Pinburgh: Official Rules
The Pinburgh Rules are tournament specific alterations built upon PAPA’s larger competitive ruleset found here. Any situations not addressed in the Pinburgh rules default to the main set of PAPA Competition Rules. Any tournaments, leagues, or organizations wishing to copy our rules for their own purposes should adopt the primary PAPA ruleset first. All organizations copying our rules are reminded that they are licensed under the Creative Commons, which requires including a reference link back to the original source: PAPA.org.
Pinburgh is the Match Play Championship event operated by the Professional and Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA) at ReplayFX 2016. This document specifies the official operating rules and regulations of the event.
The event coordinators for Pinburgh are Doug Polka, Bowen Kerins, Kevin Martin, Mark Steinman, and Elizabeth Cromwell. Event coordinators organize volunteers, handle malfunctions and rulings, delegate responsibilities and authority, and otherwise work to ensure the smooth operation of the tournament. Event coordinators and designated officials may not participate in the tournament.
I. Quick Overview
Pinburgh is Match Play For All: three days of match play pinball competition, with no players eliminated until the third day. All players compete in groups on Day 1, with the quality of their play determining whether they go to A, B, C, or D Division for Day 2. All players compete in groups on Day 2 within their division, with the quality of their play determining whether they advance to finals. Qualifiers compete for the division prizes on Day 3, while everyone else plays in a consolation double-elimination tournament. 160 cash prizes will be awarded, including $15,000 to the champion.
That’s right, it’s twenty or more hours of fun, competitive pinball play for everyone, for one entry fee. Note: while games are free to play, all players must have a ReplayFX show pass to enter the tournament.
II. Overall Competition
1. Divisions of Play
All play takes place as singles, in four skill divisions. At the beginning of play, all players compete together, without divisions. At the end of play on Day 1, skill divisions are assigned according to rankings and restrictions. Generally speaking, this division happens by quartile ranking, with certain players assigned to A, B, C, or D Division based on skill division restrictions.
All players, winning or not, grant PAPA, ReplayFX LLC, Replay Foundation, and any and all other event sponsors and organizers, individual and collective, the right to use their names, scores, and likenesses for the purpose of promoting this tournament as well as other pinball-related events. This right is transferable without restriction.
2. Skill Division Restrictions
The following restrictions are designed to discourage any player from intentionally competing beneath his or her level of skill:
- Players who qualified in the A Division of PAPA 15-19, players who made the final four in the A Division of Pinburgh 2011-15 or any PAPA World Championship, players who made the final four in the B Division of Pinburgh 2015 or PAPA 19, players who earned 150 or more points in the 2015-16 PAPA Circuit, and players in the top 50 of the IFPA’s World Pinball Player Rankings (WPPR) as of July 1, 2016 are restricted to A Division.
- Players who qualified in the B Division of PAPA 15-19, players who made the final four in the B Division of Pinburgh 2011-14, players who made the final four in the C Division of Pinburgh 2015 or PAPA 19, players who made the playoffs in the A Division of Pinburgh 2011-15, players who earned 60 or more points in the 2015-16 PAPA Circuit, and players in the top 200 of the IFPA’s World Pinball Player Rankings as of July 1, 2016 are restricted to A and B Division.
- Players who qualified in the C Division of PAPA 15-19, players who qualified in any Classics division of PAPA 17-19, players who made the final four in the D Division of Pinburgh 2015 or PAPA 19, players who made the final four in the C Division of Pinburgh 2011-15, players who made the playoffs in the B Division of Pinburgh 2011-15, players who earned 25 or more points in the 2015-16 PAPA Circuit, and players in the top 500 of the IFPA’s World Pinball Player Rankings as of July 1, 2016 are restricted to A, B, and C Division.
Tournament coordinators reserve the right to modify these restrictions as they deem necessary. Only a player’s highest restriction will apply. In all cases, players will be informed before or during play on Day 1 of any skill division restriction that applies to them, and a list of these restrictions will be made available to all players. Note that, for example, a player with a B Division restriction may still qualify in A Division as a result of strong play on Day 1.
The tournament schedule will be posted on ReplayFX.org/schedule.
