This year’s pinball tournament will be organized by the Space City Pinball League of Houston, TX. The tournament is designed for all ages, and will test players’ skills across a range of pinball eras. The full tournament rules are posted below. Given the tournament format, we are limiting entry to 56 players. If you would like to play in the tournament, you must pre-register in advance! Registration will open on September 1, 2018 at 12pm Central. The link will be posted here, on this webpage. The field may be expanded if additional games are added to the lineup. If you would like to donate a game to the tournament, please contact us at spacecitypinball [at] gmail [dot] com
All details are subject to change prior to the tournament. Major changes will be announced to all registered players.
The tournament will follow a 10 round, match-play format. Each round, competitors will be placed in groups of four and play on a bank of two machines. Each bank will feature a modern machine (DMD or Later) and a classic machine (Solid State or Earlier). Players will earn points determined by their finishing position (3, 2, 1, or 0). Points will accumulate across the ten rounds to determine each players overall qualifying score.
After ten rounds of match-play, the top qualifiers will compete in the finals for trophies and cash prizes. There will separate A, B, and Women’s 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.
We are pleased to announce that this year’s tournament finals will be streamed live on twitch.tv!
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
Entry fee for the tournament is $60.00. 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 is shown below.
The tournament will follow the following schedule as closely as possible. Pre-registered players who do not check in on Friday will be bumped from the tournament, and their place given to the next highest person on the waitlist.
|5pm – 12am||Setup||Load in of games|
|8am – 12pm||Setup||Load in of games, set up of cameras|
|12pm – 5pm||Texas Pinball League Finals||Finalists of Texas Pinball League only.|
|5pm – 6pm||Check-in, Open Practice session||Practice allowed for registered tournament players only.|
|6pm – 11pm||Rounds 1-5||Each round starts at top of the hour|
|10am – 12pm||Rounds 6-7||Each round starts at top of the hour|
|12pm-1pm||Lunch Break||(No practice allowed)|
|1pm – 4pm||Rounds 8-10||Each round starts at top of the hour|
|4 – 4:30pm||Break||(No practice allowed)|
|4:30pm – 6:30pm||Women’s Finals|
|6:30pm – 11 pm||A Division + B Division Finals|
|11pm – 2am||Open Free Play||Tournament area open to all Expo patrons|
|10am – 6pm||Load Out, Clean Up|
Please do your part to help the tournament run quickly and efficiently!
There will be ten qualifying 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 assigned a bank of two games to play on. Each bank will feature a modern game (DMD or newer), and a classic game (SS or older). The software will attempt to ensure all players in a group have been placed on the game an equal number of times, though this cannot be guaranteed.
Players will be matched according to a “tiered swiss” format. This means that each round, players will be grouped with opponents that have approximately the same number of points at the start of the round. Player order will be determined by the tournament software. At the end of each game, players will earn points depending on their finishing positions (3, 2, 1, 0). Results will be submitted by players via the matchplay software.
Qualifying ties will be broken by the number of first place finishes, then the number of second place finishes throughout qualifying. If players are still tied, the tie will be broken by playing a single game on a random machine. Only critical ties will be broken, such as those that determine advancing to playoffs.
The top 16 finishers will be placed in the A-Division finals. The points accumulated during the matchplay rounds will determine seeding in the finals. Finals will follow a “papa style” format, with some modifications.
During finals, players will be placed in four-player groups. In the first round of finals, each group will play on 3 machines. At the start of the round, the highest seeded player of each group will choose the games for the round, starting with the highest seeded group. Players may not choose the same game two rounds in a row, and each group must play at least one modern, and one classic machine. The player choosing the games may determine the order in which games are played, however the final game of each round must be a classic. 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 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 and Women’s division finals. Each will follow 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. Women’s division will be limited to female players.
B-Division will be limited to 8 players.
Women’s division will be limited to 4 players if there are between 4 and 12 female players total. The field will be expanded to 8 if there are more than 12 female players.
B-Division and Women’s division finals will be played for prizes only. Final placement in the tournament will be based on qualifying score.
This game list is tentative and subject to change. If you would like to donate a game to the tournament, please contact spacecitypinball [at] gmail [dot] com
|Classic||Bally Sea Ray||Louis Marx|
|Classic||Flash Gordon||Stephanie and Jim Mueller|
|Classic||Galaxy||The Game Preserve|
|Classic||Hot Doggin||Brian Foytik|
|Classic||Target Alpha||Jody Aucoin|
|Modern||Demolition Man||Craig Squires|
|Modern||High Speed 2: The Getaway||Elizabeth and David Dronet|
|Modern||Iron Man||Einstein’s Pub|
|Modern||Judge Dredd||Jesse Smith|
|Modern||Medieval Madness (Remake)||Ken Holmes|
|Modern||No Fear||Austin Knight|
|Modern||Stargate||Alice and David Pollock|
|Modern||The Walking Dead (Pro)||Gina and Chris Low|
|Modern||Total Nuclear Annihilation||Raleigh and Chris Palis|
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. 70% of the prize pool will go to A-Division, 20% to B-Division, and 10% to Women’s Division. These sub-pools will then be broken down according to the table below. Note that prizes are current estimates, and may vary based on expenses and future sponsorship contributions.