There has been a lot of discussion on this topic already but.......
The IFPA has done a great job creating a sanctioning body. As part of that they have created the SCS (State Championship Series) in each state and a national championship. They have worked very hard for years taking NO MONEY for administration fees. In that time competitive pinball has exploded. There are 10's of thousands more players than there were just a few years ago.
Take the amount of work you do in your own league and then times it by 1000. That is the level of work they have put in for NO MONEY. The $1/person/event IFPA fee accomplishes two things. It gives weight (in the form of money) to both the State and National Tournaments. Now hopefully the winner of each State tournament can actually afford to travel to the National tournament. It also reduces the number of players/tournaments that need to be processed. I rarely see this mentioned but I imagine they were getting swamped with the growing popularity of pinball. Josh and crew have always been super responsive to emails and very helpful when we started to put together a competitive pinball scene in our State a few years back. If that was repeated 50 or 100 times more I have no idea how they were keeping up.
It is also going to help prevent a problem that was starting to emerge. Certain areas were starting to "game" the system. Selfie Leagues, and other zero entry fee leagues/tournaments were being used to distribute lots of points in a semi-questionable way. I'm not making any accusations or judgements, but it was definitely happening and was making the IFPA ranking system less accurate than it could be. The $1 creates just enough of a barrier for entry that it eliminates many of these issues.
The IFPA and its administrators will still receive NO MONEY for the huge amount of time, effort, and money they put into running the IFPA. If your own league sees no benefit from player rankings, a State Championship, or a National Championship then don't register your tournament/league. Personally the players in my State love the IFPA, love the SCS, and love the idea of winning their way to Nationals. And yes, realistically, the best players have a better chance in both the State and National Tournament. But this is pinball and anyone can win on any given day.