ECHZELL, Germany -- The International Flipper Pinball Association reports that this historic city in the old Imperial landgraviate of Hesse Darmstadt has been chosen as the venue for this year's IFPA10 World Championship tournament. The event will bring together the top 64 players -- representing 19 nations -- for the eagerly awaited annual competition. It will be played from May 31 through June 2.
IFPA noted that 2013 marks the 80th anniversary of Pacific Amusement's Contact pinball machine, designed by Harry Williams. The Contact introduced solenoid-actuated ejection of balls from "kick-out" holes in the playfield, a bell that rang to signal a score, and the first "tilt" mechanism, all landmarks in the evolution of game design. The association is honoring Williams and Contact with its 2013 international match.
According to the tourney's organizers, "breathtaking skills" will be on display from early morning to late night. Thus, endurance as well as skill will determine whether Italy's Daniele Acciari can capture the World Pinball Champion title for a second year, or whether IFPA8 winner Cayle George of Seattle, last year's runner-up, will overtake his rival. | SEE IFPA9 STORY
New this year is the inaugural Epstein Cup, which will pit eight of America's best players against eight top flipper wizards from around the world in a faceoff which IFPA refers to as "the Pinball Ryder Cup."
The International Flipper Pinball Association was created for the express purpose of encouraging and endorsing competitive pinball throughout the world. The association provides oversight and assistance in establishing pinball leagues and organizing tournaments and other promotional activities. In just seven years, it has brought together more than 18,000 players, whose rankings among World Pinball Players are established through tournaments organized among more than 450 leagues overseen by 29 IFPA country directors.
"The resurgence of pinball in the public consciousness is incredibly gratifying," said IFPA co-chairman Roger Sharpe. "It is truly a timeless game that has continued to evolve with technological advancements that someone like Harry Williams could have never imagined. We are seeing new locations and businesses opening their arms to the charms and allure of pinball, with the net result that millions of players are taking part in the totally immersive and tactile experience that defines pinball."
The IFPA10 World Pinball Championship is sponsored by Stern Pinball, Jersey Jack Pinball, Raw Thrills, Farsight Studios, Betson Enterprises, Marco Specialties, Planetary Pinball Supply, Play Meter Magazine, GameWorks, Zen Studios, Pinball Center, Brady Distributing Co., Game Exchange of Colorado, the Amusement and Music Operators Association and the American Amusement Manufacturers Association.
Information may be had from the IFPA's Roger Sharpe at (773) 961-1562 or (847) 506-9903, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or Steve Epstein at (908) 754-0934, email email@example.com.