PAPA encourages leagues from around the world to submit updates once a month. If you are interested in showing off your league, contact us today! There is no requirement or style for submitting league updates… just show or tell us about whatever is pinball-related happening near you!
The following was written and / or photographed by league members of the Free State Pinball Association Special thanks to Kevin Stone for submitting the update!
The Free State Pinball Association (FSPA) is now in its 18th year of fun and exciting competition. The FSPA runs pinball leagues for players of all ages and skill levels. The league year consists of three ten-week seasons in the Winter/Spring, Summer, and Fall. Additionally, we start each season with an open practice week and playoffs after each season. Add it all up, and that’s 36 weeks of pinball action every year!
Currently FSPA has three league locations: Volleyball House in Elkridge, MD (VBH), Town Hall in College Park, MD (TH), and Mighty Mike’s in Sterling, VA (MMS). Before this year, the Virginia league was held at John’s Place where the annual Fairfax Pinball Open was held. Unfortunately that location closed on New Year’s Eve but we were fortunate to find another location in Sterling, Va. Over the history of FSPA, there have been at least 254 players, 6 different league locations and 133 machines in league. A total of 833 meets have taken place with over 62,796 scores. Currently there are 68 players across the 3 leagues this Fall season. Current standings are in the pictures below.
Each league location contains games that range from electromechanical, solid state, and DMD games. In fact, our Town Hall location just received a Wizard of Oz game and is in the rotation. Volleyball House currently houses 11 games (Cleopatra, Williams Grand Prix, Airborne, Medieval Madness, Star Trek: Next Generation, Seawitch, Baywatch, Corvette, Stargate, High Speed, and Robocop,) Mighty Mike’s houses 6 games (Funhouse, Jackbot, NBA Fastbreak, Party Zone, Road Show, and Royal Flush,) and Town Hall houses 7 games (AC/DC Premium, Attack From Mars, Doctor Who, Funhouse, Twilight Zone, World Poker Tour, and Wizard of Oz.)
Depending on the number of players of each league, divisions are created based on player performance that group players with similar skill levels. Playoffs are held after each 10 week season is completed for the top half of each division. All finalists win prizes ranging from trophies, backglasses, translites, pinball parts and tools, and tournament entries to Pinburgh and PAPA.
The most desirable prize though is the annual pinball machine giveaway. Every gets one chance per season played to win a pinball machine at the end of the summer season. So far FSPA has given away 12 pinball machines to a lucky member. This summer we gave away a Gottlieb Fast Draw to Brian Blonder (Ethan’s Dad.) Our next giveaway game is Stern’s Seawitch, currently on location at Volleyball House.
FSPA uses tater of the art software to track scores, players, meets, season standings, badges (achievements), and more including historical data for all previous seasons. Most importantly though is that the FSPA software is available for use for other leagues not directly associated with FSPA and the Washington DC Metropolitan area. Leagues around the country that have adopted the FSPA software and basic rules include the Downingtown Pinball League (PA), Magic City League (AL), St Louis Area Pinball League (MO), and the Dominion Pinball League (VA).
For more information on how FSPA leagues work or for help in starting your own pinball league using FSPA software, visit us at fspazone.org or like us on Facebook! Additional information can also be found on PAPA.org about FSPA.