Rankings Information

The World Pinball Player Rankings, created by the International Flipper Pinball Association, are updated upon the completion of any IFPA endorsed tournament.

At the end of the calendar year, the player with the most WPPR points will be crowned the 'World's Greatest Pinball Player' for that particular year. All officially endorsed events are taken into account and points are awarded according to the players' finishing positions.

The way WPPR points have been calculated and distributed has changed since the creation of the WPPR system in 2006. The latest modification to the formula was made for the 2013 season, which impacts how the value of a tournament is calculated. Anytime a change is made to the WPPR formula, we general receive some common questions. Please see our FAQ page for more information, or read the details of the current WPPR system below:

Ranking System

Basic Rules

In determining the World Pinball Player Rankings, several basic rules were put into place to meet the needs and goals of the IFPA, tournament directors and for the players themselves.
 
  • All regular tournaments start with a baseline of 25 points for the first place finisher, regardless of the number of players in the tournament.
  • Three tournaments will start with a baseline of 50 points. We consider these tournaments the "Crown Jewels" or the "Triple Crown" of competitive pinball. These tournaments are: IFPA World Pinball Championships, PAPA World Pinball Championships and the European Pinball Championships.
  • Tournaments or leagues that are run multiple times in a calendar year are treated as one event and are worth the same as a single annual event. So two events are worth 25/2 (12.5 base points each), three events are worth 25/3 (8.33 base points each). This can be somewhat subjective, so please contact us to find out the qualifications of your tournament.
  • [Within North America] Any tournament held on a weekday (M-F) is ineligible for Annual Tournament status, and will be considered a periodic tournament even if only one event is played. As a periodic tournament, these events are ineligible to have a Side Tournament to count for additional WPPR points, and will have the base value divided by a minimum of 4 (so 6.25 WPPR points each). The only exception to this rule is for any official Pre-tournaments in conjunction with a Grand Slam event (IFPA, PAPA, Pinburgh, EPC).
  • To distinguish the value a tournament is worth, there is a new Tournament Value Adjustment (TVA) based on the quality of the players participating. There are two strength indiciators that the IFPA uses to determine the TVA for each event. The TVA can increase the value of a tournament by as much as 75 points, for a total of 100 points maximum for any non Triple Crown event.
  • The two strength indicators included in the TVA are a player's RATING and a player's RANKING. The more highly RANKED players that attend a tournament, the more it's worth. The more highly RATED players that attend a tournament, the more it's worth. A more detailed explanation of the TVA formula is found below.
  • WPPR points distributed will be factored based on the number of people who competed in the tournament and where a player finishes. For example, a player might get 5 points for finishing 2nd in a 10 player tournamnet, but get 30 points for finishing 2nd in a 50 player tournament.
  • The WPPR System will weigh recent results over historical results. Points earned over the last year are worth 100% of their value.  Events one to two years old are worth 75% of their original value and events that are two to three years old are worth 50% of their value.  Any event over three years lose all of their value
  • Side tournaments and events, that are run in conjunction of the main tournament, are worth 50% of the main tournament. If multiple side events are held, those 50% points are split among them.
  • Only open tournaments are included in the WPPR system. However, depending on circumstances, exceptions can be made.

Tournament Value Adjustment

As we mentioned earlier there are two strength indicators that we use to determine the TVA for an event. This includes a TVA based on player RATING, and a TVA based on player RANKING. These values are added to the base value of an event to determine the 1st place WPPR point value for that tournament. The TVA takes into account the best 64 players participating in a tournament for each strength indicator. For the RATING strength indicator, the top 64 RATED players are taken into account. For the RANKING strength indicator, the top 64 RANKED players are taken into account.

  • RATING FORMULA

The TVA based on RATING can be worth up to 50 additional WPPR points for a tournament. The formula used to determine the WPPR value that each player adds to the pot is:

(RATING * .00109375) – 1.40625

We consider a 'perfect' player to be rated 2000, so based on the formula that player would add .78 WPPR points to the value of the tournament. 64 players with a rating of 2000 would amount to a 50 WPPR point increase for that tournament. Any player with a rating of 1285.71 or less will have no impact on the strength of the tournament.

  • RANKING FORMULA

The TVA based on RANKING can be worth up to 25 additional WPPR points for a tournament. The formula used to determine the WPPR value that each player adds to the pot is:

[ln(RANKING) * -.105837527) + .729913984

We consider a 'perfect' tournament to include the top 64 ranked players in the world participating. Based on the formula the #1 ranked player in the world would add .73 WPPR points to the pot, the #2 ranked player in the world would add .66 WPPR points to the pot, etc. In total the top 64 ranked players would equal an additional 25 WPPR points in value for the tournament.

WPPR Point Distribution

Calculation and distribution of WPPR points for each tournament involves many steps:
 
  • Set an entry ranking for first time players. Currently they are given the same ranking as the 10th percentile ranked person.
  • Determine the tournament base value. Periodic events split the minimum 25 points across all tournaments for that year.
  • Determine the TVA based on the RATING strength indicator (per formula above).
  • Determine the TVA based on the RANKING strength indictor (per formula above).
  • Using the tournament base value and TVA from the RATING and RANKING strength indicators, calculate what the WPPR point value for the tournament winner.
  • Two WPPR point distribution values are then calculated for the rest of the field of participants.

One is a linear distribution value based on the number of players in the tournament. 

(PlayerCnt + 1 – Finishing Position) * 10/100 * (1st place value  / playerCnt)
 
The second value is a dynamic distribution value using the top 32 players of a tournament.
 
 (pow(( 1 – pow((( Finishing Position -1) / PlayerCnt),.7)),3)) * 90 /100 * (1st place value)
 
These two values are what a player earns for a given tournament.
 

Rating Calculation

To help gauge the skill of player we have incorporated a ratings system that leverages a players' finishing order to "simulate" head to head play. This Rating is used as part of the TVA for the RATING strength indicator to help determine the value of each tournament.
  • Glicko is being used as the foundation of the ratings system.
  • To simulate head to head play, we are using the results of tournaments we already track. We know this isn't true head to head, but that data is not avaliable.
  • For a given player in a tournament, any player finishing ahead of them is treated as a loss and everyone they finish ahead of is treated as a win.  Ties are when a player finishes in the same position as other players.
  • Until a player has played 5 events, they will have a provisional rating of 1200. Starting with the 6th event, their rating will start to be calculated.
  • Our RD can be between 10 and 200 with a decay rate of about .3 a day.