Support for a fellow pinball player

blog post courtesy of John Geiger

Our friend, and long time league member Aaron received some devastating news this past week. After a period of not feeling well, he has been diagnosed with a very aggressive form of brain cancer.

Aaron has had a huge, positive impact on our pinball family since we started. He came in and practiced regularly, putting his name up on nearly every machine in town. He was consistently in our top division after only playing competitively for a short time. He has travelled throughout Ohio to tournaments and expos, making new friends wherever he goes, always sharing his techniques and enthusiasm with other players. His vibrant personality and overall positivity and kindness are part of the fabric of our pinball community.

We are donating our league dues and tournament fees to help him in his fight against cancer.  His family has set up a Go Fund Me. If you can, please read his story and possibly contribute to helping a fellow pinballer face an incredibly difficult situation.

Pinball Oral History Project

Mark Steinman of Replay Foundation and historian Steve Paschen are working on a new history of pinball. The heart of the project will be the personal stories of people who have a passion for the game. This includes not only players who rank in the top echelons of competitive tournaments, but also the players who just like to compete. You can be part of this project by answering a few questions relating to your own experience in tournaments, local pinball leagues, playing games you own, or operating a pinball-related business. Whatever your age, level of play, or background, we are interested in your story.

Click HERE to learn more.

2018 IFPA Women’s World Pinball Championship – November Update

ifpa-jpg-w227h210In May 2017 we announced that there will be EIGHT Wild Card spots up for grabs for the 2018 IFPA Women’s World Pinball Championship based on the Women’s World Pinball Player Rankings system, increasing the field to 24 players. The 2018 IFPA Women’s World Pinball Championship will happen in conjunction with the IFPA US National Pinball Championship on March 1st, 2018 in Las Vegas.

These Wild Card spots will go to the 8 highest ranked women in the Women’s WPPR ranking that haven’t already qualified for a spot in the championship through the Main WPPR ranking system.

If qualifying were to end today, here’s what the qualifying list would look like:

OPEN SPOTS (based on World Ranking):
1st  Robin Lassonde 377.47
2nd  Helena Walter Higgins 309.7
3rd  Zoe Vrabel 256.58
4th  Louise Wagensonner 255.27
5th  Sunshine Bon 248.4
6th  Danielle Peck 231.84
7th  Julie Gray 196.17
8th  Hannah Holmberg 157.51
9th  Keri Wing 156.9
10th  Sara Little 142.15
11th  Priyanka Kochhar 141.55
12th  Jessie Carduner 135.06
13th  Anna Wolk 133.81
14th  Snow Galvin 130.85
15th  Allison ONeill 129.98
16th  Sarah Schudel 121.85
——–CUT LINE——–
17th  Karyn Kiser 120.47
18th  Michelle McCleester 116.63
19th  Maya Nigrosh 111.64
20th  Theresa Nessel 111.55

WILD CARD SPOTS (based on Women’s World Ranking):
1st  Megan Brown 102.23
2nd  Alexa Philbeck 100.86
3rd  Echa Schneider 85.03
4th  Ellen Frankel 70.65
5th  Maureen Hendrix 62.89
6th  Jodine Hatfield 51.11
7th  Tracy Lindbergh 44.87
8th  Amanda Case 43.3
———CUT LINE——–
9th  AJ Replogle 41.29
10th  Sara Urban 40.22
11th  Nycole Hyatt 36.55

The Women’s WPPR ranking used for these Wild Card spots are available here:

The highest ranked women under the Main WPPR ranking system can be found here:

Women find sexism in male-dominated pinball — so they’ve started leagues of their own

The Washington Post, courtesy of Adam Ruben, ran a piece on the recent growth of Women’s only competitive pinball events. Click HERE to read the article.

These pinball fanatics are keeping the game alive with a new tournament

Lehigh Valley Live posted an article on the Penn Skate Arcade Monthly tournament out in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Click HERE to read the article.

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Discover a new world in Pinball Wizards, an entertaining story that traces the history and the meaning of the game

blog post courtesy of Adam Ruben

For some, pinball is just a game from the past. For humor writer Adam Ruben, it’s a lifelong obsession that all started with a rousing game at Funland amusement park in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware when he was a kid. As Adam grew older, he began playing competitively, joining pinball leagues, competing for more than a decade and rising as high as the 80th-ranked player in the world. Then he had kids. Now in 9938th place, Ruben tries to re-enter the boisterous and wacky world of competitive pinball.

Pinball Wizards: Jackpots, Drains, and the Cult of the Silver Ball (Chicago Review Press, November 2017) by Adam Ruben tells the dynamic story about America’s quintessential arcade game. By visiting pinball museums, gaming conventions, pinball machine designers and even pinball factories, Adam attempts to discover what makes the world’s best players so good. The book also explores the history of the game, as well as its invention, defeat and recent resurgence in American culture today. He presents the four faces on pinball’s Mount Rushmore, if there were one, and includes a chapter on Fiorello La Guardia, the New York City mayor who was obsessed with cracking down on any activity he deemed evil and smashed pinball machines with a sledgehammer because the game offended him.

