes hurt. Hopefully it’s now a little easier to read and then discuss


Haha thanks. That copy/paste job was awful and my wife is maid of honor this weekend.

I have two kids hanging from my appendages at pretty much all times. Shout out to stay at home mom’s. This shit is TOUGH!


I assume the best 20 refers to events, not games, based on the description. If so, bad idea. It would kill off weekly and monthly events for higher players.


I don’t know if you’re just trolling. With the exception of the first one they are all pretty terrible ideas.

I could go for this, but there needs to be some process shorter than 12 months for getting new formats approved. Everyone knowing a tournament format is pretty useful, but other than that I don’t really see a point?

It won’t make tournaments shorter (why would it?). Even without a list of approved formats IFPA could use it’s infinite resources to create “tournament packs” with scoresheets and whatnot.

…but that would not be an accurate representation of the tournament? I would like to see IFPA switch to using the actual amount of games played by the winner instead of the average amount of games played by the winner in a given tournament format. Just because it’s easier to explain to players and TDs. Currently it’s tricky to calculate meaningful games. Would be simpler to say “how many games did Joe Pinball play? okay, that’s the amount of meaningful games”

Bob has already pointed out that this is a terrible idea. It will actively hurt your ranking to play in smaller tournaments. It’s bad for both spreading the love of pinball and it’s would make the ranking data significantly less accurate because you’d have less data to base the rankings on. More data == more accurate ranking.

…but it would make the rankings less accurate. Like… to the point of them being totally random. Isn’t the opposite of a “vicious circle” a good thing?

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Mild trolling, but also with the awareness that my opinions aren’t always shared by others.

Always good to get some feedback from ‘not me’ for these people to see and if something positive comes from the dialogue, all the better for everyone.


The poster’s “pro” for this change was that it improves the ranking accuracy for players who attend fewer events.

As someone who lives in an area that is not saturated with events, I do sympathize with his intention here. I’ve watched my ranking drop steadily every year since WPPR was created, even though I believe I’m playing better than ever.

That said, I also disagree with the change. IFPA’s other purpose is to promote playing - participation and the creation of leagues/tournaments, and this does not support those goals at all. I’d still like to think there is a solution for balancing the rankings between players in “high-pinball” areas and those that aren’t, but I really don’t think it’s possible.

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It doesn’t improve the accuracy for players who attend fewer events. What this change does is that it decreases the ranking accuracy of players who have attended more events (compared to the current system). That’s a very important distinction. The result would be much more volatility, not increased accuracy.

E.g. a player who attend fewer events may be placed higher (or lower!). Not because that player is better, but because the system would be unable to accurately rank players.

At the same time this change creates a strong incentive not to play after you’ve gotten a few good finishes.

That’s not an improvement :slight_smile:

The current system does a pretty good job. “high-pinball” areas have more events, but! Those events are harder to win (there are more and better players attending) and you’re capped at 20 events on your IFPA resume (i.e. there’s no participation trophy)


It’s Bowden’s ‘last entry counts’ concept taken to the EXTREME!!! :slight_smile:


I beg your pardon, sir, but I’m the official WPPR troll. Kindly don’t take my job away from me. I earn 0.1 WPPR point per year for my services.

But yeah, I’ll agree with other commenters that these ideas don’t sound very good. Discouraging innovation in tournament formats would be a shame, and discouraging participation in local / frequent events would be disastrous.


Damnit I was hoping for so much more out of you Joe :slight_smile:

Sorry, Josh. I can do better, I promise!

Screw WPPR’s! Sign up for my new ranking system, Big Mac Points! Twice the value of WPPR’s, plus we have Special Sauce!


Big Mac Credits have a better ring to it! :wink:

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I agree with you Bob, but not just for higher players, for average players such as myself. I would be putting up a lot of .58, 1.20, or 2.34 points from my weekly tournaments. I can occasionally hold my own against the top layer, but not enough to risk these weeklies counting against me.

