Announcing upcoming IFPA changes related to women’s pinball

The IFPA is pleased to announce that starting in 2020, we will be implementing changes to the IFPA Women’s World Championship as well as introducing state/provincial women’s championships. In order to focus on developing these initiatives, the IFPA will not be moving forward with our previously announced women’s dollar fee at this time. Based on our recent survey of women in pinball, it’s clear that there’s support for a dollar fee and that women highly favor a distribution that keeps prize payouts within each state/province/region with only some going into the Women’s World Championship prize pool. Based on these findings, the IFPA plans to focus on building out these events at the local level first before proceeding with any sanctioning fees.

The 2021 IFPA Women’s World Championship (based on qualifying through December 31, 2020) will feature an expanded qualifying field: the top 16 ranked women based on open event performance and the top 16 ranked women based on women’s event performance. For seeding purposes, players qualifying based on open events will be the odd-numbered seeds (1, 3, 5, etc.), while players qualifying based on women’s events will be the even-numbered seeds (2, 4, 6, etc.). Players who qualify under both systems will be assigned their highest possible seed.

Along with the expanded field, the 2021 IFPA Women’s World Championship will also feature a change in format. Rather than a best-of-7 single elimination bracket, the Women’s World Championship will follow the IFPA World Championship format of 8 sessions of match play with the top half of the field moving to a best-of-7 single elimination bracket. Additional details regarding this format can be found here, with the caveat that the format will be adapted for the 32-player Women’s World Championship.

Separately, the IFPA will be supporting women’s state and provincial championships by providing standardized rankings filters and tournament structure, similar to what is provided for the North American Championship Series. Qualifying will be based on total WPPRs earned in open events or women’s events held in each state or province. For the 16 qualifying spots, 8 will be based on performance in open events and 8 will be based on performance in women’s events. Unlike the North American Championship Series, all events played in 2020 will count toward players’ point totals (rather than a cap of 20 events), and there will be no super state status. Qualifiers from open events will be assigned odd-numbered seeds (1, 3, 5, etc.), while qualifiers from women’s events will be assigned even-numbered seeds (2, 4, 6, etc.).

If you are interested in running a women’s championship in your state or province, please reach out to for additional details. We’d like to extend a hearty thank you to those who have already taken the initiative to set up and run regional women’s championships. The success of any future women’s championship series wouldn’t be possible without that passion and leadership on a local level, and the IFPA looks forward to supporting that work moving forward.

4 responses to “Announcing upcoming IFPA changes related to women’s pinball”

  1. Cascadian says:

    When someone qualifies via both methods, how is the next woman picked? Will it be until the highest 16 in both groups is determined, or will one qualification path be preferred? That is, I assume if someone qualifies for both but is a higher seed in open play, does that mean the 17th in Women’s only would get in?

  2. For larger States like CA, would the location for women’s championship alternate between NorCal/SoCal like it does for the open NACS?

  3. Zoe Vrabel Zoe Vrabel says:

    @Cascadian Players who qualify via both methods take a spot in whichever set of rankings gives them the higher seed. For example, if I was 5th seed in the open women’s ranking and 10th seed in the women’s-only rankings, I would take an open spot, and the women’s-only rankings would skip over me to the next person in that ranking. However, if I were 2nd seed in women’s-only and 11th seed in open, I’d take the women’s-only spot and the next woman in the open rankings would move up.

    @Louise That’s a great question that we would want to discuss with whichever Californians volunteer to run a women’s championship 🙂

  4. Sean Stewart says:

    I would love to see the State and North American series also change the format to align with Matchplay. 16 to 8 to 4 to the champ. NA would have some byes in the first round?

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