IFPA8 Press Release



The World’s Best Pinball Players Get Ready To Battle For Global Supremacy

In celebration of the 140th anniversary of the first pin game ever patented, The International Flipper Pinball Association is proud to announce IFPA8. This World Pinball Championship features the top 64, the world’s elite pinball wizards from over 16 countries across the globe, competing in a marathon of silverball prowess . . . the subtle nudge at a precise moment; the ability to control and maneuver a 2.6 sphere with the delicacy of a skilled surgeon. All of this and more will be on display at the Balacs Pinball Parlour in Vargarda, Sweden May 27th- 29th.

It was May, 1871 that a Cincinnati man named Montague Redgrave carved out his place in history when he patented a game he called “Improvements in Bagatelle”. He had taken what was a popular nineteenth century amusement played by royalty and even President Lincoln, and downsized his creation so that it could sit on a table top. It featured a wooden spring-powered plunger, similar to those used in modern pinball, which propelled the balls onto the playing surface. There were scoring cups for players to aim at, pins to alter the ball’s downward progress, bells, and even a metal ‘swinging gate’.

It was the beginning of what was destined to become a timeless art form; a transformative part of the culture which has transcended generations and technological advancements. Today’s sophisticated pinball machines owe everything to Mr. Redgrave through the various evolutionary cycles of pure mechanical ingenuity during the depths of the Great Depression, to the embryonic beginnings of battery power and electro-mechanics on through to the dawn of the age of solid-state electronics in the mid-Seventies.

And through it all, pinball has captured the imagination of the young and young at heart with stylized graphics that helped pay homage to the iconic imagery associated with each subsequent era (the pin up art of the ’40s, the influence of the ‘beat generation’ of the Fifties on through to the airbrush techniques of the 70s on through to today’s more realistic renderings). And if that weren’t enough to captivate us, pinball stands alone with its unique spellbinding light and sound effects for a thoroughly interactive and tactile experience unlike anything else. After all, who doesn’t remember the first time they ever encountered a pinball machine and the emotions that it magically bestowed upon us?

Well, today’s state-of-the-art technological wonders still feature all the ingredients emblematic of pinball–flippers, bumpers, targets, spinners and so much more to test our mettle and reflexes. But there are those who have been able to take playing pinball to a totally different level where the controlled focus and concentration result in spectacular performances that have to be seen to be believed. It is the fascinating sport of competitive pinball where wonders never end and surprises loom with each and every press of the flipper buttons.

And now the stage is set for the IFPA8 World Pinball Championship showcasing the very best of the best from around the world for a test of wills and endurance over two and a half days of battle against the whims of that beguiling little silver ball. Can returning champion, Daniele Celestino Acciari catch lightning in a bottle for a second consecutive year? Will the last four European champions, including France’s own Franck Bona, Robert Sutter from Switzerland, Paul Jongma from the Netherlands or Sweden’s hometown favorite, Jorian Engelbrektsson, be up to the challenge? Or can one of wizards of the United States recapture the title of “World Pinball Champion” and bring the spoils of victory back home? From around the world each will come with a single purpose–that they can master the intricacies and nuances of machines selected from the last five decades.

The International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) was created with the express purpose of encouraging, supporting and endorsing competitive pinball throughout the world. The organization provides oversight and assistance to not only establishing pinball leagues, but also tournaments (over 220 events are being held annually) and other promotional activities.

“The staggering and explosive growth of the entire worldwide community of pinball players and enthusiasts has been nothing short of remarkable since we re-launched the IFPA just a few short years ago. And with this year being the 140th Anniversary of pinball; the future has never looked brighter,” states Roger Sharpe, Co-Director of the organization.

Stern Pinball, headed by the legendary pinball scion Gary Stern, and one of the IFPA8 World Pinball Championship sponsors, is the only coin-operated amusement pinball manufacturer in the world. The company produces 2 to 3 models each year and will be showcasing their latest release at this World Championship event. For more information regarding Stern Pinball, Inc. please call (708) 345-7700, email to info@sternpinball.com or check the company website: www.sternpinball.com. Other corporate sponsors include the leading video game manufacturer in the world, Raw Thrills as well as Betson Enterprises, Play Meter Magazine, Planetary Pinball Supply, GameWorks, the American Amusement Manufacturers Association, the Amusement & Music Operators Association and Prilosec OTC.

And, for more information regarding the IFPA or any of its participants, please contact International Flipper Pinball Association co-directors, Roger Sharpe (rogsharpe@aol.com 773-961-1562 or 847-506-9903) or Steven Epstein (epstein4@aol.com 908-754-0934) or check the organization website: www.ifpapinball.com as well as www.pinballrankings.com.