June Updates for United Federation of Competitive Pinball

Welcome readers, from the United Federation of Competitive Pinball commissioner comes a long list of updates and changes the UFCP has been working on. The UFCP has been sanctioning tournaments for a little while now (with almost 100 players in the rankings already!), but not much has been said on the announcement front. What gives? A lot of time has been spent behind the scenes working away at a multitude of topics detailed below.

Expansion

One of the current goals of UFCP has been to have a national reach within the United States, covering anyone in the country who wants to compete with the UFCP. When originally launching, the goal was to expand beyond our initial Mid-Atlantic region with the 2022 season. With the overwhelming reception from all over, we have been doing a lot of work in the background to prepare for this expansion as soon as we were able to deliver a great experience for all. Today, I would like to announce that starting July 1st, we will offer sanctioning on tournaments in all 50 states within the United States. There will be a more detailed post specifically about this topic coming out later this week. Regions (discussed below in its own section) are currently being defined for this expansion. Once our detailed expansion post is available, we will begin reaching out to tournament directors that have already shown interest, and begin to open up the on-boarding process for tournament directors, allowing events to be submitted in preparation for the July 1st sanctioning.

Regions

The United Federation of Competitive Pinball will be defining “regions” for players to be ranked within (on top of their overall UFCP ranking). At the end of the 2021 season (December 31st, 2021), each region will be a host a “finals” tournament to name a champion of their region. The sanctioning fee collected from tournaments hosted within each region will go toward the prize pool for their respective finals. Beginning with the 2022 season, UFCP plans to make the regional finals a qualifier for an overall United Federation of Competitive Pinball Championship event. Players will only participate in one regional finals, based on whichever region they played the majority of their events in.

Additional Formats

Currently, the formats that are “sanctionable” by UFCP have been limited to strike out or matchplay style events. We are now working on how to give “value” to additional format types so that the rankings will provide more flexibility for event directors. The first formats that will be added will include “hybrid” type events, allowing for events to have multiple types of play within an event (for example a strike-out tournament with a finals for the top X players). We are also planning round robin and leagues with this too. After the initial introduction of these additional formats, “selfie-leagues” are the next planned format to support. We are also asking anyone who has specific formats that they are interested in seeing UFCP sanction to let us know via our contact form.

Leagues

As mentioned above, leagues will soon be ranked with UFCP. Formulas are currently being finalized. Great care has been taken to allow leagues to remain fair to the ranking system, while taking into consideration the “value” in how much “play” is involved in a season. Generally speaking, players must play at least a minimum of 50% of a season to be counted toward points for the season, but league directors may provide more strict rules. Reminder: This is still a beta season, and with the introduction of a major new format, it is likely we may adjust some things as seen fit. More details will be forthcoming in the future.

PinFest – The Allentown Pinball Show

It is with great excitement that we announce, UFCP will be hosting its first official competitive event at the 2021 PinFest show in Allentown, PA. A 2 day event, from July 30th-31st, UFCP will be setting up a qualifying based tournament with a finals, as well as some other cool smaller events at the same time! More details will be coming soon. We look forward to a great event, with lots of friendly competition.

Formula Changes

After much review of our current formulas, several decisions have been made to adjust the calculations behind rankings. These changes are detailed below. We are currently validating that the new formulas are implemented correctly into rankingOS. Once that has been completed, the rankings will become temporarily unavailable for 2-3 days and all existing results and rankings will be recalculated against these new formulas. The majority of players will still be placed similarly in the rankings with the new formulas. With the major revisions in the calculations it was determined to be most fair to recalculate earlier results to keep them consistent and not potentially offer unfair advantages for “early movers”.

For the 2021 season we have decided to outright remove the “player weight” points. A revised formula will be reintroduced in 2022 to factor in a strength of the players in the event. With the expansion of more regions, this will allow each region to generate a player base and help prevent “early start” bonuses for players who have already had access to UFCP tournaments ahead of other regions getting started. As the 2022 plans are finalized we will begin present the formula for this.

Player count points are being adjusted from 0.2 per player to 0.4 per player. The maximum number of points possible from this will increase from 20 to 40.

Format points are also being modified. For matchplay and strike out style tournaments, each “game played” will move from 1 point to 1.5 points. Multipliers for 3 and 4 player groups will remain the same.

For points distribution, we are going to implement a percentage based formula to give 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place wins a bonus and continue with a linear distribution for finishing positions below 3rd place. Simply put, the distribution formula will remain the same, but 2nd place will be multiplied by .85, 3rd place multiplied by .75, and positions 4th and below by .7. Through testing our existing data with this new points distribution, we believe we have been able offer a better “bonus” for placing in an event, while still allowing the UFCP to achieve what it is looking for with a linear distribution of points.

Final Thoughts

The UFCP has stated from the beginning that we are utilizing this first season as a beta season, making various changes along the way to get to a more “polished” product. Even with minor speed bumps along the way, we have received great feedback and lots of support. I want to take this moment to thank our players, event directors, staff, and volunteers for their hard work and patience. A lot of development work has gone into getting to this point, and it’s only the beginning! While we continue to focus on our rapid expansion and growth, your support has been, and will continue to be, the driving force behind it all. There are 2 things we need from our player/director base now. 1) Continue providing us feedback. Some of our changes have come from internal feedback, and other changes have come from what we have heard for you. All feedback is welcomed for consideration. 2) Keep spreading the word to other players and event hosts. The more events that are sanctioned by UFCP, the bigger the prize pool will be for your region, and more friendly, competitive pinball for all!

 

Casey Gardner
Founder and Commissioner