Quoted from djreddog:
Thanks for the feedback Levi. Our biggest problem is space. Secondly I really don't know how many people honestly are interested in driving to southern Delaware to play pinball, thus the feeler question. This is being hosted in wmspin's basement, therefore we can't really have 60 people just show up. If the interest level reaches 60, then we might have to go to reserved entries so we don't get overcrowded.
As for IFPA or not, this tourney stuff is relatively new to me (one year under my belt). I know from playing other sports, some people only prefer sanctioned events, and some people don't care. Since this is the first in an annual series we are just gauging everyone's interest and feedback and will move forward from there. I want you to come down regardless of IFPA or not because I want to play some 1v1 pinball against you for some mad loot.
I am interested, and many of my friends in the NYC area will be too. You'd probably draw interest from Virgina-New York depending on if there's other tournaments the same weekend (try to schedule an open day).
And yes, I understand your space concerns. My place is REALLY small. And I used to try to cap it. But the reality is I've never had more than 22 show up so now I don't bother worrying about it. Even if 30 showed up we could make it work. You will simply NEVER have 60 people show up - this is a first-time thing, not a circuit event or a tournament with a reputation, and like you said, you are in Southern Delaware. If it's a success maybe you'll have more people next time around but I don't think you have to worry about the throngs descending on your place.
The other thing about trying to gauge how many people will show up is that most people don't know what they are doing on Wednesday. Expecting people to know what they'll be doing on a random weekend in September isn't realistic - for a tournament like the one you are suggesting, it would probably be a thursday before the tournament decision for myself and many others in the NYC area, and that's how it'll be for people in Philly, DC, baltimore, etc.
But seriously for it to be worth anybody's time to make even a 45 minute drive - anybody beyond pure novice - you'll want to do an IFPA event. Now, if you really don't care about that, and in fact want a small, novice tournament for people in Delaware, then yeah unsanctioned makes sense.