Pinballs and Comics in Austria 8th/9th April 2017 Comic Con Austria

blog post courtesy of Stefan Riedler

On 8th and 9th April 2017 the Comic Con Austria (CCA) was held at the Design Center in Linz, Austria. Far more than 10.000 visitors enjoyed the weekend with different stars like Michael Cudlitz and Tim Proctor from Walking Dead or Jeremy Bulloch and Peter Roy from Star Wars. A lot of different Comic Artists has been present there as well as the DeLorean from back to the future or a lot of different Comic and TV Series related shops.

The brand-new Pinball machines from Heighway Pinball – Alien, JJP – Dialed In and Stern – Aerosmith has been presented there as well. Alongside has been also a great lineup for the Comic Convention like X-Men, Batman, Spiderman, Ghostbusters as well as Walking Dead, Full Throttle and Hobbit. So overall 10 Pinball machines has been setup on free play for the whole weekend and all of the visitors enjoyed it.

The 1st and not the last CCA Pinball Tournament was been held and organized by RS-Pinball e.U. in combination with the 3 Austrian Pinball Clubs (Flippnic, Kugelklopfa and Flipper-SV)

The winner of the tournaments are:

  1. Place Stefan Riedler (League Grenzbereich – Flipper-SV, Flippnic, Kugelklopfa)
  2. Place Rainer Mühlböck (League Mühlviertel- (Kugelklopfa, Flipper-SV)
  3. Place Stefan Karlhuber (League Grenzbereich – Flipper-SV)
  4. Place Uwe Ramsner (League Grenzbereich & Mühlviertel – Kugelklopfa)

Overall the event was a big success and promotion for Pinball as sports and we are looking forward to next year’s event which is planned to be even much bigger.

The Comic Convention will be held next time in Wels (AT) during 14th and 15th April 2018 in an even bigger Exhibition area, where more pinballs can be set up and where the 2nd CCA Pinball Tournament will be held. Maybe a special Batman Tournament will be done, because next years main topic is Batman.





RS-Pinball e.U.


An Empirical Evaluation of the IFPA Endorsement Fee

blog post courtesy of Phillip Grimaldi

The purpose of this analysis is to provide a data driven perspective on the impact of the IFPA’s recent announcement to charge $1.00/per player for every tournament submission. My approach was to examine the 2016 calendar year as a proxy for determining the impact in future years. The data for this analysis was obtained directly from the IFPA via their API. Analysis code and data files are available at my github repository. Readers are encouraged to report errors by contacting me directly or by submitting a pull request in github.

Click HERE for the details.

Italian Pinball Open: a big success for Levente Tregova and pinball competition

blog post courtesy of Alessio Crisantemi

Assago, Milan – Levente Tregova won the Italian Pinball Open (IPO), the Italian pinball championship: a new event in a new location dedicated to sports pinball, organized by IFPA Italia into the showroom of Double Pinball, the new Italian company exclusively dedicated to pinball, which became exclusive supplier of Jersey Jack pinballs for Italy and of spare parts for all kind of games.

The tournament took place on the weekend of March, 25-26, in the Assago office of the company, next to Milan, and as well as declare the new Italian champion of sports pinball, also represented the only Italian stage of the European circuit ECS.

The Swiss Levente Tregova won the competition, he prevailed over 64 players in the competition, coming from all over the country and several nations, including Switzerland, Poland, Hungary and others. Second place for the Italian Roberto Pedroni, who becomes in this way the 2017 Champion of Italy, by virtue of his position of first Italian player in the final IPO ranking. So, the player from Milan ends a very high level March, having triumphed just few days ago at the Spring Pinball Tournament at ENADA, in Rimini. Confirming to be in great shape, which is an excellent confidence boost for the upcoming World Championships in Denmark, scheduled in Copenhagen, on June, 2-4, 2017, where Pedroni will represent Italy along with the reigning World Champion, Daniele Acciari, in the Italian National Tecnoplay Team.

About Acciari: the player has not gone beyond the fifth place at Ipo in Assago, precisely losing the match against Pedroni, which seemed unstoppable and only the Swiss Tregova won against him. Third place for Davide Della Ianna and fourth place for Gabriele Tedeschi from Rome.

Also a second side tournament took place during the two days of sports pinball in Milan, won by Manuel Cereda from Milan, second place for the Venetian Paolo Luise and Roberto Pedroni again, ending here at the third place.

Thornton pinball wizard wins 2017 Women’s World Pinball Championship

The Denver Post published a piece on newly crowned Women’s World Pinball Champion, Helena Walter Higgins. Click HERE to see the coverage.

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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:

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 –

  • PLUS LOTS MORE – Something for Everyone!


For more information on attending this very special event – go to…

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

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.