2018-19 State Championship Series – Endorsement Fee and Prize Pool adjustment

The IFPA has set a goal to increase the prestige of the State and National level Championships.

To serve that purpose, starting on 1/1/18, the IFPA is implementing an endorsement fee that will be required for any event that wishes to be counted as part of the IFPA World Pinball Player Rankings. Please note this is for North American events ONLY.

The fees collected will be used to exclusively create individually self funding prize pools for the State Championship Series in the US and Provincial Championship Series in Canada for the 2018-19 season.

Below is how the endorsement fee will work:
  • Endorsement fees are required for each an every event submitted to the IFPA that wishes to receive WPPR points. 
  • The fee is $1 per player per event for endorsement. (For example, 35 participants in an event would mean a $35 endorsement fee)
  • TDs are responsible for submitting payment to IFPA after results are approved. WPPR points will not be posted until payment has been received by the IFPA. A dedicated page on the IFPA site will be available for TDs to make these payments.
  • Fees are 100% payback –> 75% contributes towards the relevant individual State/Province Championship prize pool, 25% contributes towards the National Championship prize pool.
  • Fees will only be collected based on when results are submitted. For example, a 20 player event that meets monthly is welcome to submit results monthly, and pay $240 for the year. However, that event is also welcome to run their own series of events every month and then report those final results to the IFPA annually instead. This would result in an endorsement fee of $20 for the year. We leave that flexibility up to the organizers and players within each individual community.
This program enables organizers to proportionally contribute to their own State and the National prize pool. With the activity of each state varying so greatly, as well as organizers and sizes of events, each event will only be required to subsidize a proportional amount. As a historical example, the money that would have been collected for all endorsed events in Illinois during the 2016 year was $1217. These fees would then generate $913 for the Illinois State Championship prize pool along with $304 being generated for the National Championship prize pool.

A preliminary prize structure would payout all 16 participants of every State Championship, along with all of the finalists of the National Championship.

We anticipate questions regarding the implementation of this program, the biggest being how the $1 will be funded for tournaments. We understand that different communities have different priorities in terms of recruiting and retaining new players, so we are not proscribing where the fee comes from. We have purposely made it flexible so that everyone can implement it as they see fit for their needs:

Option 1 –> Location and/or operator funds this $1 fee for the event. For those events in public locations a TD may request this of the location. For example if 20 players show up for a monthly tournament, the location may commit to sponsoring the $20 IFPA endorsement fee knowing that the earnings of the games played that tournament night will easily cover that fee.

Option 2 –> TD’s can take the endorsement fee out of the prize pool. For example, if 20 players show up for a monthly, with an entry fee of $5 per player, and prizes of 50%/30%/20% to the top 3 finishers, instead of the prize pool being $50/$30/$20 for the top 3 finishers, it would be $40/$24/$16 for the top 3 finishers.

Option 3 –> TD’s can increase their entry fee by $1 to cover the endorsement fee. For example, if 20 players show up for a monthly with an entry fee of $5 per player, the TD would charge $6 per player. The prize pool would then continue to be made up of the $100 in entry fees.

Option 4 –> Find your own plan. Kickstarter? Patreon? GoFundMe? Outside sponsorship? TDs can come up with other funding options if they choose, we just wanted to list some examples.

April 2nd update: 

While we have had our share of April 1st fun over the past few years, this announcement is 100% real and will be implemented for the 2018 season. Looking forward to a spirited discussion over the next 9 months before it launches.


Get to Know Dana Pepcak – Game the System Player Feature!

blog post courtesy of Marc Bell

On the eve of the very first Australian Women’s Pinball Championship – just a day away and held on the Gold Coast – we at Game the System are very proud to present to you the latest in our Player Features – Dana Pepcak!

Click Here to read the full feature as well as an in depth interview as you scroll down the page: http://gamethesystem.co/danapepcak

If you have played competitive Australian pinball in the last few years, or attended the long running Sydney Z Ball Pinball League, you would know the initials DNA – Dana Pepcak is arguably the most accomplished women’s pinball player in Australian history.

Dana has not only won various league championships such as Z Ball and the Australian Pinball League, she also finished 2nd in the NSW State Championships behind the then Australian number 1 Richard Rhodes, and ahead of Australian number 2 Steven Edwards (and made Gary Stern sign her trophy, of which he was quite chuffed to do so!).

The competitive aspect of Dana’s pinball play hasn’t been much of a focus for her in the last year or so however, with the Z Ball league her one exception. But the good news is Dana will be attending her first major tournament in some time, and will be at the inaugural Australian Women’s Pinball Championship which is just around the corner – tomorrow night in fact!

We wish Dana and all of the players good luck, and we hope you enjoy this new Player Feature on Game the System – a small departure from our usual format with an in depth interview included – just remember to scroll down!


Top prize is now confirmed to be an AUTOGRAPHED “Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle” Pinball, specially branded and personalized to commemorate the 2017 Cooper’stown Showdown.

Other great prizes just added—

  • Nightmare Castle Translites signed by Alice
  • Mike Ditka / Alice Cooper Co-Autographed hats
  • 2017 Pinball Expo Weekend Pass (including Banquet!)

Courtesy Mike Pacak – Pinballmike.com

  • PLUS LOTS MORE – Something for Everyone!


For more information on attending this very special event – go to… https://www.gridironsupport.org/pinball-party-showdown/

Belles and Chimes invites women to try their hand at pinball

NBC16 in Eugene Oregon did a piece on the Belles and Chimes league held at Blairalley Vintage Arcade in Eugene. Click HERE to see the coverage.

