The Space City Open Pinball Tournament is organized by the Space City Pinball League of Houston, TX. The tournament is designed to be fun for players of all ages and skill levels. Proudly sponsored by deeproot® pinball!
Given the tournament format, we must cap the number of players in each qualifying session. If you would like to play in the tournament, you should strongly consider pre-registering in advance! Online pre-registration will open on September 22, 2019 at 12pm Central. You can pre-register here. You can also register at the show, but there is a chance there will not be openings remaining.
If you would like to donate a game to the tournament, please contact us at email@example.com. Anyone who brings brings a game to the show will receive a weekend pass. Lending a game to the tournament may also make you eligible for a full refund of your tournament entry fees!
All tournament details are subject to change prior to the tournament. Major changes will posted here and announced to all registered players.
Pre-Expo tournament hosted by Pinball Profile (11/14 @ Einstein’s Pub)
Women’s Pinball Tournament (11/16)
Official Event T-Shirt!: You can preorder a t-shirt here. The shirt can be picked up in the tournament area at the show. We will not be selling shirts at the show, so if you want one buy now!
There will be four unique qualifying sessions (A, B, C, and D), each following a 6 round match-play format. Each round, competitors will be placed in groups of four and play on one randomly chosen machine. Players will earn points based on how many opponents they beat in the round (3, 2, 1, or 0). Points will accumulate across the six rounds to determine each players overall qualifying score. Each player may play in a maximum of two sessions.
The top six qualifiers from each session will compete in the finals for trophies and cash prizes. There will be separate A Division and B-Division finals. During finals, players will be placed in groups of four and will play three games. Players will score points on each game based on finishing position (4-2-1-0 scoring). After three games, the two players from each group with the most points will advance to the next round.
The tournament finals will be streamed live on twitch.tv/spacecitypinball
The tournament directors will be responsible for managing and organizing the tournament, as well as making rulings in the event of malfunctions. The lead tournament director this year is Phil Grimaldi. Assistant tournament directors are Marc Gammons, David Pollock, Elizabeth Dronet, and Matt Quantz. Note: some tournament directors may also be playing in the tournament. Tournament directors are not permitted to make rulings on games they are directly involved in.
Any questions about the tournament can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
The entry fee for the tournament is $25 per session. Players are limited to two sessions. Players are also responsible for separate entry into the convention. Entry fees will be used to cover costs of the tournament, trophies, and prizes. A complete breakdown of expenditures and prizes will be published on this page.
The tournament will follow the following schedule as closely as possible. Exceptionally long play or machine malfunctions may cause deviations from the schedule.
Load in and set up
Load in and set up
Texas Pinball League Finals (Private Event)
Space City Open Practice Session
Session A Check in & Registration
Session A Begins
Session B Check in & Registration
Session B Begins
Session C Check in & Registration
Session C Begins
Session D Check in & Registration
Session D Begins
A Finals Check in
A Finals Round 1
A Finals Round 2
B Finals Check in
A Finals Round 3; B Finals Round 1
A Finals Round 4; B Finals Round 2
Please do your part to help the tournament run quickly and efficiently!
There will be four qualifying sessions, each consisting of 6 rounds of match play. Each round, players will will be placed in four player groups. Depending on the number of players, there may be three player groups. Each group will be randomly assigned a game to play. The software will attempt assign games that players have not played previously, though this cannot be guaranteed.
Players will be matched in a balanced fashion. This means that each round, players will be grouped with opponents that they have not faced before. Player order will be determined by the tournament software. At the end of each game, players will earn points based on how many opponents they defeated (3, 2, 1, 0). For three player groups, scoring is (3, 1.5, 0). Results will be submitted by players via the matchplay software. Players must enter full scores for each game. We also encourage all players to take photos of their scores to verify results if they are challenged.
Players may play in up to two qualifying sessions. A players best result will be used for final positioning or seeding in the finals. Players may choose which of the four sessions they would like to play in. Players who intentionally attempt to play in more than two sessions may be disqualified from the tournament.
