WPPR v5.1 details

ios-5.1-640x480WPPR v5.1 changes are now available on the rankings info page. The Rated players change is not in yet, but should go live in the next couple of weeks.

Here's a list of the adjustments we're implementing:

1) Only Rated players will be included in the player count with respect to base value. A player becomes Rated after participating in 5 events lifetime. These unrated players will still be able to earn WPPR points, and impact the distribution of the points from a tournament, but they simply won't be counted towards the 1/2 point per player count for the base. This is to limit the impact of organizers trying to sign up random participants, or worse, list fake names of players that did not participate as a way to artificially increase the base value of the tournament.

2) We have put a rule in place that you can only play a maximum of 3 meaningful games per machine per 'state/round' of an event. Organizers with only one machine are welcome to do multiple rounds or stages where players are eliminated in the process and be able to capture more meaningful games played, but the 'high score tournament' or average score, etc. with X number of games counting maxes at 3 per physical machine.

3) For any tournaments that have multiple paths of qualifying for the finals, we will take the SHORTEST of those paths when counting meaningful games played for that portion of the tournament. This is to try and stop the confusing formats where organizers offer a way for players to qualify for an event easily, and then have some subgroup of players also battling out for spots by using a longer process, while being able to capture the games played for that subgroup of players. Couple of examples would be taking having 5 machines and allowing the high score of each machine a spot in the finals, while also giving players a chance to advance to the finals based on their play across all 5 machines. This would now count as ONE meaningful game played because of that potential path for players to reach the finals rather than 5.

4) For any brackets or group play rounds, we want to promote tournaments using a consistent number of games from round to round. For bracket tournaments we have seen organizers use single game matches throughout, only to then backload the number of games played by having the final match be a best of 25 match. Same thing with group play rounds, we've seen organizers play 3 games per round, except for the last round they would intentionally play 11 rounds in order to reach the 25 games played metric. We will use the minimum number of games for any one round of play in determining how many meaningful games played get counted, so if someone wants to run best of 3 matches they should be making that choice for the entire bracket. They will no longer be able to pick certain rounds to expand that match total, or rather they could, but they would still only be credited for 3 games played for that round. We are okay with the winner's bracket and loser's bracket being different lengths, as long as it's consistent across each of them individually. 

Any questions or comments, please contact the IFPA at ifpapinball@gmail.com

30 responses to “WPPR v5.1 details”

  1. Nick Lane says:

    This is awesome – nicely done!

  2. Taylor Reese says:

    how does meaningful games played work for leagues? I was required to enter in when submitting our recent results but I wasn’t exactly sure what I was suppose to enter. We play 30 games a season and end with a tournament.

  3. Mario Kaufmann says:

    Guys, are you positive about the 5 tournament rule for new players? I mean, here in Austria we have like 5-10 tournaments throughout the year (and yeah, we don’t like to travel either) so a new player won’t contribute for half a year… My guess for a small country like we are is 3 maybe even two (just thinking of how I try to motivate people to go to tournaments, setting up machines for them, etc.) – well, just my two cents (€) 🙂
    Btw. I couldn’t agree more on all other points! Thanks, nicely done!

  4. IFPA - International Flipper Pinball Association says:

    Mario – I glanced at the last 5 Austrian tournaments and here’s what I saw:
    Devils Pinball Party –> 24 players, 19 rated
    After XMAS Race –> 18 players, 16 rated
    Pinbot Bazar Tournament –> 25 players, 25 rated
    Ligafinale Österreich –> 24 players, 24 rated
    Austrian Pinball League – Liga Graz –> 28 players, 27 rated
    We will continue to monitor the actual impact throughout the year, especially in smaller countries. We’re hoping the net result are organizers really pushing more for players to join competitive pinball long term, versus trying to sign up any random person they can to help increase the base value.

  5. IFPA - International Flipper Pinball Association says:

    Taylor – Think of your league season as one long tournament.
    The 30 games you played for your season would be the qualifying portion. Assuming you reduce the field by at least 50% for those players eligible to win the league during finals, you would count those 30 games played plus whatever finals games were played.