A one-time $120 registration fee is required of each player who wishes to compete at Pinburgh, in addition to admission to ReplayFX. Each registered player receives an identifying number and this number is used to track his or her play.
All players must check in by 9:30 am on Day 1. Players who are not checked in by 9:30 am may be removed from the tournament. Online pre-registration is required.
The tournament features a guaranteed package of cash prizes.
The guaranteed prize package for Pinburgh is as follows:
|Division A||Division B||Division C||Division D|
|5th – 8th||1200||700||500||300|
|9th – 16th||700||500||350||250|
|17th – 28th||500||350||250||200|
|29th – 40th||350||250||200||200|
|Total Prize Money||$100,000|
Other non-cash prizes may be awarded for special competitions, door prizes, etc, at the sole discretion of tournament coordinators. All prizes will be paid by check, and appropriate IRS regulations for tax reporting will be followed. We will provide the appropriate forms for non-U.S. Citizens. Checks will be mailed within 60 days of the completion of competition. All winners must completely fill out a W-9 form prior to receiving their check.
III. Day 1: Full-Field Play
1. Day 1 Format
Day 1’s match play will be a series of five sessions of multiplayer pinball, with multiple games played per session. In each session, opponents are determined based on each player’s win-loss rank. At the end of the five sessions, players will advance to each of the A, B, C, and D Divisions.
All players must be onsite for the start of Session 1 promptly at 10 am after checking in by 9:30 am. There will be a 90-minute break for dinner after Session 3, with Session 4 starting promptly at 6:15 pm.
2. Playing a Session
During each session, all players will be assigned to a group. A set of four games will be randomly assigned, which will usually consist of one dot-matrix machine (DMD), one electromechanical machine (EM), one late solid state (LSS) or early dot-matrix machine, and one early solid state (ESS) machine. Games will be played in the order prescribed by the group’s score sheet. Tournament coordinators will make efforts to avoid requiring any player to play a specific machine more than once.
Players must go to their assigned groups promptly. If a player is missing, do not start play; inform tournament organizers of the missing player. Any player who is more than 10 minutes late for their group will be removed from the session, and will automatically receive a 0-12 record for the session.
Practice or warm-up time is not allowed for anyone, including during sessions, except for players in final rounds. The only designated practice time is on the morning of Day 1, as listed in the Pinburgh schedule.
The best-seeded player within each group (the first player listed on the scoresheet) chooses the order of play for the first game. The remaining players choose their order, in descending order from best to worst seeding. For subsequent games, the last-place finisher of the previous game chooses the order of play for the next game. The remaining players choose their order, in ascending order of finish in the previous game (3rd place, then 2nd place, then 1st place).
A few machines have been designated as single-player games, even though they may support multiple players, due to “catch up” features or other issues with significant competitive impact. These machines will have signs on them, and will be marked as such on score sheets.
All players will play their games and record the results. Exact score ties between two or more players will be resolved with a one-ball playoff on the same game. When all four (or six) games have been completed by a group, each player will have a win-loss record from the session. The best possible win-loss record for a session is 12-0 and the worst is 0-12. In three-player groups, win-loss records will be multiplied by a factor of 1.5. In the unlikely event of a two-player group, win-loss records will be multiplied by a factor of 3.
A group must complete and sign its score sheet for the session, then return it promptly for entry. While it is not necessary for the entire group to be present when returning a score sheet, multiple players should deliver it together to ensure accuracy. Once completed and signed, all score sheets are final. Please check the score sheet carefully before signing. Prompt entry of score sheets is essential to the timely progression of the tournament. In any scenario where a player has already defeated his or her opponents and still has one ball left to play, that ball should be plunged but not played, as it cannot affect the results. A score must be recorded for the winning player.
Unsigned score sheets will be processed normally; if there is any dispute that necessitates a ruling, it must be brought to the attention of tournament coordinators immediately. Once seedings have been published for the next session, no changes can be made to prior recorded results, except to reverse any advantage a player may have gained from an incorrect score sheet. Tournament officials will not reverse a disadvantage a player receives by signing an incorrect score sheet.
Sessions are scheduled for 2 hours and 15 minutes. Please play promptly, and inform tournament officials immediately if a ruling is needed or if a game is malfunctioning. Move on to the next machine as soon as it is available.