This hilarious guide to the cult of the silver ball also traces how the game has changed throughout the years, and how even though the game has gone in and out of style, its presence remains constant. Pinball didn’t just stick around — it grows and continues to evolve with the times, reflecting the zeitgeist of every era it passes through. Pinball Wizards is a fun romp through the flashing lights and swirling ramps of a unique hobby packed with wacky characters. It is the perfect book for anyone interested in the quirky subculture that has survived to enjoy yet another renaissance.

A Look at the Unlikely Resurgence of Pinball in the Mobile Age

NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt ran a piece on the resurgence of pinball. Check out the video HERE.

IFPA partnering with MatchPlay.Events for IFPA Challenge Matches and More!

Back in April, we announced the addition of IFPA Challenge Matches starting in the 2018 season which would have an impact on the calculation of the IFPA Rating for each player.

Since then we’ve been hard at work finding the best way to implement these matches into our system, and we’re excited to announce a collaboration with MatchPlay.Events to pull this off.

Rather than submitting these IFPA Challenge Matches through the IFPA calendar process, we will be directing players to submit those matches through the MatchPlay.Events website HERE. As long as your IFPA player ID is accurate on that site, we will be able to pull that data over to the IFPA website and link it to your account.

Beyond the IFPA Challenge Matches, MatchPlay.Events is launching Match Play Ratings. Similar to the IFPA Ratings system, this uses the Glicko algorithm based on direct play matches (not simulated matches based on end results that the IFPA Ratings system uses). One of our future initiatives is to pull that Match Play Rating as an officially endorsed metric on the IFPA side and integrate it into our system. MatchPlay.Events is also working on integrating results from other tournament apps (PAPA Scoring Software, PAPA League Manager and Drains Tournament Manager) to flow through their Match Play Ratings system, which will then flow through for us to use on the IFPA side of things.

To help kick this off we encourage both organizers and players to help improve these ratings by auditing the events included in the MatchPlay.Events database. There are currently test and non-pinball tournaments included in Match Play that need to be flagged for removal in the Match Play Ratings calculation.

More information can be found at:

Charlotte’s First Women’s Pinball League to Launch October 5, 2017

blog post courtesy of Jazmyn Hanks

You might not have heard, but Competitive Pinball is a thing!  Governed by the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA), sanctioned events are held throughout North Carolina where participants earn both State Points and World Pinball Player Ranking (WPPR) Points. Currently, there are  217 participants competing in events held throughout North Carolina and over 14,000 who’ve competed worldwide.

Women make up only 10.3% of the IFPA participants and that is why we are excited to announce the inaugural Charlotte league of Belles and Chimes. On Thursday, October 5th, 2017 at Abari Game Bar located at 1721 N Davidson St, Charlotte, NC 28206, women of all skill levels are invited to join the first North Carolina chapter of Belles & Chimes at 6:30pm.  The Charlotte chapter will be honoring the mission of Bells & Chimes, founded in Oakland, CA, by bringing together women who enjoy playing pinball in a fun, supportive and social environment. The chapter also hopes to introduce more players to the Women’s World Championship.

Jazmyn Hanks will lead the Charlotte chapter of of Belles & Chimes. Jazmyn, ranked in the Top 50 of North Carolina pinball players, has been a competitive player since March 2017. “I stumbled upon Abari for the first time in February and I was instantly amazed at their selection of pinball machines. I’ve been to arcades as an adult but it was my first time being at an arcade with pinball machines.

“I was so nervous at my first tournament, considering everyone was so much more experienced than I was. If that didn’t intimidate me enough, I realized I was the ONLY woman present for the tournament. Everyone was so kind to me, giving quick tips to improve my game as a new comer and welcomed me into the tribe; even though we were in the middle of a tournament. I’m elated that Zach, the owner of Abari, agreed to host the women’s league!”

Women may join Belles & Chimes Charlotte at no cost and be a founding member in its inaugural year.  Tournaments will be held Bi-Weekly in 2017 with a league finals on December 7th.

ABOUT BELLES & CHIMES CHARLOTTE: The purpose of Belles & Chimes Charlotte is to bring together women who enjoy playing pinball in a fun, supportive and social environment.


IFPA introduces the POWER 100!

While the World Pinball Player Rankings (WPPR) have been the driving force that we have used to rank players all around the world since 2006, we have experimented with other metrics over the years to help highlight who the greatest pinball players are in the world. The IFPA Ratings system and Efficiency Percentage have been two of those additional metrics, both available on our main ranking page HERE.

We’re excited to add a new metric to the IFPA family, and we’re calling it the “POWER 100”. Understanding that every metric has it’s own pros and cons when trying to rank players accurately, the POWER 100 metric focuses specifically on data from just the top 250 players ranked through the WPPR system.

The POWER 100 measures the winning percentage of those top 250 ranked players against only the other top 250 ranked players over the last 3 years of active results. The “Best of the Best” end up making it on the POWER 100 list.

Check out the POWER 100 anytime HERE.