Qualifying ties will be broken by the number of first place finishes, then the number of second place finishes, then score after round 5, score after round 4, etc. If players are still tied, the tie will be broken via random number generator. Only critical ties will be broken, such as those that determine advancing to playoffs or byes.
The top 6 finishers from each qualifying session will be placed in the A-Division finals. The top 2 finishers from each session will receive a bye in the first round. If a player qualifies in more than one session, their best result will be used, and their worst spot will be backfilled.
Finals will follow a “PAPA style” format, with some modifications. During finals, players will be placed in four-player groups based on seeding. Each group will play on 3 machines. At the start of each round, the highest seeded player of each group will choose all three games for the round, starting with the highest seeded group. Players may not choose the same game two rounds in a row. Players will then choose player order for the first match, starting with the highest seeded player. All subsequent matches will be determined in reverse finishing order of previous match (i.e., last place chooses first).
Multiple groups may choose a game that has been selected by a higher seeded group, but it must be played as a different game number. For example, if group 1 chooses to play Iron Maiden on Game 1, group 2 can only play Iron Maiden as their Game 2.
Players will earn points depending on the finishing position of each game (4, 2, 1, 0). The top two players from each group will advance to final round (determined by points accumulated within the round). If two or more players are tied to advance at the end of the round, they will play a randomly chosen game (excluding any games previously played in the round).
There will also be a B-Division, following the same format as A-Division finals. B-division will be limited to players ranked 500 or higher by the IFPA who did not qualify for the A-Division.
B-Division will be limited to the top 8 players who did not qualify in any of the sessions.
B-Division finals will be played for prizes only. Final placement in the tournament will be based on qualifying score.
This game list has not yet been determined, but we will publish the games here as they are secured. If you would like to lend a game to the tournament, please contact email@example.com.
All games have been graciously donated by local collectors and enthusiasts. They have poured their blood sweat and tears into these games. Simply moving them to the tournament was a lot of work. Do not abuse the games. Do not hit or kick the games. Players who abuse games will be issued warnings or ejected from the facility, depending on the severity of the offense.
Please refrain from loud yelling or cursing. It is distracting to other players, and reflects poorly on the community.
During play, do not distract your opponent by talking to them (unless they talk to you or tell you it’s okay). Do not hover over their shoulders. Do not coach them or give them advice while they play. It is perfectly fine to talk/exchange high-fives between balls.
Please avoid “rage-tilting” a ball (i.e., intentionally tilting out of frustration). In addition to making you look silly, it is disrespectful to your opponent as they must wait for the tilt bob to settle before starting their ball. This also increases the total duration of the tournament.
Extra balls will be disabled. However, if you are awarded an extra ball, you may play it.
Pinball machines are mechanical in nature, and thus often produce unintended behaviors. Moreover, many of these machines are very old! If a game malfunctions in any way (e.g., flipper breaks, debris on field, game reset, etc.), please ask the tournament director for a ruling. The director will attempt to repair the machine without sacrificing the game. If this cannot be done, a new machine will be drawn and all progress in the original game will be lost.
If a ball becomes stuck during single-ball play, notify the tournament director for help. The ball will be placed on the right or left flipper, determined by the side of the game the ball became stuck on.
The tournament director has the final say on all rulings. If a game requires a ruling that the tournament director is directly involved, the ruling will be deferred to an assistant tournament director. We will defer to the IFPA rules for any scenarios not covered in these rules.
All entry fees, minus expenses, will be paid back to players. 90% of the prize pool will go to A-Division, and 10% to B-Division. These sub-pools will then be broken down according to the table below.
Online pre-registration for the tournament will begin at 12 noon, central time, on September 22, 2019, and will end at 11:30 PM on October 31, 2019. Please have your IFPA number ready. You can register online via eventbrite here. Information regarding pre-registration is located on the eventbrite page.
You may also register for a qualifying session at the show, during the corresponding registration period (see schedule above)
Player registrations will be publicly posted and updated in real time on the eventbrite page.