3. Game Assignment
A list of the games used in the tournament will be available online in advance of the tournament, and on pinburgh.com during the tournament.
More than one group of players will be assigned to the same set of machines, and will play in a different order, in order to minimize delays. Groups may not skip or play machines out of order. In cases where a game in a group has malfunctioned, a new game may be assigned from the backup area, and the score sheet will indicate this.
4. Seeding Players
Before the first session, all players will be “seeded” in the tournament, ranked by their WPPR point totals as of July 1, 2016.
Unranked players will be given the lowest available seeds, in alphabetical order.
Following the first session, players will be “seeded” in the next session by their cumulative win-loss records, with the best win-loss record receiving the highest seed. When seeding a session, ties in records will be broken by random draw.
5. Group Assignment
In each session, the field will be “tiered” for assignment into groups, using predetermined tier sizes. Within each tier, groups will be created using the highest available seed, the lowest available seed, and the two available seeds that are closest to the middle of the tier. The lowest tier may have fewer players, and three-player matches will only be created within the lowest tier. If at any time, the number of players in a tier would be exactly 1, 2, or 5, those players will instead be added to the last tier, except during any session which uses 4-player tiers. In those cases, tiers will be rearranged to ensure that each tier has at least three players. Whenever the predetermined tier size is greater than 8, no tier of 4 or fewer players will be created. Those players will instead be assigned to the lowest tier.
During Session 1, the entire field will play as a single tier, and the arrangement of lowest-seeded players in each group will be reversed. With a sample field size of 700 players, the Session 1 groups would be:
1-350-351-526, 2-349-352-527, 3-348-353-528, …, 175-176-525-700
In the case of less than 700 starting players, there may be one, two, or three 3-player groups at the end of the list.
During Session 2, each tier will have 300 players and 75 groups:
1-150-151-300, 2-149-152-299, 3-148-153-298, …, 75-76-225-226
301-450-451-600, 302-449-452-599, 303-448-453-598, …, 375-376-525-526
During Session 3, each tier will have 128 players and 32 groups:
1-64-65-128, 2-63-66-127, 3-62-67-126, …, 32-33-96-97
129-192-193-256, 130-191-194-255, 131-190-195-254, …, 160-161-224-225
During Session 4, each tier will have 64 players and 16 groups:
1-32-33-64, 2-31-34-63, 3-30-35-62, …, 16-17-48-49
65-96-97-128, 66-95-98-127, 67-94-99-126, …, 80-81-112-113
During Seesion 5, each tier will have 32 players and 8 groups:
1-16-17-32, 2-15-18-31, 3-14-19-30, …, 8-9-24-25
33-48-49-64, 34-47-50-63, 35-46-51-62, …, 40-41-56-57
In the case of less than 700 players, there may be up to 3 three-player groups in each session. These groups are the ones that would normally involve the lowest-seeded players in each session. For example, if there are 698 players, two three-player groups will occur in each session, and they will be the ones where normally seeds #699 and #700 would play.
6. Division Assignment
At the end of Session 5, players will be assigned into A, B, C, and D Divisions. About one-fourth of the field will be placed into each division. Players who are tied at a division’s cutoff will be moved into the higher division for Day 2.
A minimum of one-fourth of the field of players will qualify for A Division: for example, if there are 650 players in the tournament, a minimum of 163 will qualify for A Division. This does not mean all players in the top one-fourth will necessarily make A Division. Any player with an A Division restriction will be forced into the A Division regardless of his or her win-loss record (but this will not increase the size of the division). In case of ties, all tied players will play in A Division on Day 2.
A minimum of one-half of all players will qualify for A and B Divisions, combined: for example, if there are 650 players in the tournament, a minimum of 325 will qualify for A and B Divisions, combined. Any player with a B Division restriction will be forced into the B Division regardless of his or her win-loss record, unless his or her record was sufficient to qualify for the A Division instead. Enforcing this restriction will not increase the size of the B Division. The actual size of B Division may be slightly larger or smaller than one-fourth due to ties.