  6. Kevin Stone says:

    Great change in the last rule, and you mentioned it’s okay if winner bracket is best of three and loser bracket is one game, which is great because the one game loser bracket is useful to manage overall tourney times. The back end 25 game finals is a clear exploit and stupid. Who wants to actually have to play such a final round?

  7. IFPA - International Flipper Pinball Association says:

    Kevin Stone – This is where I was definitely naive with the release of WPPR v5.0 that organizers would want to do something like that, rather than keeping with a consistent format throughout.
    The ideas behind v5.1 are almost helping tournament directors try to ‘do the right thing’ with respect to their formats. K.I.S.S. and keep the random obvious exploits to a minimum. The players will appreciate it long term.

  8. Kevin Stone says:

    I’ve always thought that as the year progresses, the tournaments that try and exploit the rules to maximize WPPRs under new rules will result in a non fun event, which will naturally result in attrition of players, further reducing the base and essentially wiping out the exploit. But I like your proactive approach to just nip it now. 12-18 is the new 25 for a majority of fun one day tourneys, and that will probably be seen over the course of the year with the new update sooner than later.

  9. Andreas Haugstrup Pedersen says:

    Excellent!

  10. IFPA - International Flipper Pinball Association says:

    Our feeling is that it’s time for our “endorsement” to mean something for the players participating.
    If we smell anything that seems like an exploit, we’re going to call it like we see it, and ultimately end up simply not endorsing that tournament for WPPR’s, period.

  11. Ken Rossi says:

    will this be retroactive to a particular date or just going forward

  12. IFPA - International Flipper Pinball Association says:

    #1 and #2 retroactive to 1/1/15.
    #3 and #4 going forward.

  13. DaveStewart says:

    With regards to #3, if I am reading that correctly, then a tournament such as the IFPA US Nationals would be graded as just 16 games instead of 25, correct?  Since there were 31 players, Zach got a bye first round.  Thus the shortest possible path for him would have been winning 4-in-a-row in rounds of 16, 8, 4, and 2.

    One of the biggest issues I’ve seen is with 3-strike knockout tournaments being graded based on maximum number of games (e.g. could be 17 games) even though actual number of rounds was only 12 or 13 games.  Will these now be graded as actual number of rounds played?  What if the winner got a ‘bye’.  Does the ‘bye’ round still count as a game played, they just automatically won it?  Or does that reduce the shortest path by one game or one round?

  14. Per says:

    First of all, I like what you are doing to stem the most blatant exploits. A couple of questions:

    Does “going forward” mean tournaments submitted from today and on, or already submitted tournaments that are yet to be played?

    I can see a finals best of 25 being an obvious exploit, but when I do a tournament with 12 rounds of match play qualifying best of 1, followed by playoffs being best 2/3 and finals being 3/5, I don’t think it’s gaming the system as much as getting a lot of players a lot of matches and then having fairer playoffs. It’s a pretty natural progression I think. Would you be open to allow this kind of tournament to count the actual meaningful games, or would it still be regarded as best of 1 in each round including playoffs?

    Also, should leagues be submitted to the calendar? I have not done so because I assumed they were already in the system somehow.

  15. JoshSharpe says:

    DaveStewart

    With respect to the IFPA US Nationals this would not impact the longest path because there was only 1 way to QUALIFY for Nationals. Rule #3 is only for tournaments where there are multiple ways to qualify for finals.

    With respect to strike/knockout events, we’re likely going to move to either an average number of rounds or actual number of rounds (plus however many strikes the winner has leftover), but won’t make that change until 2016. The Brackelope guys are helping us with the running of simulations to be able to come up with the average number of rounds played for any possible player count with any number of strikes.

  16. MattTomkins says:

    Once a player gets 5 tournament entries, does it go back and retroactively add 1/2 point to the first 5 tournaments that the player played in?

  17. JoshSharpe says:

    @Per

    If you know of tournaments yet to be played that have rules exploiting the system, we would love the chance to ‘clean them up’ before they take place. We will be following these rules for anything already submitted and not yet played, so organizers/players should contact us about clarification.

    With respect to your event, if the 12 rounds are ‘qualifying’ and then you are creating a bracket out of that for the playoffs, you’re welcome to change the playoff bracket to me whatever format you like. Changing the final to best 3 out of 5 would still only net you 3 games for TGP if all of your previous playoff rounds were best 2/3. 