My victories/ successes over the past 3 years makes up my profile. I can reflect back to what made those tournaments a success. I just had a nice victory. 5 weeks of weekly tournaments would completely bump that victory out of my profile.


Or BIMPs, as they should be called.

I do agree with the general sentiment, Pittsburgh players would get cheesed out due to the many small tournaments held, and it would definitely lead to frustration and lower attendance rate.

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It certainly would in my case. An extreme example would be Neil Shatz. Compare his current ranking to his last 20 events. Which one more accurately reflects his abilities?

It would hurt people that compete regularly, which nobody wants. But there is some merit to what Brian is saying. If you’re a halfway decent player who doesn’t compete regularly, your ranking is often not accurate. The better the player you are and the less you compete, the more inaccurate your ranking is.

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You’re going at this from the wrong direction. NES hasn’t played in a long time so there’s a high degree of uncertainty around his results. He absolutely should be ranked lower because without him playing in tournaments it’s impossible to know how to rank him accurately.

If we went back to his last 20 appearances we’d have to go back more than 5 years. That would bring around a lot of uncertainty. Players would be outranked by someone who had a bunch of good finishes 5 years ago, but haven’t played in any events for a year and a half! That would be a terrible ranking system.

Unless of course you’re trying to determine the best players over the course of the last 5 years. But that’s not what IFPA is trying to do. IFPA is trying to determine the best player right now. And for that, you need to actually be playing right now.


I wasn’t suggesting it would be a better ranking system. Just agreeing with Brian that it would more accurately rank players who don’t compete very often. Skills don’t drop off over night in pinball. Seniors division at Papa is a murder’s row of players lately. Old results may not be accurate in other sports, but they hold up pretty well in pinball.

This is following off what @phishrace was saying Re:skill degradation.

I’m an ex-juggler. I haven’t juggled in a session for little over two years. That being said, every time I pick up my beanbags to show some tricks to friends, I’m surprised to find I haven’t forgotten them, and it still feels natural to do.

Pinball, for me, is very similar. I love to keep the ball in motion and do what feels the most fun for me at that moment. If you ever see me at a competition, you may notice I’ll stubbornly try to hit a shot I really want. (I can’t get enough of the Skid Ramp on Corvette or the left ramp on Whirlwind)

The reason I haven’t lost that [juggling] ability is because of the sheer amount of time I have already dedicated to learning those skills. Throwing a beanbag behind my back and catching it in the other hand took me months to perfect. I still throw my keys behind my back just for fun now, but that was not easy for me to learn. (Months. I cannot emphasise that enough.)

So, I agree skill doesn’t fade in activities like this. However, for a competitive worldwide system it absolutely makes sense to have a more recent past.

Brunn was one of the most important jugglers of the last century, (look up Brunn finish you will not regret it)((actually here’s a link, https://youtu.be/Jj6JcIy8WOo it’s the very last trick but the whole thing is worth watching)) but jugglers these days are taking the art in whole new directions.

All this being said, there’s a peak for everybody. In juggling, you may not be able to pass a certain hurdle. (5 or 7 at once, for instance) The same is true for pinball. I’ve talked with another player who is similar to me in how he gains hobbies and he and I both acknowledge sometimes you can only go so far.

This is not a slight- that is to say, the distance each person is able to go is unique. Perhaps other distractions get in the way, or maybe you become frustrated trying to accomplish something that feels impossible. You come back to it time and again, but you’re unable to get it down. These limitations exist, but it’s not a weakness of character- just the extent of one’s ability. Maybe NES isn’t playing as often anymore because he’s bored, or isn’t having the fun he once had. That’s ok. I hope he’s found another passion that has smitten him just as much as pinball has if that’s the case. :kissing_smiling_eyes:

Tldr; Skill isn’t completely related to time from last example, but for a competitive structure it is absolutely necessary for an accurate showing of who is performing well right now. (But also in what quantities and context)


No, I didn’t say that exactly - I think that’s what the original poster was thinking, but I don’t agree.