A minimum of three-fourths of all players will qualify for A, B, and C Divisions, combined: for example, if there are 650 players in the tournament, a minimum of 488 will qualify for A, B, and C Divisions, combined. About one-fourth of all players will qualify for C Division. Any player with a C Division restriction will be forced into the C Division regardless of his or her win-loss record, unless his or her record was sufficient to qualify for the A or B Divisions instead. Enforcing this restriction will not increase the size of the C Division. The actual size of C Division may be slightly larger or smaller than one-fourth due to ties.
All remaining players are assigned to D Division.
IV. Day 2: Divisional Play
1. Day 2 Format
Day 2’s match play is identical to Day 1: a series of five sessions of multiplayer pinball (numbered 6 through 10), with multiple games played per session. In each session, opponents are determined based on a player’s win-loss rank. At the end of the five sessions, after possible tie-breaking games, top finishers will advance to Day 3’s finals.
In D Division, players’ records from Day 1 will be disregarded during Day 2’s play. All D Division players will start Day 2 with a 0-0 record. In A, B, and C Divisions, players’ records will not be wiped clean, and win-loss records from Day 1 are carried over.
All players must be onsite for Player Roll Call at 9:45 am. There will be a 90-minute break for dinner after Session 8, with Session 9 starting promptly at 6:15 pm.
2. Playing a Session
Sessions on Day 2 play identically to Day 1.
Please remember: Once completed and signed, all score sheets are final. Please check the score sheet carefully before signing. Score sheets must be turned in promptly, since prompt entry of score sheets is essential to the timely progression of the tournament.
3. Game Assignment
The assignment of games on Day 2 will be performed in the same fashion as on Day 1.
4. Seeding Players
Before Session 6, players will be “seeded” by their win-loss record from Day 1, with ties broken by random draw. In D Division, this seeding will be used even though players’ records are wiped before play.
Following Session 6, players will be “seeded” in the next session by their win-loss record, with ties broken by random draw.
5. Group Assignment
In each session, the field will be “tiered” for assignment into groups, using predetermined tier sizes, in the same fashion as Day 1’s sessions. Three-player matches will appear only within the lowest tier.
During Session 6, each tier will have 96 players and 24 groups:
1-48-49-96, 2-47-50-95, 3-46-51-94, …, 24-25-72-73
During Session 7, each tier will have 48 players and 12 groups:
1-24-25-48, 2-23-26-47, 3-22-27-46, …, 12-13-36-37
49-72-73-96, 50-71-74-95, …, 60-61-84-85
During Session 8, each tier will have 16 players and 4 groups:
1-8-9-16, 2-7-10-15, 3-6-11-14, 4-5-12-13
17-24-25-32, 18-23-26-31, 19-22-27-30, 20-21-28-29
During Session 9, each tier will have 8 players and 2 groups:
During Session 10, each tier will have 4 players:
1-2-3-4, 5-6-7-8, 9-10-11-12, …
There may be up to 3 three-player groups in each division during each session. These groups are the ones that would normally involve the lowest-seeded players in each session. For example, if there are 178 players in A Division, 2 three-player groups will occur in each session, and they will be the ones where normally #179 and #180 would play. During Session 10, as many as three lowest-ranked groups will be three-player groups.
6. Qualifying for Finals
At the end of Session 10, players within A, B, C, and D Divisions will qualify for finals. The qualifiers from A, B, and C Divisions will be the players with the best combined win-loss records for Sessions 1-10. The qualifiers from D Division will be the players with the best win-loss records from Sessions 6-10.
The top 40 players in each division will qualify for finals. The top 16 players in each division will receive a bye. The top 4 players in each division will receive two byes (directly to the quarterfinals). The #1 player in each division wins the top qualifier cash bonus.
In case of a tie for 40th place (for entry into finals) a single-game tiebreaker will be played immediately after Session 10 on a machine selected by tournament staff. Players must appear for the tiebreaker immediately or risk losing their spot in the tiebreaker. Tiebreaker winners advance to finals. The order of play in the tiebreaker will be random. If more than four players are tied, players will be put into balanced groups of two or more. Ties for other seeded positions, including byes and the top qualifier, will be broken by the tied players’ win-loss records after Session 9, and previous sessions’ cumulative records as needed. In the unlikely event that players had the same win-loss record through all ten sessions, seeding will be determined by the original seeding of the tournament.