    Leagues have a separate registration process. It’s new so I’ve been slowly filling League Presidents in as they have attempted to submit results only to see they haven’t been able to.

    The league registration page can be found here:
    http://www.ifpapinball.com/leagues/register.php

  18. JoshSharpe says:

    MattTomkins

    It does not. The logic in our build script is to simply check how many Rated players participated in the tournament at that time. If the player wasn’t Rated at that time, they won’t be included in the base value.

  19. DaveStewart says:

    So if I understand your clarification, the shortest path only applies to QUALIFYING rounds. So in the US Nationals, best 4 out of 7 each round, you are using longest path of 7 games, not shortest path of 4 games.  What about a double-elimination bracket, no qualifying?  If 32 players, then there are 5 rounds via winners bracket path, or up to 10 via loser bracket path, with best 2-out-of-3 each round, which equates to 15 games via winner’s bracket or 30 games via loser’s bracket. Would you use shortest (15 games) or longest (30 games) path in this case?

  20. Jim S says:

    I agree there was some weird things going on. The 5 rated events is definitely going to affect us here in CT. I’ve been working hard the last 6-7 months creating our own location and recruiting players very hard. We are the only place to play in the state and slowly gathering a large following who are very excited. We can only organize so many events and are bringing a good number of new people. It’s going to take a year or two for all these players to become rated with 5 events. Many have been playing every week for our leagues and are very dedicated but that’s 3 events in a year if they can make the whole years worth of leagues.
    Was also hoping to have lots of lower key events that everyone doesn’t come from neighboring 6 or so states so the CT players have a bit more chance to earn points for SCS. Looks like this won’t be able to work out as I had hoped as these more local events will have a much lower base value. Getting 64 players for a full base event was never going to happen here anyways and now even if we hit 40 for a more local event I’m guessing 12-15 rated players.
    I’m sure in the end of the year things will be worked out nicely for 6.0:)

  21. JoshSharpe says:

    DaveStewart

    Any tournaments with no qualifying we’re not worrying about.

    Here’s an example of what I’m talking about:

    Imagine typical PAPA qualifying, but instead of solely using the 5-game run as the metric to determine qualifiers, MHS adds in a clause that anyone that gets 1st place on a machine at anytime also advances to the playoffs.

    This would change the number of meaningful games from 5 to 1 for the qualifying portion of PAPA, because of the alternate ways that a player can qualify for the playoffs.

    With a double elimination bracket playoff there’s no qualifying, so we’re still using our version of v5.0’s longest path.

    With that said we’re examining a future change to move to an ‘expected value’ of matches based on how likely it is that the winner comes from the longest path. By this I mean, if there’s 17 players, the chances are less likely that the 5th round will impact the final results compared to if you have 30 players (where 28 players play that 5th round instead of just 2). That’s not on the table at the moment, but will be examined throughout the year along with the Knockout format to try and dial in a more realistic games played number.

  22. Per says:

    JoshSharpe
    With respect to your event, if the 12 rounds are ‘qualifying’ and then you are creating a bracket out of that for the playoffs, you’re welcome to change the playoff bracket to me whatever format you like. Changing the final to best 3 out of 5 would still only net you 3 games for TGP if all of your previous playoff rounds were best 2/3. 

    So, even though the qualifying was matches best of 1, the playoffs can be best 2/3, and will count for 3? I didn’t get that at first. This would mean TGP 12 + 4 rounds of playoff with 3 games/round= 24 games?

  23. JoshSharpe says:

    @Per

    Assuming your qualifying process reduces the field by at least 50%, you would count those 12 games towards TGP. You could then count your playoffs at 3 games per round.

  24. Per says:

    JoshSharpe
    Giddyup!

