Over the past 7 years that the World Pinball Player Rankings have existed, the system has evolved to try and better meet our two most important goals. The first goal is to use the WPPR system as a promotional tool to help motivate players to participate in competitive pinball, get new events created, and get more players interested in the sport. The second goal is to try and rank the world’s greatest pinball players as accurately as possible. Often times we run into issues where these two goals are mutually exclusive.
We typically only make changes to the WPPR system at the start of every calendar year, but in rare circumstances will change things during the year if we feel that the integrity of the WPPR system is in danger of being exploited by tournament directors based on the current rules.
The current change, that will be made immediately, is how Launch Party Tournaments will be handled in the WPPR system. Typically every unique tournament is given a base value of 25 WPPR points to be awarded to the winner. Tournaments that are run multiple times in a year end up sharing those 25 WPPR points across those events.
The Launch Party Tournament was originally created between Stern and the IFPA to be run in Chicago, with at least 3 being run each year coinciding with the launch of Stern’s latest game. The size and scope of this tournament was always on the smaller side, so the plan of making this a local periodic event was something that has worked at the start. Over the years this launch party concept has expanded to multiple cities around the world, and now more recently with the additional Jersey Jack Pinball launch parties as well. We have also seen the start of launch parties being thrown in conjunction with other existing IFPA endorsed events. This again started only in Chicago at Pinball Expo, but has grown to include California Extreme, the Northwest Pinball Show and the PAPA World Pinball Championships.
The result is that there the WPPR values associated with these launch party tournaments now range from 4 WPPR points, to 64 WPPR points, based mainly on factors outside of the promotion of the launch party itself. Because of the impact this has on the integrity of both the world rankings, and the state rankings here in the US, we have decided to adjust the WPPR values of these launch parties based on the original intent of how often they would be run when we created them.
Effectively immediately, every city that has a Launch Party tournament for either Stern Pinball or Jersey Jack Pinball, that base value will only be worth 33%. Any city that continues to run three or more parties per year will not be impacted, including Chicago. Any city that has run less than three launch party tournaments will be impacted by having the WPPR points for those events adjusted appropriately.
We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause for the players impacted as they attempt to qualify for both the IFPA11 World Pinball Championship and the various 2013 State Championships, but feel this is in the best interest for the integrity of the WPPR system.