V. Day 3: Final Rounds
1. Final Rounds
Final rounds employ the same format as session play. All finalists should check in before 9 am and must check in by 9:10 am. Any player who is not available will be disqualified. Players will be moved up in rank, and alternate players will take the lowest-seeded positions in the finals.
Players in final rounds will be placed in four-player groups and play a four-game session in the same format as Sessions 1-10. At least two sets of machines will be available for play. The highest seeded player in the round will select the set of machines for his or her group to play, or may elect to give up their choice to the next player. Choice of sets will then proceed through the remaining groups, in descending order of seeding, with the highest seeded player in each group making the choice. At no time will a player be allowed to pick the same set of machines in consecutive rounds. Each set of machines may be selected by a maximum of two groups. Some groups will not get to select a machine set.
As in regular Pinburgh sessions, the highest-seeded player within each group chooses the order of play for the first game. The remaining players choose their order, in descending order of seeding. For subsequent games, the last-place finisher of the previous game chooses the order of play for the next game. The remaining players choose their order, in ascending order of finish in the previous game.
Each round of the finals will be executed and scored identically to Sessions 1-10. The top 2 of 4 players in each group, according to win-loss record, will advance to the next round, until the final four players are determined. These four players will play a final four-game session to determine the division winner. In case of a significant tie, a one-game playoff will be played on a machine randomly selected by tournament coordinators among finals machines in other machine sets. In case of a tie between the first and second-place finishers in a group, both players advance.
At the beginning of each round of the finals, a brief warm-up time will be provided for players on their selected set of machines. Players must cooperate with tournament coordinators when instructed to switch between machines or discontinue warm-up.
The #1-#4 seeds pass through to the quarterfinals, and the #5-16 seeds pass through to the second round. The first round of finals will start with the following six groups:
First Round, Group 1: #17, #28, #29, #40
First Round, Group 2: #18, #27, #30, #39
First Round, Group 3: #19, #26, #31, #38
First Round, Group 4: #20, #25, #32, #37
First Round, Group 5: #21, #24, #33, #36
First Round, Group 6: #22, #23, #34, #35
Two players from each group, for a total of twelve players, will advance to the second round to join the #5-#16 seeds. These players are re-ranked according to their qualifying seeding, and assigned to groups as shown here:
Second Round, Group 1: #5, #16, #17, #28
Second Round, Group 2: #6, #15, #18, #27
Second Round, Group 3: #7, #14, #19, #26
Second Round, Group 4: #8, #13, #20, #25
Second Round, Group 5: #9, #12, #21, #24
Second Round, Group 6: #10, #11, #22, #23
Two players from each group, for a total of twelve players, will advance to quarterfinal rounds to join the #1-#4 seeds. These players are re-ranked according to their qualifying seeding, and assigned to groups as shown here:
Quarterfinals, Group 1: #1, #8, #9, #16
Quarterfinals, Group 2: #2, #7, #10, #15
Quarterfinals, Group 3: #3, #6, #11, #14
Quarterfinals, Group 4: #4, #5, #12, #13
Two players from each group, for a total of eight players, will advance to semifinal rounds. These players are re-ranked according to their qualifying seeding, and assigned to groups as shown here:
Semifinals, Group 1: #1, #4, #5, #8
Semifinals, Group 2: #2, #3, #6, #7
Two players from each group, for a total of four players, will advance to the final round.
VI. Malfunctions and Rulings
Most rules governing malfunctions and rulings are governed by the full PAPA ruleset, found here. The specific rules below supersede the full PAPA ruleset.
1. Major Malfunctions
If a major malfunction occurs that will require significant repairs, tournament coordinators may declare a “Disabled Machine” (see section below). Because the tournament needs to move quickly from session to session, it is not possible to make significant repairs during a match. A new machine will be assigned to the group for immediate play, and the game in progress will be declared void.
In the event that two or more different major malfunctions take place during the same game, the machine will be declared “Disabled” and a new machine will be assigned to the group for immediate play. During final rounds, if the first machine in a set is disabled, the machine set selection process will be restarted, if possible.
3. Beneficial Malfunctions
Any situation which indicates the presence of a beneficial malfunction should be brought to the attention of tournament coordinators promptly. Any player who intentionally takes advantage of a significant beneficial malfunction may be given a score of zero by tournament coordinators.