  25. DaveStewart says:

    The more I see these increasingly complex rules, and the difficulty in enforcing them with the tournament submissions, the more I think an approach like diving would be better. In diving, each type of known dive is given a “degree of difficulty”.  The judges scores are multiplied by that value. For custom dives, the diver needs to submit ahead of time an explanation and their recommendation for degree of difficulty relative to other known dives, then a value is assigned.  The same thing could happen; for known formats (HERB, PAPA, 3-strike knockout, double elimination) it should be possible to define that degree of difficulty (which basically becomes the grading percentage) and anyone who uses the format automatically gets that degree of difficulty. Then IFPA then only needs to review someone with an original format. If they don’t like it because they appear to be gaming the system, they can give it a low degree of difficulty. This makes it very difficult to game the system with some kind of stupid format.  This would also allow a better balancing so that a 3-hour 3-strike tournament with 33 players doing match play isn’t graded the same as a 3-day qualifying+16/8/4 finals of 4-player games.  Just throwing this out there for consideration.

  26. Bob Matthews says:

    Expected Average Number of Games is the way to go, it’s how easy that is to determine that’s the issue.  For many event formats, adding a 9th, 17th or 33rd player increases the game count by however many games there are per round, but in reality it barely moves the number of games the tournament winner is likely to play.  Just as we used formulae to get the longest path count, though, average path counts, assuming random player assignment, can be determined as well.

    For “multiple path” systems, it’s fairer to use average path than either longest or shortest.  One large event this past week had a final that was in fact between a “longest path” player and a “shortest path” player.

    I don’t like using “actual” path length since that’s too subject to who gets paired up against whom and how the matches go.  Using actual length, the same event could get a different rating every year with no change in format, which doesn’t seem fair to the participants.

    Overall, the changes make sense and will adjust for events that don’t pass the “this makes sense” smell test.  And yes, be proactive about discussing formats with TDs.  It would be unfair to the players to have an expectation for how an event will be rated that ends up being changed after the fact.

    One clear purpose of the new system is to let TDs choose their formats to balance their operational goals and their WPPR goal, if any.  Since the “games played” aspect is new, it’s natural that there will be some experimentation with formats where a 100% event rating is a goal.  Clearly it’s better to have events where _all_ participants play a similar [but not necessarily identical] number of meaningful games [at least until they’re eliminated].  Perhaps that should be a point of emphasis?

  27. Mario Kaufmann says:

    true – (but) for example: Devils pinball party: minus three players that only have 2, 3 and 1 listed tournaments before that… So the actual decrease would have been 8 players (minus a third).
    Or the after Xmas race, there are another 3 additional players that won’t contribute… Almost minus a third too.
    I get the feeling that the number of meaningless side tournaments will rise, just to add tournaments to the new players’ … 🙂
    I can agree on new players not contributing. But from my organizer’s point of view, we have to make the tournaments attractive (wppr wise) to motivate people to come to the tournaments. There is only a 50-70 really active player base here. And as I said, they really don’t like to travel much. So a 2x 3 hours ride (esp. When driving home after the tournament – yes, we drink beer here too ;-)) will always keep them away, if it isn’t for something special. We are not allowed to pay price money, or anything else of value…
    Anyway, time will show… And the 5.1 rules are a good step into the right direction!
    You can’t make it perfect and you have to keep it simple, I fully understand 😉

  28. Jake Erskine says:

    While I understand the IFPA’s motivation in creating these rules, I worry about their overall impact.  I get that these rules are put in place to ensure that a small event doesn’t outweigh a “Triple Crown” tourney.  And also to curb TDs and players from exploiting the ratings system.  But my concern is that the IFPA may be over complicating things and in doing so may alienate players by essentially destroying the “value” of certain tournament formats.  I have always viewed the IFPA as an organization designed to help rank the quality of players; not decide which tournament formats are better than others.

    It is my opinion that these new rules are essentially dictating what type of tournaments will be played, as TDs are now forced to fall in line with these rules (if their intent is to maximize WPPR values).

    This kind of system could essentially kill innovation in format design as some really fun formats simply will be worth little points.  Your typical PinGolf format, for example, will have a very hard time reaching a level of WPPR value to interest many point-chasing players, this due to the new “path to win” rule.

    Speaking of the path to win rule, there are some circumstances where that doesn’t make sense.  In an elimination style tournament less games played would show better quality of play.  But in a Pingolf format the IFPA would require more games to be played to raise the “value” of the event.

