FSPA Brand and Officer Policies
The Free State Pinball Association (FSPA) exists to run competitive yet fun pinball events in the Washington, DC / Baltimore, MD metropolitan region. These events are primarily seasonal leagues, but may occasionally include tournaments or other events.
Standards for the FSPA Brand
- The FSPA operates events in the Washington, DC / Baltimore, MD metropolitan region, which is considered to be within 50 miles of either of these city centers.
- FSPA events strive to maintain a careful balance between “competitive” and “fun”. However, where these conflict, we will lean toward “competitive”. It’s relatively easy for anyone to set up a fun pinball event, but maintaining a competitive, fair environment requires skill and discipline, which the FSPA has developed over 20+ years, and continues to refine.
- The FSPA tries to provide consistency across all its events. Players who move from one FSPA event to another should have few, if any, surprises in how the event is run. Players should feel comfortable that when they participate in FSPA events, they will be respected, they will be taking part in a fairly-run competition, and they will receive good value for any money they might pay for the event.
Standards for all FSPA Officers
- FSPA officer positions are purely on a volunteer basis. No compensation should be expected. The FSPA and its players greatly appreciate officers’ time and effort in helping to spread the love of competitive pinball in our region.
- FSPA officers hold their positions to serve the FSPA’s players and provide those players a great experience. While the player (the customer) is not always right, they should always be treated with respect and a friendly attitude.
- FSPA officers may resign their position at any time, for any reason, although if possible, please defer resigning until the end of the current season or event.
- FSPA officers work as a team and a democracy. Except for decisions requiring immediate action (i.e. rulings at live events), decisions should generally be made by majority approval of involved officers. In the event of an evenly split decision, the highest ranking officer may break the tie.
Duties of FSPA Association Officers: These duties are all ultimately the responsibility of the Association President; however, they may (and often should) be delegated to other officers by mutual agreement.
- Association officers are responsible for creating FSPA events, selecting locations for such events, and nominating candidates to fill officer roles at those events. Association officers may also discontinue the FSPA’s relationship with an event, a location, or an officer, if deemed to no longer be a desirable fit for the FSPA.
- Association officers are responsible for writing, maintaining, and publishing the FSPA rules, which will be the baseline standard of operations at all FSPA events.
- Association officers are responsible for maintaining the FSPA’s online presence, which may include a Web site, social media pages, mailing lists, etc.
- Association officers are responsible for providing a scorekeeping facility for FSPA events.
- Association officers are responsible for recruiting players via any practical means, which may include flyers, social media, in-person contact, etc.
- Association officers are responsible for collecting dues from events in an amount that is announced prior to the start of the event. Association officers are also responsible for collecting other incidental income that may arise from Association events.
- 100% of money collected shall be used for the benefit of the Association’s player base, in the form of prizes, trophies, cash payouts, social events, etc, based on player performance, equal distribution, and/or random selection; or as clearly required to fulfill other duties described here (e.g. Web site operational expenses). Occasional modest promotional expenses in the interest of growing the player base are acceptable, though plenty of free promotional opportunities (flyers, social media, etc) exist and should be preferred.
- Complete income / expense records shall be maintained indefinitely. These records shall generally be reported to all FSPA leagues at the end of each season. Additionally, these records shall be shown to FSPA players upon request.
Duties of FSPA League Officers: These duties are all ultimately the responsibility of each league’s Commissioner; however, they may (and often should) be delegated to other league officers by mutual agreement.
- League officers are responsible for establishing league season schedules, and publishing them on the FSPA web site no later than two months prior to the start of the season.
- League officers are responsible for recruiting players via any practical means, which may include flyers, social media, in-person contact, etc.
- League officers are responsible for being a liaison between the FSPA, the league location, and (if appropriate) the machine operator at the location. Be proactive in accommodating any (reasonable) requests the location may have regarding language/outbursts, interference with other paying customers at the location, maintaining cleanliness of the location, etc. Keep the location apprised of the league’s schedule. Remember that your actions and those of your players also reflect upon hundreds of other people in the FSPA.
- League officers are responsible for being a liaison between the FSPA and the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA). This includes registering your event with IFPA’s World Pinball Player Ranking (WPPR) system within the required eligibility time period, and reporting league results to the WPPR system within a week of the conclusion of the season.
- League officers should abide by the current version of the FSPA rules. This allows players to have a consistent experience at all FSPA leagues and events.
- It is a league officer’s prerogative to make location-specific modifications to these rules prior to the start of a season. Any such modifications should be vetted with other FSPA officers prior to publication to players, both to ensure the effectiveness of the proposal, as well as share ideas with other leagues that may also find them beneficial. Once vetted, the modifications should be published on the FSPA web site and mailing list, and announced in person at the league location.
- League officers may need to make on-the-spot rulings that are not covered by the existing FSPA rules. These rulings should be made in the spirit of the existing rules, recorded, and reported promptly to the FSPA Executives mailing list. Other resources (e.g. the PAPA/IFPA ruleset) may be consulted as part of making this ruling, but the resolution must not contradict any established FSPA rule. Should the same situation arise again before the FSPA rules have been updated, the equivalent ruling should be made.
- League officers should never make rulings involving any situation that directly affects themselves, to avoid self-favoritism. Such rulings should be delegated to another uninvolved league officer.
- League officers are responsible for collecting dues from players in an amount that is announced prior to the start of the season. League officers are also responsible for collecting the “kitty” and other incidental income that may arise.
- 100% of money collected from players shall be used for the benefit of that league’s player base, in the form of prizes, trophies, cash payouts, social events, etc, based on player performance, equal distribution, and/or random selection; or as clearly required to fulfill other duties described here. Occasional modest promotional expenses in the interest of growing the player base are acceptable, though plenty of free promotional opportunities (flyers, social media, etc) exist and should be preferred.
- Complete income / expense records shall be maintained indefinitely. These records will generally be requested by the Association at the end of each season. Additionally, these records shall be shown to FSPA players upon request.
- Each league is responsible to pay Association dues each season in the amount of $11/player based on the meet #5 player roster. $10 of this amount goes directly to the end-of-season party budget. The remaining $1 goes to general Association expenses, including the annual machine giveaway promotion, Web site expenses, etc. The Association will provide a detailed accounting of the use of this money each season.
- Each league is responsible to provide two (2) party contest prizes on a rotating basis. Party contest prizes are typically valued in the range of $10-20 per prize.
Duties of FSPA Event Officials: Occasionally, the FSPA may operate other events besides seasonal leagues. In such cases, event officials shall follow the “Duties of FSPA League Officers” as described above as much as practical for the event.
League scorekeeping site: http://fspa.league.papa.org
League news/info (WordPress): http://fspazone.org
General discussion mailing list: firstname.lastname@example.org
FSPA Officers mailing list: email@example.com