If the beneficial malfunction has significantly increased the score of any player(s), affected players’ scores will be void, as described in “Catastrophic Malfunctions”. Tournament coordinators will determine whether it is appropriate to continue play on the same machine or declare it disabled.
4. Disabled Machines
Any tournament machine that breaks down during play will be attended to by technicians as promptly as possible. In the event that a breakdown is severe and cannot be repaired promptly, the machine may be taken out of service temporarily or permanently. Results on that machine from prior sessions will not be disqualified, and the machine will be replaced by another machine selected by tournament coordinators.
Tournament coordinators may choose to disable a machine for any reason during or between sessions of play. Typical reasons may include malfunctions, incorrect settings, or unusually high playtime.
5. Player Errors
Coaching of any player while he or she is at a machine is not allowed and may lead to sanctions. Spectators and other players must refrain from commenting on play in a way that affects the current player.
No player may use reference materials of any kind, whether printed or electronic, while playing his or her ball. Reference materials may be used at any other time, however, even during a session or final round.
VII. Machine Settings
Most rules governing machine settings are identical to the full PAPA ruleset. The specific rules below supersede the full PAPA ruleset.
1. Software Settings
Please note that older machines may have different settings, such as allowable extra balls, five-ball play, or a Tilt penalty of “entire game” rather than “current ball”. Players will play the game “as is”, even if there is no sign indicating an expected change in machine behavior. For example, if a machine is set for five-ball play, groups may not end the game after three balls. Electromechanical machines will generally be set for five-ball play, but if they are set for three, they will be played as three. Please contact tournament officials if a game is acting in an unusual way.
VIII. Player Conduct
All rules governing player conduct are identical to the full PAPA ruleset, with additional, superseding rule(s) listed below.
When session groups are announced, all players must proceed immediately to their assigned set of machines and check-in with the other players in their assigned groups. If a player is absent, tournament officials must be notified promptly. An announcement may or may not be made to attempt to locate the absent player. Any player absent 10 minutes after a session’s start time will be disqualified from the session, and will receive a score of 0-12.
When a player is determined to be absent, tournament officials will alter the affected group appropriately, recognizing that other groups will have begun play and should not be unduly disrupted. A 4-player group can easily become a 3-player group.
Under extraordinary circumstances due to multiple player absences, a 2-player group or even a 1-player group may be forced to play. In the event of a 2-player group, four machines will be played and the record will be tripled, yielding the standard point opportunity to each player. In the event of a 1-player group, the singleton player will be assigned to “shadow” an existing 4-player group and play three of the same machines. Wins will be assigned based on the scores the singleton player surpasses, but corresponding losses will not accrue to players in the 4-player group.
If a player who was present initially cannot be found during the play of a group, tournament officials must be notified promptly. That player will be allowed no more than 3 minutes to return. If he or she does not return, each ball for that player will be promptly plunged and left unplayed. Any player who has more than one such absence may be disqualified from the tournament.
Any player who is absent at the beginning of two consecutive sessions without notifying tournament coordinators of an emergency in advance will be disqualified from the tournament. Disqualified players will not appear in subsequent sessions nor may they qualify for finals.
Any player who is not present at the beginning of finals will be disqualified and replaced by the next lower-ranked player. Any player who is absent during final rounds will be subjected to the rules described above for absences during group play.
At no time may any person be substituted for an absent player.
2. Disallowed Practice
Practicing on any tournament machine except during the designated times on Thursday morning or during final rounds is strictly forbidden. Practice will be treated as interference and penalized accordingly.
All miscellaneous rules are identical to the full PAPA ruleset, with additional, superseding rule(s) listed below.
1. Special Score Handling
Any player who reaches the maximum possible score on a machine that has such a limit, will receive that score as their total. If two or more players reach the maximum possible score on the same game, those players will be considered tied for that game.
During sessions, any player whose machine “rolls over” to a zero score is responsible for confirming this with his or her opponents before and after the rollover occurs.
2. Creative Commons License
These PAPA Tournament Rules by PAPA.org are licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
The intent is that the rules can be adapted and reused, with attribution, with the license preserved.