    I am a believer that whenever there are rules, no matter how complex, no matter how convoluted, there are some people who will set out to find a way to exploit them — and they will always succeed.

    With that in mind, I’d just like to state, that my opinion is that less is more.  Simple is often better.  In the case of the IFPA and the whole WPPR system, it seems to me the simplest system would be to base the value of an event solely on the number of players and their current ranking/rating going into that event. No matter what the format is, no matter how many games played, in order to win that event, in theory, you had to play better than anyone else there.  Coming in 1st out of 16 should most definitely be worth less than coming in 1st out of 64, even if the group of 16 played 200 games of pinball and the group of 64 played 100.  No matter what the path to victory was, you still had to beat more players to win.

    Now, I realize that this system, too, could be gamed.  But it seems to me that any tournament that was created solely to game this system would be very much unfun and would quickly lose favor with players. The fun events would rise to the top.

    Simplifying the calculations, along with the current system of using your best 25 and having value roll off over time, I think, would create the best of both worlds while keeping the book-keeping less taxing on both TDs and the IFPA.

    My opinion, if I’m at a bar, and suddenly myself and 7 other people decide we want to run an impromptu Brackelope tourney, why couldn’t we just run the event and submit it for points?  It would certainly have a low value being that it’s only 8 people.  And even if we did this every day of the year it wouldn’t gain any of those players enough points for it to matter much!  But what it would do, is keep a record of the quality of play of those players, which, is what I always thought was the IFPA’s set out to do.

    All this being said, thank you for all you do to promote tournament pinball the growth of players over the last few years has been incredible, and the IFPA has everything to do with that growth!

  29. Towelie says:

    I do not have my head wrapped around all the new rules, yet. I just found out about the changes. Yes, I have been living under a rock for the past two weeks. It is nice to see the IFPA moving forward on this situation. With the new rules this year TD’s realized quickly the difficulty of maximizing the TGP for tournaments and the base value points for leagues. It saddens me the length that some TD’s would go to maximize their events sacrificing the integrity of the event and at the same time the respectability of themselves. I applaud the IFPA for seeing what was going on and now 5.1 has been born. In the future versions I would recommend the IFPA enlist the help of some ‘Cheats and Sneaks’ (the respectable ones). People that are ‘Cheats and Sneaks’ could offer a different point of view for new rules. That could minimize TD’s taking advantage of the rules in the future. I would like to offer a suggestion for a future 5.x. For a tournament with qualifying and finals rounds, ‘a minimum of 50% of the meaningful games must be played in the qualifying rounds’. Run with that. I think it would guarantee that all participants would play 50% of the tournament. I would welcome anyone to poke a hole into that rule and find a downside to it. I would like to see a meaningful game become 5% instead of 4% but I would not hold my breath. Maybe have an exception for major and/or established tournament (PAPA Classics) to have 100% TGP guaranteed. I have given my two cents and I hope it was worth something.

  30. Towelie says:

    I do not have my head wrapped around all the new rules, yet. I just found out about the changes. Yes, I have been living under a rock for the past two weeks. It is nice to see the IFPA moving forward on this situation. With the new rules this year TD’s realized quickly the difficulty of maximizing the TGP for tournaments and the base value points for leagues. It saddens me the length that some TD’s would go to maximize their events sacrificing the integrity of the event and at the same time the respectability of themselves. I applaud the IFPA for seeing what was going on and now 5.1 has been born. In the future versions I would recommend the IFPA enlist the help of some ‘Cheats and Sneaks’ (the respectable ones). People that are ‘Cheats and Sneaks’ could offer a different point of view for new rules. That could minimize TD’s taking advantage of the rules in the future. I would like to offer a suggestion for a future 5.x. For a tournament with qualifying and finals rounds, ‘a minimum of 50% of the meaningful games must be played in the qualifying rounds’. Run with that. I think it would guarantee that all participants would play 50% of the tournament. I would welcome anyone to poke a hole into that rule and find a downside to it. I would like to see a meaningful game become 5% instead of 4% but I would not hold my breath. Maybe have an exception for major and/or established tournament (PAPA Classics) to have 100% TGP guaranteed. I have given my two cents and I hope it was worth something. I just want to have fun and play pinball.

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