CureSearch Flips Off Cancer at The Silver Ballroom

blog post courtesy of Ian Taylor

Please join us for our knockout tournament at The Silver Ballroom (St. Louis, MO) on Saturday, Aprill 8th  2017 as we raise money for CureSearch, a wonderful organization dedicated to funding targeted and innovative research to end children’s cancer. For over 25 years CureSearch has provided assistance for those undergoing diagnosis and treatment. They support those at the forefront of children’s cancer research through their Acceleration Initiative and Young Investigator Program, among many other approaches. For more information on how CureSearch provides such necessary assistance please click on their link below and consider being a sponsor today.


The format for our tournament will be 2-Strike Group Knockout. The limited number of strikes reflects an anticipated high turnout plus a fun and easy way for novice players to experience an IFPA sanctioned tournament without having to commit to too strenuous an amount of time. There will be unsanctioned side tournaments and a raffle featuring items from both national and local sponsors ranging from breweries, award winning restaurants, bars, tattoo parlors and more. Entry will be $15 and all proceeds from entries and the raffle will go directly to CureSearch. Separate donations are both gratefully welcomed and encouraged. For more information on the tournament please follow the links to our Facebook event page or the IFPA calendar below or contact Doc or Ian at thesilverballroom@gmail.com.

Facebook Event Page:


IFPA Calendar Event Page:


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Fargo pinballer competes nationally

Detroit Lakes Online published an article on North Dakota State Champion Dan Stephney in advance of his trip to Nationals. Click HERE to see the coverage.

$tern Rewards Program – January 2017 Update

The IFPA is excited to announce that the following players have been now qualified for the $tern Rewards Program based on their January 2017 IFPA endorsed tournament performance! These players have until August 15th, 2017 to exercise their reward option.

Any eligible players that finished in the top 1000 for the end of the year World Pinball Player Rankings.

PLAYER OF THE MONTH – Germain Mariolle
BIGGEST MOVER AWARD – Paul Higginbotham

Detailed rules for the $tern Rewards Program, including an updated list of qualifiers, and updated list of rewards available can be found HERE.

World Pinball Player Rankings – Biggest Movers of February 2017!

The IFPA is pleased to announce that the following players saw the biggest jump in their world ranking based on their February 2017 tournament performance.

The biggest movers for February 2017 included Jim Brady from Ireland, who moved up 19,654 spots from the following results:

UK Pinball League Final League 51st 3.7

Jim moved up to a rank of 6336th in the world.

Philip Joupperi from Maple Vallaey, WA moved up 17,559 spots from the following results:

8-bit Arcade Weekly Main Tournament 5th 0.56
Triple Knock XXX Main Tournament 3rd 1.57
Triple Knock XXX Main Tournament 20th 0.12
Triple Knock XXX Main Tournament 6th 0.77

Philip moved up to a rank of 5075th in the world, and 82nd in the Washington SCS.

Travis Kerr from Eugene, OR moved up 13,248 spots from the following results:

Eugene Pinball knights Main Tournament 2nd 1.53
Eugene Pinball knights Main Tournament 14th 0.08
Eugene Pinball knights Main Tournament 1st 2.74
Eugene Pinball knights Main Tournament 9th 0.07

Travis moved up to a rank of 13,851st in the world, and 52nd in the Oregon SCS.

Congratulations to Jim, Philip and Travis, as well as the other players that saw a jump in their ranking from their February tournament performance!

World Pinball Player Rankings – Biggest Movers of January 2017!

The IFPA is pleased to announce that the following players saw the biggest jump in their world ranking based on their January 2017 tournament performance.

The biggest movers for January 2017 included Steve Dobbins from Corinth, TN, who moved up 20,113 spots from the following results:

Cold Hands Tournament Main Tournament 1st 2.08

Steve moved up to a rank of 8054th in the world.

Paul Higginbotham from Canberra, Australia moved up 11,395 spots from the following results:

Coogee Flip Frenzy Main Tournament 2nd 7.33

Paul moved up to a rank of 3154th in the world.

Mathieu Taggart from Montreal, Canada moved up 11,218 spots from the following results:

Ottawa Pinball Medics IFPA Classics Tournament Classics 33rd 0.21
Ottawa Pinball Medics  EM Division 40th 0.06
North Star Pinball Tournament Classics 16th 0.21

Mathieu moved up to a rank of 13,851st in the world.

Congratulations to Steve, Paul and Mathieu, as well as the other players that saw a jump in their ranking from their January tournament performance!

Jörgen Holm – IFPA’s Player of the Month for February 2017!

The IFPA is pleased to announce that our Player of the Month for February 2017 is Jörgen Holm from Stockholm, Sweden. Jörgen earned a total of 88.02 WPPR points in February. This included the following results:

Matchstick Pinball Open Main Tournament 3rd 35.2
Matchstick Pinball Open Classics 3rd 35.2
Stockholm Pinball Månadstävling Main Tournament 1st 17.62

Jörgen is currently ranked 9th in the world, and 18th in the 2017-18 ECS.

The rest of the top 5 for the month of February included David Dahl-Hansson from Sweden with 75.67 WPPR points, Jorian Engelbrektsson from Sweden with 75.67 WPPR points, Peter Franck from Sweden with 68.87 WPPR points, and Tommy Bizzi from Strongsville, OH with 60.93 WPPR points.

Congratulations to Jörgen and the other top WPPR point earners of the month!