You should host a Pinball Tournament

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Ekthoren
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You should host a Pinball Tournament

Post by Ekthoren »

We all love playing pinball. More and more locations are getting pinball machines. I would like to see more new players playing competitive pinball and to do that we need more people to host tournaments and/or league. I am all for IFPA and competitive pinball. Lots of formats exist to keep things interesting. If you would like to host an event I will be happy to walk you through how to do it. It does take some planning and time to put on a fun event but it is not hard. Feel free to email, message or call me and lets get you started!
Erik Thoren

Hilton
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Re: You should host a Pinball Tournament

Post by Hilton »

I agree, hosting events can be fun.

Question for you Erik >>

I think that many people used to like the hunt for SCS points but that dynamic has greatly changed with the plethora and size of amazing events.
Without the draw of an amazing facility and collection it is hard pressed for anyone to make any event worth a comparable amount of points due to a lack of attendees (most events outside of Title town are getting ~20 players/ maxing at 15ish points which has been typical for years).

Outside of MGC, the next 30 highest point value/ attended events are all at titletown/appleton with arguably the 2 best private collections in the region which are opened up and can handle public play for 50+ players.

Any thoughts on how to try and engage more possible TDs that dont have access to such amazing collections/facilities to try and draw in 60+ people for 4-6 events every month (and hence the SCS is out of range for all but the best/most prolific players so cant really dangle that carrot)?

I would still like to see pinball growing but that is one of the biggest changes I see in the past year as a Wi state constraint/limitation to incentivizing specifically IFPA play as SCS point hunt is out of the running for the vast majority regardless of skill.

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Ekthoren
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Re: You should host a Pinball Tournament

Post by Ekthoren »

Hilton,
I will answer your question directly at the end but I need to put in some background info first.
I am trying to expand the pool of pinball players in Wisconsin. Yes ultimately I would like to get them into playing at IFPA events and get excited about competing. But not a single new person plays their first tournament looking for IFPA points or SCS standings. And a lot of new people are a little scared about competing at a 60 person tournament because its too big for them. I host company outings and private events at TitleTown where we get 20-40 person groups to do a match play tournament against their own peers. Its awesome and its not for IFPA points. It's for fun, which is why we all played in our first tournament. The new players get a taste for a tournament format. Then they find out we do this 3 times per month and some of them are now in my league and more importantly they go home and tell their friend who play pinball about it and then they come to league or a tournament. But that all started with a smaller tournament and not for IFPA points.
We are at 500 unique IFPA players in Wisconsin right now for 2019. I would like to see that number grow to 1000. I would also like to see the number of tournaments go over 200. But that is only going to happen if we engage new players to come out and more experienced players or facility owners to host events.
Plenty of places exist right now in this state that can do a 60 person tournament. Also, plenty of places could exist if we had a larger amount of players throughout the state to draw from. But the owners of those places need to want to host a tournament first. I can't make someone want to be a tournament director, but if they see lots more people playing pinball in there area it might make it easier for them to step up and try it. This post is about finding those people not about creating the facility to host regular large events. Just like playing in your first tournament most people had a friend "nudge" them into playing. I am offering to help people become a tournament director and get that first tournament started and fill in the blanks on what to expect. Only by helping people get those tournaments started are we going to grow competitive pinball.
I disagree with the premise that because TitleTown exists why bother hosting a tournament if I can't get the same amount of points. Or, I need to somehow host 4-6 60+ people events per month to compete. TitleTown Pinball is creating more players but I'm only open 3-4 days per month. Those people are still wanting to play pinball for the rest of the month. Plus they don't always want to just play at TitleTown. This creates an opportunity for other locations to host events and draw from the new players that now exist. I am always encouraging players from TitleTown to go to other events and they are. Which makes other events larger, worth more points, etc.
The winner of a 10 person tournament is still excited they won and feels good about it regardless of the points. You could also argue if more and more smaller locations exist eventually a bigger one will pop up in that area and then you can have your big, local events. But it takes work and it takes developing those tournament directors first.
Midwest Gaming Classic hosted the biggest tournament by far in Wisconsin for 2019 with 171 people. My biggest event so far is 73 people. This tournament was held with only 6 pinball machines. How can 6 Pinball Machines host a tournament for 171 people? What they had was a tournament director who wanted to do it and an awesome show that's been around for over 15 years to draw the people from. So you don't need 50 pinball machines to host a large event. Most big tournaments in this country utilize shows to do the big tournaments. But, any event that draws large numbers of people could be used as a stepping stone for regular large IFPA events. At the midwest gaming classic tournament, 45 of those 171 people just played there first IFPA event ever. Wouldn't you like to have the email address of 45 new people that played in a local pinball tournament and get them to come to your events? That's what I'm talking about, you need to create that network, collect that info and invite people to come. Stop looking at how do I get all the people already playing pinball to come to my event and try to bring in the new people to play. It won't happen in 1 event. And it all starts with that first tournament that a person hosts.
If you want to get some bigger IFPA points right now most of my weekend events are double tournaments with 100% TGP (Max Value). So you only need to come to a few to get in some big point opportunities. Their are other tournaments in this state to get 15-20 points at. Plus, for the SCS only the top 20 of everyone's tournaments count. If you do well you will still make top 24 in the state.
Remember from 2000-2013 Stern was the only pinball maker. No competition, no need to innovate, just survive and I'm glad they did. But, along comes Jersey Jack with Wizard of Oz to push the envelope on what's possible. Stern stepped up their game and now we have multiple manufactures, lots of new tables, Pro, Premium, LE trim options, new technologies, etc. You can debate whether it's better or not but you can't debate whether more and more people are buying, collecting and playing pinball; they are and innovation is happening.
We can innovate competitive pinball too. It doesn't have to be the same as it has always been. We all need to expand the pool of players. When that happens new locations, new events, new tournament directions with different ideas, better pinball will happen. But it all starts with someone telling their friends to come over and play some pinball.
Erik Thoren

Hilton
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Re: You should host a Pinball Tournament

Post by Hilton »

great insights and thanks for the info/response.

I hope more TDs step in to run more events.

If anyone in the Madison regions wants to run events, then let me know.
I (and Sean and Garrett) am/are always happy to open Madison Pinball locations for your use and would also be up for hosting at my home if someone is interested in running an event there in the fall/winter.

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zenbone
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Re: You should host a Pinball Tournament

Post by zenbone »

we are hopeful that we can host when we get up there and get set up. If we cannot host a tournament we certainly want to have some pinball nights or coffee and pinball events. We have been volunteers at a few tournaments down here as score keepers. But first i have to get this damn house packed up and sold :?

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