Joe Said is a damn good pinball player and nice guy too. He posted to his website clubpinball.com about a player going into suppressed status with the IFPA. The idea of suppressed status was news to me. Apparently, a player can be registered with the IFPA and receive WPPR points when entering sanctioned tournaments, but not have the points earned listed publicly and not participate in the ranking system.
As the player involved stated, he is creating a points black hole. If a suppressed player enters a tournament and wins second place, the points awarded for second place will be awarded to that player, but will not be listed with the IFPA because the player’s status is suppressed. This affects the remainder of the players in the tournament as these points are not able to be earned by other players – the black hole.
The suppressed status also affects the tournaments in which a suppressed player is involved because the ranking of the suppressed player is not factored in when determining the value of the tournament. As a result, the players in the tournament are playing against and beating or losing to the suppressed player, but the value assigned to the tournament does not factor in the skill level of the suppressed player because he is suppressed – a second layer of the black hole.
Should a suppressed player be allowed to participate in an IFPA sanctioned tournament? I think all IFPA tournaments are open to IFPA and non-IFPA members. In order to receive points toward an IFPA ranking, a player has to register with the IFPA.
If you look at it from this perspective, a suppressed player affects a tournament the way a non-IFPA member would affect a tournament. This seems like it would not be a big deal until you consider that the suppressed player may be a highly ranked and highly skilled player whose suppressed status can have a big impact on the tournament difficulty and the points that are available to be won by the other participants.
Since there appear to be only 20 or so suppressed players, it is not a big or widespread issue from an IFPA standpoint, but it is interesting to consider it as a way to opt out of the ranking system while retaining the ability to impact the ranking system.